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Cattle Grazing In Stanislaus National Forest Wins Legal Challenge

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Sonora, CA — An appellate court has ruled in favor of the Stanislaus National Forest, and in effect cattle ranchers with grazing permits, in a lawsuit filed by two environmental groups.

The litigation was brought forward in March of 2017 by the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center and the Sierra Forest Legacy group. They alleged violations of the Environmental Policy Act, Forest Management Act, and Clean Water Act related to cattle grazing allotments on Bell Meadow, Eagle Meadow and Herring Creek.

The lawsuit centered around a 1981 agreement between the US Forest Service and State Water Boards that doesn’t require additional water permits and acknowledges that federal Forest Service practices comply with state law. The two environmental groups argued that the 40-year-old agreement was void.

A federal district court judge ruled in favor of the Stanislaus National Forest, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has now affirmed the district court’s decision.

There were several organizations, and individuals, who intervened in the case in support of the Stanislaus National Forest, including the California Farm Bureau, California Cattlemen’s Association, and several local ranchers.

Two of the ranchers were Bob and Sherri Brennan.

Sherri Brennan, a former Tuolumne County supervisor, told Clarke Broadcasting that she is very pleased with the legal ruling.

Many of the allotments are used by local family operations that go back generations.

You can read the entire US Court of Appeal decision by clicking here.