December 23, 2015

PLF gives the Forest Service credit where it is due

By Anthony L. Francois Senior Attorney

We have written (and litigated) at length about the errors of the United States Forest Service, whether that be on forest access, ongoing water rights infringements, or the fire risk that the agency is imposing on its neighboring land owners. So, when the agency does something right, however small, we are obliged to acknowledge it.

Last year, the Forest Service was promoting a sweeping plan to federalize the use of private owned and state regulated water rights, on and off national forest lands. PLF commented on the proposal, highlighting its violation of private water rights, improper assertion of water rights by the Forest Service, and Takings Clause implications.

Earlier this year the Forest Service quietly abandoned the proposal. Well done. But, as the late President Reagan once said

a government bureau is the closest thing we’ll ever see to eternal life on this earth

and the Service warns that it will be back at some time in the future with a revamped groundwater program. So, vigilance remains in order.

What to read next