On October 21, 2011 Western Watersheds Project was awarded summary judgment by U.S. Department of the Interior Administrative Law Judge Andrew Pearlstein in WWP’s appeal of a Bureau of Land Management grazing decision on the WAY allotment near Wickenburg, Arizona!
Earlier in September 2011 Western Watershed Project won an important victory on this same livestock grazing allotment when Judge Pearlstein denied the Bureau of Land Management’s attempt to dodge his review of their grazing decision by seeking to have the WWP appeal dismissed. This September 2011 ruling in WWP’s favor was a rare and unprecedented win. Judge Pearlstein stated in that decision: “The only real effect of granting BLM’s motion to vacate the final grazing decision would be to deprive the Appellant of its right and opportunity under the Taylor Grazing Act….”
In a surprising part of Judge Pearlstein’s October 21st decision, the Judge set interim management at just 65 percent of the previously authorized cattle use on the WAY allotment until the BLM completes a legally acceptable analysis.
This judicial order mandating interim livestock grazing management is highly unusual for an Administrative Law Judge, and we are very pleased.
WWP won’t stop fighting until all the cows are off these fragile desert lands; but, in the interim this court decision will result in management limits that protect native wildlife.