In March 2014, the Crag Law Center filed an amended complaint to the 2013 lawsuit against the Forest Service’s decision to allow a mountain bike complex at Timberline Lodge. The amended complaint includes allegations that the proposed development is in violation of the Endangered Species Act protection given to the Lower Columbia River steelhead.
In the preparation of the Timberline EA, the Forestes Service informally consulted with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). At that time, the NMFS reviewed the provided studies, and concurred with the agency’s decision that the development would not negatively impact threatened or endangered species and critical habitat.
Upon receiving notice that the plaintiffs were going to file an amended complaint regarding an ESA violation, the NMFS announced that it was withdrawing its concurrence, and will conduct a formal biological assessment. Below is the announcement from NMFS.
This development was reported by OPB, and their news report can be found under the adjoining NEWS section. Jon Tullis, spokesman for the developer, was quoted in the story.
“It’s certainly lost its momentum, I won’t lie about that,” Tullis says. “But it’s certainly a great project. We’re looking forward to the future.”
The OPB story stated that if the project is ever built “….RLK says it expects to make only a modest profit, though it would provide about 20 jobs for summer lift operators and a trail crew.
The NMFS did not indicate how long it will take to prepare their assessment.