Californians for Native Salmon and Steelhead Association et al. v. Department of Forestry

(1990) 221 Cal.App.3d 1419

The Court of Appeal permitted the filing and prosecution of a “pattern and practice” action brought by various plaintiffs to challenge the procedures followed by the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in approving timber harvesting plans (THPs). The complaint alleged that the Department had a policy of failing to issue timely responses to public comments on proposed THPs or to issue such responses at all, and of consistently failing to analyze the cumulative environmental impacts of such plans. The appellate court held that a justifiable controversy existed as to whether the Department’s policies violated applicable law, and that a declaratory relief action was an appropriate procedural vehicle for challenging those policies.