Should SNAMP have a legal team?

Should SNAMP have a legal team? by Kim_Ingram, at 11:31 a.m. on 30 April 2009,

At a recent SNAMP presentation, questions were raised if SNAMP science could stand up in court and if SNAMP would benefit from having a legal team working side by side the science teams to ensure this? If the Forest Service fuels treatment projects get sued, doesn't that undermine the entire SNAMP effort which hoped to develop a public process to avoid litigation?

The SNAMP process will clearly document what worked and what didn’t work well for the US Forest Service, the NEPA process and SNAMP itself. However, SNAMP could never guarantee that no lawsuits would ever be filed against the USFS or others. If the USFS is sued over the fuels treatment projects and the science is questioned, SNAMP scientists may be asked to testify. The Principle Investigators for SNAMP were specifically chosen because they are experts in their fields. SNAMP work plans have been peer reviewed by other experts outside of the SNAMP UC Science Team (UCST), so their methods have already been validated. The UCST uses the ‘preeminent rules of science’ – peer review, in all SNAMP research. Because of this, the UCST is not interested in pursuing a legal review. It is also important to remember that the science used in the NEPA process is conducted by the US Forest Service, not SNAMP. The SNAMP teams invite public comments, questions and differing opinions. Disagreement is part of the SNAMP process, it doesn’t stop it.

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