The Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance, LLC has filed for a temporary, preliminary and permanent injunction against Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Elizabeth Agpaoa, the Southern Regional Forester for the USDA, in an attempt to preserve dog-deer hunting on Kisatchie National Forest lands for the 2012-13 season.
Documents were filed in U.S. District Court on Nov. 16. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Dee Drell.
The request for the injunction seeks to allow dog-deer hunters continue hunting as they have done for hundreds of years. It also seeks to require the defendants to "honor federal law regarding the process for implementing changes to Forest Plan governing the Kisatchie National Forest and to cease and desist from prohibiting the hunting of deer with dogs on the Kisatchie National Forest."
The appeal claims that the 2012 decision to ban dog-deer hunting "on its face, admits that the proposed forest plan did not comply with the law." In particular, the decision, which was made by James M. Pena, Reviewing Officer for the Chief of the U.S. Forest Service, found deficiencies with:
-The finding of no significant impact, which did not discuss the context of the action;
-The appeal record did not find evidence "to support the conclusion in the (decision notice) that the use of modern technology in dog-deer hunting can lead to more interference with other users;"
-And the environmental assessment was in violation because the information in the appeal records did not support the conclusions of the decision notice and environmental assessment, particularly relating to public safety;
The filing also claims that issues raised by the Louisiana Sportsmen Alliance in an appeal was not taken into consideration, and that "there are no documented prosecutions of dog deer hunters for any of the alleged 'bad behavior' used to support the ban."
After numerous appeals, the U.S. Forest Service ruled to ban dog-deer hunting effective with the 2012-13 hunting season on Nov. 9. The decision came after the Forest Service attempted to ban dog-deer hunting effective the 2011-12 season, but the decision was reversed and hunters received eight days to hunt deer with dogs on Kisatchie National Forest lands.