Friday, November 13, 2009

Ninth Circuit Opinion on Federal Land and Policy Management Act

The Ninth Circuit has issued its opinion in National Parks & Conservation Ass'n. v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., No. 05-56814.  The Association challenged the exchange of private lands, including parcels surrounding a mine site, owned by the Bureau of Land Management under the Federal Land and Policy Management Act.  The district court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs.  The Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part.  The Court affirmed the holding that the Bureau should have considered the probable use for a landfill as part of the "highest and best use" analysis, and that the range of alternatives that the Bureau considered was too narrow.  The Court reversed to the extent that the Bureau's record was not the "final action" of the agency and the record in the environmental impact statement was sufficient. 

The plaintiff, National Parks & Conservation Association, considers the Ninth Circuit ruling to be a victory: see their press release

Today, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous court decision overturning the land exchange necessary for the development of what would be the world's largest garbage dump on the boundary of Joshua Tree National Park.

If you are interested in these issues read the opinion.

Matt Festa

Environmental Law | Permalink

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