Mountain States Legal Foundation v. Hodel
United States District Court for the District of Wyoming
668 F. Supp. 1466 (1987)
Pursuant to the Mineral Leasing Act, the Secretary of the Interior (the secretary) had the authority to issue mineral leases on federal land. This authority was delegated to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The BLM entered into an agreement with the Forest Service whereby the Forest Service would make a recommendation to the BLM as to whether and under what terms a lease application should be issued to protect surface resources. In 1985, the Regional Forester for Region IV sent a letter to the Wyoming State Director of the BLM suspending mineral leasing in the Bridger-Teton National Forest and requested the BLM to delay further processing of oil and gas leases in the area until an environmental-impact statement or forest plan was completed. The BLM honored the request and suspended mineral leasing of the Bridger-Teton Forest. Mountain States Legal Foundation (the Foundation) (plaintiff) filed suit against the Secretaries of the Department of Interior and Department of Agriculture to challenge the suspension of mineral leasing in Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Foundation argued that the suspension was an unlawful withdrawal of lands in violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA).
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Kerr, J.)
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