Chapter 1. Modern Public Land Law: An Introduction 25 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Modern federal public land law, like its predecessor fields, is primarily concerned with who is entitled to what in relation to the federal lands and resources. But the nature of modern contests over resource allocation, and the premises by which such contests are resolved, have shifted radically in past decades.
- The primary concern of traditional public land law was land disposition. As late as 1965, the Supreme Court described the “public land laws” as those “governing the alienation of public land.” . Inaccurate even then, that description is now wholly inadequate because very few federal lands remain available for sale or grant. This Nutshell uses the modifier “modern” to distinguish the recent law in this area from what it used to be. Land title transfers are but a small part of the process of determining the right to use or benefit from federal lands. Instead, the emphasis now is on allocation, use, protection, and preservation of the natural resources, broadly defined, found on or in the federal public lands.
- Public land law historically referred to the bodies of rules that defined private entitlement to public lands and resources. It assumed that economic development was the optimal use, and it embodied the processes of privatization whereby private entities could take title to federally owned lands and resources. Within public land law, subspecialties such as water law, mining law, and oil and gas law developed around what were then the most economically valuable public resources. Typical controversies in traditional public land law were “private”; private entities disputed property rights with the government or between themselves.
- Modern public land law has also shifted its focus from private to public controversies. While questions of private property entitlement remain important, especially to the disputants involved, the law now centers on the more “public” questions of whether private property rights of any kind should be recognized in public resources, and, if so, under what conditions. In other words, the question whether Bertie or Jaclyn is entitled to graze her cattle on a tract of federal land has been superseded, as an initial matter, by the question whether the tract should be grazed at all, and, if so, to what extent. This, in essence, is a “public interest” inquiry.
- Because the federal public lands are governmentally owned and operated, all of federal land management necessarily is political. Land users, land managers, and other interested parties have strongly divergent opinions and theories as to the proper or preferable management approaches and philosophies. Even though Congress typically exercises more detailed control over federal land and resource use in modern statutes than it previously did, those laws continue to grant a large degree of discretion to the executive managing agencies. As a result, prevailing political preferences can heavily influence practices in the field. Thus, while federal land law often is gridlocked at the congressional level, it can be quite fluid and changeable in terms of particular management emphases and decisions. See PNRL § 7:2.
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Chapter 4. Authority on the Public Lands: The Executive and the Courts 100 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Judicial review of administrative actions is a central component of administrative law, a topic mostly beyond the scope of this Nutshell. But because legal controversies in modern public land law almost invariably involve federal land management agencies, the operations of which are governed to a significant extent by administrative law doctrines, the subject cannot be avoided entirely. This section summarizes several such doctrines with particular relevance to the federal lands.
- Early on in this Nation’s history, most leaders realized that some limits on the disposition policies of the day were necessary to protect certain federal purposes. Because the “public domain” was generally available to homesteaders, miners, and their ilk, and because the federal government found it necessary to take some land out of the “available” category for forts and Indian reservations, the complementary processes of “withdrawal” and “reservation” evolved. Use of those processes to deny access to federal lands and resources has generated conflicts between the Congress and the Executive for over a century. Along with land use planning, withdrawals, reservations, and classifications are the primary zoning mechanisms of modern public land law.
- withholding an area of Federal land from settlement, sale, location, or entry, under some or all of the general land laws, for the purpose of limiting activities under those laws in order to maintain other public values in the area or reserving the area for a particular purpose or program; or transferring jurisdiction over an area of Federal land . . . from one department, bureau or agency to another department, bureau or agency.
- The BLM and the FS are subject to formal land and resource allocation planning procedures under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act and the National Forest Management Act respectively. See (refusing to review alleged noncompliance with BLM land use plan requirements). The NPS and the FWS also have statutory land use planning responsibilities. All of the federal land management agencies also are subject to the environmental assessment and planning requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), . Compliance with NEPA has been at issue in a significant percentage of modern public land law litigation since the statute’s adoption in 1969. NEPA applies well beyond the formal planning context, although the land management agencies must comply with it in the implementation of formal planning processes. Despite its generality, the hostile reception afforded it by the Supreme Court, and the established principle that the statute has no substantive bite, NEPA has had a...
- The exchange mechanism is congressionally favored as an equitable way to rationalize the western land ownership map; Congress thus has authorized large-scale swaps between federal agencies and between federal and state governments. Each federal land management agency has statutory authority to exchange public for private or state lands under some circumstances as a means of consolidating fragmented holdings. Virtually all such laws require at a minimum that the exchanging agency receive lands of at least roughly equal value and that it find that the proposed exchange is in the “public interest.”
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Title Page 2 results
Chapter 3. Constitutional Authority on the Federal Public Lands: Congress and the States 50 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Takings in Modern Public Land Law
- , which prohibits the killing, harassment, or sale of such critters on BLM or FS lands. The state argued that it owned the regulated feral beasts, that Congress could act only to protect federal lands, not wildlife, and that the United States is only a proprietor, without legislative power, when it acts as a landowner. The unanimous Court soundly rejected all those contentions. It differentiated between enclave and other lands, noting that cases concerning the former, such as , supra, were irrelevant to the latter. The requirement that legislation be directed at protection of the public lands applies only to situations in which the federal government is acting “extraterritorially.” (See the following section). The United States remains a sovereign when it owns land, and congressional Property Clause power is “without limitations.” Federal legislation is preemptive as well as plenary: where “state laws conflict with . . . legislation passed pursuant to the Property Clause, the law is...
- supra, recognized that the federal government possesses a power over its property “analogous to the police power of the several States”; any other rule would place the public domain “at the mercy of state legislation.” In , supra, the Court made it clear that Congress not only could withhold public lands from settlement indefinitely, it could carry out its trust however it chose. These rights stemmed from the government’s role as a proprietor as well as a sovereign. The opinion in , specifically limited the reach of state law on federal lands to matters not inconsistent with federal power and federal law. The Court in , upheld a federal deer control program undertaken in contravention of state law.
- The first situation, express preemption, seldom occurs in public land law, which is characterized by “cooperative federalism,” but it has happened. E.g., (state endangered species laws cannot be less restrictive than federal laws and rules). Similarly, and for the same reason, Congress almost never assumes such total and complete responsibility over a public land regulatory subject as to occupy the field, except in areas such as nuclear waste disposal. See (holding that state law restricting the use of leghold traps was preempted by the ESA and the NWRSIA because of a conflict between federal and state policies) with
- Even where property rights have vested, it has been difficult to demonstrate a taking because the tradition of extensive government regulation of private rights in public resources reduces the reasonable, investment-backed expectations of the property owner. That factor, as noted above, is an important component of the ad hoc approach to resolving takings questions enunciated in , the leading public natural resources law takings case, plaintiffs owned valuable unpatented mining claims to sand and gravel deposits on public land. FLPMA, enacted after perfection of the claims, required an annual filing by claimants
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Outline 41 results (showing 5 best matches)
Index 80 results (showing 5 best matches)
Chapter 5. The Water Resource 29 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In recent years, the realizations have grown that water quality is as important as water quantity, and that water quality cannot be divorced from land use. In modern public land law, land use controls for the purpose of protecting water supplies and the systems dependent on water fit within the general heading of “watershed management.” At least since 1897, when Congress defined the purposes for establishing national forests as including “securing favorable conditions of water flows,” “watershed” has been a statutorily important aim of public land management. In the 1960 MUSYA, and again in the 1976 FLPMA, Congress listed watershed as a coequal multiple use to be managed for sustained yield.
- but Congress did not do so. Instead, Congress in the Mining Act of 1866 decreed that all water rights recognized and protected under local law “shall be maintained and protected,” even on the public lands. 14 Stat. 253, § 9. Eleven years later, it enacted the 1877 Desert Lands Act (DLA), , to encourage homesteading of the arid public lands of the west. After requiring DLA claimants to irrigate their claims, Congress provided that:
- the water of all lakes, rivers and other sources of water supply upon the public lands and not navigable, shall remain and be held free for the appropriation and use of the public for irrigation, mining and manufacturing purposes subject to existing rights.
- , however, the Supreme Court distinguished “reserved” federal lands from the public domain and suggested that applied to all federal lands reserved for particular purposes. That suggestion became law in
- The Acquisition of Water Rights on the Public Lands
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Preface 2 results
- “Modern public land law” embodies the rules and doctrines governing disposition, allocation, and protection of the one third of the nation’s surface that is owned in fee by the federal government and of the natural resources those lands contain. This Nutshell cannot offer exhaustive analyses of every issue prominent in this field of study; it instead focuses on the major questions and major authorities in a condensed fashion.
- Professor George Coggins, my co-author on the first four editions of this book, and I have keyed Modern Public Land Law in A Nutshell both to the leading casebook in the area (George Cameron Coggins, Charles F. Wilkinson, John D. Leshy & Robert L. Fischman,
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Chapter 2. History of Public Land Law 52 results (showing 5 best matches)
- A Modern Legacy of Public Land History: Access to Federal Lands
- Kentucky, Tennessee, Vermont, Maine, and Texas, in addition to the original 13 Colonies, were never considered “public land states” because the federal government never fell heir to any appreciable amount of public domain land within their borders. The United States recognized all grants of land made by prior European and Mexican sovereigns, and those lands, too, never became a part of the public domain.
- , although conceived of as a temporary range management device to shore up the livestock industry and rehabilitate overgrazed public rangeland, in fact closed the public domain, perhaps forever. By authorizing the Interior Secretary to create grazing districts and regulate use of the range, it indirectly resulted in the creation of a new federal land system, now called the “BLM lands” or the “public lands.” The TGA also reaffirmed the practical truth that disposition had been displaced as the principal federal lands management objective. The reservations and withdrawals authorized during the conservation era are concrete symbols of Congress’ commitment to the view that the public interest is often better served by continuing public land ownership and management than by divestment. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 cemented this idea by enunciating a federal policy that “the public lands be retained in Federal ownership, unless . . . it is determined that...
- Texas achieved independence in 1836 but was refused admission to the Union until 1845. The Republic of Texas had its own highly irregular land disposition system; when it became a state, the federal government purchased lands outside its present borders but refused to assume ownership of the public lands within those borders. The lands acquired from Mexico via cession in 1848 and purchase in 1853 did enter the public domain, as did all of Alaska in 1867.
- The “public lands” are defined by statute as lands and interests in land under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management in the Department of the Interior. . (This Nutshell refers to them as “BLM public lands” to avoid confusion with normal semantic constructions.) The BLM public lands are those that were not reserved, homesteaded, or otherwise claimed before they were withdrawn into grazing districts pursuant to the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act, . They tend to be the federal lands that are in the worst ecological condition and the most difficult to manage because of scattered ownership patterns and inholdings and lack of resources. BLM jurisdiction has steadily shrunk since the 1930s as its lands were transferred to other agencies and entities. Still, about 180 million acres in the western states and about 90 million acres ...BLM control. The BLM also oversees mineral leasing and location on the other federal lands systems. Besides the Taylor Act, the BLM’s primary governing...
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Chapter 8. The Range Resource 41 results (showing 5 best matches)
- To date, public rangeland management has not received the public and judicial attention accorded the FS’s timber management. Consequently, many environmental laws and safeguards that have become common in other areas of modern public land law are still primitive on or absent from the federal range. There have been instances in which environmental regulation has intruded on traditional grazing prerogatives. In one case, the late Professor Joe Feller from Arizona State challenged the BLM’s policy of renewing range permits without environmental review, application of environmental standards, or review for consistency with land use plans. Early ALJ and IBLA decisions were favorable to Feller’s position, finding, for example, that NEPA requires site-specific EISs before issuance of permits that will have significant environmental consequences, that FLPMA requires a cost-benefit analysis to justify permit renewal, that the BLM must consider all multiple uses in setting stocking rates, and...
- Hard and fast rules are hard to come by in this unique niche of modern public land law. It is clear that the agencies have broad discretion in managing feral populations, even though all “management activities shall be at the minimal feasible level.”
- Even when BLM land use plans are reviewable, they will not be reviewable for very much. The statute lacks both procedural and substantive standards, particularly when compared with the NFMA. Although FLPMA section 1712 mandates the development of land use plans for the public lands, the requirements in section 1712(c) that the BLM observe multiple use, sustained yield management principles, use a systematic, interdisciplinary approach, consider present and potential uses of the public lands, and compare long-and short-term benefits impose few constraints on the broad discretion vested in the agency by the rest of the statute. The only real measurable substantive requirements emanating from section 1712(c) are to “give priority to the designation and protection of areas of critical environmental concern” (ACECs) and to enforce all federal and state pollution laws. The breadth of the agency’s discretion to designate ACECs will make it relatively difficult to challenge plans even on...
- Permittees must be kept under a sufficiently real threat of cancellation or modification in order to adequately protect the public lands from overgrazing or other forms of mismanagement. Any other interpretation of Congressional intent is inconsistent with the dominant purposes expressed [in the TGA, PRIA, and FLPMA]. . . . [I]t is the public policy of the United States that the Secretary and the BLM, not the ranchers, shall retain final control and decisionmaking authority over livestock grazing practices on the public lands.
- In 1970, the Public Land Law Review Commission recommended that fair market value govern both BLM and FS grazing authorizations, and FLPMA endorsed the general principle that the United States receive fair market value for the use of public lands and resources.
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Chapter 11. The Preservation Resource 50 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Permits from federal land managers to excavate archaeological resources on federal or Indian lands are available only if the applicant is qualified, the activity is designed to further knowledge in the public interest and is consistent with land use plans, and the United States will retain ownership of located artifacts. ARPA disclaims any intention to repeal, modify, or impose additional restrictions on activities permitted under laws relating to mining, mineral leasing, and other multiple uses of the public lands. , nor authorizes miners and other land users to steal or destroy artifacts.
- ARPA prohibits any person from excavating, removing, damaging, altering, or defacing archaeological resources located on public or Indian lands, or attempting to engage in any of these activities, without a permit. According to one court, the government need not prove that a defendant charged with violating this prohibition knew he or she was violating the law, but it must show that the defendant knew or had reason to know that the resource at issue was an archaeological resource as defined by ARPA. (government need not prove that defendant knew he or she was excavating on federal land). Public lands are those owned in fee by the United States, except lands on the outer continental shelf. Archaeological resources include “any material remains of past human life or activities which are of archaeological interest” that ...than century old artifacts from its definition of “archaeological resource,” Congress did not intend to divest itself of title to such resources on federal land...
- “Preservation” is not only a philosophy of public land management that opposes nonrenewable consumptive use of valuable resources on moral as well as utilitarian grounds, it is also a resource unto itself. The feature of exclusivity that characterizes the traditional commodity resources also applies to limited use or non-use of a land area. Congress has adopted statutes, such as the Endangered Species Act discussed in section 9B above, that are designed to preserve selected public resources through regulation of agency and private conduct that may adversely affect the preservation target. Section A of this chapter describes another such law, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979.
- The BLM inventory included more than 173 million acres, of which only about 23 million were placed in WSA status in 1980. Two years later, a new Interior Secretary ordered that lands in which the United States did not own subsurface minerals (split-estate lands) be removed from the wilderness inventory and exempted from the interim management policy. Parcels of less than 5000 acres were treated in a similar manner. These and related provisions of the Secretary’s order resulted in the removal of about 1.5 million acres from WSA status. , environmental groups sued to overturn the order. The court held that the exclusion of split-estate lands conflicted with the plain language of FLPMA. The Act mandates that the Secretary include in the inventory roadless areas of the public lands of 5000 acres or more with wilderness characteristics, and split-estates fit the definition of public lands. ...continue to manage inventoried lands so as not to impair wilderness suitability, subject to...
- Oregon Natural Desert Ass’n v. Bureau of Land Mgmt., 625 F.3d 1092 (9th Cir.2010)
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Chapter 6. The Mineral Resource 53 results (showing 5 best matches)
- In 1922, the Supreme Court stated that “[o]nly where the United States has indicated that the lands are held for disposal under the land laws does the [GML] apply.” . That is no longer the case: much of the national forest and BLM public land systems remain open to location even though closed to other forms of disposition. But land use planning will result in removal from mineral location of areas devoted to other uses within these systems. See, e.g., (concluding that mineral patents for lands within wilderness areas convey only the mineral deposits within the claim unless the claim was located and validated by discovery before wilderness designation and the claimant complied with all requirements for obtaining a patent under the GML before designation); (upholding BLM decision declaring void claims located within federal public lands segregated from mineral location and entry under FLPMA).
- Although the United States experimented with leasing lead mines in the early 19th century, Congress did not enact any laws for the general disposition of mineral resources until 1866. By that time, prospectors had occupied the California gold fields and created mining boom towns in many parts of the West. Mineral extraction from the federal public lands has been economically significant at least since 1848, and, for a century, many thought it to be the highest, best, and most preferred use of those lands. Recent debates have centered around the appropriate degree of regulation to prevent adverse environmental effects and the appropriate degree of economic return to the government by those extracting public mineral resources.
- All this has changed dramatically in the last generation. Fewer lands are open for prospecting; claim validation is more difficult; non-mineral surface uses of mining claims are better policed; the federal land management agency regulations promulgated to ameliorate harmful mining consequences have been upheld; and the assumed absoluteness of property interests in public land mining claims has been severely eroded. Some of these changes are the products of statutory amendments, but many also result from evolving societal attitudes that no longer regard hardrock mining as the highest and best land use.
- The BLM mining regulations rest on different statutory foundations, and they generally are less strict than their FS counterparts. BLM regulatory authority over mining was unclear until 1976, when Congress in FLPMA specifically aimed the following broad directive at mining operations: “In managing the public lands the Secretary shall, by regulation or otherwise, take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the public lands.”
- The law as it has evolved in this country distinguishes sharply between “locatable” (or “hardrock”) minerals, “leasable” (fuel and fertilizer) minerals, and “saleable” (common) minerals. Citizens may obtain rights to the former by locating valuable deposits of hardrock minerals on open public lands pursuant to the General Mining Law (GML) of 1872, . As section A(8) illustrates, courts have been transforming hardrock law to make it more like the law that governs mineral leasing for a generation. The government may sell common varieties minerals competitively under the Mineral Materials Act,
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Chapter 9. The Wildlife Resource 37 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Protection of endangered and threatened species has been a critical recent focus of public land law litigation. That litigation encompasses four main aspects of ESA interpretation: listing and habitat designation; section 7 consultation; conserving listed species; and the section 9 taking prohibition.
- As a general matter, the states establish hunting seasons and conditions for Forest System and BLM-administered lands, while the federal agencies are responsible for habitat improvement. The FS has always considered wildlife management and protection as one its principal responsibilities, and the Multiple-Use, Sustained-Yield Act requires that “due consideration” be given to fish and wildlife resources. . Prior to the adoption of FLPMA, the BLM lacked explicit statutory authorization to manage wildlife, and state hunting and fishing laws governed activity on the public lands. Section 1732(a) of FLPMA now requires management in accordance with multiple use, sustained yield principles. Both the FS and the BLM accordingly must balance wildlife protection with other uses to promote high yields of both commodity and noncommodity resources. Cf.
- . Nonwasteful subsistence uses of fish and wildlife have priority on all public lands in Alaska over all other consumptive uses, unless it is necessary to restrict taking to insure viability of fish or wildlife populations or continued subsistence uses of those populations. ANILCA does not provide subsistence users with a property right in land, however, and subsistence uses must not conflict with conservation of natural and healthy fish and wildlife populations. Id. 3112(1). The federal land management agencies must evaluate the effects of all major land use decisions except offshore oil and gas leasing on subsistence uses. The Ninth
- , supra, the Supreme Court dismissed Arizona’s argument that the federal government was bound by state law in the implementation of a deer kill program designed to abate overpopulation on federal lands. Citing , discussed in sections 3B–C, the Court concluded that “the power of the United States to . . . protect its lands and property does not admit of doubt,” regardless of contrary state game laws. In , the Court confirmed that the Property Clause authorizes federal preemption of state jurisdiction over wildlife on the federal lands. See section 3B. Lower courts have held that this authority extends to regulation of wildlife off the federal lands, provided there is some connection to those lands. E.g., , or preclude takings of red wolves found on private land.
- power is most sweeping in connection with activities on or that affect the federal lands, it is sufficiently broad to cover activities on state-owned or private lands as well. Wildlife management remains primarily a state prerogative, despite this plethora of federal legislation. Congress has seldom chosen to assert exclusive authority to manage wildlife, even on the federal lands.
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Chapter 10. The Recreation Resource 41 results (showing 5 best matches)
- for a state park and a conservation easement over an adjacent lake. The lands subject to the easement included a nonoperating golf course. Several years later, a national hotel chain purchased some of the land burdened by the easement to develop a resort with condominiums, ski facilities, and a golf course. The interstate agency decided to amend the conservation easement to accommodate the development. The district court ruled that the proposed development did not constitute a conversion subject to LWCF limitations because the public had no preexisting access to the lands subject to the easement. Accordingly, those lands were not being devoted to “public outdoor recreation uses.” The Second Circuit reversed, holding that the statutory phrase encompassed uses not involving the public’s actual physical presence on the property. By affording scenic vistas to the public and serving as a buffer zone between the park and developed areas, the burdened lands were providing outdoor...
- Recreation on lands administered by the BLM and the FS is subject to the multiple use mandate applicable to those agencies. The source of that mandate for the BLM public lands is FLPMA, while recreation is one of the uses authorized in the national forests pursuant to the MUSYA and the NFMA. Some activities, such as skiing, are governed by more specific statutory mandates. For years, the FS authorized recreation concessions for downhill skiing under a dual permit system derived from the agency’s authority under the 1897 Organic Act and a 1915 law that authorized it to issue permits for recreational facilities. The 1915 statute limited permits to eighty-acre tracts and thirty-year terms, and forbade any permittee from interfering with public enjoyment of the forests.
- Of the various statutes authorizing the federal government to reacquire land that once was included in the public domain, some have little to do with recreational use of the federal lands. The Weeks Act of 1911, , for example, authorizes the Agriculture Secretary to purchase lands within the watersheds of navigable streams to enhance streamflow or timber production. FLPMA authorizes condemnation to secure access to the public lands. . Other statutes authorize acquisition to promote recreation. The Refuge Recreation Act of 1962 vests in the Interior Secretary the power to acquire land suitable for fish and wildlife-oriented recreation.
- Since 1960, Congress has tried to increase access to the federal lands for recreational purposes. The organic acts for the principal land management agencies elevate recreational use to a high priority. Recreation is a permissible use on all of the federal land systems, but its prominence differs by system. On one end of the spectrum, low intensity recreation is virtually the only permissible human use in wilderness areas. On the other end, recreation is but one of many legitimate multiple uses on the BLM public lands and in the national forests. Recreation is one of two dominant uses of the national park system and an important secondary use of the national wildlife refuges.
- . Most asserted tort claims against the United States in public land law arise out of recreational accidents. The government is liable “under circumstances where the United States, if a private person, would be liable to the claimant” for such damage, loss, injury, or death “in accordance with the law of the place where the allegedly tortious act or omission occurred.” (referring to this as the “private analogue” requirement). The FTCA allows recovery only for negligent torts; strict liability and intentional tort claims are precluded. Of the many statutory exceptions to liability, two are particularly relevant to public natural resources law. First, the FTCA incorporates state defenses such as those created by recreational land use statutes. Second, the United States is not liable in tort for the discretionary decisions of its employees. These defenses are sufficiently broad that the government escapes liability in most instances.
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Chapter 7. The Timber Resource 31 results (showing 5 best matches)
- The following section outlines the business aspects of public timber management. Section C discusses the theory and practice of multiple use, sustained yield management, the guiding statutory standard for FS operations, and the instances leading to enactment of the NFMA. The short concluding section takes up parallel legal problems on BLM public lands.
- In addition to restricting the use of even-aged management techniques, the NFMA created new land and resource planning procedures. Management actions now must proceed in accordance with approved land and resource management plans (LRMPs). The courts have addressed attacks on the validity of the plans as well as on actions allegedly , discussed supra at section 4A, prohibits judicial review of land use plans on ripeness grounds until implementation is imminent, with some exceptions (such as alleged NEPA noncompliance at the time of plan adoption). In a subsequent decision, the Court held that the district court lacked jurisdiction over a suit to compel the BLM to manage public lands in accordance with analogous plans adopted under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA). In doing so, it characterized the BLM plans as but “a preliminary step in the overall process of managing public lands” and as “a general statement of priorities” that “guides and constrains actions, but...
- The richest timber lands under the BLM’s jurisdiction are about 3 million acres of land conveyed by the United States for construction of the Oregon & California Railroad and subsequently returned to federal ownership. Congress enacted the O & C Act in 1937 to govern management of these lands. The Act requires that the BLM manage the O & C lands
- Timber production is much less important on the BLM lands than in the national forests because, with the exception of the Oregon and California (O & C) lands discussed below, relatively little marketable timber grows on those lands. The BLM is not subject to the NFMA, but its timber-related decisions are subject to the procedural requirements of NEPA and to the substantive provisions of statutes that include the CWA, the ESA, and FLPMA. The CWA requires that the BLM assure that its timber sales comply with state water quality standards. See , supra. The ESA and NEPA have combined to halt BLM timber production in the habitat of the northern spotted owl in much the same manner that the FS has run afoul of these laws. The importance of NEPA compliance is illustrated by no timber sales with land-altering operations could proceed.
- For most of its history, the FS exercised nearly unfettered discretion over the bulk of the nation’s public timber lands. The Supreme Court upheld the agency’s authority to license grazing in the next forty years. After World War II, however, when reduced private stocks caused increased demand for timber on the federal lands, timber production assumed a higher priority for FS personnel. Objections to aspects of even-aged management, especially clearcutting, and the designation of wilderness areas within the forests sparked several notable disputes in the late 1960s and 1970s. A series of constraints on FS timber-cutting discretion recommended by a Senate subcommittee in 1972 became law in the 1976 National Forest Management Act (NFMA),
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Table of Cases 18 results (showing 5 best matches)
Table of Acronyms 13 results (showing 5 best matches)
West Academic Publishing’s Law School Advisory Board 10 results (showing 5 best matches)
- Frank R. Strong Chair in LawMichael E. Moritz College of Law, The Ohio State University
- Professor of Law Emeritus, University of San Diego Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Michigan
- Professor of Law, Chancellor and Dean Emeritus University of California, Hastings College of the Law
- Professor of Law, Yale Law School
- Professor of Law Emeritus, Pepperdine University Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Los Angeles
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- Publication Date: August 27th, 2019
- ISBN: 9781683283577
- Subject: Public Land Law
- Series: Nutshells
- Type: Overviews
- Description: This book analyzes all significant aspects of management of lands and resources owned by the federal government, focusing on the national parks, the national forests, the national wildlife refuges, and the remaining public lands. It provides a brief historical overview of public land law in the United States and analyzes the constitutional basis for ownership and regulation of federal lands and natural resources. It covers the statutory basis for determining appropriate uses for federal lands and for assessment of the environmental impacts of activities on those lands. It also analyzes the rules governing planning and management of the water, mineral, timber, range, wildlife, recreation, and preservation resources on federal lands. Finally, it covers important recent public land law developments — in Congress, in the land management agencies, and in the courts.