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United States v. Richardson

Citation: 9 ELR 20448
No. No. 77-2580, 599 F.2d 290/13 ERC 1773/(9th Cir., 05/11/1979)

The Ninth Circuit affirms an injunction against further bulldozing and blasting by locators of unpatented mining claims on national forest lands, on the ground that such activities are not "reasonably" related to prospecting or mining within the meaning of the Surface Resources Act (SRA). In addition, an order requiring restoration of surface damages is upheld. Although the SRA recognizes a claim locator's dominant right of use under the general mining law, it reserves to the United States the right to manage surface resources as long as there is no material interference with mining or related activities and precludes the exploitation of surface resources except as required for such purposes. The district court properly found that defendants' methods of exploration were unnecessary and unreasonably destructive of surface resources and thus prohibited by the SRA.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee
James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General; Jacques B. Gelin, Dirk D. Snel
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2762

Sidney Lezak, U.S. Attorney; Jack G. Collins, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 71, Portland OR 97207
(503) 221-2101

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
William B. Murray
1610 Standard Plaza, Portland OR 97204
(503) 226-3819

Before WRIGHT and GOODWIN, Circuit Judges, and THOMPSON,* District Judge.