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United States v. Goldfield Deep Mines Co. of Nev.

Citation: 11 ELR 20514
No. No. 78-3096, 644 F.2d 1307/(9th Cir., 05/11/1981)

The court affirms the district court's award of damages to the United States for trespass on national forest lands. The district court had found appellants liable for trespass for conducting mining operations in the San Bernardino National Forest in violation of Forest Service regulations. In an action to enforce the judgment appellee was awarded $17,560 in damages for the anticipated cost of restoring the area to its original condition and the cost of maintaining the action. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rules that the Forest Service has authority to regulate mining activities in national forests. The Forest Service may also enforce such regulations in district court to protect the lands from waste and may oppose applications for mining claims before the Department of the Interior. The court also finds that Congress properly delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to promulgate regulations to protect national forest lands. Further, the court rules that the award of partial summary judgment to appellee, the sale of appellants' property, and the trial on damages did not violate appellants' due process rights. Appellants had proper notice of all proceedings, and the trial court correctly limited the trial to the question of damages.

Counsel for Appellants
William B. Murray
321 SW 4th Ave., Portland OR 97204
(503) 226-3819

Counsel for Appellee
Andrea S. Ordin, U.S. Attorney
Rm. 1306, U.S. Cthse., 312 N. Spring St., Los Angeles CA 90012
(213) 688-2400

James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General; Carl Strass, Dirk D. Snel, Nancy B. Firestone, Robert L. Klarquist
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-5244

Before CHOY, FERGUSON, and REINHARDT, Circuit Judges.