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Davis v. Morton

Citation: 2 ELR 20758
No. No. 72-1214, 469 F.2d 593/4 ERC 1735/(10th Cir., 11/24/1972) Rev'd & remanded with directions

The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reverses the dismissal of a suit seeking preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against the execution of a lease on Indian lands approved by ressponsible officials of the Department of the Interior on the grounds that an environmental impact statement is required by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The court holds that the approval of leases on federal land constitutes a "major federal acttion" and is subject to the procedural mandates of NEPA since the obligation specified by the statute is largely unqualified. NEPA is a broad statute whose provisions and obligations are generally applicable unless those of another expressly conflict.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
W. B. Kelly
White, Gilbert, Koch, Kelly & McCarthy
P.O. Box 787
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Counsel for Defendants
Dennis M. O'Connell
Carl Strass
Department of Justice
10th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C.

Kent Frizzell Asst. Attorney General
Victor R. Ortega U.S. Attorney
Richard J. Smith Asst. U.S. Attorney
U.S. Courthouse and Post Office Building
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87103