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United States v. North Dakota

Citation: 11 ELR 20846
No. No. 80-1655, 650 F.2d 911/16 ERC 1021/(8th Cir., 06/03/1981) Aff'd

The court upholds the district court's ruling, 10 ELR 20785, that the United States may acquire waterfowl production areas under the Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp Act with funds from the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund, without state consent and free of state statutory limitations. The Stamp Act authorizes the United States to acquire waterfowl production areas without regard to the limitations of the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, which does require state consent for the acquisition of brid sancturaries. Thus, the court holds, a requirement for gubernatorial consent would be contrary to the plain language of the Stamp Act. It also disapproves a revocation of the consent previously given by the state, noting the need to avoid uncertainty in conservation planning and policy. Finally, recognizing an overriding national interest in the protection of migratory birds, the court invalidates North Dakota statutes imposing restrictions on the acquestion of waterfowl habitat under federal statutes. The court also affirms the dismissal of the state's counterclaim to enjoin further acquisitions under the Conservation Act.

Counsel for Appellees
James R. Britton, U.S. Attorney; Lynn E. Crooks, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 2505, Fargo ND 58108
(701) 237-5771

John E. Lindskold; James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4080

Counsel for Appellant
Murray G. Sagsveen, Special Ass't Attorney General
Zuger & Bucklin
P.O. Box 1695, Bismarck ND 58502
(701) 223-2711

Allen I. Olson, Attorney General
State Capitol Bldg., Bismarck ND 58505
(701) 224-2210

Joined by Lay and Ross, JJ.