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United States v. 0.95 Acres of Land

Citation: 23 ELR 20997
No. No. 91-35922, 994 F.2d 696/37 ERC 1478/(9th Cir., 06/01/1993)

The court holds that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) cannot be used as a defense in a federal condemnation action where the U.S. Forest Service condemned a road in order to gain access to land recently sold for timber harvesting, and reinstates title in the government. The only question for judicial review in a condemnation action is whether the purposes for which the property was taken are congressionally authorized public uses. The filing of the condemnation action and subsequent transfer of legal title were not major federal actions significantly affecting the environment, and do not require compliance with any NEPA environmental impact provisions.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Ellen J. Durkee
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Constance E. Brooks
1775 Sherman St., Ste. 1245, Denver CO 80203
(303) 863-0836

Beezer, J. (before Skopil and Alarcon, JJ.)