Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Brown v. Department of the Interior

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20076
Nos. No. 81-2064, 679 F.2d 747/(8th Cir., 06/03/1982)

The court rules that the Buffalo National River is closed to mining because it is part of the National Park System. The court notes that it must apply the arbitrary and capricious standard of review of the Administrative Procedure Act. It rules that under the Buffalo National River Act (BNRA) Congress intended the river to be managed for conservation, historical, and recreational purposes. Therefore, the river is an area of the National Park System and must be managed by the Department of the Interior as a national park. The legislative history of the Mining Activities Within the National Park System Areas Act, other statutes, and the BNRA itself, support the argument that areas of the National Park System are not open for mining claims unless the statutes creating the areas specifically allow for mining. Since the BNRA does not specifically provide for mining, appellant's mining claims on lands within the river were invalid. Furthermore, the Wilderness Act, which allows mining in wilderness areas until December 31, 1983, is not applicable to lands such as those within the river, which, although recommended as wilderness, are not national forest lands.

Counsel for Appellant
Donald J. Adams
Adams, Covington & Younes
P.O. Box 909, Harrison AR 72601
(501) 741-3478

Counsel for Appellee
Robert L. Klarquist, Albert M. Ferlo Jr.; Carol E. Dinkins, Ass't Attorney General
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2731

Larry R. McCord, U.S. Attorney; J. Michael Fitzhugh
P.O. Box 1524, Ft. Smith AR 72901
(501) 783-5125

Before HEANEY, BRIGHT, and HENLEY, Circuit Judges.