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Parkening v. Idaho State Bd. of Land Comm'rs

Citation: 8 ELR 20102
No. No. 12170, (Idaho Dist. Ct., 12/05/1977)

Granting plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, the court voids a mining lease in the bed of a scenic river and enjoins removal of sand and gravel by the State Transportation Department. The proposed removal would constitute "dredging" and is prohibited under the Idaho Dredge Mining Act. The Department was issued a lease by defendant for the removal of sand and gravel from a portion of a river included within the National Wild and Scenic River System. The Idaho Dredge Mining Act prohibits "dredge mining in any form" on portions of the National Wild and Scenic River System, and the court reads a broader meaning into the term "dredge mining" as used here than as defined in other parts of the state law and holds the proposed removal in this case to fall within the scope of that term. Furthermore, in light of the policies behind the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the Idaho Dredge Mining Act and the injurious effects of dredge mining, the court reads the intent of the state legislature as opposing any dredging activity that would alter or disturb the natural condition of the Idaho segments of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

Plaintiffs previously brought this case before the United States District Court for Idaho. Parkening v. Idaho State Board of Land Commissioners, No. 3-75-45, ELR PEND. LIT. 65283 (D. Id., filed July 15, 1975). The case was dismissed for lack of federal jurisdiction, and an appeal is pending in the Ninth Circuit.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Scott W. Reed
P.O. Box A, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814
(208) 664-2161

Counsel for Defendants
Ursula Kettlewell, Ass't Attorney General
State House, Boise ID 83720
(208) 384-2400