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Ramex Mining Corp. v. Watt

ELR Citation: 15 ELR 20214
Nos. Nos. 83-5299, -5305, 753 F.2d 521/22 ERC 1420/(6th Cir., 01/29/1985)

The court holds that plaintiffs' proposed mining under lands administered by the Forest Service is governed by the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) and refuses to find a taking. First, the court holds that the mining would take place "on federal lands" under SMCRA §522(e)(2), despite plaintiffs' ownership of the "lands" beneath the surface. Second, the court relies on Hodel v. Virginia Surface Mining and Reclamation, 11 ELR 20569, to hold that SMCRA facially works no unconstitutional taking and that, pending the Office of Surface Mining's ruling on the question of plaintiffs' valid existing rights, the plaintiffs' particular taking claims are not ripe for review. Finally, the court holds that both pieces of land involved are national forest land. Land acquired under the Weeks Act is designated as national forest land by that acquisition, without any formal proclamation by the president.

Counsel for Appellants
Ben Fowler
Spikes & Harbison
200 McClure Bldg., Frankfort KY 40601
(502) 266-3477

Counsel for Appellee
Jane Graham, Ass't U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 1490, Lexington KY 40591
(606) 233-2661

Before: STEWART, Associate Justice (Retired)*; ENGEL, and MERRITT, Circuit Judges.