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United States v. 82.46 Acres of Land

ELR Citation: 13 ELR 20383
Nos. No. 80-1921, 691 F.2d 474/(10th Cir., 10/22/1982)

The Tenth Circuit remands a federal condemnation action for findings on whether the proposed public access roads meet the necessity standard of §205(a) of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), which authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to condemn private lands for access to public lands. The court rules that the district court lacked the evidence to determine whether the condemnation action met the §205(a) standard. It also rules that §205(a) allows the Secretary to condemn access wider than existing private roadways if necessary. Therefore, the district court must also determine whether the proposed corridor width meets the §205(a) standard.

A concurring judge would rule that §205(a) of FLPMA requires the Secretary of the Interior to make an initial determination of the present and reasonably anticipated future uses of the public lands and to condemn a corridor necessary to meet these uses.

Counsel for Appellant
Dirk D. Snel, Edward J. Shawaker, Jacques B. Gelin, James W. Moorman, Anthony C. Liotta
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4400

Charles E. Graves, U.S. Attorney
P.O. Box 668, Cheyenne WY 82003
(307) 772-2124

Counsel for Appellee
Marlin D. Opperman
Opperman, Kokish & Vranesic
508 American Nat'l Bank Bldg., 818 17th St., Denver CO 80202
(303) 623-1970

Counsel for Amici Curiae
Robert Golten
1145 Jay St., Boulder CO 80302
(303) 444-6147

McWilliams, J., joined by Barrett and McKay, JJ.