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Kerr-McGee Corp. v. Hodel

ELR Citation: 18 ELR 20746
Nos. Nos. 86-5492, -5532, 840 F.2d 68/(D.C. Cir., 02/19/1988) Vacated & remanded

The court holds that enactment of the Florida Wilderness Act moots prospecting permit holders' claims that they are entitled to preference-right phosphate mining leases in the Osceola National Forest. The Secretary of the Interior had denied the lease applications based on reports that successful reclamation of mined areas in the forest might not be possible. The court holds that the Florida Wilderness Act, passed after the complaint in this litigation was filed, moots the claims since the Act specifically prohibits phosphate mining in the Osceola National Forest. The court notes that plaintiffs may have a cause of action that they could bring in the United States Claims Court for the Secretary's allegedly improper denial of the leases.

[The district court's decision is published at 16 ELR 20662.]

Counsel for Appellants
Peter J. Nickels
Covington & Burling
1201 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, P.O. Box 7566, Washington DC 20044
(202) 662-6000

Counsel for Appellees
Dirk D. Snel
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4400

Before: WALD, Chief Judge, and MIKVA and FRIEDMAN,[*] Circuit Judges.