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American Farm Bureau Fed'n v. Block

Citation: 14 ELR 20765
No. No. 80-5070, (D.S.D., 05/14/1984) Mandamus denied

The court holds that plaintiffs are not entitled to mandamus to force the government to control prairie dog populations, but that prairie dog control was not committed to agency discretion and so the court can review agency actions. For mandamus to lie, the duty to be compelled must be ministerial, not discretionary, and must be clearly compelled by law. None of the eight statutes cited by plaintiffs provide a nondiscretionary duty to control prairie dog populations. The court holds that the actions of the federal agencies are reviewable—that is, are not committed to agency discretion by law—because there is law to apply to this case in the statutes plaintiffs list. The arbitrary and capricious standard of review will apply, and review will be limited to the administrative record.

[The court's earlier opinion in this case appears at 14 ELR 20763.]

Counsel are listed at 14 ELR 20763.