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United States v. North Dakota

Citation: 10 ELR 20785
No. No. A1-79-62, (D.N.D., 06/04/1980)

The court grants summary judgment to the United States in a suit for a declaratory judgment that the government's acquisition of a permanent waterfowl easement under § 4 of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act was a valid conveyance notwithstanding potential conflicts with other federal and state statutes. The court points out that although state consent by law and approval of the governor are required by the Migratory Bird Conservation Act, § 4 of the former Act explicitly waives these limitations for acquisitions of small waterfowl production areas. In addition, the court holds that North Dakota statutes restricting federal acquisition of wetland easements are preempted by provisions of the Migratory Bird Hunting Stamp Act. Since the United States has preempted the field of regulating migratory birds by valid treaties with Great Britain and Mexico, the court concludes that any state law that conflicts with the federal scheme cannot stand.

Counsel for Plaintiff
Lynn E. Crooks, Ass't U.S. Attorney
219 Federal Bldg. & U.S. Cthse., PO Box 2505, Fargo ND 58108
(701) 237-5771

James W. Moorman, Ass't Attorney General; John E. Lindskold
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2701

Counsel for Defendant
Murray G. Sagsveen, Attorney General
State Capitol, Bismarck ND 58505
(701) 224-2210