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Baker v. United States

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20264
Nos. No. 77-2783, 613 F.2d 224/(9th Cir., 02/11/1980)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals vacates the district court's dismissal of a complaint challenging the invalidation by the Department of the Interior's Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) of two mining claims. The IBLA had invalidated the claims because they located quantities of cinders in excess of reasonably anticipated market need. The court of appeals holds that the Department's "too much" rule is contrary to existing mining law and the cases construing it and constitutes an abuse of the agency's discretion. Because the claimant had concededly satisfied the "prudent man" and "marketability" tests, the Department is not authorized under the mining laws to limit the number of claims he may hold or the amount of minerals he may extract therefrom. The case is remanded to the district court for entry of an order directing the IBLA to validate the two claims.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Robert J. Cruse
Cruse & Firetag
711 First Federal Savings Bldg., 3003 N. Central Ave., Phoenix AZ 85012
(602) 279-9411

Counsel for Defendants-Appellees
Raymond N. Zagone, Edmund B. Clark
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2749

Before SNEED and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges, and PORT,* District Judge.