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National Land for People v. Bureau of Reclamation

ELR Citation: 11 ELR 20033
Nos. No. 76-2027, (D.C. Cir., 11/20/1980)

The court affirms the lower court's order directing the Secretary of the Interior to promulgate regulations implementing the reclamation laws requiring holders of contracts for water from federal reclamation projects to sell landholdings in excess of 160 acres. Appellee argued that the lack of regulations allowed landholders to sell excess acreage at inflated prices. The court determines that the district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that appellee was likely to prevail on the merits and enjoining the sale of excess land until the rules have been promulgated. Because the regulations cannot be promulgated prior to preparation of an environmental impact statement, however, the circuit court notes that the lower court may modify its order to permit interim sales.

Counsel for Appellee
George T. Frampton
Rogovin, Stern & Huge
1730 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202) 466-6464

Counsel for Appellants
Carl Strass
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-2544

Robert L. McCarty
McCarty, Noone & Williams
Suite 3306, 490 L'Enfant Plaza E., Washington DC 20024
(202) 554-2955

Before Robinson, Robb, and Davis,* JJ.