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Rocky Mountain Oil & Gas Ass'n v. U.S. Forest Service

ELR Citation: 31 ELR 20617
Nos. 00-35349, 12 Fed. Appx. 498/(9th Cir., 05/03/2001)

The court holds that a petroleum company lacks standing to sue the U.S. Forest Service for not offering particular lands within the Lewis and Clark National Forest for oil and gas leasing. The court first holds that the Forest Service has discretion whether to authorize the leasing of any Forest Service lands for mineral exploration, thus, the company has no "right" to bid for leases on any Forest Service land or to compel the Forest Service to authorize leasing of its land for mineral exploration. The court next holds that in lacking such a right, the company suffered no injury-in-fact and, therefore, lacks standing to bring its National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, and Multiple-Use Sustained Yield Act claims against the Forest Service. The court next holds that the Forest Service did not violate the Establishment Clause. The Forest Service's decision has a secular purpose, was not intended to advance Native American religious beliefs, and does not foster excessive entanglement with religion.

The full text of this decision is available from ELR (5 pp., ELR Order No. L-367).

[Counsel not available at this printing.]