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Bohmker v. Oregon

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20160
Nos. 16-35262, (9th Cir., 09/12/2018)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment rejecting a mining association's challenge to an Oregon law that prohibits the use of motorized mining equipment in rivers and streams containing essential salmon habitat. The association argued that the law was field preempted by the federal 1872 Mining Law because it constituted state land use planning, and conflict preempted because it did not constitute reasonable environmental regulation. The court disagreed, concluding that the law was not preempted because it constitutes an environmental regulation rather than a land use planning law and is precisely the kind of reasonable state environmental regulation that the Supreme Court has recognized as properly supplementing rather than displacing federal land use decisions. Moreover, the court found that the environmental restrictions found in the law are consistent with the purposes of federal mining and land use laws. It therefore affirmed the district court's judgment that the Oregon law is not preempted.