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Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Burke

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20192
Nos. 17-4113, (10th Cir., 11/07/2018)

The Tenth Circuit dismissed Utah's challenge to a settlement agreement that requires BLM to revise motorized vehicle trails in southern Utah to minimize potential harm to wildlife, cultural, and archaeological sites. Before a district court, the state argued that the settlement agreement illegally codified interpretive BLM guidance into substantive rules, impermissibly bound the agency to a past administration's policies, infringed valid federal land rights, and violated a prior BLM settlement. The court disagreed and approved the settlement agreement. On appeal, the state argued that the settlement agreement was unlawful and against the public interest. The appellate court found that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the state's claims and therefore dismissed the state's appeal.