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American Forest Resource Council v. Hammond

ELR Citation: 49 ELR 20187
Nos. 16-1599 (RJL), 16-1602 (RJL), 17-280 (RJL), and 17-441 (RJL), (D.D.C., 11/22/2019) (Leon, J.)

A district court granted summary judgment to timber industry groups in a challenge to President Obama's designation of approximately 40,000 acres of federal timber land (O&C land) as part of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. The groups argued that the proclamation violated the Oregon and California Railroad and Coos Bay Wagon Road Grant Lands Act (O&C Act) because the Act precluded O&C land from being set aside for any purposes other than commercial timber production. The U.S. government asserted that the proclamation was a valid exercise of power that Congress delegated to the president through the Antiquities Act. The court found that while the Antiquities Act conferred broad discretion on the president to designate national monuments, it did not grant the president a license to contravene the O&C Act, which mandated that land subject to the Act be managed for timber production. Because the proclamation effectively limited timber production on those 40,000 acres, it violated the O&C Act. The court therefore granted the groups' motion.