In a Federal Land and Policy Management Act challenge to the exchange of certain private lands for several parcels of land surrounding a mine site and owned by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), summary judgment for plaintiffs is affirmed in part where: 1) the BLM should have taken the reasonably probable use of public lands for a landfill into consideration as part of the highest and best use analysis; and 2) as a result of its unreasonably narrow purpose and need statement, the BLM necessarily considered an unreasonably narrow range of alternatives. However, the order is reversed in part where: 1) the BLM's Record of Decision never became effective, and could not serve as the agency's final action; and 2) the record as a whole established that the BLM's interpretation of "full consideration," as evinced by the analyses in the environmental impact statement at issue, was permissible under 43 U.S.C. section 1716(a).
Argued and Submitted December 6, 2007
Filed November 10, 2009
Opinion by Judge Pregerson
Dissent by Judge Trott
Deborah Sivas and Noah Long, Stanford Environmental Law Clinic, Stanford, CA