In plaintiff Indian tribe's appeal from a denial of a preliminary injunction in an environmental challenge to the Bureau of Land Management's approval of a gold mining project, the order is affirmed in part where, given the thorough consideration of the project's impact on the tribe's religion (which was approved after more than two years of study and consultation with the tribes and with the public), the tribes had not satisfied their burden of showing a likelihood of success on the merits of their Federal Land Policy Management Act claims. However, the order is reversed in part where plaintiff demonstrated a likelihood of success on its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) claims because the BLM failed to issue an environmental impact statement that adequately considered the environmental impact of the extraction of millions of tons of refractory ore, mitigation of the adverse impact on local springs and streams, and the extent of fine particulate emissions.
Argued and Submitted June 10, 2009
Filed December 3, 2009
Roger Flynn, Lyons, CO
Sambhav N. Sankar, Washington, DC