Case Summary Citation

606 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2010)


Landowners and conservation group brought suit against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) over a proposed public-private land swap adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park to allow a private company to build and operate a landfill. The Ninth Circuit held that: (1) the BLM must evaluate the land‘s probable use in its highest and best use analysis to ensure fair compensation to the public; (2) the BLM failed to consider alternatives in specific detail to meet the public‘s need for long-term landfill demand; and (3) the BLM‘s environmental impact statement was deficient regarding the potential for eutrophication altering the desert environment. The court determined that the BLM‘s considerations leading to the land swap were deficient, disallowing the exchange. The case upheld the necessity of a transparent process in public land sales.

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