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ChimpCo Slapped In SUWA Suit - 16 BLM Lease Sales Overturned In Utah

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:16 PM
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ChimpCo Slapped In SUWA Suit - 16 BLM Lease Sales Overturned In Utah
The Bush administration's attempts to override federal environmental laws to speed oil and gas development in the West took a hit Wednesday when a Utah federal judge ruled 16 U.S. Bureau of Land Management leases on wilderness-quality public lands in Utah were sold illegally.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled in favor of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Wilderness Society, who claimed the BLM ignored federal law and its own wilderness-related findings when it used outdated land-use plans to sidestep federal law to sell the leases.

The ruling calls into question many more oil and gas lease sales, said Steve Bloch, SUWA staff attorney. "This decision ensures that wilderness-quality lands in Utah and throughout the West will be protected from oil and gas leasing and development until the BLM complies with the law, until it analyzes the impacts of energy development on our most spectacular public lands." Christine Tincher, spokeswoman for the state BLM office, declined to comment until the agency sees Kimball's ruling.

The leases were the first sold after the 2003 "No More Wilderness" settlement that then-Interior Secretary Gale Norton and then-Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt struck to end a lawsuit the state brought against the federal government over wilderness inventories conducted during the Clinton administration. The Leavitt-Norton deal, negotiated and signed without public scrutiny in April 2003, froze the state's designated wilderness study areas at 3.2 million acres, eliminating nearly 6 million acres that had been studied for possible wilderness designation by the Clinton-era BLM and conservation groups to supplement inventories begun in the 1970s.

EDIT

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_4129181
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redqueen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:17 PM
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1. This made me smile :)
Bless Judge Dale Kimball!

I expect they'll appeal the decision, but still... thanks for the smile. :)
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 12:56 PM
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2. yes yes yes:-)
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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-03-06 03:00 PM
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3. WOOHOO!! Go activist judges! nt
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