Federal bureaucrats, including the Secretary of the Interior, have no authority to cancel a lawfully issued oil and gas lease unless Congress has provided them that authority. Our client, Sidney Longwell, first purchased a federal oil and gas lease in Montana’s Lewis and Clark National Forest in 1982. Despite passing decade-long environmental and archeological reviews, the Clinton administration suspended his lease in 1993, and continued to suspend the lease ultimately for over two decades.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, without obtaining a permit, and over the objections of a hydrological expert, diverted a stream that flowed through the land owned by a small church, headed by Pastor Victor Fuentes. The resulting flooding destroyed the property, and the bureaucrats who did this think no one will hold them accountable.
Michael Whited purchased a modest home in Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon. He and his wife live in this beautiful area of Boulder County. Unfortunately, Mr. Whited’s next-door neighbor is the Federal Bureau of Land Management on whose property stood a dangerous, crumbling concrete mining shed. Despite numerous warnings, the Bureau did nothing to fix the problem, and the shed eventually collapsed, doing great damage to the Whited’s property. Wouldn’t you know it–the Bureau is trying to skirt responsibility for the damage.
Aggressive atheists groups, such as the American Humanist Association, are trying to tear down war memorials across the country–simply because those memorials were made in the shape of a cross. If the atheists succeed in this case, they will not stop until they have banned every public display of the cross in the country.
Although the federal government declined—because of the success of state conservation programs—to list the greater sage-grouse under the Endangered Species Act, it illegally imposed Draconian rules that place vast acres of federal lands off limits to lawful grazing and oil and gas activity, which provide jobs and are vital to local communities.
In response to demands by extremist environmental groups, the federal government adopted land management plans that threaten historic and important economic activities to protect a bird that is neither threatened nor endangered. Environmental groups may not abuse the Endangered Species Act to close federal land in the West to lawful uses that are vital to local economies.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which oversees vast areas of recreational lands that are open to the public, unconstitutionally prohibits visitors from exercising their Second Amendment protected right to self-defense in every way imaginable. Thanks to Mountain States’ victory on behalf of its clients, Elizabeth Nesbitt and Alan Baker, the Corps of Engineers is currently prohibited from enforcing its unconstitutional ordinance in the State of Idaho.
Colorado’s Constitution includes the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, which requires voter approval for all new taxes. A group of legislators challenged this constitutional provision, arguing that it infringes on their constitutional right to govern. Elected officials have no constitutional right to increase taxes without voter approval, much less standing to challenge a constitutional provision that protects taxpayers.
California regulations allow union organizers to enter private property and solicit the support of workers without compensating the property owner for the use of his property. No business owner should be forced to allow outside union organizers onto his property during business hours.
David A. and Pamela F. Herr own lakefront property on Crooked Lake near Watersmeet in Gogebic County in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It was their dream to own a lakefront home to share with their children and grandchildren.
One protection afforded small businesses from overly burdensome federal regulations is the requirement that agencies consider the economic impact of regulations on small businesses; however, no such analysis was done regarding the “waters of the United States” rules issued by the Obama administration.
Case Summary The greater sage-grouse is not on the Endangered Species Act list. Nevertheless, the government is using the bird to illegally restrict mining in ten states and has recommended banning mining on more than ten million acres of land in the West. Case History The greater sage-grouse is the largest grouse species in North…
Since 1872, federal law guaranteed citizens a “right to mine” on most federal lands. In direct conflict with that law, Oregon banned suction dredge mining, which is the only economically feasible method of extracting gold from rivers in the national forests.
In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency released 3 million gallons of mineralized water at the Gold King Mine in Silverton, Colorado. To minimize its responsibility for the spill, the EPA hastily designated a vast area surrounding the mine as a Superfund site and thereby subjected its neighbors to financial liability for its actions.