Reversing the Fourth Circuit, US Supreme Court Finds Forest Service Can Lease Land Under Park Service Trails – Update from Manko Gold Katcher Fox

June 16, 2020

Adam R. Podowitz-Thomas

MGKF Litigation Blog

Reversing the Fourth Circuit, the Supreme Court on Monday issued its opinion in United States Forest Service v. Cowpasture River Preservation Association, No. 18-1584 (June 15, 2020). In a 7-2 decision, Justice Thomas wrote for the majority that the Appalachian National Scenic Trail’s passage through United States National Forest land is best viewed as a grant of an easement to the National Park Service rather than a transfer of ownership of the underlying land. In doing so, the Court upheld the Forest Service’s right to permit a pipeline to run beneath the Trail under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).

Read the full blog post.