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USCA4 Appeal: 18-1144 Doc: 116-1 Filed: 02/04/2019 Pg: 1 of 9 Total Pages:(1 of 31)

No. 18-1144

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS


FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

COWPASTURE RIVER PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION, et al.


Petitioners,
v.
FOREST SERVICE, et al.,
Respondents,
and
ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE, LLC,
Intervenor-Respondent.

MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE, LLC’s MOTION


FOR LEAVE TO FILE AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF
SUPPORTING PETITION FOR REHEARING EN BANC
 

George P. Sibley, III Murray D. Feldman


Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Holland & Hart LLP
951 E. Byrd St. 800 W. Main Street, Suite 1750
Richmond, VA 23219 Boise, ID 83702
(804) 788-8200 (208) 342-5000
gsibley@huntonak.com mfeldman@hollandhart.com

Thomas C. Jensen Sandra A. Snodgrass


Holland & Hart LLP Holland & Hart LLP
975 F. Street NW, Suite 900 555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
Washington, DC 20004 Denver, CO 80201
(202) 654-6928 (303) 295-8000
tcjensen@hollandhart.com ssnodgrass@hollandhart.com

Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC


USCA4 Appeal: 18-1144 Doc: 116-1 Filed: 02/04/2019 Pg: 2 of 9 Total Pages:(2 of 31)

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT


DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS AND OTHER INTERESTS
Disclosures must be filed on behalf of all parties to a civil, agency, bankruptcy or mandamus
case, except that a disclosure statement is not required from the United States, from an indigent
party, or from a state or local government in a pro se case. In mandamus cases arising from a
civil or bankruptcy action, all parties to the action in the district court are considered parties to
the mandamus case.

Corporate defendants in a criminal or post-conviction case and corporate amici curiae are
required to file disclosure statements.

If counsel is not a registered ECF filer and does not intend to file documents other than the
required disclosure statement, counsel may file the disclosure statement in paper rather than
electronic form. Counsel has a continuing duty to update this information.

18-1144
No. __________ Caption: __________________________________________________
Cowpasture Preservation Ass'n v. Forest Service

Pursuant to FRAP 26.1 and Local Rule 26.1,

______________________________________________________________________________
Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC
(name of party/amicus)

______________________________________________________________________________

who is _______________________,
amicus curiae makes the following disclosure:
(appellant/appellee/petitioner/respondent/amicus/intervenor)

1. Is party/amicus a publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity? YES ✔ NO

2. Does party/amicus have any parent corporations? YES ✔ NO


If yes, identify all parent corporations, including all generations of parent corporations:

3. Is 10% or more of the stock of a party/amicus owned by a publicly held corporation or


other publicly held entity? ✔ YES NO
If yes, identify all such owners:
(A) MVP Holdco, LLC: holds a 45.5% stake; parent = Equitrans Midstream Corporation
(B) US Marcellus Gas Infrastructure, LLC: holds a 31.0% stake; parent = NextEra Energy, Inc.
(C) Con Edison Gas Pipeline and Storage, LLC: holds a 12.5% stake; parent = Consolidated
Edison, Inc.
(D) WGL Midstream, Inc.: holds a 10.0% stake; parent = AltaGas Ltd.

09/29/2016 SCC -1-


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4. Is there any other publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity that has a direct
financial interest in the outcome of the litigation (Local Rule 26.1(a)(2)(B))? ✔ YES NO
If yes, identify entity and nature of interest:
RGC Midstream, LLC: holds a 1.0% stake; parent = RGC Resources, Inc.

5. Is party a trade association? (amici curiae do not complete this question) YES NO
If yes, identify any publicly held member whose stock or equity value could be affected
substantially by the outcome of the proceeding or whose claims the trade association is
pursuing in a representative capacity, or state that there is no such member:

6. Does this case arise out of a bankruptcy proceeding? YES ✔ NO


If yes, identify any trustee and the members of any creditors’ committee:

/s/ George P. Sibley, III


Signature: ____________________________________ Date: ___________________
February 4, 2019

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC


Counsel for: __________________________________

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
**************************
I certify that on _________________
February 4, 2019 the foregoing document was served on all parties or their
counsel of record through the CM/ECF system if they are registered users or, if they are not, by
serving a true and correct copy at the addresses listed below:

/s/ George P. Sibley, III


_______________________________ February 4, 2019
________________________
(signature) (date)

-2-
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Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 29(b), Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP)

moves for leave to file an amicus curiae brief in support of the petition for

rehearing en banc as filed previously, and also in support of any to-be-filed

petition for rehearing, in this case.

In support of this motion, MVP states as follows:

A. Movant’s Interest.

MVP is developing a 303.5-mile natural gas pipeline project extending from

Wetzel County, West Virginia to Pittsylvania County, Virginia (MVP Project).

The MVP Project route, as approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory

Commission (FERC), crosses the Appalachian National Scenic Trail

(“Appalachian Trail” or “Trail”) at pipeline milepost 196.3 on lands within the

Jefferson National Forest, administered by the U.S. Forest Service.

The federal Bureau of Land Management approved the MVP Project’s

Jefferson National Forest right-of-way and associated Trail crossing under the

Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).1 The Forest Service also relied on the MLA in

authorizing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) to cross the Trail and the George

Washington National Forest. Because the two authorizations rely on the same

1
This Court vacated MVP’s right-of-way in part and remanded it for other reasons.
Sierra Club v. U.S. Forest Service, 897 F.3d 582, as clarified on reh’g, 739 F.
App’x 185 (4th Cir. 2018).

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MLA authority, the Court’s decision here may influence the MVP Project on

remand.

Movant MVP requests leave to participate in the “classic role of amicus

curiae” to “assist in a case of general public interest, supplementing the efforts of

counsel, and [to] draw[] the court’s attention to” legal issues that could adversely

impact Movant. Miller-Wohl Co., Inc. v. Comm’r of Labor & Indus. State of

Montana, 694 F.2d 203, 204 (9th Cir. 1982). Movant’s participation will thus help

to ensure “a complete and plenary presentation of difficult issues so that the court

may reach a proper decision.” Alexander v. Hall, 64 F.R.D. 152 (D.S.C. 1974)

(citing Robinson v. Lee, 122 F. 1010 (C.C.D.S.C. 1903), aff’d, 196 U.S. 64

(1904)).

B. Why An Amicus Brief Is Desirable And Relevance Of The


Matters Asserted.

An amicus brief would be desirable to present to the Court the extent of

possible impacts from the panel ruling, the scope of the applicable federal public

land administration statutes, and the history of the public lands administration

framework—especially as concerns the utilitarian use of land, water, and other

resources of the National Forest lands at issue for the continuing benefit of all of

the people of the United States. Movant MVP can contribute to the Court’s

consideration of the requested rehearing by providing its additional and unique

perspective on how the federal agencies have previously administered Appalachian

2
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Trail crossing authorizations on National Forest lands within this Circuit with

respect to other right-of-way applicants.

The issues raised also have potential consequences beyond the immediate

parties involved. The Court’s ruling could bear on other pipeline—and possibly

other infrastructure—rights-of-way applications to cross the Appalachian Trial on

National Forest land. This is a question of significant importance where the Trail

traverses eight different national forests on its roughly 2,200-mile path from

Georgia to Maine. This litigation raises an issue “of general public interest”

concerning he applicable legal framework in such situations. Thus, Movant’s

proposed participation as amicus curiae in this action is appropriate.

C. Statement on Notification of Motion and Consent.

Pursuant to Fourth Circuit Local Rule 27(a), one of the undersigned counsel

for MVP, Murray Feldman, conferred via email with counsel for the parties in this

matter to inform them of the intended motion and to obtain each party’s position as

to the granting of this motion. Counsel for the Federal Respondents Forest

Service, et al., indicated the Federal Respondents’ consent to the filing of a timely,

Rules-conforming amicus curiae brief. Counsel for the Intervenor-Respondent

Atlantic Coast Pipeline, LLC indicated that Intervenor-Respondent consented to

the motion. Counsel for Petitioners indicated that all Petitioners take no position

on the motion for leave to file an amicus curiae brief.

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D. Conclusion

MVP moves this Court to grant leave to file, and accept for filing, the

proposed amicus curiae brief attached to this Motion.

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Respectfully submitted this 4th day of February, 2019.

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

George P. Sibley, III


gsibley@huntonak.com
HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH LLP
951 E. Byrd St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone: (804) 788-8716
Facsimile: (804) 343-4733

Murray D. Feldman
HOLLAND & HART LLP
800 W. Main Street, Suite 1750
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 342-5000
mfeldman@hollandhart.com

Thomas C. Jensen
HOLLAND & HART LLP
975 F. Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 654-6928
tcjensen@hollandhart.com

Sandra A. Snodgrass
HOLLAND & HART LLP
555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
Denver, CO 80201
(303) 295-8000
ssnodgrass@hollandhart.com

Attorneys for Intervenor-Respondent


Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC

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Certificate of Compliance

Pursuant to Fed. R. App. P. 27, the undersigned certifies that this motion has

been prepared using fourteen point, proportionally spaced, serif typeface (Times

New Roman). Excluding sections that do not count toward the word limit the

motion contains 683 words.

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

Certificate of Service

I certify that on February 4, 2019, the foregoing document was served on all

parties or their counsel record through the CM/ECF system if they are registered

users, or, if they are not, by serving a true and correct copy at the addresses listed

below.

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

11875965_3

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No. 18-1144

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS


FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT

COWPASTURE RIVER PRESERVATION ASSOCIATION, et al.


Petitioners,
v.
FOREST SERVICE, et al.,
Respondents,
and
ATLANTIC COAST PIPELINE, LLC,
Intervenor-Respondent.

MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE, LLC’s AMICUS CURIAE BRIEF


IN SUPPORT OF PETITION FOR REHEARING EN BANC
 

George P. Sibley, III Murray D. Feldman


Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP Holland & Hart LLP
951 E. Byrd St. 800 W. Main Street, Suite 1750
Richmond, VA 23219 Boise, ID 83702
(804) 788-8200 (208) 342-5000
gsibley@huntonak.com mfeldman@hollandhart.com

Thomas C. Jensen Sandra A. Snodgrass


Holland & Hart LLP Holland & Hart LLP
975 F. Street NW, Suite 900 555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
Washington, DC 20004 Denver, CO 80201
(202) 654-6928 (303) 295-8000
tcjensen@hollandhart.com ssnodgrass@hollandhart.com

Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC


USCA4 Appeal: 18-1144 Doc: 116-2 Filed: 02/04/2019 Pg: 2 of 22 Total Pages:(11 of 31)

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FOURTH CIRCUIT


DISCLOSURE OF CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS AND OTHER INTERESTS
Disclosures must be filed on behalf of all parties to a civil, agency, bankruptcy or mandamus
case, except that a disclosure statement is not required from the United States, from an indigent
party, or from a state or local government in a pro se case. In mandamus cases arising from a
civil or bankruptcy action, all parties to the action in the district court are considered parties to
the mandamus case.

Corporate defendants in a criminal or post-conviction case and corporate amici curiae are
required to file disclosure statements.

If counsel is not a registered ECF filer and does not intend to file documents other than the
required disclosure statement, counsel may file the disclosure statement in paper rather than
electronic form. Counsel has a continuing duty to update this information.

18-1144
No. __________ Caption: __________________________________________________
Cowpasture Preservation Ass'n v. Forest Service

Pursuant to FRAP 26.1 and Local Rule 26.1,

______________________________________________________________________________
Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC
(name of party/amicus)

______________________________________________________________________________

who is _______________________,
amicus curiae makes the following disclosure:
(appellant/appellee/petitioner/respondent/amicus/intervenor)

1. Is party/amicus a publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity? YES ✔ NO

2. Does party/amicus have any parent corporations? YES ✔ NO


If yes, identify all parent corporations, including all generations of parent corporations:

3. Is 10% or more of the stock of a party/amicus owned by a publicly held corporation or


other publicly held entity? ✔ YES NO
If yes, identify all such owners:
(A) MVP Holdco, LLC: holds a 45.5% stake; parent = Equitrans Midstream Corporation
(B) US Marcellus Gas Infrastructure, LLC: holds a 31.0% stake; parent = NextEra Energy, Inc.
(C) Con Edison Gas Pipeline and Storage, LLC: holds a 12.5% stake; parent = Consolidated
Edison, Inc.
(D) WGL Midstream, Inc.: holds a 10.0% stake; parent = AltaGas Ltd.

09/29/2016 SCC -1-


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4. Is there any other publicly held corporation or other publicly held entity that has a direct
financial interest in the outcome of the litigation (Local Rule 26.1(a)(2)(B))? ✔ YES NO
If yes, identify entity and nature of interest:
RGC Midstream, LLC: holds a 1.0% stake; parent = RGC Resources, Inc.

5. Is party a trade association? (amici curiae do not complete this question) YES NO
If yes, identify any publicly held member whose stock or equity value could be affected
substantially by the outcome of the proceeding or whose claims the trade association is
pursuing in a representative capacity, or state that there is no such member:

6. Does this case arise out of a bankruptcy proceeding? YES ✔ NO


If yes, identify any trustee and the members of any creditors’ committee:

/s/ George P. Sibley, III


Signature: ____________________________________ Date: ___________________
February 4, 2019

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC


Counsel for: __________________________________

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
**************************
I certify that on _________________
February 4, 2019 the foregoing document was served on all parties or their
counsel of record through the CM/ECF system if they are registered users or, if they are not, by
serving a true and correct copy at the addresses listed below:

/s/ George P. Sibley, III


_______________________________ February 4, 2019
________________________
(signature) (date)

-2-
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Table of Contents

Table of Authorities .................................................................................................. ii 

Identity and Interest of Amicus Curiae ......................................................................1 

Rule 29(a)(4)(E) Statement ........................................................................................1 

Summary of Argument...............................................................................................2 

Argument....................................................................................................................3 

  The Appalachian Trail Segment Crossed By The ACP Project Is Not “Lands
in the National Park System” Under The Mineral Leasing Act. .....................4 

A.  Statutory Background. ...........................................................................5 

1.  National Forest Versus National Park Service Administration. .5 

2.  The Weeks Act. ...........................................................................6 

3.  Trails Act.....................................................................................6 

B.  Both Federal Agencies Have Administered Their Respective Trail


Segments Consistent With This Statutory Framework. ........................8 

  The Panel’s Holding Conflicts With This Court’s And The Supreme Court’s
Decisions On Harmonizing Potentially Conflicting Statutes. .......................10 

Conclusion ...............................................................................................................12 

Certificate of Compliance ........................................................................................14 

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Table of Authorities

Page(s)
Cases

Cowpasture Preservation Ass’n v. Forest Service,


No. 18-1144 (4th Cir. Dec. 13, 2018) ...............................................2, 4, 7, 10, 11

Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis,


138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018) ........................................................................................ 11

FCC v. Fox TV Stations,


556 U.S. 502 (2009) ............................................................................................ 11

In re Bulldog Trucking,
66 F.3d 1390 (4th Cir. 1995) .............................................................................. 10

Light v. United States,


220 U.S. 523 (1911) .............................................................................................. 2

Sierra Club v. U.S. Forest Service,


897 F.3d 582 (4th Cir. 2018) ................................................................................ 1

Skidmore v. Swift & Co.,


323 U.S. 134 (1944) ............................................................................................ 10

Sturgeon v. Frost,
136 S. Ct. 1061 (2016) ........................................................................................ 12

United States v. Mead Corp.,


533 U.S. 218 (2001) ............................................................................................ 10

United States v. New Mexico,


438 U.S. 696 (1978) .............................................................................................. 6

Statutes

16 U.S.C. § 192b-9..................................................................................................... 8

16 U.S.C. § 410mm-2 ................................................................................................ 8

16 U.S.C. § 475 .......................................................................................................... 5

16 U.S.C. § 521 ...................................................................................................... 3, 6

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16 U.S.C. § 1244(a)(1) ............................................................................................... 6

16 U.S.C. § 1244(a)(2) ............................................................................................. 11

16 U.S.C. § 1246(a)(1)(A) ......................................................................................... 7

16 U.S.C. § 1246(b) ................................................................................................... 7

16 U.S.C. § 1246(i) .................................................................................................... 7

30 U.S.C. § 185(b)(1)................................................................................................. 4

54 U.S.C. § 100101 .................................................................................................... 5

54 U.S.C. § 100501 .................................................................................................... 4

26 Stat. 1103, § 24 (Mar. 3, 1891) ............................................................................. 5

30 Stat. 35 (1897) ....................................................................................................... 5

33 Stat. 628 (1905) ..................................................................................................... 5

36 Stat. 962 (Mar. 1, 1911) ........................................................................................ 6

40 Stat. 1779 (1918) ................................................................................................... 6

44 Stat. 2633 (1927) ................................................................................................... 6

Legislative History

H.R. Rep. No. 64-700 (1916) ..................................................................................... 6

Regulation

36 C.F.R. § 200.3(b)(2) .............................................................................................. 5

Federal Register

1 Fed. Reg. 227, 227-29 (Apr. 24, 1936) ................................................................... 6

Executive Order

Executive Order No. 5867 (1932) .............................................................................. 6

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Other Materials

National Park Service, Appalachian National Scenic Trail Resource


Management Plan (Sept. 2008)......................................................................... 8, 9

Memorandum of Understanding for the Appalachian National Scenic


Trail in the Commonwealth of Virginia, FS Agreement No. 10-
MV-11080822-001 (2010)..............................................................................9, 10

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Identity and Interest of Amicus Curiae

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC (MVP) is developing a 303.5-mile natural

gas pipeline project from Wetzel County, West Virginia to Pittsylvania County,

Virginia (“MVP Project”). The MVP Project route crosses the Appalachian

National Scenic Trail (“Appalachian Trail” or “Trail”) on lands within the

Jefferson National Forest, which the U.S. Forest Service administers.

The Bureau of Land Management approved MVP’s National Forest right-of-

way and associated Trail crossing under the Mineral Leasing Act (MLA).1 The

Forest Service also relied on the MLA in authorizing the Atlantic Coast Pipeline

(ACP) to cross the Trail and the George Washington National Forest. Because the

two authorizations rely on the same MLA authority, the Court’s decision here may

influence the MVP Project on remand.

Rule 29(a)(4)(E) Statement

No person or entity other than MVP and its counsel authored this amicus

curiae brief in whole or in part, and MVP has exclusively funded the brief’s

preparation.

1
This Court vacated MVP’s right-of-way in part and remanded it for other reasons.
Sierra Club v. U.S. Forest Service, 897 F.3d 582, as clarified on reh’g, 739 F.
App’x 185 (4th Cir. 2018).

1
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Summary of Argument

The Court should rehear this case en banc. The panel decision presents

questions of exceptional importance for public lands administration and Congress’s

exercise of its plenary powers to decide which federal agency administers certain

areas of the nation’s extensive federal lands and resources. See Light v. United

States, 220 U.S. 523, 536-37 (1911) (upholding federal government’s authority to

establish forest reserves administered by Secretary of Agriculture). As the

Supreme Court stated over a century ago, “it is not for the courts to say how” the

nation’s public lands “shall be administered. That is for Congress to determine.”

Id.

By holding that the Appalachian Trail segment crossed by ACP consists of

“lands in the National Park System,”2 the panel erroneously conflated the National

Park Service’s overall administration of the Trail for planning, coordination,

signage, and related purposes with the actual administration and jurisdiction of the

National Forest lands underlying the crossing. That decision directly contradicts

Congress’s recognition in the National Trails System Act (“Trails Act”) that the

federal agency administering the lands over which a particular national trail passes

may be different than the agency charged to administer that trail. It also

contradicts Congress’s express statutory mandate that George Washington

2
Cowpasture Preservation Ass’n v. Forest Service, No. 18-1144 (4th Cir. Dec. 13,
2018), slip op. at 52, 54.

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National Forest lands be “permanently reserved, held and administered as national

forest,” and not national park, lands. 16 U.S.C. § 521 (emphasis added). The

panel upended a century of public land law.

The real-world consequences are serious. As ACP explains, with one

exception, all of the pipelines that currently transport natural gas to Virginia,

Maryland, and the District of Columbia cross the Trail—several on Forest Service

lands with rights-of-way subject to periodic renewal. Pet. for Reh’g En Banc

(Doc. 114), Exh. B. Millions of people depend on these pipelines to deliver gas for

heating, cooking, cooling, electricity, and industrial uses.

Argument

The panel decision does not attempt to harmonize the Trails Act or the

National Park Service Organic Act with the various statutes that created the

National Forests. By failing to do so, the panel reached a decision that creates

dissonance between these enactments and upsets a half-century of federal

administrative practice. The consequences are profound. The panel decision not

only imperils existing federal lands rights-of-way for pipelines crossing the Trail,

but also redefines the legal framework for crossings of other national trails should

other circuits follow the panel’s approach.

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The Appalachian Trail Segment Crossed By The ACP Project Is Not


“Lands in the National Park System” Under The Mineral Leasing Act.

While the Park Service has at times considered the Appalachian Trail to be a

unit of the National Park System for its internal labeling purposes,3 being a “unit”

is not the same as being “lands in the National Park System” under the MLA. See

30 U.S.C. § 185(b)(1). Park System units often include areas of non-federal

ownership or areas under other agencies’ jurisdictions. The Trail corridor too

contains a variety of areas administered by state and federal agencies and local

entities. See infra at 8-10. The Trail area ACP would cross is National Forest

System land. The Trail is a surface use (or overlay), but the Trails Act did not

transfer the “lands” themselves to the National Park Service or deprive the Forest

Service of its administrative jurisdiction.

Under the National Park Service Organic Act, the National Park System

“include[s] any area of land and water administered by the Secretary [of the

Interior], acting through the Director [of the National Park Service], for park,

monument, historic, parkway, recreational, or other purposes.” 54 U.S.C.

§ 100501. But the public lands statutory framework, federal agency practice, and

the Trails Act demonstrate that National Forest System lands the Trail traverses

remain lands administered by the Forest Service.

3
See, e.g., slip op. at 52.

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A. Statutory Background.

1. National Forest Versus National Park Service


Administration.

In 1891, Congress authorized the President to “set apart and reserve . . .

public land bearing forests . . . as public reservations.” 26 Stat. 1103, § 24 (Mar. 3,

1891) (codified at 16 U.S.C. § 471 (repealed 1976)). In the 1897 Organic

Administration Act, Congress provided that “[n]o national forest shall be

established, except to improve and protect the forest within the boundaries, or for

the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a

continuous supply of timber.” 30 Stat. 35, codified at 16 U.S.C. § 475. In 1905,

Congress transferred the administrative jurisdiction of the National Forests from

the Department of the Interior to the Department of Agriculture. 33 Stat. 628.

These acts created the current National Forest System. See 36 C.F.R.

§ 200.3(b)(2).

Congress developed the National Park System for very different purposes.

In 1916, Congress provided that the “fundamental purposes of the said parks,

monuments, and reservations . . . is to conserve the scenery and the natural and

historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the

same . . . unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” National Park

Service Organic Act of 1916, 39 Stat. 535, § 1, as amended, 54 U.S.C. § 100101.

Congress has long emphasized that for “the national forests there must always be

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. . . as primary objects and purposes the utilitarian use of land, of water, and of

timber, as contributing to the wealth of all the people.” H.R. Rep. No. 64-700, at 3

(1916); see also United States v. New Mexico, 438 U.S. 696, 706-09 & n.18

(1978).

2. The Weeks Act.

The Weeks Act authorized the Secretary of Agriculture to acquire land to

establish the eastern states National Forests from previously logged, privately

owned lands. 36 Stat. 962, § 6 (Mar. 1, 1911, codified at 16 U.S.C. § 515).

Congress directed that those lands be “permanently reserved, held, and

administered as national forest lands under the provisions of” the 1891 Act as

supplemented. 16 U.S.C. § 521; see also id. § 521a. Both the George Washington

and Jefferson National Forests were established pursuant to these authorities. See

Presidential Proclamation 1448, 40 Stat. 1779 (1918) (George Washington

National Forest establishment); Proclamation 1792, 44 Stat. 2633, 2633-34 (1927)

(same); Executive Order No. 5867 (1932) (same); 1 Fed. Reg. 227, 227-29 (Apr.

24, 1936) (Jefferson National Forest establishment).

3. Trails Act.

The 1968 Trails Act designated the Appalachian Trail as a National Scenic

Trail. 16 U.S.C. § 1244(a)(1). But it did not change the underlying administration,

management, or status of the lands over which the Trail passes. Here is where the

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panel went astray—it mistakenly treated the Trails Act as transferring

administration of all non-Park Service Trail corridor lands to the Park Service,

regardless of their prior administration, classification, or ownership. See slip op. at

52-56.

The Trails Act recognizes that a federal agency other than the agency

charged with the overall administration of a trail may have authority and

responsibility for the administration of the lands over which the trail traverses; the

latter retains its authority to administer those lands despite the trail’s presence. See

16 U.S.C. § 1246(a)(1)(A) (“Nothing . . . shall be deemed to transfer among

Federal agencies any management responsibilities established under any other law

for federally administered lands which are components of the National Trails

System.”).

The Trails Act also provides that the “Secretary charged with the

administration of a national scenic . . . trail may relocate segments of a national

scenic . . . trail right-of-way,” but only “with the concurrence of the head of the

Federal agency having jurisdiction over the lands involved.” 16 U.S.C. § 1246(b)

(emphasis added). It further provides that the appropriate Secretary “may issue

regulations,” but only “with the concurrence of the heads of any other Federal

agencies administering lands through which a . . . national scenic . . . trail passes.”

16 U.S.C. § 1246(i) (emphasis added).

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These provisions show that Congress did not transfer the Trail corridor lands

away from the Forest Service where the Trail traverses National Forest System

lands. Congress elsewhere has been explicit when it intends to transfer jurisdiction

from one federal agency to another. For example, in creating Great Basin National

Park, Congress specified that “[l]ands and waters . . . within the boundaries of the

park which were administered by the Forest Service . . . prior to the date of

enactment of this Act are hereby transferred to the administrative jurisdiction of

the Secretary [of the Interior].” Pub. L. No. 99-565, § 4(b) (1986), codified at 16

U.S.C. § 410mm-2. See also, e.g., 16 U.S.C. § 192b-9 (boundary adjustments for

Rocky Mountain National Park). Had Congress intended to convert the Trail

corridor lands into lands of the National Park System where the Trail passes over

National Forest System lands, it would have said so.

B. Both Federal Agencies Have Administered Their Respective Trail


Segments Consistent With This Statutory Framework.

The Park Service explains that two types of lands comprise the Appalachian

Trail. First, Appalachian Trail Park Office Lands are lands specifically acquired

and managed by the Park Service Appalachian Trail Park Office. See, e.g., NPS,

Appalachian National Scenic Trail Resource Management Plan, I-24 (Sept. 2008).4

This includes “some 2,300 tracts and 82,700 acres acquired by the National Park

4
Available at
https://www.nps.gov/appa/learn/management/upload/appalachian_trail_resource_
management_plan.pdf.

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Service to protect the trail.” Id. Second, “Appalachian Trail lands” are all lands

traversed by the trail, including those that are under the jurisdiction and

management of other agencies. Id. The lands at the ACP Trail crossing are in this

second category—they are not Park Service administered lands and therefore are

not lands in the National Park System.

As the Park Service recognizes:

One of the most confusing and challenging realities of


managing the [Trail] is created by the complex
patchwork of land ownership along much of the length of
the trail. The trail crosses lands administered by eight
national forests, six national parks, one national wildlife
refuge, 67 state game lands, forest, or park areas, and
more than a dozen local municipal watershed properties.

Id. at I-23 (emphasis added). Thus, the Park Service acknowledges that the Trail

“crosses an extensive land base administered by many other federal and state

agencies. Each of these land-managing entities manages its section of the

Appalachian National Scenic Trail . . . in accordance with its own administrative

jurisdictional responsibilities.” Id. at III-1 (emphases added); see id. at I-8.

The 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the Trail in Virginia,

signed by the Park Service, Forest Service, Virginia, and others, confirms this

view. The MOU provides that “[t]he legislative authority of each individual land

managing agency to manage, regulate, operate, develop, use, control, and protect

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all lands under its jurisdiction shall continue to be the controlling authority.”

2010 MOU § VI.J.1.5

In sum, the affected federal agencies have consistently treated the National

Forest lands the Trail traverses as lands remaining under the Forest Service’s

jurisdiction and authority. These are not lands in the National Park System. The

panel recognized that “the MLA concerns the land, not the agency.” Slip op. at 54.

But it did not acknowledge the status and classification that Congress mandated for

these lands. The agencies’ long-standing views are entitled to at least Skidmore

deference,6 but the panel gave them no consideration at all. Slip op. at 54.

The Panel’s Holding Conflicts With This Court’s And The Supreme
Court’s Decisions On Harmonizing Potentially Conflicting Statutes.

The panel was faced with reconciling the statutes for the administration of

the George Washington National Forest and the Trails Act. But it overlooked the

forest-administration statutes, so it could not “reconcile and harmonize the statutes,

and carry out the legislative intent behind both [statutory] schemes.” In re Bulldog

Trucking, 66 F.3d 1390, 1395 (4th Cir. 1995).

When “confronted with two Acts of Congress allegedly touching on the

same topic, this Court is not at ‘“liberty to pick and choose among congressional

5
Available at http://www.appalachiantrail.org/docs/appendix---g---table/2010-
mou-for-the-anst-in-virginia.pdf (emphasis added).
6
Skidmore v. Swift & Co., 323 U.S. 134, 140 (1944); see also United States v.
Mead Corp., 533 U.S. 218 (2001).

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enactments’ and must instead strive ‘to give effect to both.”’” Epic Systems Corp.

v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612, 1619 (2018) (citations omitted). So Petitioners bore a

“heavy burden” to show that Congress implicitly displaced forest-administration

statutes through the Trails Act. Id.

Neither petitioners nor the panel harmonized the Trails Act or the National

Park Service Organic Act with the National Forest statutes. Instead, the panel

presumed that the entire almost 2,200-mile long Trail corridor comprised lands in

the “National Park System” because it was generically referenced in the record as a

“‘unit’ of the National Park System.” Slip op. at 52. But those shorthand labeling

references do not themselves transfer administration of all lands within the Trail

corridor to the Park Service, change the language of the Trails Act, or even modify

the Park Service’s own understanding of the Trails Act as reflected in the agency’s

management documents and consistent practice. See FCC v. Fox TV Stations, 556

U.S. 502, 513-16 (2009).

The panel’s approach results in an implausible reading of the Trails Act.

Extending it to other national scenic trails, such as the Pacific Crest Trail, where

the Trails Act assigns to the Secretary of Agriculture the trail-administration role,

see 16 U.S.C. § 1244(a)(2), would lead to the absurd result of the Forest Service

exercising the trail crossing permitting authority under its own authorities even

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where that trail traverses national park lands.7 This approach would convert those

narrow strips of national park lands into National Forests without any

congressional action. The panel erred in failing to consider this broader context.

See Sturgeon v. Frost, 136 S. Ct. 1061, 1071 (2016) (rejecting as “implausible” the

reading of a statute that failed to recognize that certain lands within the boundaries

of conservation system units in Alaska may be treated differently from other

“public” lands within the unit).

Conclusion

This Court should rehear this case en banc.

7
The Pacific Crest Trail traverses at least seven national park system units: North
Cascades, Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, Lassen Volcano, Yosemite, and Sequoia &
Kings Canyon national parks, and Devils Postpile National Monument.

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Respectfully submitted this 4th day of February, 2019.

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

George P. Sibley, III


gsibley@huntonak.com
HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH LLP
951 E. Byrd St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone: (804) 788-8716
Facsimile: (804) 343-4733

Murray D. Feldman
HOLLAND & HART LLP
800 W. Main Street, Suite 1750
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 342-5000
mfeldman@hollandhart.com

Thomas C. Jensen
HOLLAND & HART LLP
975 F. Street NW, Suite 900
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 654-6928
tcjensen@hollandhart.com

Sandra A. Snodgrass
HOLLAND & HART LLP
555 Seventeenth Street, Suite 3200
Denver, CO 80201
(303) 295-8000
ssnodgrass@hollandhart.com

Attorneys for Intervenor-Respondent


Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC

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Certificate of Compliance

The undersigned counsel certifies under Fed. R. App. P. 32(g) that the

foregoing brief meets the formatting and type-volume requirements set by Fed. R.

App. P. 29(b)(4) and Fed. R. App. P. 32(a). This motion is printed in 14-point,

proportionately spaced typeface utilizing Microsoft Word and contains 2,554

words, including headings, footnotes, and quotations, and excluding all items

identified under Fed. R. App. P. 32(f).

Dated: February 4, 2019

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

George P. Sibley, III


gsibley@huntonak.com
HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH LLP
951 E. Byrd St.
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone: (804) 788-8716
Facsimile: (804) 343-4733

Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Mountain


Valley Pipeline, LLC

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Certificate of Service

I certify that on February 4, 2019, the foregoing document was served on all

parties or their counsel record through the CM/ECF system if they are registered

users, or, if they are not, by serving a true and correct copy at the addresses listed

below.

/s/ George P. Sibley, III

15