Udall v. Tallman
380 U.S. 1 (1965)

Annotate this Case

U.S. Supreme Court

Udall v. Tallman, 380 U.S. 1 (1965)

Udall v. Tallman

No. 34

Argued October 22, 26, 1964

Decided March 1, 1965

380 U.S. 1

Syllabus

Since their promulgation, the Secretary of the Interior has consistently construed Executive Order No. 8979 and Public Land Order No. 487, relating to the disposition of public lands located in the Kenai National Moose Range in Alaska, not to bar the issuance of oil and gas leases. His interpretation has been made a repeated matter of public record, and a number of leases have been developed at great expense in reliance on it. If, therefore, his interpretation of the orders is not unreasonable, courts must respect it. Pp. 380 U. S. 4-18.

(a) The Secretary's interpretation of Executive Order No. 8979, which withdrew the lands covered by it from "settlement, location, sale, or entry, or other disposition (except for fish trap sites) under any of the public land laws applicable to Alaska," though not the only interpretation permitted by the language of the order, is a reasonable interpretation. Pp. 380 U. S. 19-23.

(b) Wilbur v. United States ex rel. Barton, 60 App.D.C. 11, 46 F.2d 217 (1930), aff'd sub nom. United States ex rel. McLennan v. Wilbur,283 U. S. 414, distinguished. Pp. 380 U. S. 21-23.

(c) The reasonableness of the Secretary's interpretation of Public Land Order No. 487 follows a fortiori from the reasonableness of his interpretation of Executive Order No. 8979. P. 380 U. S. 23.

116 U.S.App.D.C. 379, 324 F.2d 411, reversed.

Page 380 U. S. 2

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