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Bureau of Land Management - Appeals (9-FD-d)

Information current as of 2019
A developer may need to appeal a decision by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to the Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals if they are adversely affected by the decision. Many decisions by the BLM are not effective during the period of time in which the developer may file an appeal. 43 C.F.R. § 4.21(a)(1). However, BLM decisions issued under 43 C.F.R. §§ 3200.1-3279.11 remain in full force and effect pending appeal. 43 C.F.R. § 3200.5. The Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals decides finally for the Department appeals to the head of the Department from decisions rendered by Departmental officials relating to the use and disposition of public lands and their resources, including land selections arising under the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act. 43 C.F.R. § 4.1.

The Department of Interior Board of Land Appeals considers appeals from BLM decision pursuant to 43 C.F.R. §§ 4.1-4.1610.

Bureau of Land Management - Appeals Process

9-FD-d.1 - Is the Decision Adverse/Incorrect?

A developer may appeal a decision to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. 43 C.F.R. § 4.700.

9-FD-d.2 - File Notice of Appeal (NOA) and File Petition for Stay

The appellant is required to file a Notice of Appeal (NOA) in the office that made the decision within 30 days of receipt of the decision 43 C.F.R. § 4.701. The burden of proof is on the appellant to show that the decision being appealed from is in error. The decision is in full force and effect and does not provide for an automatic stay. A request for stay must be filed with the NOA. The petition must show sufficient justification based on the following factors:

  • The relative harm to the parties if the stay is granted or denied;
  • The likelihood of the appellant's success on the merits;
  • The likelihood of immediate and irreparable harm if the stay is not granted; and
  • Whether the public interest favors granting the stay.

If a stay is granted, BLM will notify appellant that a stay has been granted and will remain in effect until lifted. 43 C.F.R. § 4.21(a)-(b).

9-FD-d.3 - Adverse Parties - Served with NOA and Other Papers Filed

Within 15 days after each document is filed, each adverse party named in the decision and the Regional Solicitor or Field Solicitor having jurisdiction over the State in which the appeal arose must be served with a copy of: NOA, Statement of Reasons (SOR), and any other documents. Proof of service is required. 43 C.F.R. § 4.413.

9-FD-d.4 - File Statement of Reasons

Within thirty (30) days after filling the NOA, the appellant must file a complete SOR describing why they are appealing. The SOA must be filed with the US Department of Interior, Office of Hearing and Appeals, Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA), 801 N. Quincy Street, MS 300-QC, Arlington, VA 22030. An additional statement is not necessary if the developer (appellant) includes the SOR with the original filing of the NOA. 43 C.F.R. § 4.412.

9-FD-d.5 - Adverse Parties - Served with SOR and Other Papers Filed

Within 15 days adverse parties named in the decision must be served with copies of the additional papers filed with IBLA. Proof of service is required.

9-FD-d.6 - Hearing (Discretionary)

Any party may file a motion that the Board refer a case to an administrative law judge for a hearing.

In response to a motion or on its own initiative, the Board may order a hearing if there are:

(1) Any issues of material fact which, if proved, would alter the disposition of the appeal; or
(2) Significant factual or legal issues remaining to be decided, and the record without a hearing would be insufficient for resolving them.

43 C.F.R. § 4.415.

9-FD-d.7 - Decision

IBLA will review and render a decision on the merits of the case. This is usually a lengthy process and can take from 6 months to 2 years, unless a request to have the decision expedited is granted.


The Board may reconsider its decision in extraordinary circumstances.

(1) A party that wishes to request reconsideration of a Board decision must file a motion for reconsideration with the Board within 60 days after the date of the decision.
(2) The motion may include a request that the Board stay the effectiveness of its decision.
(3) Any other party to the original appeal may file a response to a motion for reconsideration with the Board within 21 days after service of the motion, unless the Board orders otherwise.
(4) A motion for reconsideration will not stay the effectiveness or affect the finality of the Board's decision unless so ordered by the Board for good cause.
(5) A party does not need to file a motion for reconsideration in order to exhaust its administrative remedies.

43 C.F.R. § 4.403.

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