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Administrative Procedure and the Mining and Mineral Leasing Laws

Harry M. Edelstein, Proceedings of 11th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (1966)

It is my purpose to discuss administrative procedure in the exercise by the Department of the Interior of its functions under the mining and mineral leasing laws. I will do so in the context of the Administrative Procedure Act1 and of S. 1336,2 the bill to amend it, now pending in the Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. In its present form, Section 1 of the bill optimistically states its short title to be The Administrative Procedure Act of 1965. Hearings were held by the subcommittee in May 1965. But, like its predecessor in the last Congress, the bill may go no further.3 The principal thrust of the bill is to extend coverage of the act and to require the large number of agencies to comply with its provisions, without taking account of the great variety of their functions, proceedings, and procedures. Its basic approach is theoretical rather than practical, in effect, mainly proposing change for the sake of change.

Let us turn to a few of the significant areas of our subject, to which we are necessarily limited by time and space.


Section 4 of the Administrative Procedure Act provides for notice of proposed rule-making in the Federal Register and affords interested persons an opportunity to participate by presenting their views. But any matters relating to public property