A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Big Southern Butte is one of two domes rising from a sea of basalt near the center of the eastern Snake River Plain in Idaho. The butte is one of the largest volcanic domes in the world, but at 300,000 years old it is also one of the youngest. Hikers who trek to the 7,550-foot high summit are rewarded with spectacular panoramic views. Photo by Devin Englestead, BLM Upper Snake Wildlife Biologist.
First light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico. Established in November 22, 1939, the refuge has provided a critical stopover and wintering spot for thousands of sandhill cranes, geese and other waterfowl for 75 years. Bosque del Apache's sandhill crane population has multiplied from 18 birds in the 1840s to more than 20,000 birds today. Photo by Kim Hang Dessoliers (www.sharetheexperience.org).
The Departmental Cases Hearings Division serves as the Department's administrative trial court for cases involving lands and resources under the Department's jurisdiction. Through formal hearings conducted by administrative law judges under the Administrative Procedure Act, the Division decides grazing appeals, surface coal mining cases, civil penalty assessments under various wildlife and resource protection laws, certain cases involving the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (ISDA), disputed issues of material fact with respect to conditions and prescriptions in hydropower licenses, and contests of mining claims, Alaska Native allotment applications, and other asserted interests in Federal land.
The Division also conducts hearings on other matters upon request from a bureau or office, an OHA appeals board, or the Director. Examples include adjudications pertaining to oil and gas leases, rights-of-way, and alleged trespasses on Federal lands.
The Division is headed by a Supervisory Administrative Law Judge and is located in OHA's Salt Lake City office. Most of its decisions may be appealed to the Interior Board of Land Appeals. Decisions in cases referred to the Division by the Interior Board of Indian Appeals are appealable to that Board, except that ISDA decisions involving the Indian Health Service are appealable to the Departmental Appeals Board within the Department of Health and Human Services.
Division decisions that are not administratively appealable include those determining issues of material fact with respect to conditions or prescriptions that the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, or Interior develop for inclusion in hydropower licenses under the Federal Power Act. Such determinations are final for the Departments involved.
Departmental Cases Hearings Division Office of Hearings and Appeals U.S. Department of the Interior 351 South West Temple, Suite 6.300 Salt Lake City, Utah 84101 801-524-5344 (voice) 801-524-5539(facsimile)
Harvey C. Sweitzer, Supervisory Administrative Law Judge James H. Heffernan, Administrative Law Judge Andrew S. Pearlstein, Administrative Law Judge Elizabeth-Anne Bowman, Supervisory Paralegal Specialist