Interest Representation and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act

The role of the BLM under the FLPMA, this Note argues, is accurately captured in the “interest representation” model of administrative law; judicial review under this model serves to vindicate the “participation rights” of parties interested in public lands management. Part I places the FLPMA in the context of other recent congressional reform efforts and attempts to justify heightened judicial scrutiny of the BLM’s activities. To protect citizens’ participation rights, it concludes, courts should recognize a limited right to initiate the planning and management provisions of the FLPMA. The Act, in other words, should be interpreted to comprehend “agenda forcing” by the public. Part II uses the persistent problem of conflicts among recreational users of public lands to illustrate the need for “agenda-forcing” action by citizens to effectuate congressional intent.