Friends of Great Salt Lake v Utah Department of Natural Resources and Great Salt Lake Minerals Corporation

Friends appealed Department’s approval of a mineral lease with Corporation. The Court affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded in part. It held that under Utah Administrative Code 652-90-300(2), Department was required to do site specific planning for the area of the lease and it afield to do so. The case was remanded for Department to undertake the panning. However, the Court held that Friends lacked standing to challenge the underlying approval because it was not a party to the informal adjudication that led to the lease approval as it did not initiate a proceeding for any of the listed grounds in Utah Administrative Code 652-8-200(1) but were trying to re-litigate Corporations lease, Corporation did not agree in writing to allow Friends to obtain a declaratory order, Friends petition for declaratory order was based on contested facts and the lease had not been signed at the time of the complaint. It held there was no error in denying Friend’s motion to amend its complaint because none of the claims were preserved in the administrative proceeding. It held that Friends’ challenge to a 2000 comprehensive plan was inadequately briefed on the district court’s mootness ruling and thus the challenge failed and held there was no basis for extraordinary relief as Friends have avenues for appellate review and any inability to get review of certain claims was entirely Friends’ fault for not raising them in the administrative proceeding.