Southeastern Legal Foundation (SLF), National Federation for Independent Business, Landmark Legal Foundation, and the Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief supporting a South Dakota family farmer. Arlen Foster, a third-generation farmer, and his family have a spot on their land designed to collect snow drifts to prevent erosion. When the snow melts, it turns into a puddle before evaporating. In 2011, federal regulators determined that this puddle met the definition of a wetland, and thereby protected by federal law preventing the Fosters from farming it.
While the law allows for farmers like Arlen to ask regulators to remove the wetlands designation, the government has refused repeated requests to do so going all the way back to 2017. Furthermore, the rules themselves were never submitted to Congress as required under the Congressional Review Act. But when Arlen challenged the failure to review his claim, the lower courts deferred to the government’s interpretation of how the statutes worked under the so-called “Chevron doctrine.”
Foster v. U.S. Department of Agriculture is a case brought by Pacific Legal Foundation. SLF supports Arlen’s request to compel review of his claim and hold federal regulators accountable under the law.