Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, No. 882-71.

CourtCourt of Federal Claims
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM
Citation640 F.2d 328
PartiesGEORGIA-PACIFIC CORPORATION v. The UNITED STATES.
Docket NumberNo. 882-71.
Decision Date17 December 1980

640 F.2d 328

GEORGIA-PACIFIC CORPORATION
v.
The UNITED STATES.

No. 882-71.

United States Court of Claims.

December 17, 1980.


640 F.2d 329
COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED
640 F.2d 330
Pierre J. LaForce, Washington, D. C., attorney of record, for plaintiff. Steven C. Lambert and Wilkinson, Cragun & Barker, Washington, D. C., of counsel
640 F.2d 331

Howard O. Sigmond, Washington, D. C., with whom was Asst. Atty. Gen. James W. Moorman, Washington, D. C., for defendant.

Before NICHOLS, KASHIWA and SMITH, Judges.

OPINION

PER CURIAM:

This case is before the court on plaintiff's exceptions to the report of Trial Judge Thomas J. Lydon.

After consideration of the briefs and oral argument of the parties, we adopt the report, as modified, as an opinion of this court. Since we disagree with Part IV of the report, dealing with compensation for delay in payment, we have deleted that portion and submitted our own discussion in lieu thereof. The conclusion of law has been changed to reflect our view of the delay in payment issue.

The trial judge's report, as modified, follows:

OPINION OF TRIAL JUDGE*

LYDON, Trial Judge:

Some 3,368 acres of land owned by plaintiff in Humboldt County, California, were legislatively taken from it by Pub.L. No. 90-545, approved October 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 931, 16 U.S.C. ß 79c(b)(1) (1976), relative to establishment of Redwood National Park. It is conceded that plaintiff is entitled to recover just compensation as a result of this taking. However, the parties have been unable to agree completely on the amount of just compensation that should be paid.

A number of issues involved in this litigation have been resolved by the parties.1 The issues remaining for decision herein are:

1) whether plaintiff suffered severance damages to its remainder property as a result of the taking, and, if so, the amount thereof;

2) the appropriate rate of interest to apply as part of just compensation for the delay in payment of such severance damages;2 and

3) whether plaintiff is entitled to recover litigation expenses (including reasonable attorney, appraisal and engineering fees) incurred because of this proceeding under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, Pub.L. No. 91-646, 91st Cong., 2d Sess., approved January 2, 1971, 84 Stat. 1894, 42 U.S.C. ß 4651 (1976) (hereinafter Uniform Relocation Act).

I

A

Plaintiff, a Georgia corporation, has its principal offices in Portland, Oregon. It has additional offices and major business sites located throughout the United States. Plaintiff is in the business, among other things, of growing, processing, manufacturing and marketing timber and forest products.

640 F.2d 332
It is a major forest products manufacturing concern with extensive holdings of fee timberlands. This litigation is only concerned with certain of plaintiff's lands and holdings in Humboldt County, California, which, in plaintiff's corporate organizational structure, were managed by its Samoa Division in 1968

As of October 2, 1968, plaintiff owned certain forest lands in Humboldt County known as the Big Lagoon tract. It appears plaintiff purchased this tract from the Hammond Lumber Company in 1956 or 1957. The tract consisted of roughly 88,000 acres of mostly commercial timberlands. This tract was managed and operated by the Samoa Division for the growth, harvest and manufacture of the timber located thereon. Old-growth redwood timber was the primary timber species on the Big Lagoon tract. However, there were also substantial volumes of old-growth Douglas fir, young-growth redwood and Douglas fir, as well as lesser volumes of other timber species. Plaintiff, and its predecessor owner, had harvested timber from this tract for several decades prior to October 2, 1968. On October 2, 1968, the tract consisted of a mixture of timber age classes and land conditions, ranging from uncut virgin timber areas to recent clear-cut and residual areas. As of March 1, 1968, it was roughly estimated that this tract contained, at a minimum, some 1.7 billion board feet of timber, of which some 1.6 billion board feet was estimated to be old-growth timber. On October 2, 1968, a system of truck roads had been constructed, and were being maintained, on the Big Lagoon tract for the logging of timber.

On October 2, 1968, plaintiff owned and operated, through its Samoa Division, a number of facilities to process and manufacture harvested timber in Humboldt County. These facilities included a redwood sawmill, a pulpmill, a studmill, a plywood plant, docks and loading facilities, shops, company housing, etc. These facilities were located on 449.58 acres of industrial land in Samoa, California. A sawmill was also located on the Big Lagoon tract. The Samoa facilities were about 10 miles southwest of the Big Lagoon tract. Plaintiff owned a railroad right-of-way which connected the Big Lagoon tract to the Samoa facilities, but as of October 2, 1968, it did not use this railroad for transportation purposes, utilizing instead truck transportation.3 None of plaintiff's facilities described above were taken.

The 3,368 acres of land taken from plaintiff consisted of roughly a 12-mile elongated and irregular, in width, portion of the northeastern section of the Big Lagoon tract. This relatively narrow strip of taken land, a portion of which was sometimes referred to as "the worm" area, was on the west side of Redwood Creek, following its course thus explaining its irregular shape, and extended roughly from the area east of the town of Orick, California, southward for some 12 miles. Of the total acreage taken, only some 295.9 acres represented nonstocked and nontimbered lands. The remainder of the taken lands contained valuable commercial timber, including large volumes of high-quality, old-growth redwood timber. It was estimated that the taking removed over 18 percent of the total timber volume on the Big Lagoon tract. In substance, the taking removed 3,368 acres of land from the northeast corner of the 88,000-acre

640 F.2d 333
Big Lagoon tract. The tract itself was not bisected as a result of the taking

B

Since pertinent language in Pub.L.No. 90-545, supra, (hereinafter "the Park Act"), plays an important role in plaintiff's severance damages presentation, it is deemed necessary to set forth said language in full.

The Park Act in its preamble stated that Redwood National Park was established:

* * * in order to preserve significant examples of the primeval coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests and the streams and seashores with which they are associated for purposes of public inspiration, enjoyment, and scientific study * * *.

Section 2(a) of the Park Act severely restricted the authority of the Secretary of Interior as to the size of the park by providing that the "acreage within said park shall at no time exceed fifty-eight thousand acres, exclusive of submerged lands." But the Secretary was given authority to modify the park boundary lines:

* * * from time to time, with a view to carrying out the purpose of this Act and with particular attention to minimizing siltation of the streams, damage to the timber, and assuring the preservation of the scenery within the boundaries of the national park as depicted on said maps * * *.

See Miller v. United States, 209 Ct.Cl. 135, 531 F.2d 510 (1976).

Section 3 of the Park Act provided in pertinent part:

(a) The Secretary is authorized to acquire lands and interests in land within the boundaries of the Redwood National Park and, in addition thereto, not more than ten acres outside of those boundaries for an administrative site or sites. Such acquisition may be by donation, purchase with appropriated or donated funds, exchange, or otherwise, but lands and interests in land owned by the State of California may be acquired only by donation.
* * * * * *
(d) The Secretary is further authorized to acquire, as provided in subsection (a) of this section, lands and interests in land bordering both sides of the highway between the present southern boundary of Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park and a point on Redwood Creek near the town of Orick to a depth sufficient to maintain or to restore a screen of trees between the highway and the land behind the screen and the activities conducted thereon.
(e) In order to afford as full protection as is reasonably possible to the timber, soil, and streams within the boundaries of the park, the Secretary is authorized, by any of the means set out in subsections (a) and (c) of this section, to acquire interests in land from, and to enter into contracts and cooperative agreements with, the owners of land on the periphery of the park and on watersheds tributary to streams within the park designed to assure that the consequences of forestry management, timbering, land use, and soil conservation practices conducted thereon, or of the lack of such practices, will not adversely affect the timber, soil, and streams within the park as aforesaid. As used in this subsection, the term "interests in land" does not include fee title unless the Secretary finds that the cost of a necessary less-than-fee interest would be disproportionately high as compared with the estimated cost of the fee. No acquisition other than by donation shall be effectuated and no contract or cooperative agreement shall be executed by the Secretary pursuant to the provisions of this subsection until sixty days after he has notified the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of his intended action and of the costs and benefits to the United States involved therein.

C

Both parties engaged the services of consultants with forest industry experience to serve as expert witnesses on the issue of severance damages. Plaintiff's severance

640 F.2d 334
damage appraisal report was the product of the joint effort of consulting foresters Robert E. Kleiner (Kleiner) and Wesley Rickard (Rickard). Milton Mater...

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42 practice notes
  • Department of Transp. of State of Ill. for and on Behalf of People v. Rasmussen, No. 81-691
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 6, 1982
    ...corporate bonds and yields from government securities, such as Treasury Bonds. See, e.g., Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 640 F.2d 328, 365-67 (Ct.Cl.1980) (relying on Moody's Composite Index of Yields on Long Term Corporate Bonds and rejecting plaintiff's cost of borrowing as measu......
  • Richardson v. City and County of Honolulu, Civ. No. 91-00725 DAE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • September 16, 1992
    ...States v. 50.50 Acres of Land, 931 F.2d 1349, 1358 (9th Cir.1991); see generally Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 226 Ct.Cl. 95, 640 F.2d 328 28 More specifically, Bishop Estate argues that the alleged discriminatory purpose of Ordinance 91-95 against Native Hawaiians is evidenced by......
  • King v. State Roads Com'n of State Highway Admin., No. 28
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1983
    ...See Washington Metro. Area T.A. v. One Parcel of Land, supra, 706 F.2d 1312 (4th Cir.1983); Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 640 F.2d 328 (Ct.Cl.1980); Miller v. United States, 620 F.2d 812 (Ct.Cl.1980); Pitcairn v. United States, 547 F.2d 1106 (Ct.Cl.1976), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 10......
  • Banks v. United States, 99-4451 L
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 22, 2011
    ...the amount of just compensation to which they are entitled for severance damage. Ga.-Pac. Corp. v. United States, 226 Ct. Cl. 95, 107, 640 F.2d 328, 336-37 (1980); Miller v. United States, 223 Ct. Cl. 352, 383-84, 620 F.2d 812, 828-29 (1980). Plaintiffs' properties, being adjacent to the na......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
42 cases
  • Department of Transp. of State of Ill. for and on Behalf of People v. Rasmussen, No. 81-691
    • United States
    • United States Appellate Court of Illinois
    • August 6, 1982
    ...corporate bonds and yields from government securities, such as Treasury Bonds. See, e.g., Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 640 F.2d 328, 365-67 (Ct.Cl.1980) (relying on Moody's Composite Index of Yields on Long Term Corporate Bonds and rejecting plaintiff's cost of borrowing as measu......
  • Richardson v. City and County of Honolulu, Civ. No. 91-00725 DAE.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Hawaii)
    • September 16, 1992
    ...States v. 50.50 Acres of Land, 931 F.2d 1349, 1358 (9th Cir.1991); see generally Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 226 Ct.Cl. 95, 640 F.2d 328 28 More specifically, Bishop Estate argues that the alleged discriminatory purpose of Ordinance 91-95 against Native Hawaiians is evidenced by......
  • King v. State Roads Com'n of State Highway Admin., No. 28
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1983
    ...See Washington Metro. Area T.A. v. One Parcel of Land, supra, 706 F.2d 1312 (4th Cir.1983); Georgia-Pacific Corp. v. United States, 640 F.2d 328 (Ct.Cl.1980); Miller v. United States, 620 F.2d 812 (Ct.Cl.1980); Pitcairn v. United States, 547 F.2d 1106 (Ct.Cl.1976), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 10......
  • Banks v. United States, 99-4451 L
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • December 22, 2011
    ...the amount of just compensation to which they are entitled for severance damage. Ga.-Pac. Corp. v. United States, 226 Ct. Cl. 95, 107, 640 F.2d 328, 336-37 (1980); Miller v. United States, 223 Ct. Cl. 352, 383-84, 620 F.2d 812, 828-29 (1980). Plaintiffs' properties, being adjacent to the na......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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