A Phelps County resident is suing alongside the Missouri Coalition (MCE) for the Environment to overturn a law that lengthens the process the Department of Natural Resources must use to buy land.

The case was filed Thursday by the MCE and a Phelps County resident Thomas Sager. It argues that a law passed last year that requires the department to notify local officials, post newspaper notices and hold public hearings before it can purchase large tracts is unconstitutional because it doesn't apply to other departments.


That law was passed after then-Gov. Jay Nixon angered lawmakers by overseeing the purchase of several new parks with little outside input.


The Department of Natural Resources declined to comment, and the attorney general's office did not return a request for comment.


The MCE began in St. Louis in 1969 as the region’s “first independent citizens’ group created to address a broad range of environmental policy issues,” according to their website. The group is governed by an independent board of directors. Recently, according to a timeline of their activity, the group prevented the sale of three state parks.