Friday, January 11, 2008

Feldman v. Bomar (National Park Service)

Jan 10: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 06-55675. Richard Feldman, Robert Lee Puddicombe, and In Defense of Animals (IDA) (collectively Appellants) appeal the judgment in favor of the Nature Conservancy (TNC), the National Park Service (NPS), NPS’s director, and the Chief of Natural Resources Management at Channel Islands National Park (collectively Appellees) on their claims that Appellees violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in adopting NPS’s program to restore and protect Santa Cruz Island by, in part, eradicating its feral pig population.

Appellants do not dispute that the pigs threatened Santa Cruz Island’s ecological and archeological infrastructure; however, they would have preferred eliminating the population through non-lethal means, such as sterilization or removal of the pigs to the
mainland, and they challenge NPS’s process in reaching its conclusion that the pigs should be killed instead. Because NPS completely eradicated the feral pigs from Santa Cruz Island during the pendency of this litigation, and because Appellants allege only procedural violations in the development of the eradication program and do not seek compensation in monetary damages, the Appeals Court granted Appellees’ motion to dismiss the appeal as moot. The Appeals Court said, "Appellees have met their heavy burden of demonstrating that 'no effective relief for the alleged violation[s] can be given,'" citing, Neighbors of Cuddy Mountain v. Alexander, 303 F.3d 1059, 1065 (9th Cir. 2002).

Access the complete opinion (
click here).