Wednesday, July 22, 2009

River Runners For Wilderness v. Martin

Jul 21: In the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, Case No. 08-15112. The National Park Service entered a decision adopting a 2006 Colorado River Management Plan that the Plaintiff-Appellants contend is unlawful. Plaintiffs sought to have that decision set aside by the district court as arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. The district court granted summary judgment to all defendants (i.e. Superintendent of Grand Canyon National Park, National Park Service, Department of Interior, et al).

The Appeals Court said, "The district court wrote an extensive and well-reasoned order, which is attached as an appendix. We agree with the order and adopt it as the opinion of our court." In its decision the district court explained that the case concerns the National Parks Service’s decision to permit the continued use of motorized rafts and support equipment in Grand Canyon National Park. Plaintiffs contended that such motorized activities impair the wilderness character of the Canyon and that the Park Service’s decision violates its management policies and various federal statutes. The district court ruled that for reasons which it explains in its order that, "Plaintiffs have not satisfied the high threshold required to set aside federal agency actions under the APA."

Access the complete opinion (
click here).