10th Circuit Court Rules on Winter Use Regulations for Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   March 1, 2012
Contact:   Patricia Dowd, NPCA Yellowstone Program Manager, (O) 406-585-1380, (C) 406-522-0272, pdowd@npca.org
Jeff Billington, NPCA Senior Media Relations Manager, (O) 202-419-3617, (C) 202-384-8894, jbillington@npca.org


10th Circuit Court Rules on Winter Use Regulations for Yellowstone, Grand Teton National Parks

Washington, DC — Yesterday, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the National Park Service (NPS) winter use regulations for Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. The ruling was a result of an appeal brought by the State of Wyoming and Park County, Wyoming against NPS concerning the regulations, which set limits on the number of snowmobiles and snowcoaches allowed inside the parks. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), represented by the law firm Arnold and Porter, LLP, intervened on behalf of NPS.

The 10th circuit agreed with a district court decision that Wyoming and Park County failed to show standing to challenge the Yellowstone and Grand Teton regulations. Specifically, the State of Wyoming failed to show injury resulting from the regulations. The court found that the Wyoming and Park County argument — that they had suffered economic injury because of the lower number of snowmobiles permitted there in recent years — was unfounded. This means that the litigation concerning Grand Teton's winter use regulation is now finally finished and that Yellowstone's temporary regulation stays in place for the next two weeks of the season.

“NPCA is pleased that the district court found and the appeals court confirmed that Yellowstone National Park correctly used the state's economic data to make a decision on snowmobile and snowcoach use inside the park’s boundaries,” said Patricia Dowd, NPCA Yellowstone program manager. “Now, the National Park Service can move ahead with a permanent rule for Yellowstone based on established law, policy, science and public involvement.”

“The state and county simply could not show that the National Park Service's greater emphasis on protection of the natural resources of the parks by reducing the number of permitted snowmobiles had caused any injury to the local tourist economy or other assets of the state or county,” said Robert Rosenbaum of Arnold & Porter, lead attorney on the case.

Read the decision here: http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=In%20FCO%2020120229110.xml&docbase=CsLwAr3-2007-Curr

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