International Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n. v. Norton, No. 00-CV-229-B.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBrimmer
Citation304 F.Supp.2d 1278
PartiesINTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION, et. al., Plaintiffs, State of Wyoming, Plainiff-Intervenor, v. Gale NORTON, et. al., Defendants, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
Docket NumberNo. 00-CV-229-B.
Decision Date10 February 2004
304 F.Supp.2d 1278
INTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION, et. al., Plaintiffs,
State of Wyoming, Plainiff-Intervenor,
v.
Gale NORTON, et. al., Defendants,
Greater Yellowstone Coalition, et al., Defendant-Intervenors.
No. 00-CV-229-B.
United States District Court, D. Wyoming.
February 10, 2004.

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Karen J. Budd-Falen, Franklin J. Falen, Brandon Lee Jensen, Budd-Falen Law offices, Cheyenne, WY, Douglas S. Burdin, William P. Horn, Barbara A. Miller, Birch Horton Bittner & Cherot, Washington, DC, for Blue Ribbon Coalition, Inc., Intern. Snowmobile Manufacturers Ass'n, Wyoming State Snowmobile Ass'n, Craig Koll, David McCray, Edward Dougherty, Jamie McCray.

Keith Burron, Assoc. Legal Group, Cheyenne, WY, Lynda G. Cook, Cheyenne, WY, Patrick J. Crank, Cheyenne, WY, Thomas John Davidson, Cheyenne, WY, Jay A. Jerde, Wyoming Atty. Gen., Water & Natural Resources Div., Cheyenne, WY, for State of Wyoming.

Melinda D. Godwin, Andrea L. Richard, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons, Cheyenne, WY, for Intern. Leisure Hosts, Ltd.

Andrew Emrich, Lauren Fischer, Martin J. LaLonde, Dept. of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Div., Washington, DC, Thomas Roberts, U.S. Attorney's Office, Cheyenne, WY, for Director of Nat. Park Service, Regional Director of Intermountain Region, National Park Services, John D., Rockefeller, Superintendent, Yellowstone Nat. Park, U.S. Dept. of Interior Fish Wildlife and Parks Assist. Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Interior secretary.

Douglas Honnold, Timothy J. Preso, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund, Bozeman, MT, Steve Jones, Wyoming Outdoor Counsil, Lander, WY, Alan B. Minier, State Bd. of Equalization, Cheyenne, WY, for Bluewater Network, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, National Parks Conservation Ass'n, Natural Resources Defense Council, Wilderness Society.

Gay Vanderpoel Woodhouse, Gay Woodhouse Law Office, Cheyenne, WY, for State of Montana.

ORDER ON PLAINTIFF-INTERVENOR'S MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER and FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION and PLAINTIFF ISMA'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

BRIMMER, District Judge.


This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff-Intervenor State of Wyoming's

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Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and For Preliminary Injunction and on Plaintiffs International Snowmobile Manufactures Association et. al.'s Motion for Preliminary Injunction. After reading the briefs, hearing oral argument, and being fully advised of the premises, the Court FINDS and ORDERS as follows:

Statement of Parties and Jurisdiction

Plaintiff International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association ("ISMA") is an organization of snowmobile manufacturers established in 1995. Plaintiff Blue Ribbon Coalition, Inc. is an Idaho non-profit organization representing over 1,055 businesses and organizations with approximately 600,000 members nationwide. Plaintiff Wyoming State Snowmobile Association ("WSSA") was established 30 years ago and is based in Jackson, Wyoming. WSSA has approximately 20 member clubs with approximately 2,000 individual members. Plaintiffs David and Jamie McCray are long-time residents of West Yellowstone, Montana, and have guided tours and rentals available for viewing Yellowstone. Plaintiff Craig Kroll, resident of Jackson, Wyoming for fourteen years, owns Old Faithful Tours ("Old Faithful"), a small business located in Jackson, Wyoming. These Plaintiffs are collectively referred to as "ISMA Plaintiffs." Plaintiff-Intervenor State of Wyoming ("Wyoming") intervened in this matter based on socioeconomic and state sovereignty concerns. The State of Montana has recently asked this Court for permission to intervene as a Plaintiff in this case based on socioeconomic and other interests. The State of Montana did not participate in the briefing or oral arguments on either Plaintiff-Intervenor Wyoming's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and for Preliminary Injunction or Plaintiff ISMA's Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

Defendant Gale Norton is sued in her official capacity as Secretary of the Department of the Interior; Defendant Joseph Dodderidge is sued in his official capacity as Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Park; Defendant Dennis Galvin is sued in his official capacity as Acting Director, U.S. National Park Service; Defendant Karen Wade is sued in her official capacity as Regional Director, Intermountain Region National Park Service; Defendant Michael Finley is sued in his official capacity as Superintendent, Yellowstone National Park; Defendant Jack Neckels is sued in his official capacity as Superintendent, John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park. These Defendants will be collectively referred to as "Federal Defendants."

The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, Blue Water Networks, and Natural Resources Defense Council (collectively referred to as "GYC Defendant-Intervenors") intervened in this matter as Defendants pursuant to this Court's Order Granting Motion to Intervene of February 9, 2001. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition is a conservation group dedicated to protecting the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and has submitted briefs on behalf of the four other Defendant-Intervenors. Blue Water Networks withdrew from participation in this case pursuant to this Court's Order to Withdraw filed January 22, 2004.

The Court exercises federal question jurisdiction. 28 U.S.C. § 1331. Venue is proper. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), (e).

Factual Background

This case ultimately stems from a 1997 lawsuit brought by the Fund for Animals against the National Park Service ("NPS") alleging that Yellowstone's winter use plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") and the Endangered Species Act ("ESA"). A settlement agreement

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was reached in 1997 in which the NPS agreed to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement ("EIS") addressing the issues of snowmobile use and trail grooming in Yellowstone. As a result of that litigation the NPS released a Draft EIS on winter use in the Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway (collectively referred to as "Yellowstone" or the "Parks"). The Draft EIS was released on September 29, 1999. The Draft EIS contained seven alternatives. Alternative A continued the existing historic winter use program of no restriction on snowmobile access. Alternative B, the NPS's preferred alternative, allowed continued use of snowmobiles, subject to new standards to reduce emissions and noise. Alternatives C through F allowed continued use of snowmobiles with various standards for reducing emissions and noise. Alternative G emphasized the use of clean and quiet over snow access to the parks using the technologies available today.

Between December 15, 1999, and March 12, 2000, the NPS prepared a revised version of Alternative G, which included an outright ban on all recreational snowmobile use in the Parks, restricted access to the Parks solely to NPS operated snowcoaches, and provided for additional road closures.

In October 2000, the NPS published the Final EIS for winter use in Yellowstone. The Final EIS was published in its entirety on the internet on October 10, 2000, however, notice of the availability of the Final EIS was not published in the Federal Register until October 31, 2000. See Notice, Winter Use Plans, Final EIS, 65 Fed.Reg. 64986 (October 31, 2000). The Final EIS made Alternative G the preferred alternative, this alternative called for a ban on snowmobiles in the Park and replaced snowmobile use exclusively with NPS operated snowcoaches. After the publication of the Final EIS the public was given until October 31, 2000, to comment. On November 22, 2000 the NPS issued its Record of Decision ("2000 ROD"), adopting the Final EIS preferred alternative, which would eliminate snowmobile use in the Parks beginning in the 2002-2003 season and cutting snowmobile use by 50% in the 2001-2002 season. See Record of Decision, Winter Use Plans, 65 Fed.Reg. 80,908 (November 22, 2000).

On December 18, 2000 the NPS published the Proposed Rule for implementing a ban on snowmobile use in the Parks. See Proposed Rule, 65 Fed.Reg. 79024-34 (December 18, 2000). The period for public comment was open until January 17, 2001. Then, on January 18, 2001, the last day of the Clinton Administration, the final rule ("2001 Snowcoach Rule") was issued, implementing the provisions of the 2000 ROD. See Snowcoach Rule, 66 Fed.Reg. 7260, 7268 (January 22, 2001).

Procedural Background

On December 6, 2000, ISMA along with other interested parties filed suit in this Court challenging the 2000 Final EIS, 2000 ROD, and 2001 Snowcoach Rule. The State of Wyoming intervened as a plaintiff in the action, based on its interest in protecting the citizens of Wyoming. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition, National Parks Conservation Association, The Wilderness Society, Blue Water Networks, and Natural Resources Defense Council intervened as defendants to this action.

In June 2001, ISMA, Wyoming and the Federal Defendants entered into a Settlement Agreement ("2001 Settlement Agreement"). The NPS agreed to prepare a supplemental EIS, taking into consideration new snowmobile technologies not included in the 2000 Final EIS. At the request of the parties, this Court stayed the

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litigation pending completion of the supplemental EIS process.

In November 2002, the NPS issued a rule postponing the implementation of the 2001 Snowcoach Rule until the NPS completed the supplemental EIS (the "2002 Rule"). See Final Rule, 67 Fed.Reg. 69,473 (November 18, 2002). The 2002 Rule allowed unlimited snowmobile access for the 2002-2003 snowmobile season, but provided limited daily entries of snowmobiles during the 2003-2004 season to 493 snowmobile entries per day in Yellowstone and a total of 543 snowmobiles entries...

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6 practice notes
  • Defenders of Wildlife & Nat'l Wildlife Refuge Ass'n v. N.C. Dep't of Transp., No. 2:11–CV–35–FL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • September 16, 2013
    ...to assert that a decision made pursuant to political pressure is arbitrary and capricious. Int'l Snowmobile Mftrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1291 (D.Wyo.2004). In that case, the court granted a preliminary injunction based in part upon the fact that a draft EIS concluded that sno......
  • Northwest Bypass v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil No. 06-CV-00258-JAW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • January 5, 2007
    ...deference where they "prejudged the . . . issues." 302 F.3d 1104, 1112 (10th Cir.2002); see Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1291 Plaintiffs allege that the Corps prejudged the issue when it took part in a "decisive private meeting" on August 15, 2001, attended by......
  • Wyoming Lodging v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, No. 04-CV-315-B.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Wyoming
    • October 14, 2005
    ...F.Supp.2d 1249 (D.Wyo.2004); Fund for Animals v. Norton, 323 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C.2004); Int'l Snowmobile Manufacturers Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278 (D.Wyo.2004); Fund for Animals v. Norton, 294 F.Supp.2d 92 The Fund for Animals organization brought the first snowmobile suit against th......
  • State v. U.S. Dep't of the Interior, Case No. 2:15–CV–043–SWS (Lead Case)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • September 30, 2015
    ...to be heard on the merits." Kansas v. U.S., 249 F.3d 1213, 1227 (10th Cir.2001). See also Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1287 (D.Wyo.2004) (National Park Service regulation adversely affecting State of Wyoming's ability to manage its trails program and fish popu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Defenders of Wildlife & Nat'l Wildlife Refuge Ass'n v. N.C. Dep't of Transp., No. 2:11–CV–35–FL.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. Eastern District of North Carolina
    • September 16, 2013
    ...to assert that a decision made pursuant to political pressure is arbitrary and capricious. Int'l Snowmobile Mftrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1291 (D.Wyo.2004). In that case, the court granted a preliminary injunction based in part upon the fact that a draft EIS concluded that sno......
  • Northwest Bypass v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Civil No. 06-CV-00258-JAW.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of New Hampshire
    • January 5, 2007
    ...deference where they "prejudged the . . . issues." 302 F.3d 1104, 1112 (10th Cir.2002); see Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1291 Plaintiffs allege that the Corps prejudged the issue when it took part in a "decisive private meeting" on August 15, 2001, attended by......
  • Wyoming Lodging v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, No. 04-CV-315-B.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Wyoming
    • October 14, 2005
    ...F.Supp.2d 1249 (D.Wyo.2004); Fund for Animals v. Norton, 323 F.Supp.2d 7 (D.D.C.2004); Int'l Snowmobile Manufacturers Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278 (D.Wyo.2004); Fund for Animals v. Norton, 294 F.Supp.2d 92 The Fund for Animals organization brought the first snowmobile suit against th......
  • State v. U.S. Dep't of the Interior, Case No. 2:15–CV–043–SWS (Lead Case)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 10th Circuit. District of Wyoming
    • September 30, 2015
    ...to be heard on the merits." Kansas v. U.S., 249 F.3d 1213, 1227 (10th Cir.2001). See also Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 304 F.Supp.2d 1278, 1287 (D.Wyo.2004) (National Park Service regulation adversely affecting State of Wyoming's ability to manage its trails program and fish popu......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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