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
Citation340 F.Supp.2d 1249
PartiesINTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION; Blue Ribbon Coalition, Inc; Wyoming State Snowmobile Association; Edward Dougherty David McCray; Jamie McCray; and Craig Koll, Plaintiffs, State of Wyoming, State of Montana, and International Leisure Hosts d/b/a Flagg Ranch, Plaintiff-Intervenors, v. Gale NORTON, Secretary of the Department of Interior; Joseph Dodderidege, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Park; Dennis Galvin, Acting Director U.S. National Park Service; Karen Wade, Regional Director Intermountain Region National Park Service; Michael Finley, Superintendent Yellowstone National Park; Jack Neckels, Superintendent John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park, Defendants, Greater Yellowstone Coalition; National Parks Conservation Association; the Wilderness Society; and Natural Defense Council, Defendant-Intervenors.
Docket NumberNo. 00-CV-229-B.
Decision Date14 October 2004
340 F.Supp.2d 1249
INTERNATIONAL SNOWMOBILE MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION; Blue Ribbon Coalition, Inc; Wyoming State Snowmobile Association; Edward Dougherty David McCray; Jamie McCray; and Craig Koll, Plaintiffs,
State of Wyoming, State of Montana, and International Leisure Hosts d/b/a Flagg Ranch, Plaintiff-Intervenors,
v.
Gale NORTON, Secretary of the Department of Interior; Joseph Dodderidege, Acting Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Park; Dennis Galvin, Acting Director U.S. National Park Service; Karen Wade, Regional Director Intermountain Region National Park Service; Michael Finley, Superintendent Yellowstone National Park; Jack Neckels, Superintendent John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway and Grand Teton National Park, Defendants,
Greater Yellowstone Coalition; National Parks Conservation Association; the Wilderness Society; and Natural Defense Council, Defendant-Intervenors.
No. 00-CV-229-B.
United States District Court, D. Wyoming.
October 14, 2004.

Page 1250

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1251

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1252

Brandon Lee Jensen, Budd-Falen Law Offices, Cheyenne, Gretchen L. Gaston, William P. Horn, Birch Horton Bittner and Cherot, Washington, DC, for Plaintiffs.

Jay Jerde, Wyoming Attorney General, Water & Natural Resources Division, Cheyenne, WY, for Plaintiff-Intervenor State of Wyoming.

Gay Woodhouse, Gay Woodhouse Law Office, Keith Burron, Associated Legal Group, Cheyenne, WY, for Plaintiff-Intervenor State of Montana.

James R. Walker, Rothgerber Johnson & Lyons, Denver, CO, for Plaintiff-Intervenor International Leisure Hosts Ltd, a Wyoming corporation dba Flagg Ranch.

Andrew C. Emrich, Department of Justice, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Washington, DC, Thomas D. Roberts, U.S. Attorney's Office, Cheyenne, WY, for Defendants.

Abigail M. Dillen, Earthjustice Legal Defense, Bozeman, MT, for Defendant-Intervenors.

ORDER

BRIMMER, District Judge.


The case is before the Court on Plaintiffs and Plaintiff-Intervenors' Petitions for Review of Agency Decision. After considering the administrative record in this case, reading the briefs, hearing oral argument, and being fully advised in 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 has been a resident of Jackson, Wyoming, for fourteen years and 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 ("Montana") intervened as a Plaintiff in this case based on socioeconomic and other interests. International Leisure Hosts d/b/a Flagg Ranch ("Flagg Ranch") intervened in this matter based on economic and other interests. The parties are collectively

Page 1253

referred to as "Plaintiff-Intervenors."

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

Background

Congress established Yellowstone as the Nation's first national park. 16 U.S.C. § 21. In 1882, Congress set aside two million acres "as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." 16 U.S.C. § 21. Then in 1916, Congress established the National Park Service ("NPS") to:

Promote and regulate the use of the Federal areas known as national parks ... as provided by law, by such means and measures as conform to the fundamental purpose of the said parks ... which purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.

16 U.S.C. § 1.

Until 1955, snowplanes were the only oversnow machines used in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. A.R. 28412. In 1955, the NPS launched a program to ease the pressure of summer use and distribute visitors throughout the year. A.R. 28412. The first snowmobiles entered the Park in 1963. A.R. 28412. From 1963 to 1966, the number of snowmobiles in the Parks increased from 1,000 to 5,000. A.R. 28412. In 1968, the NPS developed the first formal winter use policy. A.R. 28415. That policy encouraged and permitted winter use by snowmobiles. A.R. 28415. In 1971, the NPS began grooming snow roads. A.R. 28415. Winter use in the Park has continually increased from that time. During the winter of 1996-97, a large number of bison left the Park. A.R. 28416. Some, but not all, of these bison left on groomed trails. A.R. 28416. Over 1,000 of the bison leaving the Parks were killed in order to protect livestock from the transmission of brucellosis. A.R. 28416.

Those events led to a 1997 lawsuit brought by the Fund for Animals against the NPS alleging that Yellowstone's winter use plan violated the National Environmental Policy Act ("NEPA") and the Endangered

Page 1254

Species Act ("ESA"), which ultimately led to this litigation. A settlement agreement 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 ("DEIS") 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 DEIS was released on September 29, 1999. A.R. 19125. The DEIS contained seven alternatives. Alternative A continued the existing historic winter use program with no restrictions on snowmobile access. A.R. 19133. Alternative B, the NPS's preferred alternative, allowed continued use of snowmobiles, subject to new standards to reduce emissions and noise. A.R. 19133. Alternatives C through F allowed continued use of snowmobiles with various standards for reducing emissions and noise. A.R. 19134. Alternative G emphasized the use of clean and quiet oversnow access to the parks using the technologies available today. A.R. 19134.

In late January 2000, the NPS prepared a revised version of Alternative G, which created snowcoach only access to the Parks, discontinued all motorized use on Jackson Lake and provided for additional road closures.

In October 2000, the NPS published the FEIS for winter use in Yellowstone. The Final EIS ("FEIS") was published in its entirety on the NPS website on October 10, 2000; however, notice of the availability of the FEIS was not published in the Federal Register until October 31, 2000. See Notice, Winter Use Plans, FEIS, 65 Fed.Reg. 64986 (October 31, 2000). The FEIS 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 FEIS, the public was given until October 31, 2000, to comment. Then, on November 22, 2000, the NPS issued its Record of Decision ("2000 ROD"), adopting the FEIS preferred alternative, which would have eliminated snowmobile use in the Parks beginning in the 2002-2003 season and cutting snowmobile use by 50 percent 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).

On December 6, 2000, ISMA, along with other interested parties,...

To continue reading

Request your trial
8 practice notes
  • Guardians v. United States Fish And Wildlife Serv., No. 08-2226.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • 7 Julio 2010
    ...subterfuge designed to rationalize a decision already made.” Metcalf, 214 F.3d at 1142; accord Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1257-58 (D.Wyo.2004); see also 40 C.F.R. § 1502.2(g) (“Environmental impact statements shall serve as the means of assessing the environ......
  • Friends of Bethany Place v. City of Topeka, No. 100,997.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • 22 Enero 2010
    ...when the agency failed to assess or study the feasibility of a proposed alternative (International Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1259 [D. Wyo.2004]); when the agency failed to consider the possible availability of public funding for a proposed alternative (Benton Fra......
  • Wyoming Lodging v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, No. 04-CV-315-B.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Wyoming
    • 14 Octubre 2005
    ...parties.2 See, e.g., Fund For Animals v. Norton, 352 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C.2005); Int'l Snowmobile Manufacturers Ass'n v. Norton, 340 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......
  • Nehemiah Corp. of America v. Jackson, No. CIV. S-07-2056 LKK/DAD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 3 Marzo 2008
    ...remand the proceeding to be redone without the participation of the biased official. See, e.g., Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1266 (D.Wyo. 2004) (vacating and remanding for further Here, on June 5, 2007, Bloomberg News published an article indicating that HUD "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
8 cases
  • Guardians v. United States Fish And Wildlife Serv., No. 08-2226.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • 7 Julio 2010
    ...subterfuge designed to rationalize a decision already made.” Metcalf, 214 F.3d at 1142; accord Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1257-58 (D.Wyo.2004); see also 40 C.F.R. § 1502.2(g) (“Environmental impact statements shall serve as the means of assessing the environ......
  • Friends of Bethany Place v. City of Topeka, No. 100,997.
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • 22 Enero 2010
    ...when the agency failed to assess or study the feasibility of a proposed alternative (International Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1259 [D. Wyo.2004]); when the agency failed to consider the possible availability of public funding for a proposed alternative (Benton Fra......
  • Wyoming Lodging v. U.S. Dept. of Interior, No. 04-CV-315-B.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Wyoming
    • 14 Octubre 2005
    ...parties.2 See, e.g., Fund For Animals v. Norton, 352 F.Supp.2d 1 (D.D.C.2005); Int'l Snowmobile Manufacturers Ass'n v. Norton, 340 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......
  • Nehemiah Corp. of America v. Jackson, No. CIV. S-07-2056 LKK/DAD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • 3 Marzo 2008
    ...remand the proceeding to be redone without the participation of the biased official. See, e.g., Int'l Snowmobile Mfrs. Ass'n v. Norton, 340 F.Supp.2d 1249, 1266 (D.Wyo. 2004) (vacating and remanding for further Here, on June 5, 2007, Bloomberg News published an article indicating that HUD "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT