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Conservation Law Found. of New England v. Secretary of the Interior

Citation: 19 ELR 20631
No. No. 88-1720, 864 F.2d 954/(1st Cir., 01/05/1989)

The court holds that a National Park Service management plan allowing restricted use of offroad vehicles (ORVs) on Cape Cod National Seashore is valid. The court first holds that the Secretary of the Interior rationally decided that ORV use under the plan is an appropriate public use of the seashore under § 7 of the Cape Cod National Seashore Act. The Act's requirement that the seashore be preserved does not mean that any development altering its scenery is inappropriate. Before approving the plan, the Secretary carefully analyzed the appropriateness of ORV use, considered its impact on the seashore's aesthetic and scenic values, and imposed significant restrictions on it. The court next holds that there is adequate support for the Secretary's determination that ORV use under the plan does not adversely affect natural, aesthetic, or scenic values at the seashore in violation of Executive Orders 11644 and 11989. The Secretary considered the protection of natural values and restricted ORV use to protect those values. The Secretary also rationally determined that ORV use has caused no significant ecological damage at the seashore since implementation of the plan, and thus that the plan effectively protects the seashore's ecology.

Counsel for Appellant
Douglas I. Foy, Stephen H. Burrington
Conservation Law Foundation
3 Joy St., Boston MA 02108
(617) 742-2540

Counsel for Appellees
Martin J. Suuberg
U.S. Department of Interior, Rm. 6560, Washington DC 20240
(202) 343-4344

Before BOWNES and BREYER, Circuit Judges, and CAFFREY,* Senior District Judge.