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Bear Lodge Multiple Use Ass'n v. Babbitt

Citation: 29 ELR 21083
No. 98-8021, 175 F.3d 814/(10th Cir., 04/26/1999)

The court holds that a group of rock climbers lack standing to challenge as a violation of the Establishment Clause the National Park Service's voluntary closure of Devils Tower National Monument in its final climbing management plan (FCMP). The FCMP asks rock climbers to voluntarily refrain from climbing on Devils Tower during the month of June out of respect for Native American cultural values. The court first holds that the named individual recreational climbers whose climbing activities have been undeterred by the FCMP have established no injury-in-fact. Even if other members of the group have elected not to climb in June, that decision is one of several choices available under the plan and is not an injury conferring standing. Further, the climbers' fear of an outright climbing ban in June does not satisfy the constitutional requirement for an injury-in-fact, which must be actual or imminent not conjectural or hypothetical.

[Briefs and Pleadings in this litigation are published at ELR BRIEFS & PLEADS. 66645.]

Counsel for Plaintiffs
William P. Pendley
Mountain States Legal Foundation
1660 Lincoln St., Ste. 2300, Denver CO 80264
(303) 861-0244

Counsel for Defendants
Jared A. Goldstein
Environment and Natural Resources Division
U.S. Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 514-2000

Before McKay and Tacha, JJ.