Sierra Club v. Lujan
Citation: 19 ELR 21456
No. No. Civ. 89-979 PCT PGR, 716 F. Supp. 1289/(D. Ariz., 07/07/1989)
The court holds that an environmental organization is entitled to a preliminary injunction enjoining the National Park Service (NPS) from proceeding with the construction of a hotel complex on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. The NPS entered into a contract for the construction of a hotel complex on the North Rim in 1984, despite the fact that NPS developed a final master plan in 1976 that confined development on the North Rim to improvements in the efficiency of existing facilities. The court finds that NPS committed to build a new hotel complex on the North Rim in 1984 prior to completing the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and that the record reveals that NPS's subsequent compliance with NEPA was designed to justify the original contract to build. The court holds that NPS's commitment to construct the hotel complex could have resulted in inadequate consideration of alternatives, including not building. The court holds that plaintiff's claim that the record is not complete may have credibility considering NPS's failure to provide the record under the Freedom of Information Act. The court holds that NPS must adhere to its management policies unless waived by the Secretary of the Interior, the Assistant Secretary, or the Director of the Park Service. Finally, the court holds that these findings and conclusions are sufficient to adequately show that the plaintiff will have fair to probable success on the merits, has raised serious questions, and that the balance of hardships strongly favors the plaintiff due to the potential irreparable harm and the public interest.
Counsel for Plaintiffs
Fern Shepard, Mark Hughes
Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, Inc.
1600 Broadway St., Ste. 1600, Denver CO 80202
Counsel for Defendants
Arthur Garcia, Ass't U.S. Attorney
230 N. First Ave., Ste. 4000, Phoenix AZ 85025