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Wilderness Pub. Rights Fund v. Kleppe

Citation: 9 ELR 20769
No. Nos. 77-1606, -3693, 608 F.2d 1250/13 ERC 2094/(9th Cir., 11/01/1979)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirms judgments of two district courts dismissing suits brought by noncommercial users of the Colorado River challenging the formula by which the National Park Service (NPS) allocates use permits between commercial and noncommercial users. Specifically, appellants charged that the NPS's decision to freeze recreational use of the Colorado at 1972 levels and to allocate only eight percent of such use to noncommercial users violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) and the agency's organic statutory authority. The court finds that the limitation on the use of the river is a matter relating to public property and thus exempt from the rule-making requirements of the APA. The court also finds that as a substantive matter the decision did not exceed the NPS's wide discretionary powers to manage the national parks and is not arbitrary and capricious. The court notes further that the NPS plans to promulgate a new allocation formula in the near future which will significantly increase the allowed use of the river by noncommercial users, thus rendering the present controversy moot.

Counsel for Appellants
Donald Nemir
One Maritime Plaza, San Francisco CA 94111
(415) 421-0400

Bruce Meyerson
112 N. 5th Ave., Phoenix AR 85003
(602) 252-4904

Counsel for Appellees
Richard Alleman, U.S. Attorney
Room 5000, Fed. Bldg., 230 N. 1st Ave., Phoenix AR 85025
(602) 261-3011

Carl Strass
Land and Natural Resources Division
Department of Justice, Washington DC 20530
(202) 633-4427

Before MERRILL and ANDERSON, Circuit Judges, and SKOPIL,* District Judge.