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Sausalito, City of v. O'Neill

ELR Citation: 34 ELR 20121
Nos. No. 02-16585, (9th Cir., 10/20/2004) Aff'd in part, rev'd in part

The Ninth Circuit held that, except for its claims under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) and the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a city's suit to enjoin the National Park Service's (NPS') development and rehabilitation of a former military base in California is dismissed. The city had standing for all of its claims. Nevertheless, the NPS took the requisite "hard look" under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in developing its plans. In addition, the NPS made an informed decision under the ESA that its plans would not encroach on endangered butterfly habitat or jeopardize its continued existence, its biological assessment for salmonids was adequate, and no harm resulted from the NPS' tardiness in preparing the assessment. The NPS also was not required to seek authorization from the Secretary of the Interior under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and its plans were not at odds with the NPS Organic Act or the Act Establishing the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Nor did the NPS act arbitrarily or capriciously under the Concessions Management Improvement Act or the Omnibus Parks and Public Lands Management Act of 1996. The NPS' consistency determination, however, relied on a general claim of lack of funding and therefore was based on an improper ground under the CZMA. And the city's MMPA claim was remanded because the lower court erroneously held that the city lacked standing and therefore failed to reach the merits of this claim.

[A prior decision in this litigation is digested at 32 ELR 20825.]