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Cape Hatteras Access Preservation Alliance v. Jewell

ELR Citation: 44 ELR 20136
Nos. 2:13-CV-1-BO, (E.D.N.C., 06/20/2014) (Boyle, J.)

A district court upheld National Park Service (NPS) regulations restricting off-road vehicle (ORV) use in North Carolina's Cape Hatteras National Seashore at certain times of the year. Petitioners argued the rule was arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretion, and otherwise not in accordance with the Seashore's Enabling Act. Specifically, they argued that NPS should have further considered ORV management in areas deemed to be especially adaptable for recreational use. But they failed to point to any basis for such a claim. Petitioners also argued that NPS violated NEPA. But they failed to demonstrate that NPS' "no action" alternative selections were arbitrary or capricious. In addition, NPS took the appropriate hard look at the socioeconomic impact of its proposed activities, and its decisions were based on sound scientific data.