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Defenders of Wildlife v. Everson

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20006
Nos. 18-8061 and 18-8062, (10th Cir., 12/30/2020)

The Tenth Circuit affirmed in part and dismissed in part a lower court ruling in a challenge to actions taken by the National Park Service (NPS) regarding wildlife management on inholdings in Grand Teton National Park. Environmental groups challenged NPS' 2014 determination that a regulation prohibiting hunting in national parks did not apply to the Grand Teton National Park's inholdings, arguing the Service did not possess such jurisdiction and that its determination was contrary to law and arbitrary and capricious. One group also challenged NPS' 2015 approval of a change to the Joint Elk Reduction Program's boundary that removed a certain inholding from the program. The district court had found that the groups failed to show that either of the contested actions was contrary to law or arbitrary and capricious, and thus affirmed the Service's actions. The appellate court found likewise, but also held that the group challenging the change to the elk reduction program lacked standing. It therefore affirmed the district court's ruling with respect to the wildlife regulation determination, but dismissed the portion of the appeal pertaining to approval of the elk reduction program and remanded with instructions to vacate that portion of the ruling.