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Eiseman v. Andrus

ELR Citation: 7 ELR 20802
Nos. No. 77-177 Pct. WPC, 433 F. Supp. 1103/(D. Ariz., 07/12/1977)

Granting defendants' motion for summary judgment, the court upholds the Park Service's restrictions on recreational use of the Colorado River running through the Grand Canyon. Due to intensified use of the Colorado River and threatened ecological damage, the Department of the Interior has established an interim management plan with a limited number of user days pending completion of research and a final plan. Plaintiffs, who have been denied permits to run the river privately, challenged defendants' authority to allocate permits between commercial and non-commercial users. The court concludes that defendants' allocation was not a rule making that required compliance with the Administrative Procedure Act because the regulation authorizing the Park Service to limit travel on the Colorado River was broad enough to allow defendants to choose the allocation scheme in dispute. The allocation of usage has a rational basis in historic usage patterns and furthers the legitimate governmental objective of providing the greatest possible public enjoyment subject to the ecologically necessary overall limitations. Allocating usage between private and commercial users does not violate the equal protection guarantees implicit in the Fifth Amendment because there is a rational basis for the two classifications.

Counsel for Plaintiffs
Bruce Meyerson
Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest
112 N. Fifth Ave., Phoenix AZ 85003
(602) 252-4904

Counsel for Defendants
Richard S. Allemann, Ass't U.S. Attorney
Rm. 5000, Federal Bldg., 230 N. First Ave., Phoenix AZ 85025
(602) 261-3011