Friends of Shawangunks, Inc. v. Clark
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
754 F.2d 446 (1985)
In 1971, the State of New York purchased land bordering Lake Minnewaska (lake) for the creation of a state park. The park was under the jurisdiction of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC). In 1977, the PIPC purchased a conservation easement over the lake and adjacent land, using funding from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund. The funding was authorized by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 (Act), 16 U.S.C. §§ 460l-4 to 460l-11. The easement area included the lake, a non-operational golf course, a golf shop, a water-supply system, and wooded land. The easement area exposed scenic vistas and served as a buffer zone between the park and developed areas, but was not accessible to the public. The easement prohibited the landowner from building or developing new facilities within the easement area. The Marriott Corporation (Marriott) acquired an option to purchase the land in 1980. In 1981, the PIPC resolved to amend the easement to allow Marriott to make certain changes, including a golf-course expansion and increased water usage from the lake. A memo issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior Department) (defendant) in 1978 defined “conversion” to include the conveyance of property interests for non-public outdoor uses. In 1981, the National Park Service (NPS) (defendant) notified the PIPC that federal authorization was not required for the amendment, because the amendment did not constitute a conversion of land to “other than public outdoor recreation uses” under the Act. The Friends of Shawangunks, Inc. and others (plaintiffs) sued the NPS and the Interior Department in district court. The district court held that the amendment was not a conversion, because the easement area was not accessible to the public and was therefore not intended for public, outdoor recreational use under the Act. The plaintiffs appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Oakes, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 175,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.