Herr v. United States Forest Services
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
865 F.3d 351 (2017)
David and Pamela Herr (plaintiffs) owned a lakefront property on Crooked Lake, which they purchased in 2010. Landowners and visitors had used motorboats on Crooked Lake since the 1940s. The United States government owned most of the land around Crooked Lake, which became part of the federally protected Sylvania Wilderness in 1987. In 1995, The United States Forest Service (defendant) promulgated regulations prohibiting motorboats on the lake. The regulations were subject to valid existing rights. At the time, property owners filed suit and prevailed, obtaining an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the motorboat regulation. In 2013, after the Herrs purchased their property, the Forest Service informed the Herrs that it planned to fully enforce the existing motorboat restrictions. The Herrs brought suit, arguing that the regulation restricted their right to use the lake. The Forest Service maintained that the restriction was reasonable. The trial court upheld the Forest Services’ decision, holding that the Herrs’ rights to use Crooked Lake did not exist at the time the regulations were initially enacted. Thus, according to the trial court, the reservation of valid existing rights did not apply to the Herrs.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sutton, J.)
Dissent (Donald, J.)
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