Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,400+ case briefs...

Norton v. Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

United States Supreme Court
542 U.S. 55 (2004)



The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) (defendant), an agency within the Department of Interior, is required to manage public funds pursuant to the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA). The FLPMA established a policy in favor of retaining public lands for multiple use management. The term “multiple use management” describes BLM’s task of striking a balance between the competing uses to which land can be put. Under the FLPMA, designated wilderness areas generally cannot have any commercial enterprise, permanent road, motorized vehicles, or manmade structures. Pursuant to the statute, the Secretary of the Department of Interior (defendant) identified certain areas—known as Wilderness Study Areas (WSAs)—to be subjected to further examination and further comment to evaluate their suitability for a wilderness designation. Such an area in Utah was recommended as suitable for a wilderness designation, but Congress failed to act upon the recommendation. The FLPMA provides that, in such a situation, the Secretary continues to manage the land in a manner that does not impair its suitability for preservation as wilderness. Off-road vehicles (ORVs) were being used on the land. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and other organizations (plaintiffs) sued BLM, its Director, and the Secretary, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief for BLM’s failure to act to protect public lands in Utah from damage caused by the use of ORVs. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)

What to do next…

  1. 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 497,000 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.

  2. 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 497,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,400 briefs, keyed to 985 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.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial