From our private database of 33,600+ case briefs...
Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Dabney
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
222 F.3d 819 (2000)
The National Park Service (NPS) (defendant) developed a backcountry-management plan (BMP) for the Canyonlands National Park (park) in Utah. The BMP closed one-half mile of a 10-mile segment of the park’s Salt Creek Road to vehicles, and allowed vehicles to access the rest of the road on a limited basis. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (plaintiff) sued the NPS in district court, claiming that vehicle use would permanently impair the Salt Creek area. The NPS claimed that any impairment would be temporary and that the National Park Service Organic Act (NPSOA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1-18(j), and the Canyonlands National Park Enabling Act (CNPEA), 16 U.S.C. § 271, authorized the NPS to balance park resource conservation with visitor enjoyment. The district court reviewed the NPS’s interpretation of the NPSOA and CNPEA under the first step of the Chevron test. The district court found that the NPSOA and CNPEA clearly prevented the NPS from allowing the “significant, permanent impairment” of unique park resources, and enjoined the NPS from allowing vehicle use in the Salt Creek area. Utah Shared Access Alliance and other groups (intervenors) appealed, arguing that the NPSOA was ambiguous and that the district court should have applied the second step of Chevron. The intervenors claimed that an ambiguity arose from language in the NPSOA allowing the NPS to balance competing interests only if park resources remained “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” The NPS did not appeal the district court’s ruling, but submitted a brief arguing that “impairment” meant temporary impairment, which was a change from the NPS’s position in the district court proceedings. The NPS also submitted supporting draft management policies (policies) that were published in the Federal Register.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ebel, 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 602,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead 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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 602,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,600 briefs, keyed to 984 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.