Ninth Circuit Decides Sturgeon Hovercraft Matter on Remand from SCOTUS

Here is the opinion in Sturgeon v. Masica. An excerpt:

John Sturgeon would like to use his hovercraft in a national preserve to reach moose hunting grounds. The State of Alaska is fine with that; the federal government is not. Sturgeon’s case turns on which entity—state or federal—gets to decide the matter. On remand from the Supreme Court, we again conclude that the federal government properly exercised its authority to regulate hovercraft use on the rivers within conservation system units in Alaska.


Alaska Brief

Enviro Groups Brief

Federal Brief

Mentasta Traditional Village et al Brief

Sturgeon Brief

Interior Attorney-Advisor Vacancies with National Park Service

Link to USAJobs announcement SOL-2016-0031 here.

Provides legal counsel and services primarily related to cultural and natural resource management including NAGPRA.

Link to USAJobs announcement SOL-2016-0037 here.

Provides legal counsel and services focused primarily on the Commercial Services Program.

NPS Reopens Comment Period for Proposed Rule

The National Park Service has a proposed rule that would allow members of federally-recognized tribes traditionally associated with specific national parks to gather and remove plant materials from those national parks so long as the tribe and the federal government create an agreement that regulates the practice.

Originally the deadline for comments was July 20, 2015, but today the NPS extended that deadline to midnight September 28, 2015.

Comments for “NPS RIN 1024-AD84” can be submitted online or to the following mailing address:

Joe Watkins, Office of Tribal Relations and American Cultures
National Park Service
1201 I St NW
Washington DC 20005

National Park Service Releases Effigy Mounds Desecration Report



News coverage here.

Federal Court Rules Against Feds in Lower Elwha Fish Hatchery Challenge

Here are the materials in Wild Fish Conservancy v. National Park Service (W.D. Wash.):

153 Wild Fish Conservancy Motion for Summary J

164 Federal Cross Motion for Summary J

191 DCT Order

Prior posts are here, here, here, here, and here.

Federal Court Dismisses Lower Elwha Tribe from Challenge to Elwha Fish Hatchery

Here are the updated materials in Wild Fish Conservancy v. National Park Service (W.D. Wash.):


114 – Tribal Mtn to Dsm – Subject Matter

116 – US Response Tribe Motion Dismiss

117- WFC Response Tribal Motion Dismiss

119 – LEKT Reply to Response – Mtn to Dismiss

Prior posts with materials are here, here, here, and here.

Update in Lower Elwha Fish Hatchery Suit

Here are the additional materials in Wild Fish Conservancy v. National Park Service (W.D. Wash.):

34 Fed Defs’ Reply in Support ofMot to Dismiss FILED 5-4-2012

34-1 Fed Defs’ Ex 7 FILED 5-4-2012

35 Elwha Defs’ Reply in Supportof Mot to Dismiss FILED 5-4-2012

37 Pls’ Surreply to Feds’ Reply re Motion for Partial Dismissal FILED 5-9-2012

Prior posts were here and here and here.

First Tribal National Park Proposed in the Badlands

From the press release:

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis today announced the release of the final General Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the South Unit of Badlands National Park, recommending the establishment of the nation’s first tribal national park in partnership with the Oglala Sioux Tribe.


The South Unit of Badlands National Park is entirely within the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwestern South Dakota. The Park Service and the Tribe have worked together to manage the South Unit’s 133,000 acres for almost 40 years. If a tribal national park is enabled by Congress through legislation, the Oglala Sioux people could manage and operate their lands for the educational and recreational benefit of the general public, including a new Lakota Heritage and Education Center.