Off-Road Vehicle Interest Can't Run Over Environmental Concerns

Wednesday, January 09, 2019 5:52 am
January 2019 - Volume 47 Number 1

Utah Shared Access Alliance v. Carpenter, No. 05-4009, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 23745 (Sept. 19, 2006)

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld restrictions that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) imposed on off-road vehicle (ORV) use on federal lands in the state of Utah. In doing so, the court cited the importance of BLM’s duty to maintain the environmental integrity of lands under its jurisdiction.

Facts: Utah Shared Access Alliance (USAALL), an ORV advocacy organization, brought suit under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) after BLM imposed several restrictions on ORV use in certain Utah counties. The restrictions purported to exclude ORV traffic on federal property in order to limit degradation of natural resources and to protect animal habitats. USA-ALL alleged violations of multiple federal statutes, including the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The district court, finding in favor of BLM, concluded that BLM had not violated any of the statutes. That court also found that U[..]