Judge Strikes Down Plan to Delist Wolves in Three Western States
With 1,200 to 1,400 wolves in 100 packs in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had moved to delist wolves with continuing recovery efforts adopted by each state. On July 18, 2008, a federal judge in Montana reversed the delisting and ordered that gray wolves in the Northern Rockies be returned to the endangered species list. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, restoring federal protections for the wolves. The court ruled that conservation groups who sued are likely to succeed on the majority of their claims that removal of wolves from the federal list of endangered species was unlawful. The decision states that, while the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had stated that genetic exchange between wolf populations in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming was necessary for the wolf's survival, Yellowstone's wolves remain genetically isolated. The Court also said that hunting and state predator-control laws that were initiated with delisting would likely "eliminate any chance for genetic exchange to occur."
One astute observer suggested that wolf delisting had become a political nightmare. "Not enough money is available for the data demanded of the courts in these lawsuits." Plans to begin hunting wolves as a management tool, which was set to start this fall, will be suspended. The Safari Club International and several state outfitter organizations may seek to intervene in the Defenders lawsuit.
Earthjustice filed suit on behalf of Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, and Center for Biological Diversity, The Humane Society of the United States, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance, Friends of the Clearwater, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands Project, Western Watersheds Project, and other groups.
Commonwealth Court Upholds Prohibition of Camp's Use of Lower Yough as a Private Party
In 1998, the Bureau of State Parks reviewed use of the lower Youghiogheny River and rescinded a non profit kids camp's permission to run the river as a private party. The camp's use was classified as "commercial". Both private and commercial use on the Lower Yough is limited with 50% of use dedicated to each user segment. The camp, Summer's Best Two Weeks, admitted to being a commercial entity, but had sued under Section 1 Article 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, claiming that State Parks had violated substantive due process principles by denying them permission to run their trips under a private permit. This week the Court decided that Pennsylvania State Parks' interpretation of its own regulations access was reasonable and that the merits of the regulation were "persuasive", citing a case involving limitations on commercial activity in National Parks (United States v Carter). The Court stated that the Pennsylvania code prohibits commercial activity in any state park without written permission, thereby upholding the State's action to deny access.
Outfitters had provided steeply discounted trips to the camp. More than 100 kid's camps operate within a day's drive of the Yough and their unregulated use under private permits would result in diminished access to private users.
Registration Open for Greatest AO Conference Ever, Our 20th Anniversary, December 3 – 5
"I had the opportunity to hear James Gilmore speak a couple of years ago. It profoundly changed the way that I view my company's recreation service 'experience'. His workshops enabled us to steadily grow our business since then…I won’t miss a word that he has to say at Confluence. Great job in getting such a renowned speaker who is very relevant to our industry." Ted Bilton, Owner, Wild Water Adventures, Canada.
“I guarantee that this year’s program will be the best ever. AO's Marketing and Management Conference (Confluence) will help you grow your business, reduce your operating costs and recharge your batteries in the company of your colleagues from around the world,” said David Brown, Executive Director, America Outdoors. America Outdoors’ Marketing and Management Conference: Confluence opens on December 3rd and continues through Friday afternoon, December 5th. “We saved some of the best for last, so I strongly urge you to attend the Friday afternoon sessions,” said Brown. Plan to arrive in Knoxville on Tuesday, December 2nd and depart no earlier than Saturday, December 6th.
Knoxville is 40 minutes from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park with mountains reaching 6,700 feet. Many great golf courses, outlet mall shopping in a huge retail complex, and ambient temperatures in December make it worthwhile to spend some time in the area.
Click here to see the agenda on the AO website at agenda A PDF of the registration form is on the website. Online registration should be up by early next week. Hotel reservations may be made online at http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/groups/personalized/KNXKHHF-AOC-20081201/index.jhtml or by calling the Hilton at 800-HILTONS or call direct 865-251-2578 (8:00 AM – 4:00 PM, Monday – Friday). Use the code AOC to identify the correct room rate of $86 when making reservations by phone.
We recommend using kayak.com to find the lowest possible airfare. One member reduced the price of his ticket by $500 from Salt Lake through kayak.comFares from Denver are currently as low as $271. Please plan to attend and make your reservations now to get the lowest possible fare.
Utah Supreme Court Decision Allows Fishermen and Others to Access Streambeds through Private Property
The Utah Supreme Court recently decided that the public has the right to walk on stream beds in order to enjoy the recreational benefits of public waters to fish, wade, swim, float and hunt. While the decision represents a victory for recreationists, landowners and homeowners are sure to protest providing access to areas previously considered private property.
The Supreme Court did not define the legal boundaries of the public easement created by a stream bed under Utah law. The public nor the property owner knows exactly how far beyond the water a Utah stream bed extends at any given time, therefore the decision is likely to result in more accusations of trespass and ratchet up the conflicts with property owners. Prior to the decision, Utah law allowed the public to float on the public waters but it was unclear whether they could touch the stream bed if it was privately owned. That effectively kept streams bordered by private lands closed to the public for recreational purposes other than floating. Now, anyone can enter a stream at a public access point, such as a highway bridge, and legally wade or walk up and down the watercourse even if its is bordered by private land. The public is not entitled, however, to tramp across private land other than a stream bed to gain access to a stream.
10% Off on Booth Space for New Exhibitors at ATE Shows
The Adventures in Travel Expos (ATE) has partnered with America Outdoors to provide members with 10% off exhibit booth space for new exhibitors for its highly regarded active and adventure travel shows. ATE is located in top DMA markets including Seattle, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. Over 65,000 highly qualified consumers attend the shows each year. To inquire about the shows and booth space call 203-878-2577 x 108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit www.adventureexpo.comfor dates and locations.
Tennessee Court of Appeals Hears Ocoee River Outfitters Arguments
After a Chancery Court Judge ruled that outfitters had no standing to seek a legal remedy to a Polk County, Tennessee tax on their raft trips, Ocoee outfitters appealed to the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The three judge panel heard oral arguments on July 22. Previously, the Chancery Court judge ruled that since the customer was the tax payer, the outfitters had no standing even though the state law authorizing the tax provided outfitters with legal remedies. A separate law suit filed by a customer was successful in rescinding the tax for this year, but the judges' line of questioning made it unclear whether the outfitters’ appeal effort to gain legal standing in state court to avoid past taxes will be successful.
Latest Email Scams Load Key Loggers from Fake Invoices
Delta Airlines, UPS and McAfee Antivirus have all recently warned about email scams containing Trojan horse key loggers. The same scam allowed a cyber gang, traced to Russia, to gain access to over 1 million personal data files from Monster.com last year. According to COMPUTERWORLD SECURITY the most recent scams pose to be a receipt for an airline ticket.
“The e-mails, which purport to be from an airline, thank the recipient for using a new "Buy flight ticket Online" service on the airline's site, provide a log-in username and password, and say the person's credit card has been charged an amount usually in the $400 range. An attachment claims to be the invoice for the ticket and credit card charge”.
The attachment is a zip file containing a key logger. McAfee says:
“As with previous campaigns, the executable is a new variant of Spy-Agent.bw. Once again, Avert Labs reminds readers to practice safe computing, and never to open unexpected email attachments, or follow unexpected URLs; especially from unfamiliar senders.”
Legislation to Authorize Hunting in National Park Service Unit Passes House. Scheduled for a Vote in the Senate
Hunting is not prohibited in all national parks. While the Congress debates an effort by the NRA to allow guns in National Parks, Representative Rahall (D-WV) has quietly passed legislation in the House that requires NPS to allow hunting in the New River Gorge National River. The bill establishing the New River Gorge unit stated that the Secretary “may” allow hunting. H.R. 5137 changes “may” to “shall”. Although technically, not a national park, local interests are seeking national park status for the area. Hunting is not prohibited, per se, in national parks. The Code of Federal Regulations, Title 36, Volume 1, Parts 1 to 199, states "(2) Hunting may be allowed in park areas where such activity is specifically authorized as a discretionary activity under Federal statutory law if the superintendent determines that such activity is consistent with public safety and enjoyment, and sound resource management principles. Such hunting shall be allowed pursuant to special regulations."