FILES INTENT TO
of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Wilderness E-Update #72
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness joined 10 other organizations
in filing a notice of intent to sue Voyageurs National Park (VNP) for
its decision to open 11 bays to snowmobiling.
The notice does not, however, obligate the Friends to later join
a similar suit.
bays were closed in 1992 to snowmobiles to protect the gray wolf, a
listed species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).
The closure was based on biological information demonstrating
adverse impact on wolves. The
closure was upheld by a 1997 decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of
Nov. 28, 2001
, VNP announced the
re-opening of the 11 bays based on a new study of the impact of
snowmobiling on wolves; the study has not been published.
VNP made its decision despite a requirement under federal law
that the agency first consult the U.S. Fish
and Wildlife Service, which oversees protection of the wolf.
Friends supports the intent to sue for the following reasons: 1) to hold
VNP accountable for its failure to consult the Fish and Wildlife
Service, which is mandatory under federal law; and 2) to prevent the
“taking” of, or harm to, wolves in the area.
notice of intent to sue was filed Dec. 21.
No suit may be filed prior to Feb. 21.