Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance v. Thompson
811 F.Supp. 635 (D. Utah 1993)
The Animal and Plant Health
Inspection Service (APHIS) (part of the Department of the Interior) had
developed an Animal Damage Management Plan (ADM) that authorized Animal
Damage Control (ADC) methods that included killing coyotes and other
predators in a National Forest.
APHIS was doing it to stop
the predators from eating livestock in the area.
APHIS got their authority
from the Animal Damage Control Act of 1931 (ADCA)(7
Pursuant to the National
Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), APHIS had written an Environmental
Assessment (EA), and found no significant impact from the killing.
Environmental groups (led by
SUWA) sued for an injunction.
SUWA argued that the ADCs
were neither necessary nor effective (and so it was arbitrary and
SUWA also argued that the EA
was insufficient because it did not consider a full range of alternatives
to killing things or the cumulative impacts.
The Trial Court denied the
The Trial Court found that
APHIS had a rational basis for implementing the ADC (so it was not
arbitrary and capricious), and the Court would defer to Agency judgment.
See Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
v. Natural Resources Defense Council
(467 U.S. 837 (1984)).
The Court found that the EA
satisfied the requirements of NEPA.