Governor Gordon applauds court ruling that the state has not ceded jurisdiction of Grand Teton National Park inholdings

(Cheyenne, WY) – Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department applaud Wednesday’s ruling by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upholding Chief Judge Scott Skavdahl’s decision that the National Park Service (NPS) regulations prohibiting the taking of wildlife do not apply to private inholdings within the exterior boundary of Grand Teton National Park (GTNP). 

The State of Wyoming defended its authority, when groups had originally challenged the National Park Service’s decision about the inholdings and the NPS decision that removed certain private lands from the Joint Elk Reduction Program administered by NPS and Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Judge Skavdahl’s decision found the state of Wyoming did not take legislative action to cede its jurisdiction over the inholdings to the federal government.  The groups appealed this decision to the 10th Circuit where they lost on appeal. 

“I am most gratified that the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recognized that the State of Wyoming has not ceded its authority to the National Park Service regarding inholdings within Grand Teton National Park,” said Governor Gordon. “This is a critical underpinning for wildlife management in this part of Wyoming and gives due recognition to joint management and the strong relationship we have with GTNP, which has always been important to Wyoming.”

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The 10th Circuit also determined the plaintiff groups’ lacked standing to challenge the Elk Reduction Program and therefore instructed the lower court to vacate that portion of the judgement and dismiss the claim without prejudice.  

“This affirms what we believe has been the case all along with regards to wildlife management authority and responsibility in the Park, and this is good news for the state of Wyoming,” said Brian Nesvik, Game and Fish Director. 

The State’s litigation funding came from the Federal Natural Resource Policy Account.

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