Alaska man can use hovercraft while moose hunting, Supreme Court says


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Justice’s on the nation’s highest court docket reportedly sided unanimously with an Alaskan moose hunter on Tuesday, overturning the rulings of decrease courts in his battle with the Nationwide Park Service (NPS).

“We reverse the choice under and need [John] Sturgeon good looking,” Justice Elena Kagan mentioned in studying a abstract of the choice.

The Supreme Court docket’s ruling stemmed from a 2007 incident when Sturgeon, of Anchorage, Alaska, made use of a hovercraft whereas looking moose alongside the state’s Nation River, which runs within the Yukon-Charley Rivers Nationwide Protect, The Related Press reported.

However Sturgeon was reportedly notified by a number of Park Service rangers on the time that utilizing the hovercraft was illegal. The company had banned hovercraft in different states.


In siding with Sturgeon, the Supreme Court docket mentioned the company was incorrect in prohibiting the usage of an amphibious automobile on a river by way of a nationwide protect.

Of their determination, Justices cited the Alaska Nationwide Curiosity Lands Conservation Act that in 1980 put aside 162,500 sq. miles of land for preservation functions, the outlet mentioned. The legislation reportedly created 10 new nationwide parks, preserves and monuments however mentioned company guidelines wouldn’t apply on state or personal land inside the conservation items that aren’t federally owned.

“Sturgeon can once more rev up his hovercraft in quest of moose,” Kagan wrote.

Sturgeon filed a lawsuit on the matter about 4 years after the incident with the Park Service rangers, though his struggle was rejected within the decrease courts, The Related Press mentioned.


The Supreme Court docket reportedly weighed in on the matter in 2016, noting that the 1980 legislation carved out a number of state-specific exceptions to NPS’s common authority over federally managed preserves and despatched the case again to the ninth Circuit Court docket of Appeals for reconsideration.

That court docket in the end determined the NPS had regulatory authority over a river in a protect, the outlet mentioned. The Supreme Court docket justices rejected that conclusion.

The Related Press contributed to this report.

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