Court ruling upholds Wyoming’s jurisdiction of GTNP inholdings

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – On Wednesday, Dec. 30, the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Chief Judge Scoot Skavdahl’s decision that the National Park Services regulations prohibiting the taking of wildlife do not apply to private inholdings within Grand Teton National Park. Governor Mark Gordon and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department support the ruling.

The ruling affirms Wyoming’s jurisdiction on private land within the borders of Grand Teton National Park.  Hunting on private land within the park will remain legal.

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. Challenging wildlife advocacy groups appealed this decision to the 10th Circuit where they lost on appeal.

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

“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 Grand Teton National Park, which has always been important to Wyoming.”

The State of Wyoming defended its authority when wildlife advocacy groups originally challenged the National Park Service’s decision about the inholdings and the National Park Service’s decision that removed certain private lands from the Joint Elk Reduction Program administered by the National Park Service and Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

“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.

About The Author

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.

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