Hovercraft-riding moose hunter's case gets Supreme Court review

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 01, 2015 11:50 AM

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal filed by an Alaskan moose hunter who objected to the U.S. government telling him he cannot ride his hovercraft through a federally owned preserve.

Long-time hunter John Sturgeon contended the federal government cannot prevent him accessing moose-hunting grounds in the Yukon-Charley Preserve because Nation River on which he was traveling is actually owned by the state of Alaska, which allows hovercraft use.

At issue is a U.S. National Park Service regulation that bans hovercraft use in the preserve. The state of Alaska filed court papers supporting Sturgeon's claim.

The regulation has been in place since 1996 but Sturgeon was not prevented from using his hovercraft until 2007. He sued in 2011.

The Supreme Court will review an August 2014 ruling by the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the federal government.

The court will hear oral arguments and decide the case in its new term, which starts on Monday and ends in June.

The case is Sturgeon v. Masica, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-1209.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)