Supreme Court rules Alaska man can hunt moose on hovercraft

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled unanimously that an Alaska man may use a hovercraft while hunting moose on public land.

The National Park Service had barred John Sturgeon from hunting with the amphibious craft on sections of river that ran through national conservation areas. In its decision, the high court ruled the Park Service could not enforce that ban.


Writing for the majority, Justice Elena Kagan agreed with Sturgeon that Alaska’s Nation River is not public land, and is thus exempt from National Park Service regulations under the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act.

The law, Sturgeon’s lawyers argued, was intended to balance protection of public lands with the needs of Alaskans, and thus bars the Park Service from prohibiting activities “of particular importance to Alaskans.”

The ruling "means Sturgeon can again rev up his hovercraft in search of moose,” Kagan wrote.