Court backs hovercraft ban in Alaska's national preserves

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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A federal appeals court says the National Park Service can ban hovercraft - boats propelled by noisy blowers - within national preserves in Alaska.

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision Monday, says the Park Service has regulatory authority over a river in a preserve in Alaska, even if the state claims ownership of the riverbed.

The ruling came in the case of John Sturgeon of Anchorage, a moose hunter who operated his hovercraft on the Nation River within the Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.

Rangers ordered him to stop operating the boat in 2007, and he sued in 2011.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 2016 rejected the reasoning behind an Appeals Court ruling backing the hovercraft ban and sent the case back for reconsideration.

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