Sierra Club v. Morton

405 U.S. 727, (1972)


The land at issue was part of national forest in California. It is located in the mountains and remained pristine, due largely to its inaccessibility. In the late 1960s, the Forest Service (D) approved a development plan for the land. Under the plan, the land was to be made into a ski resort. The Sierra Club (P) had been following the Forest Service's plan to solicit bids for development of the land. Before bidding began, P unsuccessfully attempted to get a public hearing on the plans and had corresponded with Forest Service officials to express their objections to the plan. Ultimately, P filed suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the proposed development was in contravention of federal laws, as well as injunctions preventing D from granting approval or issuing permits for development. The District Court granted a preliminary injunction in P's favor. D appealed, claiming that P did not have standing to sue and that P did not make a sufficient showing of irreparable injury and likelihood of success on the merits to justify the issuance of a preliminary injunction. The Court of Appeals found in D's favor and reversed the District Court. P appeals.