Greens Settle|Muir Woods Lawsuit

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Environmentalists who fought a National Park Service plan to build parking lots and bus stops near Muir Woods National Monument have settled their dispute with the government.
     U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer on Oct. 23 approved a stipulation to dismiss Mount Tam Task Force’s lawsuit, which accused NPS of trying “to transform Muir Woods into an amusement park.”
     After the Task Force sued in July, the government canceled a project to build 110 valet parking spaces on a country road, two bus stops on Highway 1 near the redwoods, and a half-mile trail connecting the bus stops to Muir Beach, according to the stipulation.
     If the Park Service decides to reinitiate the project, it must review the project under the National Environmental Protection Act and, at minimum, will prepare an environmental assessment, the stipulation states.
     Mount Tam Task Force claimed in its lawsuit that the Park Service ducked legal requirements for an environmental assessment by invoking categorical exclusions, which are special exceptions for routine actions that do not have significant environmental impact.

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