Denver; February 17, 2022: Today, the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit granted an injunction in a lawsuit challenging the Biden administration’s authority to set wage policy for outdoor recreation companies.  

Now, the minimum wage mandate will not be effective for the entire outdoor industry, while the litigation continues.  

“This ruling helps more than 40,000 companies like Arkansas Valley Adventures who provide seasonal recreational services on federal lands,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Caleb Kruckenberg. “The court recognized that this wage rule doesn’t make sense for the industry, would limit access to the outdoors, and would reduce employment opportunities for people in the industry. More importantly, the court also recognized that the President did not have the authority to issue the rule.” 

Duke Bradford’s business, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), provides a full slate of outdoor experiences that stretch throughout the year—something for every season, including guided, multi-day river rafting wilderness trips in the summer.  

AVA is not a federal contractor and never has been, but the Department of Labor included all businesses that hold a special land use permit to operate on federal lands. 

River rafting on federal lands would have subjected AVA to the new rules, which do not make sense for a seasonal workplace where rafting trips can take days. If the rule had stayed in effect, AVA would have had to cut the length of trips, cut the guides’ hours, or dramatically raised fees, all of which would hurt the livelihoods of Duke and his guides. 

The case is Duke Bradford, et al. v. Secretary Martin J. Walsh, et al. 


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About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 18 wins of 20 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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