Updated on July 3 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Back in May, Andrew Snelling sued Grand Canyon National Park officials after a failed, years-long attempt to get a research permit to collect rocks in the park. Snelling trained as geologist and he is young-Earth creationist who believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible. In his view, the Grand Canyon formed after Noah’s flood.
Snelling has now dropped his case, as reported by the Phoenix New Times, after the park reversed course to issue him a permit for the rocks. In a press release, a lawyer for the Alliance Defending Freedom, the Christian legal advocacy group that helped Snelling file the complaint, applauded the outcome, “We commend Park Service officials, Interior Secretary Zinke, and the Trump administration for understanding that specifically targeting Dr. Snelling’s faith as the reason to stop his research was both inappropriate and unconstitutional.”
The National Park Service confirmed that it has issued a permit for Snelling’s August 6 rafting trip in the park. “Issuance of the administrative launch permit neither implies an admission of fault by the NPS nor does it set a precedent for future issuance of administrative launch permits,” a spokesperson said in a statement.