Reducing Mountain Bike Access on National Forests: How Widespread?

I’ve been researching access issues related to National Forests for outdoor recreation and other personal uses (think berry picking, or firewood cutting). In my efforts to give examples of the Forest Service reducing access, I found this piece by John Fisch in 2016. Since I know many Montanans read and contribute to this blog, I’m …

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Shoshone forest plan lawsuit leads to negotiated solution on pack goats

The North American Packgoat Association’s lawsuit reversed a forest plan decision to restrict the use of goats for packing (because of risk of disease spreading to bighorn sheep) based on a procedural violation.  They then got together with the National Wild Sheep Foundation and other stakeholders to work out a new plan, which the Shoshone …

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Recreational Shooting on National Forests- Bad Actors and the Urbanizing Forest

Since I’ve been exploring the topic of personal-use recreational access to National Forests, I’ve thought about how different the discussion is compared to the others multiple uses. There are environmental issues, public safety issues and what we might call “annoying to neighbors” issues.  These issues, for the most part, don’t seem to attract the attention of the …

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FS preparing for more timber wars?

An interesting observation from an attendee at a meeting on the Medicine Bow National Forest (that may or may not have been “public”): “During the meeting, the forest service representatives discussed a plan from Washington, D.C., to harvest more trees in national forests…” Things do get lost in translation from meetings to attendees, to reporters, …

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Case on forest plan wilderness recommendations

Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club v. U. S. Forest Service (Mentioned by Brian Hawthorne here, with links to an article and the opinion.) This case was about the decision in the 2015 revised Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forest plans to recommend (to Congress) areas for wilderness and to manage them to protect their wilderness values.  The …

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Another September case

Wild Wilderness v. Allen seems to have not shown up on the Forest Service litigation reports, but here is a newspaper version.  On Sept. 8, the Ninth Circuit found that the decision to build the Kapka Sno-Park, a parking lot for snowmobile users on the Deschutes National Forest, was consistent with the forest plan and …

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R.I.P. Shovel Brigade?

The Jarbridge Road in Nevada is back under the control of the Forest Service. A federal judge in Reno ruled against rural Elko County this week — again — and closed the 18-year-old case stemming from a sometimes volatile feud over the road in remote wilderness near the Idaho line. It began in 1999 when …

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Forest planning for hunting

“A number of environmental groups, including the Endangered Species Coalition, want to keep hunters who use packs of dogs out of public lands in Wisconsin, including the state’s national forests.  The groups say the hunters and their dogs have made the public lands inhospitable, and they want the federal government to launch an investigation into …

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“Hunting group sues to stop Ochoco off-road trails”

This is about the Ochoco Summit Trail System Project: The project proposes to designate a trail system in the Ochocos specifically for off-highway vehicles. The trail would be open seasonally and it would be built using mostly existing roads and trails tied together by some currently open roads. It would be a system where motorcycles, …

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Study: Colorado’s 14ers more popular than initially estimated

And now, for something completely different. From the Colorado Springs Gazette here.. The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative on Friday released a follow-up to a first-of-its kind study from 2016, which estimated the state’s 54 tallest mountains experienced 260,000 hiker days a year. Now, the nonprofit stewarding the mountain trails says that figure is closer to 311,000. …

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