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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New lawsuit – winter motorized recreation in Idaho

A sneak preview of the September litigation monthly: A lawsuit filed by the Winter Wildlands Alliance and WildEarth Guardians contends that the Bridger-Teton, Boise and Payette national forests improperly used a “grandfather provision” to avoid preparing a new winter travel plan. The U.S. Forest Service historically allowed its forests to forgo winter travel plans, but …

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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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Forest plans and “valid existing rights”

This is about forest plan litigation – sort of.  The Michigan Wilderness Act included a provision protecting “valid existing rights.”  A series of forest plan amendments by the Ottawa National Forest imposed restrictions on motor boat use on a lake that was mostly within a wilderness area but partly touching private land.  A 2007 Forest …

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Forest Service wins 2

The Forest Service turned back a challenge on the Manti-La Sal National Forest to its management of a research natural area in Utah Native Plant Society v. U. S. Forest Service. The state of Utah had introduced mountain goats outside of the national forest boundary, over the objections of the Forest Service that they could …

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Do elk need trees? Maybe.

This is an update to a September 12 post “Do elk need trees?”  The Forest punted the issue to its forest plan revision: http://helenair.com/news/natural-resources/forest-service-withdraws-controversial-big-game-standard/article_e5e22d8b-41f3-535f-94e6-58e098c86958.html The first draft of the proposed Helena-Lewis and Clark revised forest plan punts elk security to project-level decision making. Here’s the draft guideline: “In order to influence elk distribution on NFS …

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Do elk need trees?

For many years, it has been pretty much common knowledge, supported by science, that as the amount of hunting season open roads increases, there is more need for cover for elk to hide.  The Helena National forest plan (and others) have incorporated this relationship into standards for elk security.  (Full disclosure – I had something …

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Another classic settlement

A follow up to an earlier post on ATV litigation on the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. “Under the settlement, the Forest Service agreed not to authorize public use to all-terrain vehicles without first completing an assessment of environmental effects. The agency also agreed to re-survey routes and remove any remaining signs authorizing ATV use.” “The federal agency …

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