This is a guest post from regular commenter John Persell. -mk
Here’s the link to the Oregonian story: “Federal judge in Idaho agrees with skiers, says snowmobile excemption is arbitrary.”
The meat of the court’s decision is in the last several pages, but the intro provides good background on how travel management came about on public lands.
This is a very satisfying victory for many who have advocated for management of snowmobiles and motorized travel in general on national forests, and is the result of great work by Advocates for the West on behalf of the Winter Wildlands Alliance. It is not clear yet whether the Forest Service will appeal to the 9th Circuit or comply with the 180-day timeframe ordered by the judge.
The judge’s straightforward decision highlights some truly head-scratching plain language twists the Forest Service attempted to use. The case also raises questions as to why the current administration chooses to defend some of the previous administration’s actions (as here) but not others (the 2008 NFMA planning rule).