Sharetrails Archive Site
Return to Current Site

Court Releases Final Decision on Eldorado National Forest Lawsuit

July 31, 2012 4:17 PM

SACRAMENTO, CA (July 31)-- The Eldorado National Forest is free from preservationist litigation attacking a Travel Management Plan that originally closed just over 900 miles of roads and trails.   Today Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton issued his final order and judgment in a case originally filed in 2009. 

The Court's May 2011 decision on the merits largely upheld the Eldorado travel management decision, denying preservationist demands for even more closures. Sadly, the court required further proceedings to address Endangered Species Act procedures concerning 42 routes that cross meadows.  Today's order and final judgment, which terminates the case, determines that the Forest has fully complied with any Endangered Species Act concerns and adopts the Forest Service's proposed remedy over preservationist objections for continued travel along the meadow routes.  According to the Forest Service, the meadow routes encompass a total of about 135 miles.  Under today's order, access will be restored on about 46 miles of those routes, while about 89 miles will remain closed."

Pro-access recreation groups are disappointed with the order but glad to see the case concluded.  Several key organizations participated in this suit and decades of litigation involving the Eldorado, including the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4), California Enduro Riders Association, District 36 of the American Motorcyclist Association and the BlueRibbon Coalition.  Mark Cave, President of Cal4, observed, "We're concerned these closures are unnecessary and issued without legally required findings.  But the "interim" status was complete closure of the 42 routes, so even this result is a step forward that allows some access." The Forest is completing renewed analysis and will issue a new decision on these routes.

Cave used the "David versus Goliath" analogy to describe how difficult it is to prevail against the well funded preservationist efforts. Still, none of the groups involved are willing to give up. "We encourage interested parties to stay in the loop, participate in the ongoing management process and help support whatever next steps the recreation groups decide to take." Cave added.
 
The case is entitled Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. CV-09-2523.  A copy of the Court's order including a description of the 42 meadow routes may be viewed at http://archive.sharetrails.org/uploads/112-Order_on_remedy.07.31.12.pdf.

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

May 31, 2016 3:24 PM
Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains

BOISE, ID (May 31, 2016) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

Read more...
November 23, 2015 3:16 PM
Associated Image

MISSOULA, MT (November 23, 2015) --Various organizations, led by the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club, have filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Forest Service planning efforts on the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  The complaint, filed on November 12, 2015, in federal court for the U.S.

Read more...
November 23, 2015 10:38 AM

POCATELLO, ID (November 23, 2015) – Early last week, the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org joined with other recreation groups in a letter sent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of a balanced approach to managing public lands as part of the Moab Master Leasing Plan.

The letter addressed to BLM serves as formal comments from OHV stakeholders.  It also represents an effort between motorized and non-motorized recreation groups working together for the protection of outdoor recreation resources on public lands.

Read more...
[Press Room Archive]