Oregon – Ochoco National Forest Summit Trail Project
The Ochoco National Forest completed a uniquely thorough and thus protracted process to designate “roads, trails and areas that are open to motor vehicle use” under the Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule (TMR). Unlike most forests, which initially responded to the TMR by starting from a “baseline” of thousands of miles of motorized roads/trails and designating a subset of those for continuing motorized travel, the Ochoco Forest figuratively wiped the slate clean by issuing an order allowing travel on only 26 miles of forested trails and immediately closing 88 percent of the Forest previously available for motorized use.
The Summit Trail Project is the Ochoco’s effort at restoring some level of suitable off-highway vehicle riding opportunity in less than half of the Forest. The Forest issued not one, but two, lengthy (not to mention expensive) environmental impact statements and invested thousands of hours studying/disclosing potential impacts and engaging the public. The fruit of this caution and these efforts is a multi-pronged and occasionally caustic attack from an array of professional advocates, connected organizations, former agency employees, the state wildlife management agency, and spirited individuals.
On September 28, 2017, Off-highway Vehicle groups filed to become parties in a lawsuit involving vehicle access to central Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest. The groups seek to defend the Forest Service’s Summit Trail Project decision, which designates routes for vehicle travel. The case was filed by WildEarth Guardians, Oregon Wild, the Sierra Club, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and is assigned to Judge Patricia Sullivan, in the Pendleton Division of the U.S. District of Oregon…View Case
Utah - Moab and the San Rafael Swell
Will environmentalist lawsuits close Utah’s icon OHV areas such as Moab and the San Rafael Swell? Any reasonable person would assume that even Utah’s radical anti-recreation groups would be happy with the new Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans in Utah. After all, those plans closed nearly half of the existing roads and trails and imposed severe restrictions on all recreational uses, including camping, mountain biking and group rides.
Of course, that assumption would be incorrect. Utah’s environmentalists are not reasonable. No less than eleven Wilderness activist groups, led by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is demanding the federal courts gut the BLM’s new plans, proving once again that no amount of closures is enough for these radicals…View Case
U.S. Forest Service Planning Rule Lawsuit
In August of 2012, the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the California Association of 4Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal 4 Wheel) joined forces with the other forest product and multiple use groups in filing a lawsuit to require the Forest Service to modify its new planning rule to avoid the devastating impact that this rule would have on the health of National Forests, recreational uses of the forests and the economies of communities located near such forests.
The U.S. Forest Service formally adopted new National Forest Planning rules on April 9, 2012. The new regulations shift the agency away from a jobs and ecosystem approach. Instead, the planning rule would cement the National Forests into endless litigation over single species management; an approach that even the agency admits has failed repeatedly in the last three decades…View Case