Recreationists File Suit to Challenge Grouse Restrictions on Permitted Events



     Contact: Paul Turcke
     Phone: (208) 331-1800
     Date: December 20, 2018

RENO, NV (December 20, 2018) — Recreational organizations today filed a lawsuit challenging restrictions on permits for motorcycle and other vehicle events within the range of the Bi State sage grouse. The grouse is a “distinct population segment” within the larger range of the Greater sage grouse, an iconic bird of the high desert lately distinguished by high controversy over its status and continuing management.  

The lawsuit focuses on changes made by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest as part of a settlement with special interest led by the Center for Biological Diversity. Under the settlement, the Forest Service agreed that motorcycle or other off-road vehicle events would not be authorized on routes passing within 4 miles of grouse breeding sites at any time of day between March 1 and June 30. The lands affected by the event stipulations are in extreme northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Sierra Trail Dogs Motorcycle and Recreation Club, the Pine Nut Mountains Trails Association, the American Motorcyclist Association District 36, California Four Wheel Drive Association and the BlueRibbon Coalition.

“Riding on existing dirt roads and single-track trails was acknowledged to be no more than a tertiary threat to grouse, even during the height of Obama ‘Grouseketeer’ planning,” observed Jim Fulling, planner for the Trail Dog’s annual Mystery 250 motorcycle event. “The Forest’s initial plan would have imposed 3 mile buffers around grouse breeding grounds between March 1 and May 15 prior to 10 a.m., when there was at least a rational possibility that birds were on the leks. We would have lived with those requirements, but the Forest sadly caved to the arbitrary restrictions demanded by deep-pocketed preservationists with a proclivity toward litigation. We may be a peashooter to their bazooka, but we see little option but to enter this fray,” Fulling concluded.

The case was filed in the U.S. District of Nevada, Reno Division. The recreational plaintiffs are represented by Paul Turcke of Boise, Idaho, and John Boyden of Reno, Nevada. A copy of the complaint can be viewed here.


The Pine Nut Mountains Trails Association – PNMTA – is a non-profit organization that formed in 1998 in response to
  threat of losing access to our public lands in the Carson Valley. The PNMTA is represents all types of recreational users.  Our members include bicyclists, OHV users, Equestrians, Hunters, and any person that is interested in preserving public lands.

District 36   Motorcycle Sports Committee, Inc. An American Motorcyclist Association Recognized and Chartered District Organization
Founded in 1955 District 36 is a volunteer-based non-profit organization of motorcyclists and like-minded enthusiasts who organize and enhance responsible family recreation and exercise environmental conservation for the purpose of promoting today’s activities
and protecting our sport for the future.

California Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc. Since 1959, our non-profit organization has actively promoted the advancement of vehicle
oriented outdoor recreation. Today, the association represents over 8,000 members and 160 member clubs. We are the largest organization of this type in California and represent owners of all makes and models of 4WD vehicles, as well as non-owners who support responsible
vehicle-oriented recreation.

Sharetrails/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well — all sports; all trails. With members in all 50 states, Sharetrails/BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. –