MISSOULA, Mont. (CN) – The U.S. Forest Service’s approval of a plan to remove 1,000 cubic yards of granite from the Lost Horse Canyon in Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest violates environmental law and threatens to rob rock climbers of “world-class” climbing, the Lost Horse Canyon Coalition claims in Federal Court.
The coalition and Rick Torre claim the Forest Service failed to analyze the removal project’s impact on climbing, local business and sensitive wildlife species, such as the peregrine falcon, bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout.
The Forest Service allegedly curtailed its analysis based on a categorical exclusion for “minor” projects, but the plaintiffs say the agency “failed to explain how the project would be ‘minor’ in light of the predominant recreational use in the area.”
Timothy Bechtold is representing the coalition.