GREAT FALLS, MONT. (CN) – Off-road vehicle enthusiasts sued the U.S. Forest Service in Federal Court, challenging its ruling that would restrict motor vehicle access to 1,600 miles of roads and trails in Lewis and Clark National Forest, and bar snowmobiles from 436,000 acres.
Plaintiffs say the Forest Service’s 2007 Travel Management Plan unfairly restricts motor vehicles from 45 percent of the routes they formerly were able to use, and from half of the snowmobile territory to which they have become accustomed.
They say the restrictions are “drastic” and particularly unfair because “Organized recreation groups have expended hundreds, if not thousands, of man-hours construction and maintaining trails over decades in the Forest, only to see them close by the ROD [Record of Decision].”
Here are the plaintiffs: Russell Country Sportsmen, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association, Meagher County Little Belters, Great Falls Snowmobile Club, Treasure State Alliance, Motorcycle Industry Council, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, and The Blueribbon Coalition.
Their lead counsel is Robert Cameron with Gough, Shanahan, Johnson of Helena.