SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – The Wilderness Society and the Great Old Broads for Wilderness deserve to intervene in a settlement between the federal government and Elko County, Nev., in their efforts to repair a road, the 9th Circuit ruled.
During the settlement proceedings between the U.S. Forest Service and Elko County, the Wilderness Society and other environmental groups supported the county.
Judge Schroeder ruled that the environmentalists should have been full parties to the lawsuit in order to advocate their position.
Schroeder vacated the district court’s ruling in the quiet title case, which approved the compromise between the parties. The plan stated that the county would only work on a road leading to a wilderness area if it received approval from the Forest Service.
The federal government originally filed the suit in 1999 after it feared the adverse effect of road work by the county’s “Shovel Brigade.” The bull trout population in the river next to the roadway could be compromised, the government alleged.