The following is from the BlueRibbon Coalition, regarding the lawsuit filed in defense of land use in Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest:
PORTLAND, OR (September 28, 2017)–Off-highway vehicle groups have 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.
A response to the motion is due in mid-October. It is likely that the merits of the case will be presented to the Court in early 2018.
“This project reflects excruciating analysis and patience by the agency and affected user groups,” said Larry Ulrich, President of the Ochoco Trail Riders. “This decision does not imperil wildlife or threaten new motorized access. It reduces historical trail mileage, and the approved trails are carefully designated to minimize impacts to resources and provide a spectrum of visitor opportunities. This is a state of the art effort by the Forest Service which should be applauded, not overturned.”
The Trail Riders are joined in the motion by the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association, the Deschutes County 4 Wheelers, the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, and the BlueRibbon Coalition. The vehicle groups are seeking to defend the decision in court alongside the U.S. Forest Service. They are represented by Paul Turcke of Boise, Idaho.