Groups sue to block helicopter use in Frank Church wilderness

Rocky Mountain bull elk

A coalition of environmental groups is not amused with the Forest Service’s plans to use helicopters to tag elk in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness . . .

Three environmental groups sued the U.S. Forest Service to challenge a decision allowing helicopters to land in a central Idaho wilderness area so state wildlife officials can outfit elk with tracking collars.

Wilderness Watch, Western Watersheds Project and Friends of the Clearwater filed the lawsuit Thursday in U.S. District Court in Idaho. They said the federal agency is violating the Wilderness Act and other environmental laws by allowing helicopters into the rugged Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness.

Wilderness areas generally don’t allow mechanized equipment.

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