Tag Archives: Earthjustice

Conservationists seek to defend recommended wilderness against snowmobiler lawsuit

NEWS RELEASE: January 25, 2016

CONTACT: Tim Preso, Earthjustice, (406) 586-9699, tpreso@earthjustice.org

Missoula, MT – A coalition of conservationists, represented by Earthjustice, today requested to intervene in a lawsuit filed by snowmobilers that seeks to overturn restrictions on motorized use in recommended wilderness areas on the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

At issue are the Forest Service’s 2015 revised forest management plans for the two forests, which recommended certain rugged and pristine areas for wilderness designation and prohibited motorized use within their boundaries to protect wilderness character and preserve the opportunity for permanent protection under the federal Wilderness Act. Snowmobile interest groups filed a lawsuit in November 2015 that asks a federal judge to overturn these recommended wilderness designations and open the protected areas to motorized use by snowmobiles and four-wheelers.

“Snowmobilers already have access to 86 percent of the Kootenai forest and 70 percent of the Idaho Panhandle forest,” said Earthjustice attorney Tim Preso, who is representing the conservationists. “We are standing up to defend the peace and solitude of the last pockets of wilderness-quality lands in these otherwise heavily logged and motorized forests.”

The recommended wilderness areas at issue include landscapes prized for their outstanding backcountry recreation opportunities, including Scotchman Peaks and Roderick Mountain in Montana and the Mallard Larkins and Selkirk Range in Idaho. These areas are home to mountain goats, grizzly bears, Canada lynx, wolverines, and a wide variety of other species, including the last remnant population of woodland caribou in the continental United States. In total, they constitute just 4 percent of the 2.2-million-acre Kootenai National Forest and 7 percent of the 2.5-million-acre Idaho Panhandle National Forests.

Earthjustice is representing The Wilderness Society, Headwaters Montana, Idaho Conservation League, Montana Wilderness Association, Panhandle Nordic Ski and Snowshoe Club and Winter Wildlands Alliance. The groups seek to defend the Forest Service’s designation of recommended wilderness areas and wild and scenic river eligible areas and its decision to restrict motorized access in these areas.

Earthjustice, the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization, wields the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. Because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Chadwick interview: ‘Keeping the Wolverine Wild’

Last month, the inimitable Doug Chadwick gave an interview on Wolverines to Jessica Knoblauch, content producer at Earthjustice. As always with Doug Chadwick, it was interesting stuff. The conversation is available as a podcast or in transcript. Here’s the lead-in and link to the interview . . .

Doug Chadwick is a wildlife biologist and journalist for National Geographic. As a volunteer for the Glacier National Park Wolverine Project, Doug helped researchers track wolverines, fierce members of the weasel family who regularly face down grizzly bears and eat entire bones for dinner. Despite their ferocity, both climate change and trapping threaten the wolverines’ existence.

Continue to “Keeping the Wolverine Wild” . . .

Two environmental groups claim paving North Fork Road may violate law

The road. Again. This time, the National Parks Conservation Association and Earthjustice are weighing in.

From this week’s Hungry Horse News . . .

Two environmental groups have laid out a legal case against paving a section of the North Fork Road.

The National Parks Conservation Association and Earthjustice have submitted an eight-page letter detailing how paving the road would disturb Glacier National Park.

Read the full article . . .