TRAIL RIDERS FILE BRIEF CHALLENGING RICO WEST DOLORES PLAN
Date: August 2, 2019
Denver, CO: Several organizations today filed legal arguments challenging the Rico West Dolores Area Travel Management Project Decision within the San Juan National Forest. The legal brief was filed by the Trails Preservation Alliance, San Juan Trail Riders, and Public Access Preservation Association, whose members enjoy and advocate for motorcycle access along the Area’s prized single-track trails. The Decision closed about 30 percent of those trails, reduced the season of use, eliminated use of key routes and connections, and displaced trail riding to Highway 145. The Trail Riders are challenging these restrictions under the National Environmental Policy Act and Forest Service Travel Management Rule. Preservationist interests including WildEarth Guardians, San Juan Citizens Alliance, Dunton Hot Springs, Inc. and Sheep Mountain Alliance have also filed a suit, contending the agency should have further restricted motorcycle access. The two cases have been consolidated and will be considered together.
“We remain committed to restoring balance and improving the trail experience in the Rico West Dolores Area,” said Gary Wilkinson with the San Juan Trail Riders. “Litigation has unfortunately become an extension of the travel planning process, and we have little choice but to stay this course and continuing to expose the shortcomings and illogic of this flawed Decision,” Wilkinson concluded.
The Trail Riders filed this lawsuit in September, 2018. Under the current schedule, the matter will be fully briefed on November 1, 2019. The parties have requested that they be allowed to present oral argument, but the Court has not yet scheduled a hearing.