Rico/West Dolores Litigation
We have recently fielded some inquiries regarding the ongoing Rico West Dolores lawsuit and wish to provide a quick update. We realize that progress has been slow, but this is unfortunately typical in federal court litigation of this nature. The good news is that the case is entering a meaningful phase of activity, during which our claims and other fruits of the collective effort between SJTR-PAPA-TPA will be more apparent.
The case has been moving through the housekeeping and scheduling phase, culminating in production and refinement of the administrative record, which consists of the thousands of page views of documents and information upon which the Court’s review will be based. Under the recently modified (and hopefully final) schedule, our opening legal briefs will be filed on August 2, 2019. The Forest Service will respond to both Petitioner briefs on October 4, 2019. We will be able to file a separate response to the WildEarth Guardian et al. Petitioner brief on October 18, and then will be able to file a reply brief in support of our own case on November 1. The parties have jointly requested oral argument, which will be heard at the Court’s discretion, which would likely be in late 2019 or early 2020.
As we have previously noted, we are deeply grateful for the unprecedented support of this effort and the very successful donation campaigns from our memberships (SJTR and PAPA) in collaboration with TPA and others. Our members and our lawyers are highly motivated to make a difference in this project and help restore access to some of these critical trails.
We anticipate a relatively short interval between this announcement and our next update, which will follow shortly after August 2 and provide an opportunity for you to review our opening brief on the merits of our case, in addition to the corresponding effort from the WildEarth Guardians, SJCA, Dunton Petitioner group. We are committed to advancing a strong case and vigorously advocating for our essential recreation and access in the Rico West Dolores area and beyond. Your continued membership and financial support is critical in maintaining this strength.
Board of Directors: San Juan Trail Riders, PAPA, Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA)