Recreation groups file lawsuit over travel restrictions in Bitterroot National Forest

Excerpt from the Missoulan – click link to read entire article

Seven multiple-use recreation groups have filed suit seeking to force the Bitterroot National Forest to redo its travel plan signed last May.

In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Missoula, the groups say Bitterroot Forest officials ignored key input by the public and violated existing statutes and policies in developing the plan that establishes where motorized travel is allowed.

Bitterroot Forest officials spent more than nine years developing the plan after considering 13,400 comments. It shut off thousands of acres of areas classified as Wilderness Study Areas to snowmobilers, ATV riders and mountain bikers.

The groups that filed suit include the Bitterroot Ridge Runners Snowmobile Club, Ravalli County Off-Road User Association, Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, Montana Snowmobile Association, Citizens for Balanced Use and Backcountry Sled Patriots.

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