Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

California El Dorado Lawsuit

Recommended Posts

PUBLIC ACCESS ATTORNEY SAVES THE DAY

We are cautiously optimistic in the outcome of the resent court hearing and suit brought against the Eldorado National Forest over the recently completed Travel Management Plan Decision. It is clear that forest access could have been further minimized by closures if pro-access interests were not represented. Our attorney out shined the others and save the day. We will have to wait for the final decision by the court. The road and trail designation process is controversial and the Eldorado National Forest is the testing grounds for all other National Forest in California and precedence setting nationwide. Just a small group of committed individuals are carrying the burden of this endeavor that will benefit so many. We are in the red and need your help to cover the cost of public access representation.

Please donate what you can. The key to this fundraising success is having as many pro-access individuals united in this action, so please spread the word.

The BlueRibbon Coalition is managing the Eldorado Legal defense fund and guarantees the payments to our attorney. Make your check payable to the BlueRibbon Coalition and indicate on the check (Eldorado Legal Defense Fund).

Mail to:

BlueRibbon Coalition

4555 Burley Drive, Suite A

Pocatello, ID 83202-1921

Thank you for your consideration and support.

CERA

DAY IN COURT FOR FOREST ACCESS

April 18, 2011 was the court hearing for the suit brought against the Eldorado National Forest over the recently completed Travel Management Plan Decision. The Plaintiffs, Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, Center for Biological Diversity and Forest Issues Group (aka Wilderness Groups) were there in full force. We had our attorney ready to look after the public access interests. The Judge had prepared questions. It quickly became apparent the Forest Service attorney was unsure of his answers and the Judge often barked at him as he did with the Wilderness Group attorney when his questions were not specifically answered. On one of the first difficult questions the Forest Service attorney stumbled, our attorney stepped in and with his vast experience with these issues took command with well articulated reasoning, The Judge with an approving smile allowed our attorney the time required to make his point. The Wilderness Group wanted the Judge to consider all the accumulative errors in the procedures as a reason to reject the Travel Management Decision with a remedy to close routes until the road and trail system could be further “minimized” before designation. We are waiting for the court response and see if further action is necessary.

FOREST ACCESS AT RISK

Extreme anti access groups are once again suing the Eldorado National Forest over the recently completed Travel Management Plan Decision in an attempt to create a precedent setting case that will force the Forest Service to further “minimize” public access to roads and trails. The Plaintiffs, Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, Center for Biological Diversity and Forest Issues Group (aka Wilderness Groups) are asking the federal court to require the Forest Service to close roads and trails in order to first achieve a “minimum road system” before designating any of the few remaining routes for recreational use and public access. It has always been the wilderness group’s position that recreational routes be available for public access only after USFS gets around to completing studies for a site specific analysis to the wilderness groups’ satisfaction. The Forest Service all but admits the agency will never have the funding available to satisfy the wilderness groups’ vision. Our opponents are trying to create a system where the Forest Service will be forced to provide written assurance, in advance, that USFS has and will have all of the funds necessary to do the site specific environmental process, monitoring, trail maintenance, law enforcement, and related obligations, for each and every route. To further complicate any management efforts, the wilderness groups are also suing the State of California OHV Division in other venues to have many of the funding sources eliminated and cut-off from the National Forests.

The history of this situation clearly demonstrates that we cannot rely on the Forest Service (FS) to look after our public access and recreational interests, and the last thing that we now need is for Forest Service to willingly or unwillingly give away what little access we have remaining in any settlement agreement with wilderness groups. We need to have our public access and recreational interest groups at the table.

Several recreation access groups have joined together and have succeeded in having BlueRibbon Coalition and attorney Paul A. Turcke of Moore Smith Buxton & Turcke represent our interests. Our success so far is that we have been able to attain Defendant–Intervenors’ status with the court which allows us to participate in the litigation and any settlement process.

We recognize that most of the recreational access community is dissatisfied with elements of the National Forest Travel Management Plan Decisions. However, the gravity of the wilderness groups’ demands makes it clear that step one is to first stop their efforts to force the USFS into never ending studies and route closures.

If we as intervenors were to file cross claims as complaints against the current travel management decision, it would in effect place us on the side of the wilderness group asking for yet another round of travel planning via remand of the USFS decision to be redone. In the current sociopolitical environment that would be a huge risk towards allowing most of the wilderness group’s demands to be met. Their demands are far more injurious to us than the issues we have with the USFS decision at this time.

If the access groups and engaged public can demonstrate our unity and the ability to fund legal actions we can then be a force for issues in our own pro-active litigation. Let’s show that we can take care of this major threat to public access.

Please donate what you can. The key to this fundraising success is having as many pro-access community united in this action, so please spread the word. See attached, Plaintiffs legal brief.

The BlueRibbon Coalition will manage the Eldorado Legal defense fund and guarantee the payments to our attorney. Funds received over and above what is necessary for this action will be held to fund future action related to our issues.

Make your check payable to the BlueRibbon Coalition and indicate on the check (Eldorado Legal Defense Fund).

Mail to:

BlueRibbon Coalition

4555 Burley Drive, Suite A

Pocatello, ID 83202-1921

Thank you for your consideration and support.

CERA

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I applaud CERA for their efforts in the Eldorado National Forest, they are a small local club doing everything they can, and I grudgingly support what they are trying to accomplish with their "Intervener" status in this lawsuit. I do however fundamentally appose the whole "Intervener" concept in cases like this. The nuts and bolts of it actually mean that the "Interveners" are supporting the FS and defending the Travel Management decision that closed hundreds of miles of roads and trails and closes the forest to motorized use for months at a time regardless of on the ground conditions. It is at best a weak defensive stand, although in a case like this it can be argued that it became necessary, but if our national advocacy groups would have gone on the offensive with their own lawsuit immediately after all of our appeals were denied this action wouldn't have been necessary. Instead they ran from the ENF and only "Intervened" after the anti-access bunch filed their suit something like a year and a half later.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for voicing my opinion, both here and via email, but damn, fire away. I've heard all the BS about why our side won't file lawsuits to fight for our right to recreate on our public lands, wouldn't want to lose and set a bad precedent, so instead we have set the precedent that we will defend the FS's anti-access policies because they are too incompetent to win against the lawsuits filed by the extreme anti-access groups without our help and if they lose it is even worse for us.

THE ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST FEARS LITIGATION BEYOND ALL ELSE, AND MANAGES ACCORDINGLY. WE ARE NOT A THREAT TO SUE, THE OTHER SIDE IS, SO WE LOSE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No flame here! :thumbsup: I hear what you are saying. I remember posting in here a while back about establishing a legal defense fund for the sole purpose of suing the US Forest Service and the BLM for NOT continuing to support multiple use of OUR forests. That's the thing. This land belongs to us, the people of the United States and our appointed agencies are working to keep us out at the behest of the agenda of environmentalist groups. :confused:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No flame here! The whole reason we did this is because we could foresee exactly what transpired in the court room. The US Attorney, with five minutes of prep time and no real interest in the case, was stepping all over himself. It was up to the BRC attorney to get the point across in a coherent manner. If we leave it up to the US FS/DOJ to "protect our interests" they'll give away the farm and we'll have to fight out of an even deeper hole.

It really sucks to have to defend them, but they can't do it themselves and they're more than willing to sell us down the river to make their own lives easier.

I applaud CERA for their efforts in the Eldorado National Forest, they are a small local club doing everything they can, and I grudgingly support what they are trying to accomplish with their "Intervener" status in this lawsuit. I do however fundamentally appose the whole "Intervener" concept in cases like this. The nuts and bolts of it actually mean that the "Interveners" are supporting the FS and defending the Travel Management decision that closed hundreds of miles of roads and trails and closes the forest to motorized use for months at a time regardless of on the ground conditions. It is at best a weak defensive stand, although in a case like this it can be argued that it became necessary, but if our national advocacy groups would have gone on the offensive with their own lawsuit immediately after all of our appeals were denied this action wouldn't have been necessary. Instead they ran from the ENF and only "Intervened" after the anti-access bunch filed their suit something like a year and a half later.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for voicing my opinion, both here and via email, but damn, fire away. I've heard all the BS about why our side won't file lawsuits to fight for our right to recreate on our public lands, wouldn't want to lose and set a bad precedent, so instead we have set the precedent that we will defend the FS's anti-access policies because they are too incompetent to win against the lawsuits filed by the extreme anti-access groups without our help and if they lose it is even worse for us.

THE ELDORADO NATIONAL FOREST FEARS LITIGATION BEYOND ALL ELSE, AND MANAGES ACCORDINGLY. WE ARE NOT A THREAT TO SUE, THE OTHER SIDE IS, SO WE LOSE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Reply with:

Sign in to follow this  

×