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California Update/Overview of Eldorado Court Decision

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Good News Overall

Blog with photo

http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2011/05/court-says-no-to-enviro-subpart-claims.html

Story

The Recreation HQ wanted to share the good news about a court decision last week regarding the lawsuit filed by environmental groups against the Eldorado National Forest’s Travel Management Plan.

BRC May 31, 2011 News Release on Recent Court Decision

http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/?story=736&filter=media

Link to 82 Page Court Decision (a real good read)

http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Eldorado_lawsuit_decision_may_2011.pdf

Some of you may remember that BRC and other recreation groups filed to intervene in the case in January 2010.

BRC January 2010 News Release with Motion to Intervene

http://www.sharetrails.org/releases/?story=680&filter=media

The recreation groups had concerns that environmentalists would use this case to get a court to link a dollar amount needed by the agency to maintain a “minimum” number of trail miles on the unit. Even though OHV groups did not like the 2008 Eldorado travel plan we wanted to end the endless planning process and move forward with good management programs.

HQ feels that environmental groups are filling an avalanche of Subpart A lawsuits throughout the West to force a number on the agency and/or to require the agency to undergo Subpart A planning to establish a “minimum” route network before doing the Subpart B trail planning.

By using an “oil change” analogy (page 36), HQ believes the court rejected that argument when it denied the plaintiffs (enviro groups) their Subpart A claims.

HQ believes CBD issued a less than accurate news release last week by intimating the court cast aside the 2008 travel plan.

CBD News Release

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/center/articles/2011/eldorado-05-27-2011.html

In fact, no remedy has been determined and the decision has asked the parties to address how much of a "remedy" is warranted for technical violations involving such small areas. HQ, on counsel's advice, prefers to leave it at that. We believe it unwise to characterize a court decision that has not yet been made.

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