HQ believes that U.S. District of Montana Judge Molloy in his April 2 Decision issued more than a slight rebuke to the current TMR- related closure-oriented legal paradigm that OHV users are facing in Western courts. Molloy’s order appears far from the wrench that anti-access advocates hoped to toss in the works:
Link to April 2 Molloy Orderhttp://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Molloy.Order_RE_MSJ_04-02-12.pdf
Judge Molloy’s latest decision is serendipitously timed as lead plaintiff Wildlands CPR defends itself against concerns from those who wonder whether a frequent litigatory combatant should be writing a key FS trail guide.
HQ Blog on FS/Wildlands Trail Guide Scandalhttp://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2012/03/hq-review-of-new-fs-318-page-ohv.html
Stalwart road/trail warrior Paul Turcke lined up again in this one against Goliath on behalf of intervenors Montana and Idaho State Snowmobile Associations.
For students of the judicial process there is some very solid language coming from Judge Molloy regarding the nature of review, jurisdictional principles, deference to the agency, and lessening the need for the agency to perform “exhaustive” site-specific analysis when designating a route. The Court rejected the “home run” challenges against the Subpart C “exemption” of the Forest Service Travel Management Rule on the jurisdictional grounds advanced by MSA/ISSA.
Additional points – the court discussed non-motorized v. motorized impacts to wintering wildlife and conflicts of use between the same.
The General is not the most famous snowmobiler, but HQ believes this decision reflects awareness and outlines legal principles to dismantle the green’s legal “house of cards” when it comes to TMR-related lawsuits.
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