Recreation Groups Seek To Enter Colorado Trail Lawsuit

April 2011 Powersport News, Travel

Denver, CO - A coalition of recreational access groups recently filed papers to join a lawsuit challenging motorized vehicle access to the Pike and San Isabel National Forests in southcentral Colorado. The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) and BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) moved on April 21 to intervene as parties in the case, which was brought by preservationist interests led by The Wilderness Society. The suit claims that the Forest Service illegally authorized motorized travel to at least some trails in the forests. 


This lawsuit comes in the broader context of travel planning throughout the National Forest System. In 2005, the agency promulgated a nationwide rule requiring designation of roads, trails and areas for motorized access. The resulting agency decisions have spawned lawsuits in Montana, California, Idaho, Oregon, North Carolina and elsewhere.  Trail-based recreation interests have frequently participated in those actions.


"Our groups have long championed effective recreation management," John Bongiovanni, a COHVCO director, said. "We are far from satisfied with the outcomes on these forests. It is the motorized recreation community who apparently shoulders the burden of defending trails long used by all. It is essential our role continue when preservationists move the dialogue behind courtroom doors."

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