Yet Another Lawsuit Threatens Colorado Trail Access, Recreation Groups Respond

January 2012 Powersport News

Denver, CO -- Recreation advocates last week filed papers to join a lawsuit about motorized vehicle access to the Rico-West Dolores area in southwest Colorado managed by the San Juan National Forest.

The lawsuit, filed in December, 2011 by the Colorado Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, seeks to have specific trails declared off limits to motorized use.  The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Trails Preservation Alliance, San Juan Trail Riders, Public Access Preservation Association and BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) filed a motion to intervene and attain formal party status in the case.

The Colorado groups and the BlueRibbon Coalition have previously worked together in responding to similar threats in Colorado and Utah. Collectively, the recreation groups have defended recreational access in dozens of lawsuits filed by preservationists across the country.

"We have attempted to form meaningful partnerships with diverse interests, including the hunting and angling community," John Bongiovanni, a COHVCO director, said. "Active, effective management should be our common goal, not courtroom posturing." 

The lawsuit is in its initial stages. The Forest Service's answer is due on Feb. 7, 2012.  The schedule for presenting the merits of the case has not yet been established.

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