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Idaho State Snowmobile Ass'n v. U.S. Forest Service

ELR Citation: 51 ELR 20025
Nos. 1:19-cv-00195-DCN, (D. Idaho, 02/10/2021) (Nye, J.)

A district court granted in part and denied in part a snowmobile group's motion for summary judgment in a challenge to the Forest Service's decision to close approximately 72,000 acres in the Sawtooth National Forest to over-snow vehicle use. The group argued the Service's decision violated NEPA and the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). The court found the Service violated NEPA because the evidence it relied on to reach its decision suggested that lynx, wolverines, and mountain goats either were not present in the area at issue or would reasonably tolerate human interaction, and thus did not support the agency's determination that over-snow vehicle use needed to be restricted; but that the Service did not violate the NFMA because its decision did not violate the governing forest plan for the national forest. It therefore granted summary judgment with respect to the group's NEPA claim, but denied it with respect to their NFMA claim, and reversed and remanded to the Service for further analysis.