Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Recreation Organizations File Lawsuit Against Tahoe National Forest

The Forest Service's Travel Management Rule continues to infringe upon the rights of Americans to responsibly recreate in our National Forests.  The latest battle is in the Tahoe National Forest, in which the Forest Service has engaged in lies and deception for 2 years to cover up the fact that they illegally removed 800 miles of rights-of-way from the road inventory.  Diverse recreational and environmentalist groups (Friends of Tahoe Forest Access, Nevada County Woods Riders, Grass Valley 4-Wheel Drive Club, High Sierra Motorcycle Club, Webilt Four Wheel Drive Club, Friends of Greenhorn) have tried to work with the Forest Service to right these wrongs but have gotten nowhere, so they have employed the services of the Pacific Legal Foundation to file a lawsuit.

The case, named Friends of Tahoe Forest Access v. U.S. Dep’t of Agriculture, asserts that the Forest Service has failed to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act, a powerful federal statute that demands honesty and candor in environmental decisionmaking.  The lawsuits asks the federal court to invalidate the Forest Service’s misleading Travel Management documents, and to order the Forest Service to redo implementation of the Travel Management Rule in a manner that is fair to and protective of all those who have a recreational interest in the Tahoe National Forest.

Nevada County's The Union newspaper is covering the lawsuit, and so is the Auburn Journal, while the editor of Redding's The Record Searchlight is blogging about TNF's similarities with the Forest Service's closures in his local Shasta-Trinity National Forest.  The Outdoor Wire compares this theft of public lands by the government to the government's taking of 2nd Amendment rights.  The Calaveras Pine Tree has a great article that really sums up the situation.  The Sacramento Bee so far has published only a disappointingly small blurb of coverage on this issue so far.  For the most in-depth coverage, check out the discussion in's Land Use Forum.

Pacific Legal Foundation posted a video on YouTube that helps illustrate why the Tahoe National Forest's mismanagement of public lands and their bait-and-switch tactics necessitated this lawsuit:

Pacific Legal Foundation also produced a second video along with representatives from the aforementioned recreation/conservation organizations as a press release to announce the lawsuit.

If you would like to help Pacific Legal Foundation in their efforts to fight against Big Government for the rights of the "little man," they accept tax-deductible donations.

 ***UPDATE*** has jumped on this issue, with its forum members thanking the Adolph Coors Foundation for their prior contributions to the Pacific Legal Foundation by way of the Coors Light Facebook page.  In classic Pirate4x4 style, they're rewarding members with photos of the beautiful Rock Zombies bikini girls from last weekend's Land Use Bikini Rig Wash.

The story has made it to the front page of with the complete text of the Pacific Legal Foundation's press release.