The 2009 Forest Plan provides management direction for activities on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest including motorized and non-motorized allocations. Wildlands CPR, Inc., Friends of the Bitterroot, Inc., and Montanans for Quiet Recreation filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of Montana alleging inadequate analysis of the impacts of winter motorized travel when developing the Forest Plan and failure to analyze criteria intended to minimize off-road vehicle impacts. The U.S. District Court for the District of Montana found the Forest Service had adequately applied the minimization criteria of Executive Order 11644 for areas generally open to snowmobile use. However, the court found “to the extent that specific routes have been designated for snowmobile use”, the Forest Service failed to show it adequately applied the minimization criteria at the route-specific level. The court ordered that the Forest Service apply the minimization criteria mandated by EO 11644 at the route specific level where specific snowmobile routes are designated.
The Determination and Final SEIS are available electronically at: www.fs.usda.gov/goto/bdnf/forest-plan by clicking on “Final SEIS for BDNF Plan.” The responsible official is Faye L. Krueger, Region 1, Regional Forester.
For more information about the Determination or FSEIS, contact Peri Suenram at (406) 683-3967.