Today's motion to dismiss demonstrates that the Plaintiffs have provided no concrete evidence of trespass, have ignored established public rights of way, and have failed to demonstrate any actual damage caused by the alleged trespass.
"The allegations are too speculative to form the basis of a substantive lawsuit," said Travis Bruner, Executive Director of WWP. "The truth is that WWP did not knowingly trespass and the ranchers can't provide any factual evidence that we did so. The court should drop the whole case, which is just a distraction from the real issue, which is that these permittees are polluting public waters on public lands with their irresponsible management of livestock grazing."
"Lawsuits require more than just speculation and guesswork," said Justin Pidot from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, one of the attorneys representing WWP on the case. "Members of the public frequently use the roads at issue to reach public land. WWP uses the roads in just the same way. There is simply no evidence that WWP harmed anyone by using these roads, and there is no proof that the landowners told WWP not to use these roads, as is required by Wyoming law to sustain a claim of trespass.”
Today's motion also asks the court to dismiss the case because the ranchers' misconduct in violating water quality standards is connected to the matter in litigation, and their motives for bringing the lawsuit against WWP are improper.
"There are numerous legal problems with the ranchers' lawsuit," said Bruner. "But the worst part is the obvious attempt to stop groups like WWP from working to improve ecological conditions. This shouldn't take any more of the court's time or our resources. We've got work to do monitoring more waterways and upland habitats and we intend to get right back to it."