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U.S. Supreme Court declines to review Stanley trail case

The shore of Redfish Lake with the Sawtooth Mountains in the background.
Rachel Cohen
Boise State Public Radio
Redfish Lake is one of the most popular destinations in the Sawtooth National Recreation Area

The U.S. Supreme Court has turned down a request from the owners of a Sawtooth Valley ranch to review a case over a public trail that crosses their property.

An order issued on Monday determined the case, Sawtooth Mountain Ranch, et al. v. U.S. Forest Service, et al., did not warrant a review by the Court.

At issue is a 4.5-mile-long trail that connects Stanley to Redfish Lake within the Sawtooth National Recreation Area.

The U.S. Forest Service purchased a $1.8 million conservation easement for the trail crossing the private ranch in 2005. Ranch owners David Boren and Lynn Arnone did not own the property when the easement was secured, but in 2019, they filed a lawsuit to block the trail’s construction. They argued the path and its particular location violated federal environmental laws.

A district court judge ruled in favor of the Forest Service, and Boren and Arnone appealed to the 9th Circuit, which sided with the Forest Service.

The Sawtooth ranch owners wanted the Supreme Court to weigh in on whether their claim about the easement is time-barred and whether they have any relief available under the Fifth Amendment.

I'm a journalist currently covering the American West. My stories have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Los Angeles Times and other publications. Previously, I worked as an editor for The Associated Press in Mexico City.

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