Two Idaho Counties Challenge Forest Travel Plan

Dec 10, 2013

The Clearwater Forest covers 1.8 million acres in northern Idaho.
Credit U.S. Forest Service, Northern Region / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal lawsuit filed by two Idaho counties is challenging the legality of a national forest travel plan that closed off about 200 miles of trails to motorized vehicles.

The lawsuit was filed Monday by Idaho and Clearwater counties against the Clearwater National Forest.

The counties contend the forest failed to adequately coordinate with local leaders while drafting the plan and didn't consider the economic impact it could have on local communities.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the counties opted for legal action after their administrative appeal was rejected.

Forest Service officials did not immediately respond to the lawsuit.

Clearwater County Commissioner Don Ebert says forest officials disregarded county ideas and input.

The plan approved in 2012 sets new rules for use of trails and access to across the forest.