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Snowmobile association
files suit to stop closures

Seeley Swan Pathfinder
January 21, 1999

A lawsuit was filed last week by the Montana Snowmobile Association and other plaintiffs to regain access to Lolo National Forest snowmobiling areas closed on January 4 of this year by an order of former forest supervisor Chuck Wildes.

According to a report in the Missoulian, the state snowmobile association was joined in the lawsuit by the town of Superior and the Blue Ribbon Coalition, a national group promoting motorized recreation on forests.

The order closing management areas 11 and 12 to snowmobilers was handed down by Wildes in late December last year when the Montana Wilderness Association threatened a lawsuit over obvious language in the forest plan prohibiting snowmobiling in areas that have been overlooked since the plan was adopted in 1986.

The closure order affects off-trail and back country areas around Lake Elsina, Pyramid Pass and Morrell Lookout in the Seeley Lake area. Groomed snowmobile trails are not included.

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