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US judge rules against off-roading in Ochoco National Forest

January 4, 2019

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A U.S. judge has issued a ruling affirming an earlier decision that rejected plans for an off-roading trail for motorized vehicles in the Ochoco National Forest.

The Bulletin reports Friday that U.S. District Judge Marco Hernandez upheld a July ruling that found the proposed 137-mile trail didn’t account for the needs of fragile species living in the forest.

Those species include grey wolves and elk.

The ruling also struck down any planning already done for the project.

The U.S. Forest Service has wanted to expand the trail system within the Ochoco National Forest for more than a decade because it’s become more popular with off-roading enthusiasts.

But when the Forest Service approved the plan in 2017, conservationists, hunting organizations and other groups sued.

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Information from: The Bulletin, http://www.bendbulletin.com

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