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Judge Blocks Citizen Road Project

October 8, 1999

RENO, Nev. (AP) _ A federal judge has blocked a citizens’ group from rebuilding a remote mountain road, a project that state and local officials feared might lead to violence.

U.S. District Judge David Hagen issued a temporary restraining order Thursday night barring state Assemblyman John Carpenter’s plan to lead up to 1,000 people with pickaxes and shovels to the road near the Jarbidge River this weekend.

Federal authorities contend the road is on federal land and said the order was necessary to protect the southernmost population of bull trout in North America.

Carpenter and others involved in the plan were en route Friday to Jarbridge, in far northern Nevada near the Idaho border, and could not be reached for comment.

The dispute involves a 1 1/2-mile section of road that leads to a campground and outhouse in the Humboldt Toiyabe-National Forest. Elko County and the federal government have been odds since a flood washed the road out in 1995.

The Forest Service decided not to rebuild the road after the flood because eroding soil could foul the river and threaten the bull trout, now protected under the Endangered Species Act.

The state attorney general asked Elko County officials to help stop what was feared could become a rebellion in the remote historic mining town.

The sheriff said only that he would help keep the peace.

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