A federal appeals panel has revived a 10-year legal battle over a remote Nevada road on national forest land and a threatened fish, siding with environmental groups who argued they were denied participation earlier this decade in negotiations to quell the bickering.
The recent ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco vacates a truce reached in 2001 and implemented five years later between the U.S. Forest Service and Elko County over South Canyon Road.
The road is a a narrow stretch of dirt and gravel that meanders along the Jarbidge River, habitat to the southernmost population of threatened bull trout. It leads to a wilderness area along the Nevada-Idaho line
The ruling also sends the case back to federal court in Reno.
The ruling issued May 20 reversed a lower court order against
The Wilderness Society and Utah-based Great Old Broads for Wilderness, who argued the Justice Department lacked authority to
cede the road's right of way to the county without environmental
studies and a public process.