Bear Creek: Judge rejects settlement statement for lawsuit to protect the only pure greenback population

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From The Colorado Springs Gazette (R. Scott Rappold):

Last week, attorneys for the environmental group and the Forest Service signed a settlement, with the agency agreeing to ban dirt bikes on trails 665, 668, 701 and 720 and part of trail 667. Officials agreed to install signs and barriers within 10 days of the court approving the settlement and to keep the trails closed until an ongoing watershed assessment is complete. They also agreed to get approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before reopening the trails to vehicles.

But Monday, U.S. District Court Judge John L. Kane rejected the settlement. At issue is a provision saying if there is a dispute over the implementation of the document, neither side can be found in contempt of court. The judge ruled that provision exceeds the authority of the two sides and could lead to them not reporting violations of the court order.

Tim Ream, attorney for the environmental group, called it a “very esoteric point” and said negotiations continue on reworking the settlement.

Dirt bike groups, who have funded and carried out maintenance work on the trails for years, have blasted the lawsuit as unfairly singling out dirt bike riders from hikers, mountain bike riders and others they say also impact the creek.

“We are not satisfied with the process to date,” said Don Riggle, president of the Colorado Springs-based Trails Preservation Alliance. His is one of three groups representing motorized vehicle riders that have joined the lawsuit as intervenors.

More endangered/threatened species coverage here.

4 Responses to Bear Creek: Judge rejects settlement statement for lawsuit to protect the only pure greenback population

  1. Jack Hunter says:

    You should update your story. The settlement has been finalize and te trails are closed.

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