A federal judge has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to consult again with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the road closure effectiveness in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest, saying it may have affected grizzly bears.
The Helena–Lewis and Clark National Forest.
THOM BRIDGE, Independent Record
U.S. District Court Judge Dana L. Christensen issued the 42-page order Aug. 3 and ordered the case filed in 2021 by the Alliance for the Wild Rockies against the U.S. Forest Service to be closed.
“I think it’s a big victory,” Michael Garrity, executive director of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, said Monday.
The Forest Service declined to comment, saying it was pending litigation.
Christensen said new information indicates that unauthorized motor access had occurred in the area and may have affected grizzly bears in ways not previously considered in forest plans for various areas in the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest. He sent the matter to the agencies for further proceeding consistent with the order.
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He said the plaintiff has