Snowmobile Groups Challenge Forest Service Closure

Denver (AP) Snowmobile groups want the U.S. Forest Service to
reconsider a decision that closed 200 hundred acres on Molas Pass in southwestern Colorado to snowmobilers. An attorney for the groups argued Thursday before the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the forest service didn't follow proper procedures when it closed the area south of Silverton in 2001.

The groups also say it was wrong to close the area because of lynx without evidence that any of the cats were there. Attorneys for the forest service dispute claims that any procedures were violated.

Environmental and outdoors groups intervening on the government's side say the federal agency properly responded to public calls for closing the area to snowmobiles.

Skiers, hikers and snowshoers say they need areas where they don't have to wear the drone of engines or worry about getting hit by a snowmobile.

The appeals court in Denver didn't indicate when it would rule in the case.

Copyright 2005 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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