Judge rejects plan for off-roading trails in Oregon woods

BEND, Ore. (AP) — A federal magistrate in Oregon has rejected a proposal to create a network of trails for off-road vehicles in the Ochoco National Forest, putting the plan in jeopardy.

The U.S. Forest Service wants to establish a 137-mile network of trails that could be used by ATVs, but U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan earlier this week said the plan doesn’t do enough to protect vulnerable species, including elk and gray wolves.

The Bulletin reports that Sullivan’s ruling is preliminary and must be reviewed by another judge.

The Forest Service has been looking at options for an expanded trail system within the Ochoco for more than a decade.

But when the Forest Service approved the plan last June, conservationists, hunting organizations and other groups sued.