“Judge Denies Nevada Off-Road Challenge To Grouse Protection”

“RENO, Nev. — A federal judge has upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s authority to keep a 250-mile (400-kilometer) motorcycle race out of sage grouse habitat in Nevada’s high desert, rejecting a lawsuit by off-road vehicle enthusiasts who argued the agency illegally short-circuited the environmental review process.

The lawsuit filed in December 2018 challenged Forest Service rules barring off-road travel within 4-mile (6.5-km) buffers around bi-state grouse breeding grounds between March 1 and June 30 in the Mono Basin along the California-Nevada line.

That forced the Sierra Trail Dogs Motorcycle and Recreational Club to postpone the now 25-year-old Mystery 250 dirt bike race traditionally held in mid-June to mid-July, a move the group said greatly increased fire risk and safety concerns due to greater heat and reduced moisture.”

Scott Sonner reports for the Associated Press July 13, 2020.