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May 25, 2009 – Snowmobile Digest

May 25, 2009
Filed under Features

Sled groups in two states sue to stop federal plan

Snowmobile groups in Wyoming and Washington filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The federal government aims to designate 39,000 square miles in six states as critical habitat for the threatened Canada lynx, according to the Associated Press.
The snowmobile groups are concerned that the designation could curtail snowmobiling on the Continental Divide Trail, which goes through northwestern Wyoming, says Matt Mead, a spokesman for the Washington association. He said the trail is, “one of our premier destination areas” and draws snowmobilers from around the country.
Shawn Sartorius, the lead lynx biologist for the wildlife service in Helena, Mont., says his agency hasn’t identified snowmobiling as a problem in lynx habitat and
didn’t expect the trail’s maintenance or new trails to be problems. The new designation was a considerable increase from the original designation of fewer than 1,850 square miles in three states. Several environmental groups, however, have said the increase wasn’t enough and filed notice in March, contending that the designation covered too little of Montana and did not include parts of Washington and Colorado. psb

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