Arizona federal district court Judge Stephen McNamee upheld the legality of three travel management plans allowing regulated off-road motor vehicle use for the retrieval of elk and bison hunted in the Kaibab National Forest.
The suit challenging the Travel Management Plans for the North Kaibab Ranger District, the Tusayan Ranger District, and the Williams Ranger District of the Kaibab National Forest had been brought against the U.S. Forest Service by WildEarth Guardians, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council, Wildlands Network, and Sierra Club. Safari Club International intervened in the suit to defend the three plans as did the State of Arizona.
The three travel management plans regulate game retrieval for well over a million acres of valuable hunting land in Arizona. Off-road vehicle use is critical, at least for some hunters, in this rugged terrain.
Although the court upheld the three travel management plans without reference to SCI’s and Arizona’s arguments, SCI’s participation made sure the court was aware of the interests of the hunting community in elk and bison hunting in the Kaibab National Forest and the need for motorized retrieval of big game for the proper and legal harvest of these animals.