BITTERROOT RIDGE RUNNERS SNOWMOBILE CLUB et al v. UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE et al
ORDER granting 13 Motion to Intervene. Opening brief due on September 14, 2017. Signed by Judge Dana L. Christensen on 5/9/2017. (ASG)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF MONTANA
BITTERROOT RIDGE RUNNERS
SNOWMOBILE CLUB; RAVALLI
COUNTY OFF-ROAD USER
MONTANA TRAIL VEHICLE RIDERS
CITIZENS FOR BALANCED USE; AND
BACKCOUNTRY SLED PATRIOTS,
UNITED STATES FOREST SERVICE;
U.S. FOREST SERVICE, NORTHERN
REGION; BITTERROOT NATIONAL
FOREST; LEANNE MARTEN,
REGIONAL FORESTER, NORTHERN
REGION; JULIE KING, FOREST
FRIENDS OF THE BITTERROOT,
HELLGATE HUNTERS AND
MAY 0 9 2017
Clerk, U. S Diatrict Court
District Of Montana
ANGLERS, MISSOULA BACK
COUNTRY HORSEMEN, MONTANA
BACK COUNTRY HORSEMEN,
WILDEARTH GUARDIANS, and
WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE
Friends of the Bitterroot, Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, Missoula Back
Country Horsemen, Montana Wilderness Association, Selway-Pintler Wilderness
Back Country Horsemen, WildEarth Guardians, and Winter Wildlands Alliance
(collectively "Defendant-Intervenors") have filed a motion for leave to intervene
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a) and (b). Federal Defendants do
not oppose the motion if the Court imposes certain conditions on the DefendantIntervenors. (See Doc. 15 at 2-3.)
An applicant for intervention as of right must demonstrate the following:
( 1) it has a significant protectable interest relating to the property or
transaction that is the subject of the action; (2) the disposition of the
action may, as a practical matter, impair or impede the applicant's
ability to protect its interest; (3) the application is timely; and (4) the
existing parties may not adequately represent the applicant's interest.
United States v. Alisa/ Water Corp., 370 F.3d 915, 919 (9th Cir. 2004); see
also Fed. R. Civ. P. 24(a). Proposed Defendant-Intervenors have satisfied these
requirements. First, the conservation organizations and their members have
significant protectable interests in the lands and travel restrictions at issue in this
case. They have a long record of advocating for the preservation of
wilderness-quality lands in the Bitterroot National Forest for the use and
enjoyment of their members and the broader public. Second, some of the
conservation organizations requesting to intervene brought the initial lawsuit
which spurred the Forest Service to begin the travel planning process and,
ultimately, to impose the motorized and mechanized use restrictions that Plaintiffs
challenge in this case. Thus, they should be able to intervene here to protect the
fruits of their earlier litigation. Third, the application to intervene is timely.
Fourth, these organizations are able to represent differing interests from the
Federal Defendants as it relates to the issues in the case, because they have a
unique adversarial perspective from initiating the underlying lawsuit.
Consequently, the Defendant-Intervenors are allowed to intervene in this case
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24(a).
Pursuant to the Federal Defendants' response to the Defendant-Intervenor's
motion, and the agreement of intervenors, the Court will impose several conditions
to their intervention. However, since the Defendant-Intervenors are being granted
intervention as of right pursuant to Rule 24(a), the Defendant-Intervenors will be
allowed to seek discovery or move to supplement the administrative record should
that become necessary. If any party objects to the scope of any proposed
discovery, they can file a motion with the Court.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that the Motion to Intervene (Doc. 14) is
GRANTED as follows:
Friends of the Bitterroot, Hellgate Hunters and Anglers, Missoula
Back Country Horsemen, Montana Wilderness Association, Selway-Pintler
Wilderness Back Country Horsemen, WildEarth Guardians, and Winter Wildlands
Alliance are hereby granted leave to intervene pursuant to Rule 24(a).
Defendant-Intervenors shall be treated as a single defendant in this
proceeding for all purposes, and shall file single joint briefs, motions, discovery or
other pleadings including the Answer in Intervention. Defendant-Intervenors will
make reasonable efforts, when possible, to confer with Counsel for Defendant on
motions and briefs to avoid repetitious arguments if they can do so consistent with
the interests ofDefendant-Intervenors.
Defendant-Intervenors shall adhere to the Court's original Scheduling
Order dated March 7, 2017 (Doc. 11), except Defendant-Intervenors shall file their
opening brief on September 14, 201 7.
Defendant-Intervenors shall not file any independent claims in this
action against the other parties.
Each party shall bear its own costs and fees related to the
participation ofDefendant-Intervenors in this matter.
q""day of May, 2017.
Dana L. Christensen, Chief Judge
United States District Court
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