Federal Judge Douses the Flames – for Now

Custer County Commissioners have been rattling their sabres over a central Idaho road closure enforced by the Bureau of Land Management.  The closure occurred 12 years ago after a landslide and prevents off-road-vehicles (ORVs) from access to the Jerry Peak Wilderness Study Area.

Despite being given the opportunity to object to the closure during the BLM’s planning process years ago, Custer County now claims it was never properly consulted, and will enforce a RS 2477 right-of-way despite failing to make such claim under the Quiet Title Act.  Last Sunday the county sent a front-loader in to remove the roadblock and promised it would arrest any federal agents who interfered with the removal of the roadblock but ultimately stopped short in response to a federal order.

Idaho roadblock remains after federal judge intervenesAssociated Press

Custer County Commission Chairman Wayne Butts, among locals in this mountainous region who for years have chafed at federal control of about 97 percent of county territory, said Monday he envisions this case as establishing a beachhead in returning the region’s management to people who live here.

Butts expressed dismay at Winmill’s order even though, according to the ruling, “No representative for the defendants appeared although they were provided notice of the hearing.”

“I’m shocked that a federal judge would allow himself to be used as the arm of federal activism of the worst sort.”

County to reopen Herd Creek Road under RS 2477Challis Messenger

Herd Creek Road Memorandum Decision and Temporary Restraining Order