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Ski Group Sues Over Snowmobile Policy

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Early-season snow just barely dusts the peaks above Idaho’s capital, but a battle inside a federal courtroom down in the valley could have big impacts on who gets to ride where on the white stuff. On Wednesday, backcountry skiers will ask a judge to tell the U.S. Forest Service to initiate planning efforts meant to limit where snowmobiles can drive on public land. His decision could eventually affect national forests across the nation. Since 2005, the Forest Service has been creating travel plans for motorized wheeled vehicles. But snowmobiles were exempted. Idaho-based Winter Wildlands Alliance sued, arguing the agency shouldn’t have given snow machines a free pass. Meanwhile, snowmobile groups call it wasteful and unnecessary to require every U.S. national forest to craft its own plan for over-the-snow motorized travel.

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