VICTORY! Santa Fe National Forest OHV Lawsuit Intervention

The Santa Fe National Forest comprises approximately 1.6 million acres in northern New Mexico. The forest contains four wilderness areas, covering nearly 300,000 acres, as well as two “wild and scenic” rivers prized for their hunting and fishing opportunities. New Mexico’s finest rivers, including the Pecos and Jemez, offer brown and rainbow trout fly-fishing opportunities as well as native fish. The forest is also home to rare species such as Mexican spotted owls, goshawks, southwestern willow flycatchers, Jemez mountain salamanders, Rio Grande cutthroat trout, and New Mexico meadow jumping mice.

The Santa Fe National Forest completed travel management planning for the forest. The final decision closed more than 5,000 miles of off road vehicle routes on 400,000 acres to motorized vehicles, does not allow motorized big game retrieval, and protected a number of key resources, including habitat for the Jemez mountain salamander, a species threatened with extinction. The New Mexico Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance has repeatedly sued the Forest Service challenging the restrictions on motorized vehicle access to the Forest. WELC has successfully intervened to defend the government’s plan multiple times and we will continue to do so in the future.

Photo by Thomas Shanahan.