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Environmentalist Group Protests Forest Service Decision On Snowmobiles

Twain Harte, CA — Environmentalists are speaking out against a recent decision by forestry officials to allow snowmobile use on 7000 acres near Leavitt Lake on the east side of Sonora Pass.

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center Director John Buckley says the decision by the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest runs contrary to prior forest service recommendations that the area be managed as wilderness.

He says snowmobilers have repeatedly trespassed into the area without punishment for several years.

Buckley expresses frustration that instead of issuing warning or fines to snowmobilers, the forest service is giving them the area to use, which essentially rewards those who have broken the law.

He says the forest service is also ignoring its own wildlife reports pertaining to the habitats of several mammal species in the region.

Meanwhile, forest officials say the use of snowmobiles will not cause any permanent damage to the area.

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is the nation´s largest national forest outside of Alaska.