Court Rules That Conservationists’ Suit Against Environmentally Destructive ORV Use May Proceed

Last week, a federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida rejected the National Park Service’s attempt to dismiss or indefinitely delay litigation seeking to close dozens of miles of off-road vehicle (“ORV”) trails in Florida’s Big Cypress National Preserve that cause significant damage to sensitive wildlife species including the endangered Florida panther, as well as soil, water, vegetation, and other natural resources.  Although the Park Service has belatedly initiated an environmental review process to attempt to cure these serious legal violations after the fact, the court said that the agency’s tardy (and completely voluntary) environmental review could not serve as the basis for depriving the plaintiffs of their day in court.  We represent the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, South Florida Wildlands Association, and several individuals in this suit.  A press release about the ruling can be found here.