The Region

The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with dirt bike enthusiasts, allowing their continued use of the 3,000-acre Dove Springs Canyon area in the eastern Mojave Desert over the objections of the Sierra Club. The court said both the Sierra Club and federal Bureau of Land Management agreed the environmental impact on the canyon in San Bernardino County is "severe" as a result of off-road vehicle use, but the court said a determination of "considerable impact" cannot be made on a parcel-by-parcel basis but must be taken as a view of the whole area. The secretary of the interior in 1976 allowed unlimited off-road vehicle use of 485,000 acres of the 12.1 million desert acres under bureau control as part of the California Desert Protection plan. The appeals court ruled the decision was neither arbitrary nor an abuse of authority, as the Sierra Club had argued.

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