updated 1/22/2011 2:09:45 PM ET 2011-01-22T19:09:45

A federal judge in Great Falls has rejected a lawsuit by motorized groups to reverse a U.S. Forest Service ban on motorized travel in a section of the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

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The Great Falls Tribune reports that U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon on Thursday ruled that the federal agency's Badger-Two Medicine Travel Plan along the Rocky Mountain Front is not flawed as the motorized groups contended.

Haddon dismissed the lawsuit that sought to reverse the Forest Service's decision in 2009 involving 186 miles of trails in the 130,000-acre Badger-Two Medicine area, which is sacred to the Blackfeet Tribe.

Supporters of the travel plan say it will protect the land from damage caused by illegal vehicle travel and protect sites that are historically and culturally important to the Blackfeet Tribe.

The travel plan that went into effect in October limits access by wheeled motor vehicles to 8 miles of roads and bans snowmobiles.


Information from: Great Falls Tribune, http://www.greatfallstribune.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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