- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

TACOMA, Wash. (AP) - A federal judge has rejected efforts by an environmental group to force Olympic National Park to remove five wilderness cabins it recently rebuilt or repaired.

The organization, Montana-based Wilderness Watch, argued that park officials violated the purpose of the federal Wilderness Act when they decided to restore Botten Cabin, Canyon Creek Shelter, Wilder Shelter, Bear Camp Shelter and Elk Lake Shelter since 2009. The group also took issue with how the work was done, because it used helicopters and motorized tools.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton in Tacoma rejected those arguments in a decision Wednesday. He said it’s ambiguous whether restoring such structures can be considered a purpose of the Wilderness Act, but deference was due to the National Park Service because it reasonably interpreted the law.

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