- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 3, 2005

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A remote backcountry road that became a flash point for property-rights activists will be mostly reopened to four-wheel-drive and off-road vehicles under a decision issued by the U.S. Forest Service.

A portion of the road left largely impassable by flooding nearly 10 years ago will remain off-limits, except for horses, hikers and other nonmotorized uses, the Forest Service announced last week.

“This decision is a compromise of use and protection,” said Bob Vaught, supervisor of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest.

Biologists for the Fish and Wildlife Service had argued for years that the road should not be rebuilt because of potential harm to bull trout in the nearby Jarbidge River. But some property-rights activists had asked the agency to approve their plans to rebuild it.

A group of activists who became known as the Shovel Brigade announced their intent to reclaim the road with picks and shovels. In 2000, about 200 people gathered to reopen the road. Using ropes and muscle power, they removed a huge boulder they dubbed the “Liberty Rock” that had been placed as a barrier.

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