Judges to hear Missouri River Breaks suit claiming inadequate protections

Posted: Feb 7, 2013

Written by

KARL PUCKETT, Great Falls Tribune
Missouri Breaks

Judges with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments Tuesday in Seattle in a lawsuit that charges the government with inadequately protecting the Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument in Montana, which was created a dozen years ago for its “spectacular” features.

The case centers on the level of protections that should be provided to national monuments, said Melanie Kay, an attorney with Earthjustice, which is representing the Wilderness Society, Oil and Gas Accountability Project, National Trust for Historic Preservation and Friends of the Missouri Breaks Monument.

The conservation groups contend that the management plan OK’d for the Breaks monument plan doesn’t recognize the special characteristics that prompted the designation in 2001, Kay said. The outcome could affect future monument plans in the West, she said.

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