Posts tagged: U.S. District Court
A backcountry skier advocacy group, the Winter Wildlands Alliance, has filed suit in federal court, asking a judge to order the U.S. Forest Service to create plans for snowmobiles limiting their travel on public land, the Associated Press reports. “One snowmobile can track up an area in an hour that a dozen skiers could use for two weeks,” said Alliance Director Mark Menlove. “It is a competition for a limited resource. Beyond untracked powder, we also think that quiet is a forest resource that should be managed.”
Snowmobile groups have lined up with the Forest Service opposing the move, saying there's enough forest to go around for everyone. Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.
Idaho's two U.S. District Court judges are juggling three times the caseloads of federal judges in Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and Alaska, and each of those states has three federal judges, instead of two, the Idaho Business Review reports. In fact, the state's population has more than doubled since Congress last approved an additional federal district judgeship here. Click below for a full report from the Business Review and the Associated Press.
A 60-year-old Arco woman has been sentenced to federal probation and restitution for unauthorized excavation of archaeological resources, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Roxanne Hale was given three years probation for the federal crime, ordered to pay $9,265 in restitution, and prohibited from being present at any public-lands archaeological sites. Her artifacts and sifting and digging tools were confiscated. Hale, who pled guilty to the charges in March, was caught Sept. 12, 2008 in the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Butte County, digging at a designated archaeological site that contains remains of prehistoric human life and activity. The case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service.
Idaho needs a third federal district judge, according to Congressman Walt Minnick, who notes that the state hadn’t gotten an additional judgeship in 56 years. “We have two judges serving two or three times as many people per capita as our neighboring states,” Minnick said today. “It’s wearing out our judges. … We have a better case for a new federal judge than just about anybody in the country.” Minnick is introducing legislation in Congress today, with Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson as the co-sponsor, to give Idaho a third judgeship. “We’ll be looking for opportunities to attach it to something that’s moving, so hopefully we can break this logjam,” Minnick said. “I don’t think there’s any opposition on the merits.” You can read my full story here at spokesman.com.
Cameron Burke, who has served as court executive for the U.S. District and Bankruptcy Courts in Idaho for the past 18 years, has accepted a new position working with federal courts across the country. Burke will become a federal court financial management liaison, working for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts in Washington, D.C., and also maintaining an office in Boise. He’s worked for the federal courts in Idaho for the past 24 years, and before that served as a chief deputy clerk in Arizona and a trial court administrator in Oregon. He holds a master’s degree in judicial administration from Denver College of the Law; he is a past president of the Federal Court Clerks Association and has served on numerous court management boards and committees.
A former volunteer firefighter from Parma is headed to federal prison for six years, for six felony counts of setting fires on public land. Clyde Dewayne Holmes Jr., 23, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill to 72 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, plus more than $155,000 in restitution. A jury found Holmes guilty of arson in January; it’s the first federal jury trial, conviction and sentencing of an arsonist on BLM land in Idaho.
The six different fires he set, in July and August of 2007, all were ignited shortly after he got off work; during his trial, physical evidence including tire and boot prints, cell phone records and eyewitness accounts tied him to the fires, which burned 1,200 acres of public and private lands in Payette and Canyon counties. Holmes himself reported two of the blazes, though he didn’t identify himself when he called them in. “This case is especially reprehensible because it involved a deliberate action by a person who was trained and trusted to protect our public lands and our citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Tom Moss.