The Forest Service recently upheld an appeal by an outfitter who challenged the District Ranger’s suspension of his permit. The District Ranger had suspended the permit “effective immediately” based on the allegation that the outfitter had set up a hunting camp prior to the date he was authorized to do so in the permit. The outfitter asserted that the camp was properly set up for purposes of clearing downfall, not hunting. In addition, the outfitter also argued that the District Ranger had failed to provide it with the opportunity to cure the alleged deficiency, as was required under federal law where the alleged violation did not involve harm to the public safety or the environment.
In response to the outfitter’s appeal, the Forest Supervisor initially granted the outfitter’s request for a stay of the suspension while the appeal was pending which allowed it to continue operating. The Forest Supervisor then subsequently granted the appeal itself. The Forest Supervisor concluded that the District Ranger had not provided the outfitter with the opportunity for a review of the suspension within 48 hours of it being imposed, as was otherwise required by federal regulations.