Here's a report from Rusty Gates, owner of Gates Au Sable Lodge who has been very active in this battle:
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Thursday December 8th. You know when you drive to the river for a picture, step out of your car
and a bald eagle takes off....you're having a pretty good day. Truettner's ridge overlooking the South
Branch on a frosty early winter morning. It finally quit snowing up here, but that's only because it's
been too cold. -18... -10 for daybreak temps here in the river valley.
Major event in our efforts to save the uniqueness of that special place we know as the Mason Tract.
Much has happened, mostly good! We were notified on December 1st that Savoy Energy had planned
to prepare the drilling site. This would include cutting and widening the road in, clearing 4 acres,
digging a brine pit, and drilling a water well. All this was to take place mind you in a semi-primitive
non motorized forest designated as old growth.
Wheels spin pretty fast these days, especially if it's always snowing everyday! In just over 24 hours
our legal teams was able to file a motion for preliminary injunction and temporary restraining order to
halt this. Another twenty page document, with attachments know as a "declaration", which is a
signed statement by in this case resource professionals and their view of these actions. (Huge
learning curve for a fisherman here folks....).
U of M professor whom wrote the book on old growth forests. Basically said if you remove the upper
six inches of top soil, it would take anywhere from 150-500 years to reclaim the destruction done!
Retired DNR Wildlife Chief and a statement on the disruption of hunter/prey associations and the
traditional deer yarding habitats that exist in this area. All these documents were filed late on
Forest Service and BLM were to file there response December 6th by noon. Judge was to rule his
opinion by 3 PM same day. Judge is actually in chambers all day Tuesday so nothing happens....
although we're pretty anxiously waiting to hear anything at this point. Attorney has in three hours
prepared pages and pages of notes for oral arguments contesting oppositions points.
Wednesday December 7th, same day Savoy is to start cutting trees and bulldozing.... 7:55 AM... judge
signs order. Not a temporary order, but a preliminary injunction. This will remain in effect while the
full case can now proceed and be judged on it's merits. One of the attorney's from the team sum's it
"I hope that you appreciate how TOTALLY UNPRECEDENTED this injunction is. Never in almost
thirty years of practice have I even heard of a TRO and preliminary injunction being granted without
Yahoo!!! Best phone call of the day from one of my board members who has been following the
happenings.... "Gator? They aren't in there cutting down trees are they?"
It's a victory but there is a long way to go before it's over. If you can't stand up for what you believe
is right... and there's no compromise when it come to the Mason Tract... then your life isn't complete
whole. Thank you for all whom are believers and have supported our actions.
The case in the Eastern District of the United States Federal Court should follow this time line.
December 10th-plaintiffs' summary judgment motion
January 10th-defendants' consolidated opposition and summary judgment motion
January 24th-plaintiffs' reply
Judges decision maybe by April 1st.
I'm learning attorney's sometimes have conflicts and this time line could be pushed back weeks at
LadyFisher, Publisher of