In a blow to the county supremacy movement in Nevada, a federal court charged an Elk County resident with trespassing and ordered him to remove his cattle from a national forest.
The court said Cliff Gardner illegally
moved livestock onto the Humboldt National Forest in May 1994
despite repeated Forest Service requests that he apply for a permit
(HCN, 10/30/95). During the trial, Gardner claimed that under the
U.S. Constitution's "Equal Footing Doctrine," the state of Nevada
owned his grazing lands. Judge David Hagen quickly rejected this
assertion, writing that under "unambiguous Supreme Court precedent,
there can be no reasonable doubt that the national forests are the
property of the United States and rightfully managed by the Forest
Service." Gardner said he would appeal.
Service officials in Nevada were delighted. Agency attorney James
Perry sent a memo to Forest Service employees, asking them to
"liberally distribute copies of the attached decision so that the
public may become aware of the serious deficiencies in the legal
theories espoused by the county supremacy advocates."