SEATTLE — A federal judge in Seattle has ordered the U.S. Forest Service to pay more than $70,000 in fees to two Oregon lawyers. The lawyers won a case requiring the service to remove a historic fire lookout from a peak in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness Area.
Attorneys Peter M.K. Frost and John R. Mellgren sued on behalf of Montana-based Wilderness Watch. The group objected to the fact that the lookout was rebuilt in 2009 with the aid of a helicopter — in violation of federal law governing wilderness areas.
Senior U.S. District Judge John Coughenour has already ordered the Forest Service to remove the lookout. But Washington’s congressional delegation is pushing legislation to keep the structure in place. The building is a popular hiking destination.
Seattlepi.com reports that the judge found Wilderness Watch was entitled to have its legal fees reimbursed as the winning party in the lawsuit.