by Perry Backus, Ravalli Republic
“A contested gate across a road in the upper reaches of the West Fork of the Bitterroot is going to stay locked for at least bit longer.
Two families filed suit in Ravalli County District Court in April seeking to keep the county from forcing them to remove the gate across Hughes Creek Road.
In January, the Ravalli County Commission voted 3-2 to deny a formal request by 10 landowners to abandon the portion of the upper Hughes Creek Road that been locked off to the public for 40 years.
Under that order, the gate would have been required to be gone by June 1.
County officials say that may not happen now.
Zachary and Tracy Bugli and Charlene and Violet Cox filed a lawsuit on April 10 asking the court to stop the county from forcing landowners to remove the gate.
The suit claimed the county had already dismissed its claims with prejudice regarding the issue.