A hearing in Okanogan County Superior Court on whether the county commissioners acted properly in vacating Three Devils Road was rescheduled from last Friday (June 26) to 4 p.m. Tuesday (June 30).
The hearing occurred too late for coverage in this week’s Methow Valley News. Look for a full report in next week’s newspaper.
Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss was scheduled to preside over the hearing because Okanogan County’s two Superior Court judges, Chris Culp and Hank Rawson, have recused themselves.
Residents of the Chiliwist area, where the primitive Three Devils Road leads to the Loup Loup summit, hope to demonstrate that the county commissioners violated the law when they voted to close the road.
The June 3 decision by the Okanogan County commissioners to close the road to the public was stayed six days later when Culp agreed to give Chiliwist Residents & Friends a chance to make their case. The group has argued that the road is an important escape route and a way to access public lands. The county’s hearing examiner, Dan Beardslee, recommended it remain open.
Gamble Land and Timber, which owns the land surrounding the road, petitioned the county to close three miles of it to protect their property — which is used primarily for grazing and logging — from poaching and trespassing.