A hearing in the dispute over whether Three Devils Road should remain open to the public is scheduled in Okanogan County Superior Court for Friday (Sept. 18) at 10 a.m. The case is being heard by Douglas County Superior Court Judge John Hotchkiss, since the Okanogan County judges recused themselves.
A citizen group called Chiliwist Residents & Friends has challenged a bid by Gamble Land and Timber, which owns the land adjacent to the road, to have the county close 3 miles of the road to the public. Gamble Land says the road vacation is necessary to protect their private property from trespassing and vandalism.
The Chiliwist group is also challenging the June decision by the Okanogan County commissioners to close the road. The Chiliwist Residents say the road is an important escape route and a way to access public lands. The county’s hearing examiner recommended the road remain open.
Three Devils Road is a steep, primitive road that leads from the Chiliwist toward the Loup Loup summit and the Methow Valley. Gamble Land uses the adjacent property primarily for grazing and logging.
The road has remained open while the case is in court since the Chiliwist Residents posted a $10,000 bond that was required by the judge.