SPOKANE, Wash. -

A federal appeals court has rejected efforts to start a private ferry service on Lake Chelan to compete with a long-standing government monopoly on service to the remote town of Stehekin.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this week upheld a 2012 decision by a federal judge in Spokane that dismissed a lawsuit that sought to create competition to the lone ferry operator.

The lawsuit brought by brothers Jim and Cliff Courtney of Stehekin was originally dismissed last year by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Rice. The brothers appealed that decision.

Their lawyer says the next step is to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.