A statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land in the mountains over a Montana ski resort faces potential eviction amid an argument over the separation of church and state.

The Forest Service offered a glimmer of hope late last week for the statue’s supporters by withdrawing an initial decision to boot the Jesus statue from its hillside perch in the trees. But as it further analyzes the situation before making a final decision, the agency warned rules and court decisions are stacked against allowing a religious icon on the 25-by-25 foot patch of land.

The statue has been a curiosity to skiers at the famed Big Mountain ski hill for decades, mystifying skiers at its appearance in the middle of the woods as they cruise down a popular ski run.

But the Freedom From Religion Foundation isn’t amused by the Jesus statue. The group argued that the Forest Service was breaching separation of church and state rules by leasing the small plot of land for the Jesus statue, and is pushing the agency to stand by its original decision to remove the religious icon.

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