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National Forests Could See Large Closures - enough said!
Articles of Interest To The Off Road Community
The changes could affect not only the people who drive ATV and motorcycles, but also campers and hunters who drive to reach campsites. This all stems from the 2005 travel management rule, which states that national lands must designate specific trails and areas for use including motorized travel such as motorcycles, ATVs, and other OHVs. The travel plans for Deschutes and Ochoco national forests is scheduled to be released in 2009. Forest Service staff held meetings last year supposedly soliciting public input on favorite spots for activities in the forests. Although there aren’t specific trails proposed, the agency reportedly wanted to get comments before they started drawing up more specific proposals.
The Forest Service assembled a working group of about three dozen people, representing a range of organizations and interests to get some ideas of trail use. During a four-month period, the group met a dozen times to develop a series of recommendations about potential trail systems and access to camping areas. The gist of the matter is that we are going to lose riding areas and trails. There is no question of this, and I really understand why. We're not the only ones using the forests and others like to get away from the sounds of modern life. That's all okay with me as long as we receive fair consideration and are allowed the use of a proportionate amount of the forests! There is 2/5 million acres available and we should see an equitable amount of land opened to OHV use.
As one ORV enthusiast put it “you have your radicals on both sides..” It appears there were radical elements that wanted to eliminate motorized use altogether. What else is new? Another ORV user added that he hopes that the trails the Forest Service ultimately designate include areas for the different types of motorized vehicles, a variety of trail difficulties, and trails that are long enough. Amen to that brother! He hopes there will be a good turnout at public meetings regarding the travel plans as participation from the OHV contingent has been low in the past. If you're going to preserve your rights to use as much of the land as possible, you are going to need to attend these meetings and have your voices heard (don't just sit back, let them do what they want, and then whine about it later!).
The scheduled public meetings are as follows:
For New Hampshire ATV Park Ends In Disaster for Owners
As soon as they started advertising the property as an ATV riding place with overnight camping, the nearby residents started voicing complaints about concerns of noise and traffic. Lyndeborough politicians, almost immediately cited town laws forbidding overnight camping and issued a cease-and-desist order in 2001. Mont Vernon pols followed suit the following year. Thus the legal battles began. They ended in 2004 when the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that state law does not override a town’s authority to require such things as site-plan review or traffic studies. No public trails have opened in southern New Hampshire since then, and none probably ever will!
Larry and Sharon Boisvert are now scheduled to face trial in October for allegedly assaulting a neighbor during an argument in April 2006. Mr. Boisvert, having personally gone through something like this myself, my heart goes out to you. I'm sorry that things didn't work out and I wish you well on your future endeavors. I hope that they put in a landfill on the property now. This is a great example folks of what private off-road parks battle every day of their existence. Politicians are hypocritical jackals. Only looking out for their political well-being. When the citizenry gets upset, they will do whatever placates them whether it is fair or not. They are only concerned that they stay in office. What kills me in this scenario is that the neighbors complained about theoretical noise and traffic. How do we know that there was going to be any problems? When you can have landowners' rights stripped away based unsubstantiated concerns, it becomes a very scary scenario.
In Support of Creating an OHV Park in Rhode Island
ATV Park in the Adirondacks (NY) Is Opposed By Environmentalists
Mr. Bauer and his ilk are just plain ole hypocrites. Just where can a park be placed sir? Each and every place someone chooses the same things are said! We understand the need for protecting the environment, but this is ridiculous! People like to ride and want, need and deserve a place to ride. You wackos don't want to allow us new places and you go around shutting down existing places.
New Watchdog Group Formed Against "Outlaw" ORV Riders
This is one of their stated goals "3. End Hidden Costs to Taxpayers: Taxpayers are footing the bill for the damage and havoc caused by reckless off-roaders. As yet, we do not know the full extent of these costs. Congress needs to conduct a thorough investigation and enact common sense solutions to the growing off-road problem." Aren't offroaders taxpayers too? We pay for all kinds of programs only the extremists want, how is that fair or equitable? It looks to us like these folks could be very dangerous. They have already gotten a ton of press! We are all for heavy penalties for the rule breakers! But, we cannot side with folks like this because I strongly believe that their underlying and stated goal is the total elimination of ORV activities.
Trail Opened in MI's UP and Northern Wisconsin
According to the conservationist groups, the Tellico area has twice as many designated ORV trails as allowed by the Forest Service's own plan - not to mention the numerous illegal trails. The agency (Forest Service) has also documented dozens of areas where it reports that trails are within 100 feet of streams, which is against its own rules. In wet conditions, the eroded trails turn into ditches that send muddy water (heavy silt) directly into nearby creeks and streams, violating state and federal (turbidity / siltation) water laws. The Forest Service has been asked repeatedly to do something about the ORV damage, but it is reported that little action has been taken. In their letter (dated June 28th) the groups - the North Carolina and Tennessee Councils of Trout Unlimited, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project - notified the Forest Service of their intent to sue for repeated violations of the Clean Water Act and other laws.
DJ Gerken, staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center, which represents the groups, said "The Forest Service has come up short in taking decisive action to fix this problem. We are letting them know that the law is unambiguous - water quality and mountain trout come first."
The groups are calling on the Forest Service to permanently close the most environmentally damaging trails, and temporarily close the entire system in the wettest months.
This will be a big battle folks and we had better be prepared for a huge dogfight to keep Tellico anywhere near what it is today, a 4x4 wheeling Mecca!
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