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National Forests Could See Large Closures - enough said!
Articles of Interest To The Off Road Community
Judge Boyle wrote that at the trial testimony established that the Park Service had counted "approximately 1,200 vehicles located in the over-wash area" on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. All this in a "narrow, fragile, environmentally sensitive area." Of course conservation groups have complained about the "devastating affects" of ORVs on the wildlife (what else is new?). Federal law requires that parks designate specific trails and areas for ORVs to use. In spit of federally required plans, the Park Service still does not have final regulations to govern ORV use at t the national seashore. Unfortunately, the judge officially declared, "Where the Park Service fails to create a plan for ORV use, off-road vehicles are prohibited." This is the hammer being held over head of ORV groups to reach quick compromise with the park service in the establishing an ORV trail system (read losing many trails and much access) or risk losing all access. It appears that the Liberals have found a judge to Shanghai the compromise process and force ORVs to take whatever medicine is doled out! Score one for the Green Wackos! Look for a travel management plan to be put into affect rather quickly and look for us to be tightly restricted.
Regarding this same issue, an enviro-wacko group, Defenders of Wildlife, and others have threatened to sue the park over its lack of a plan and allowing the area to remain opened to ORVs. Jason Rylander, a spokesman for the Defenders of Wildlife, stated that they believe the superintendent has no choice but to close the beaches to ORVs until a management plan is in place. When he was asked if his group planned to file for an injunction to close the area immediately to ORV use until a management plan was in place, he declined to comment. He was quoted as saying "I think the order really speaks for itself as to the law....I think it's really up to the Park Service whether it's going to follow the law as stated by the judge." You're looking at what we're going to be dealing with for a long time - lawsuits. When the libs can't get what they want done with popular opinion they always go to the courts and liberal judges. It started with Tellico, but look for it to appear across the country in these battles!
Make your feelings known about this issue with the Park Service!
Riders Are Important To Black Hills (SD) Economy
for Biological Diversity Against OHV Use in Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest
Here is a quote from their propaganda "The Apache-Sitgreaves deserves the utmost protection. With more than 8,100 miles of roads already in place on the forest, it's shocking, not to mention illegal, that the Forest Service would even consider opening more of the forest to off-road vehicle use — protected and pristine areas like the Blue River, the Blue Range Primitive Area, and the Escudilla Wilderness." Notice that they do not mention anywhere in their diatribe here or on their site that the forest encompasses over 2,000,000 acres! And, many of the roads/trails in place are for fire protection /reduction and not off-road use! These people twist and manipulate everything they say and do in their efforts to get us. This is what we're up against.
Dunes (CA) ORV Park Future Still Up For Grabs!
Press For those Unbiased (Yeah Right!) Rangers for Responsible Recreation
The truth finally came out! These groups hope to obtain a total closure of the Tellico ORV Riding Area. If you care about this ORV area you had better get involved now!
A U.S. Forest Service spokesman would not comment on any specifics in the letter from the organizations threatening a lawsuit if the problems were not fixed, but said the agency is working to address the issues raised by the groups. According to the spokesman the Forest Service has 60 days from receipt of the letter to respond to the claims. If the groups are not satisfied with the response they will then file suit.
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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