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Important Info.
We feel that some articles and information are so important that they should always be accessible. We've listed them below and hope that everyone will read them.

Tellico ORV Area Under Attack

MOAB Under Attack!

US Forest Service Abusing programs and we're losing land use!

Editorial Article about the misuse of Recreation Site Facility Master Planning (RSFMP) program

National Forests Could See Large Closures - enough said!

California OHV Funding At Risk!

Informative Article About The US Government and the Recreation Site Facility Master Plan (RSFMP) program. - a must read!

Articles of Interest To The Off Road Community

August 13, 2007
Time for a little editorial comment concerning the latest movements against us!
With the latest liberal/green movements going on at
Cape Hatteras and Tellico, we feel it is fairly easy to see what our enemies' next big efforts are - they are going to attempt to eradicate OHV on public land through the court systems. This is a tried and true method for all of those wishing to dictate behavior to the rest of the country, and we despise it. We do not mind the idea of having set-aside wilderness areas for the sake of having wilderness areas. What bothers us is when these wackos come out and attack us on every area of land where we wheel. We strongly believe that we deserve a decent section of public lands across the country where we can practice our 4x4 passions! The land belongs to the all of us and as such, we all deserve to practice our legal pursuits on a portion of it.

The environmentalists that oppose us will stop at nothing to stop our use of these public lands (and private lands as well). This is what fanatics do - they want it all. To believe that their goal is anything else is being naive. There is a large power base of environmental wackos that want to shut down a good-sized portion if not all public lands to human activities of any kind. They see mankind as a plague onto this planet and they want to protect as much of the land from us as possible. This is who we are ultimately battling and we must all face this reality. You do not negotiate with these types of people. They are fanatics that see themselves in the ultimate battle of good versus evil and view any method needed to win as viable. Ethics to them is an illusory and theoretical term. They will negotiate today to come back and renege tomorrow wanting more and more concessions, always citing the good of the environment and tomorrow's children.

We need to gather as a singular voice and let our government officials know that we will be a force to be reckoned with. We hope that everyone involved in our sport will support one those organizations that were founded to battle for us:

  • Western Slope No-Fee Coalition Group: Group support our rights as citizens for the free use and access to our public lands
  • BlueRibbon Coalition: "We are recreationists of all types, working together to preserve our precious natural heritage."
  • TreadLightly: Tread Lightly! is a nonprofit organization offering educational materials, training courses, restoration opportunities, communication pieces and a variety of tools to help arm recreationists with a set of outdoor ethics.
  • National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council: The NOHVCC provides information, training and materials for OHV individuals, clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.

Join the group of your choice, get active and involved so that our kids will have a place to wheel. Now onto the discussion topics.

KY Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Pushing for Statewide Recreation Trail System
Daniel Mongiardo, who is running for lieutenant governor of Kentucky, has proposed a statewide recreation trail system. It could offer jobs and visitors from all over the world. In Harlan County, "Adventure Tourism" has been taking off in the last several years primarily in the name of OHV enthusiasts with Black Mountain Recreational Park. So far, the park has lead to the creation of 80 new jobs, new businesses and brings in nearly two hundred dollars a day per visitor. With thousands of acres of abandoned mining roads in other counties, this new industry has potential to accelerate all over the state of Kentucky. According to Mongiardo, "If we can expand this and develop this into a statewide network, we're gonna see I believe, the second largest industry in Eastern Kentucky". We've been telling the Kentucky politicians and tourism officials this for years! Maybe they are finally listening. It is true what they say Mr. Mongiardo. "Build it and they will come!"

OHV Users Look At Losing Access To Many, Many Trails In Eldorado National Forest (NV)
On August 2 a record crowd of off-road recreationists and public land users objected to a federal trail plan that threatens to close 75% of OHV routes on forest lands in the Sierra, Nevada area. Over 350 concerned citizens attended a public meeting in Pleasant Hill, California, to review the newly released Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for motorized travel management on the Eldorado National Forest. OHV enthusiasts let their voices be heard in strong protest to the Forest Service's proposed plan to close over 1,000+ miles of popular roads and off-road trails. Trail enthusiasts stated that many of their favorite routes in the remote backcountry would be closed if the Forest Service follows through with this draft plan. Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national trail recreation advocacy group, stated, "This is certainly the largest OHV access-related meeting in California that I have attended since starting with the Coalition in the early 1990s. The record crowd was informed and highly motivated. It is clear they care deeply about their continued access to and active management of federal forest lands. They also understand that the Eldorado National Forest is just the tip of the route planning iceberg." Public comments concerning the Eldorado DEIS are due in by September 4, 2007.

Information on how to contact the Eldorado National Forest staff can be found here. Learn more about what you can do to help with this battle at BlueRibbon Coalition.

Protest Of Eldorado National Forest Trail Closures Is On!
According to a posting on the web there is a planned protest rally against the severe trail closures in the Eldorado National Forest. Posting reads as follows -

Attention all Off Highway Vehicle enthusiasts. Tell all your OHV friends to come to the protest of the Eldorado National Forest Service. We need your help. We are about to lose over half (1200+ miles) of all the existing roads and trails in the Eld. Nat. Forest FOREVER. We are facing seasonal closures from December to April.

Placerville Fairgrounds
100 Placerville Drive
Placerville CA 95667
Sunday Aug. 26th 12:00 to 7:00PM

Learn more about the protest.

More Kids Die On ATV Than Bikes According To Study
Jim Helmkamp,Director of West Virginia University's Injury Control Research Center, tracks ATV statistics and has found that on average, 171 children died each year across the country in ATV related accidents between 2000 and 2004, compared to 157 deaths from bicycle crashes. According to Mr. Helmkamp, children under the age of 16 are seven times more likely to ride bicycles than ATVs, yet ATVs cause more deaths among youngsters than their peddling counterparts according to his study. Statistics from the National Sporting Goods Association estimate 14.2 million children ages 7-17 ride bicycles in the United States while the US Consumer Product Safety Commission says there are about 2.2 million ATV riders under the age of 16. This study of ATV related deaths was commissioned by the Concerned Families for ATV Safety, an organization founded in 2005 by parents who lost children in ATV accidents, and whose goal is to outlaw the use of ATVs by children under the age of 16.

You are going to be hearing more from the Concerned Families for ATV Safety in the future.

Meetings Concerning OHV Use in Santa Fe National Forest Coming Up
Santa Fe National Forest began its third round of public discussions this month concerning the use of ORVs in the national forest. Scheduled meetings are -

  • Aug. 22 in Jemez at the Walatowa Visitor Center, 7413 NM 4
  • Aug. 23 in Albuquerque at Room C of The University of New Mexico Conference Center, 1634 University Blvd. NE
  • Sept. 6 in Los Alamos at Fuller Lodge, for both Española and Los Alamos residents

During these meetings, Forest Service staff members will host public meetings where participants will be able to review and make comment on maps showing trails, roads and current uses in the national forest. The maps were generated from public meetings last year. The U.S. Forest Service has required that all national forests create travel management plans for controlling motorized vehicle access to the lands. Once the roads and trails are formally designated for vehicles and ATVs, all other roads, trails and areas of national forests will be closed to motorized use. The rules will impact ORV e users as well as campers, hunters, fishermen, and others. Based on the outcome of the August public meetings (supposedly the Forest Service staff will listen to what we have to say), Forest Service personnel will draft a proposed list and map of motorized trails and roads. Officials report that this document should be ready for public review in October. New Mexico OHV users need to attend these meetings to make sure their voices are heard.

Jacksonville City (OR) Forest and Recreational Park Faces Pressure To Close!
Parks committee members (apparently leaning to the environmentalists favor) want to ban off-road vehicles from the city watershed. Larry Smith and Len Hebert have been reported as saying the 1,800-acre area, known as Jacksonville City Forest and Recreational Park, has been heavily damaged by motorcycles and ATVs. According to these two officials the off-road traffic is creating ruts up to five feet deep, and sending decomposed granite, soil and other pollutants pouring into the headwaters of Jackson Creek. Recent research by a parks subcommittee reportedly shows that the park is "significantly scarred and overwhelmed," according to Hebert during a recent meeting. He went onto say that the park needs to be "rested" at least until a new master plan can be created. What time period of rest is required or proposed or what the master plan would involve was not mentioned. How convenient!

Several members of the committee wanted to forward a resolution to the City Council recommending closure of the park to OHVs. Members of the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) dispute the claims of OHV damage. According to the President of the MRA, David Lexow, erosion in the watershed was caused by the city's forestry department and not OHVs. He went onto say that city has sabotaged itself by trying to prevent access to habitually traveled trails by creating inappropriate closures. The city has also operated bulldozers within the riparian zone of Jackson Creek and created hazards by inappropriate forest management. Lexow was quoted as saying "We have been asking them to rest the park from the timber operations for the past 10 years". Sounds like some of the committee members may have an interest in the timber operation and not the OHV use of the park.

More Negative Press For Us - This One From The Arizona Republic
The Title of the article says it all "Off-roaders taking a toll on public land Protecting desert poses big problem". There are some good points to the article but it does paint us in a very negative light! The following is an excerpt from the article: "... as interest in the activity has grown, so have the numbers of people breaking the law by veering from designated roads onto renegade trails. Environmentalists say the desert is suffering as a result of improper use of off-road vehicles, also known as off-highway vehicles because dirt paths often count as roads on public lands. Off-road vehicles compress the desert soil, leaving less room for water to get in and seedlings to take root. When plants can't grow, erosion and runoff increases. Tires can also crush plants, cultural artifacts and the underground habitats of animals like the desert tortoise. It can take anywhere from 30 to 100 years for trails to recover naturally, land managers say. Agencies are spending thousands of dollars and thousands of hours to restore the landscape from renegade vehicles. A shortage of law-enforcement officers across the state's vast public lands and a dearth of knowledge about off-highway regulations among riders mean few opportunities to correct or punish bad behavior." Notice that in the article nowhere does the OHV body have a voice!

Group Is Attempting To Get Children Under 16 Banned From Operating ATVs
Concerned Families for ATV Safety is lobbying Congress and state legislatures across the country to ban children under the age of 16 from operating or riding on ATVs. This proposal is also supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics. The group faces an uphill battle against ATV manufacturers and federal safety officials who say a ban is extreme and unworkable. They say it makes more sense to take measures to keep kids off adult-sized ATVs that cause more than 90 percent of the ATV-related injuries and deaths. The US Senate commerce committee recently held hearings on ATV dangers.

Look for more and more groups to form pushing this type of proposal.

4X4 Activists Lose In Attempt to Re-Open Surprise Canyon Trail
And the Enviro-Wackos couldn't be happier! Why is it that Conservatives lose out when issues head to court?The Judge in this case, District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill, dismissed the suite due to a lack of jurisdiction. We really find this ruling a little hard to believe. It is Federal law and Federal land, how can there be a lack of jurisdiction?! If it isn't under Federal court what court would it be under? This is a blatant disregard of law R.S. 2477, which protects preexisting roads from being taken out of the publics' use. The critics of off-road use constantly cite the fact that the law has been on the books since the Civil War era. To which we reply, "If you don't like the law try to get it changed! Don't simply argue because it is old it should be ignored. That is BS! How old are the laws outlawing murder? Should we ignore those too?!"

This envior-leaning judge has denied an attempt by OHV enthusiasts to reopen a trail in Death Valley National Park to use. The OHV group had sued the federal government claiming it had a right to use the streambed under the statute known as R.S. 2477, and they should! But the Judge decided to play games from the bench. The good news is that this suit is only one of a number of claims by local governments and private groups to prove that trails should remain open to the use of the public under RS 2477, which grandfathered in existing rights-of-way on existing trail systems up to the time of its repeal in 1976. What good are laws if they can simply be ignored? Intervention in the suit on behalf of the federal government had been sought by these groups represented by Earthjustice: California Wilderness Coalition, Center for Biological Diversity, National Parks Conservation Association, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, Sierra Club, and Wilderness Society. As I said earlier, look for more and more legal challenges to our sport through the court systems.

Apalachicola National Forest Planned OHV Trail System is Scaled Down
The new "preferred alternative" (preferred by who?!) calls for only 142 miles of ORV trails compared to the 224 miles that were proposed in December 2006. No trails would be allowed east of Springhill Road or south of State Road 267, the Bloxham Cutoff. Many riders are concerned that the proposal will limit their access to the forest (no kidding!). Motorcycle riders would only get about 57 miles of trail compared to about 370 miles they were using prior to 2004, said John Wheeler, vice president of the Tallahassee Trail Riders motorcycle group. That is a major reduction. And as Mr. Wheeler puts it "It is going to be an unsatisfactory system....(the open area) is going to have such heavy use there is going to be continued problems with it." And that we feel is their plan. They want the remaining open area to have a lot of problems so they can justify shutting it down completely due to excessive environmental damage.

Mike O'Lary, from the Web site www.florida4x4.com, was reported to have said that he doubts the agency listened to OHV users. We agree with you Mike! He is concerned that off-road trucks will be restricted to wide forest roads that are not challenging. He was quoted saying "They closed a substantial amount of the trails we submitted as desirable for four-wheel drive recreational use". All of the trail removals/closures are reportedly to protect threatened species such as the red-cockaded woodpecker, flatwoods salamanders, sand striped newts. We ask, "Where is the evidence that OHV use will harm or threaten these species?"

The public will have until August 24 to comment on the six alternatives in the environmental assessment. Better get busy Florida OHVers! A decision is expected in September.

Other important offroad / OHV / Public Land articles!
Look over all of these important articles and happenings with public land battles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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