Interest To The Off Road Community
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
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.
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:
Slope No-Fee Coalition Group: Group support our rights as citizens for
the free use and access to our public lands
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.
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.
the group of your choice, get active and involved so that our kids will have a
place to wheel. Now onto the discussion topics.
Lieutenant Governor Hopeful Pushing for Statewide Recreation Trail System
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!"
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.
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
Of Eldorado National Forest Trail Closures Is On!
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 -
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.
100 Placerville Drive
Placerville CA 95667
26th 12:00 to 7:00PM
more about the protest.
Kids Die On ATV Than Bikes According To Study
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.
Concerning OHV Use in Santa Fe National Forest Coming Up
Fe National Forest began its third round of public discussions this month concerning
the use of ORVs in the national forest. Scheduled meetings are -
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.
City (OR) Forest and Recreational Park Faces Pressure To Close!
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.
Negative Press For Us - This One From The Arizona Republic
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!
Is Attempting To Get Children Under 16 Banned From Operating ATVs
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.
for more and more groups to form pushing this type of proposal.
Activists Lose In Attempt to Re-Open Surprise Canyon Trail
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?!"
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.
National Forest Planned OHV Trail System is Scaled Down
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.
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?"
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.
important offroad / OHV / Public Land articles!
Look over all
of these important articles and happenings with public land battles.