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Dedicated to conservation and multiple use of public lands for recreation opportunities

Edited by: John Stewart

It is Time to Reform the Endangered Species Act

By Jon Crowley

As users of off-highway vehicles, we all love Mother Nature's creatures and creations as much if not more that the average citizen. Most of us use our vehicles to get out into the backcountry to enjoy its' beauty.

Unfortunately, that's not how environmental extremists are portraying our sport and they have been using the laws like the Endangered Species Act to close down access to public land. The Endangered Species Act was never about saving species. It was about land use, and environmental extremists quickly turned it into a devastating legal weapon. The ESA attempts to protect species at all costs, with no consideration for trade-offs or compensation for human needs. The ESA in its current form causes unnecessary human suffering while failing to effectively protect endangered animals and plants.

There have been numerous examples of how the ESA has had adverse impacts throughout the country, and in the last few years we in the OHV community have learned its' effect first-hand at places like Oceano Dunes and the Imperial Sand Dunes. Too often, environmental extremist use the ESA, and little or no science to file lawsuits against our government to close down access to public land. And our understaffed and unorganized government agencies typically agree to close down an area rather than fight in court.

With the midterm elections behind us, and power in Washington shifting towards a more favorable climate for sensible use of our public lands, now is the time to turn up the heat. Please take a few moments to write your representatives in Congress, and urge them to reform the Endangered Species Act.

Proposed improvements to the ESA listing process should include:
* Preference for field tested and peer reviewed data
* Independent scientific review
* Historical context such as population trends, ranges, and fluctuations
* Data from all sources including property owners and other interested parties
* Public access to the listing process

You can find out how to contact your representatives at www.congress.org.

Read more about reforming the ESA at Crowley Off-Road.

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