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

Edited by: John Stewart

Blue Ribbon Coalition News Release

Blue Ribbon Coalition Files Complaint with Fair Political Practices Commission

Specific Complaint against Commissioner who failed to fund Winter Programs

Sacramento, CA, October 24 - The Blue Ribbon Coalition, a national non-profit recreation coalition, is filing a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission regarding a vote by a Commissioner at last weeks meeting of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission.

At this meeting, three National Forests were denied funding of ongoing winter recreation programs. A member of the OHMVR Commission, John Brissenden, cast the deciding votes to deny funding to these three National Forests. Mr Brissenden is the owner of Sorenson's Resort, which is located on one of the three Forests, the Humboldt Toiyabe, and operates on another, the Eldorado National Forest. Mr. Brissenden is the only Commissioner to vote against every Forest Service Winter Recreation Grant.

No criminal activity is alleged, but the Coalition is concerned Mr. Brissenden may have voted his pocketbook as the only Commissioner to vote against every National Forest Winter Recreation grant. The Coalition is requesting an investigation into the matter.

The fall-out from this vote will have profound economic impacts for the area, and could conceivably create chaos for Californians traveling to these forests for recreational opportunities.

Bill Dart, the Public Lands Director for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said, "Unfortunately, the fall-out from this vote will have profound impacts economically for the area, and will create chaos for Californians who rightfully expected recreational opportunities. The California State Parks, OHMVR Division, just released a report detailing the estimated losses. On the Humboldt Toiyabe, an estimated 20 jobs will be lost, and an economic loss of $2,330,000 will result. On the Eldorado National Forest, 34 jobs will be lost, and a $3,196,000 economic loss will result."

"No trails will be groomed, parking lots will not be plowed, restrooms will not be maintained, and no funding will be available for maps and signs. There will be no Forest Service law enforcement funding, as well as no funding for wildlife monitoring," Dart stated.

"I join Commissioner Robert Chavez in suggesting the OHMVR Commission re-visit the goals and objectives, and the Mission Statement for the California OHV Program," Dart concluded.

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(The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public lands. It represents over 660 organizations and businesses with approximately 600,000 members.)

Contacts: Related Links:

Bill Dart, Public Lands Director
Blue Ribbon Coalition
208-237-1008, ex 102
Fax 208-237-9424