Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation...

Advocating access to public lands carries a responsibility to be part of the solution for managing the public lands.  As a strong proponent for participation to make a difference, I am a full time advocate for recreation and the Managing Editor of the OutdoorWire family websites. is dedicated to four wheel drive recreation featuring technical articles and information to promote, protect, and provide outdoor recreation opportunities. focuses on California issues. is focused on environmental, administrative and legislative news and information. is Access and Landuse Central with an overall index to the contents of the family of websites. 

John Stewart

Destination: Inaugural Julian Starfest

Destination: Inaugural Julian Starfest - August 2008

One of the highlights of a wheeling trip is sitting around a campfire at the end of the day.  In the evening twilight faint spots of white begin to fill the sky.  Daylight soon becomes starlight.Telescope Display

The first dim spots of light to be seen in the sky are planets.  As the sunlight fades, more distant stars begin to appear.   

Over the years I have learned to identify the North Star and the Big Dipper.  Along with Orion's Belt and the Seven Sisters, which is familiar to many as the logo of Izuzu, they are some of the more recognizable star formations.

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John Stewart

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Mojave Population of the Desert Tortoise Released

[Federal Register: August 4, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 150)]
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR - Fish and Wildlife Service

Draft Revised Recovery Plan for Mojave Population of the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.
ACTION: Notice of document availability for review and comment.
SUMMARY: We, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce the availability of a draft revised recovery plan for the Mojave population of the desert tortoise for public review and comment. DATES: We must receive any comments on the draft recovery plan on or before November 3, 2008.

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John Stewart

Toyo® Introduces Ten New Tire Sizes for Popular Fitments

July 31, 2008
CYPRESS, CALIFORNIA – Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has introduced 10 new tire sizes appealing to the broad consumer market including passenger car and light truck.  The new products, released since the beginning of May, represent Toyo’s commitment to quality and innovation while meeting the demands of an expanding market.

Toyo’s flagship ultra-high performance passenger car tire, the Proxes® T1R™, now comes in a 245/40ZR20 size for both replacement and plus sizing.  European car fitments include the Audi A8 and the BMW 7 Series, while domestic cars such as the Cadillac CTS and DTS as well as the Chevy Impala SS/LTZ all benefit from this size.
Racers, track drivers and hardcore performance enthusiasts get to select from a new 245/40ZR17 and a wide 315/35ZR17 Proxes® R888™ D.O.T. approved competition radial.  The new 315-size is an ideal match with a 275/40ZR17 Proxes R888 for early Corvette ZR-1 and popular muscle car fitments.
With the recent launch of the new Proxes® ST II™ for SUVs, sport trucks and select crossovers; four new sizes of this advanced high-performance tire are included in the lineup.  New sizes include 245/50R20, 265/45R22, 285/40R22 and a 305/30R26 to fit everything from the new Ford Edge Limited to full-size sport trucks and SUV’s.
Additional new light truck product includes a P245/60R18 Open Country® H/T for a premium OE upgrade on a broad range of vehicles such as the Chevy Trailblazer, Ford Edge Limited, GMC Envoy, Hyundai Veracruz Limited and SE, Lincoln MKX, and the Mazda CX-9 Sport and Touring.  A new Open Country® A/T size is a P265/60R18 for mid-size pickups and SUVs.  Off-road enthusiasts also benefit from a new 33X10.50R15LT Open Country M/T®, adding a highly popular size to a legendary tire.
To learn more about the new products for passenger cars and light trucks by Toyo®, log on to  While there, be sure to check out the “Tire Recommender” link to find the right OE and plus size options for your vehicle.  Toyo manufactures and distributes a complete line of replacement tires for high performance cars, luxury vehicles, light trucks and SUVs as well as tires for commercial trucks, buses and off-road and construction applications.

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John Stewart

ARRA Newsletter - August 2008

Urgency aside, Democrats and Republicans have slugged it out in terms of what to do. Republicans want to authorize more off-shore drilling and Democrats want to go after oil speculators and compel more energy conservation. Much of the month has been spent in a virtual deadlock, because neither party seems to think that "compromise" is in its political interest. Now that they are about to leave town until after Labor Day, Congressional leadership is beginning to talk with each other about working out a compromise, though both parties seem wary about giving the other party too much credit for solving the energy crisis. Maybe we will have to wait until the start of the "heating season" before a new sense of urgency sets in.

Massive CR
A massive CR has nothing to do with a medical condition, but rather it is the description of what Congress will do in terms of funding the operation of the federal government when the new fiscal year begins October 1, 2008. Normally, Congress would enact specific appropriation measures for the various departments, but whenever it fails to complete work in time for the fiscal year to begin, it takes the easy route and passes a "continuing resolution" which means that agencies will be funded at the same level in the new fiscal year as they were in the previous year. Call it "status quo" funding, if you will.

Mind you, there is nothing wrong with this legislative approach. If fact, some policy experts prefer it since continuing resolutions tend to limit the growth of federal spending. But to show how the stalemate over energy policy has affected the appropriations process, Senate Democrats recently cancelled a mark-up session on the Interior Department's appropriations measure for fear that Republicans would use that appropriation measure as a vehicle to offer amendments on energy issues. Senate Democrats decided that the best course of action was no meeting at all rather than being forced to vote on some tough amendments.

We are, however, making some progress in the House Appropriations Committee. As the following chart indicates, the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee is recommending an increase in funding for the Forest Service Recreation and Trail programs over what was recommended in the President's budget submission for FY 2009. A number of ARRA members have contacted their Members of Congress on this issue and we are making some headway because of your diligence. For those of you who haven't yet contacted your Representative or Senator on this funding issue, it not too late to let them know what you think. Take action today on the ARRA Website (

Cape Hatteras OHV Access
The Cape Hatteras OHV access issue is getting some attention here in Washington. In our May, 2008 edition of our Washington newsletter, we reported on the situation in North Carolina where a recently approved Consent Degree severely limits OHV access to some of the best sport fishing areas in North America. Well, the OHV community has been busy tackling this issue and legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and the United States Senate that would reinstate the National Park Service's Interim Management Strategy for the Cape Hatteras area. The legislation, if enacted, would ensure that the Interim plan would remain in effect and thereby provide OHV access to Cape Hatteras until such time as a long-term off-road vehicle management plan is completed.

This week, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on S. 3113. The House companion legislation is H. R. 6233. You can read the text of both bills by going the ARRA website Federal Legislation page.

North Carolinian OHV enthusiasts as well as local and federal elected officials and national OHV groups are working hard in support of this legislation. It merits our support as well, so please contact your elected Representative/Senators and urge adoption of these measures before Congress adjourns this session. If you have an interest in contacting your elected representative, we have a special page on the ARRA website to take action on this issue! Visit

Law of Unintended Consequences for Recreational Boaters
Recreational boaters throughout the United States are breathing a bit easier now that the U. S. Senate and the House of Representatives passed the Clean Boating Act of 2008. The bill now awaits the President's signature in order for it to become law.

In response to a federal court decision, Congress had to step in and bring some practicality to public policy. This time, it was the recreational boater who was threatened by a 2006 ruling by a federal judge who said that the Environmental Protection Agency incorrectly exempted recreational boats from the Clean Water Act. EPA made that interpretation back in 1973!

If the court's ruling remained in effect, beginning September 30, 2008, recreational boaters throughout the United States would have to pay large fees for annual permits similar to those of ocean-going cargo ships. Failure to have such permits and failure to abide by stringent dumping guidelines meant that recreational boating as we know it would have been dealt a fatal blow. Imagine having to pay a large fee for a federal permit just so a couple of times a year you could take your 14-foot fishing boat to your favorite lake.

Many people in the recreational boating community worked very hard on this legislation and ARRA sends them our congratulations. This is an excellent example of how a grassroots effort can make a difference! Well done, boaters!!!

Land Use Forum Meets in Washington, D. C.
A number of national OHV organizations met in Washington during July to discuss land use issues. In addition, we met with officials from the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. Stakeholders present for the meetings were leaders from the American Council of Snowmobile Associations, American Motorcyclist Association, Americans for Responsible Recreational Access, BlueRibbon Coaltion, Motorcycle Industry Council, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, Off-Road Business Association, Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, Tread Lightly!, and United Four Wheel Drive Associations. The meeting sessions were held in ARRA's Washington office.

The purpose of this meeting was to exchange ideas, share war stories, and talk about the challenges facing us as we approach a new Congress and Administration in 2009. While there is a diversity of views, interests and strategies, we find that by periodically talking and meeting with each other, we can do a better job of working together on those interests that we share in common.


Larry E. Smith
Executive Director
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access

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John Stewart

Colorado Roadless Rule and DEIS Available for Public Comment

The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region and the State of Colorado will host eight open houses for the public across the state the last two weeks of August as well as a July 29 meeting in the Washington, D.C. area to facilitate understanding of the proposed rule and provide comment opportunities.

The proposed rule and DEIS culminate ongoing, intensive, and cooperative work with the Colorado Governor´s office that began in 2005. The undertaking also represents the State of Colorado´s support for a roadless area protection strategy after years of concern over the effects of the 2001 Roadless Conservation Area Rule to the State of Colorado and its residents.

“Collaboration among the State of Colorado, local communities, and the U.S. Forest Service has resulted in a proposed roadless rule that provides the most effective way to manage and conserve National Forest System roadless areas in Colorado,” said Colorado Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Mike King.

The proposed Colorado Roadless Rule would conserve the natural integrity and character of Colorado roadless areas. It prohibits road building and tree cutting except for limited circumstances similar to those under the 2001 Rule as well as specific Colorado exceptions. These include temporary roads needed for fuels treatment to protect communities; roads needed to construct or maintain water and utility infrastructure; and temporary roads for exploration or development of the North Fork coal mining area.

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