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John Stewart

Court Orders Closure of State Park



The order stems from a complaint filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.  The group's complaint alleged OHV activities at Carnegie SVRA are causing discharge to enter Corral Hollow Creek, which flows through the park. The creek only runs 4 to 6 weeks a year, and after leaving the park eventually runs out into an agriculture field and   disappears into the ground.

"If  regulatory agencies are satisfied with what the park has been doing, why does this judge in Alameda think he knows better than the environmental professionals?," asked Dave Pickett, President of  American Motorcyclist Association District 36 and member of the Carnegie OHV Taskforce. "This is an attempt by special interests groups to highjack lasting collaborative solutions, and deny family recreation enjoyed by over a 100,000 visitors to this park annually. This is just flat wrong!"

For years, staff from Carnegie has been working with the Regional Water Board and nearby property owners to address water quality issues in Corral Hollow Creek, which runs through the State Park. In 2004, State Parks initiated a watershed assessment, paid for with OHV user fees, to diagnose potential issues in the watershed and design fixes. Regulatory agencies together with State Parks are identifying solutions to address problems.

"We have been working with the park to address the hill climbs in Carnegie, which have been problematic, as well as making sure the vehicles are out of the creek. But we have no control over Hetch Hetchy, who illegally performed work in the creek bed, or the munitions testing facility," said Pickett, referring to the activities of neighbors of the park. "It is troubling when the OHV community wants to work within the system and is now taking all the blame."

According to Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition and fellow member of the Carnegie Taskforce, "If the park is forced to close, more than 100,000 park visitors will be displaced. The closure will impact other OHV recreation areas, causing overcrowding and unanticipated effects from the overload. The closure will not hasten better water quality, but is just another example of the Plaintiffs grandstanding and misusing environmental law to enact a political agenda that is anti-recreation and anti-park."

"Californians would be better served if PEER extended the hand of partnership to legitimately address the issue, rather than using the court system to close a park at a time when residents have been fighting so hard to keep State Parks open. This court decision is deeply troubling on any number of levels," Amador concludes...

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 http://www.sharetrails.org

 

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John Stewart

POISON SPYDER TEAMS UP WITH THE ACCESS ARMY TO KEEP TRAILS OPEN

The Access Army Rocker Knocker or Ricochet Rocker features the Access Army logo CNC laser-cut into the rugged 3/16” plate steel.  Access Army Rocker Knockers are available with or without tubular rock sliders.  Best of all, Poison Spyder Customs is donating 10% of the purchase price for each set to the Blue Ribbon Coalition, which fights the legal battles for public access.  “We’re passionate about this issue,” says Larry McRae, president of Poison Spyder Customs, “access to public lands is what our sport is based on.  We’re proud to be a part of the Access Army!”

The Access Army is guided by its Joint Chiefs of Staff, veteran land use advocate Del Albright, who brings a lifetime of experience fighting to maintain public access through such organizations as the Blue Ribbon Coalition and the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs.  The Access Army brings together access advocates from all walks of life, and from across the spectrum of land use organizations, enthusiast associations and clubs.  The Access Army seeks to exploit the power of the Internet, its online forums and enthusiast groups, and social networking sites to take the fight for access on the offensive with a proactive, targeted, aggressive campaign for public access to public lands.

To learn more about the Access Army, please visit their website at www.accessarmy.com.  More information on the Blue Ribbon Coalition may be found at www.sharetrails.org.  For more information about Poison Spyder Customs products, see www.poisonspyder.com.

ABOUT POISON SPYDER CUSTOMS: Poison Spyder Customs has been at the forefront of off-road innovation since its inception.  From its Banning, California facilities Poison Spyder Customs designs, manufactures and markets a growing line of off-road accessories and performance modifications for Jeep® vehicles.  The majority of its sales are made through an extensive dealer network, and the company maintains a high visibility among off-road enthusiasts through heavy participation in off-road events, clubs and online enthusiast forums.

 

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John Stewart

New Alternative Added to Johnson Valley Study

Approximately 20,000 stakeholder comments were received on the alternatives that were presented to the public during the public scoping period held from October 2008 through January 2009. These comments and other stakeholder input have helped the Marine Corps further refine the issues and study alternatives. An additional alternative, Alternative Six, has now been developed that accommodates public access to some of the lands in the West Study Area when Marines are not using the area for training.

A range of reasonable alternatives (Alternatives One through Six), as well as the No-Action Alternative, has been finalized for inclusion in the Environmental Impact Statement.

The Marine Corps and the Department of the Navy are scheduled to publish a Draft EIS evaluating alternatives for meeting our MEB training requirements in September 2010. Following this release, there will be a 90-day public comment period.

A final EIS that takes into account public comments will be issued in July 2011. A Record of Decision will be made public in October 2011, after which any request for public land withdrawal to support MEB training will be submitted to Congress. Any non-federal lands acquired would be purchased at fair market value. Any request for establishment of related special use airspace would be presented to the Federal Aviation Administration for rule making.

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John Stewart

Dunes Season Ramps Up With New Road

“BLM,” Wood said, “will continue its education campaign to increase awareness and compliance of youth all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rider rules in effect since 1988. A rider course is offered throughout California and on-site at the Dunes during winter months. If a child is found to be riding without an ATV safety certificate or is unsupervised, the parent or guardian will be ticketed.”

California state law requires that all ATV riders under 18 years of age possess an ATV safety certificate issued by the state or be supervised by an adult possessing the certificate. All ATV riders under the age of 14 must be supervised by an adult. More information regarding the ATV rider course, including free enrollment, can be found at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov or by calling the ATV Safety Institute, (800) 887-2887.

The Imperial Sand Dunes are the largest mass of sand dunes in California.  They were formed by windblown sands of ancient Lake Cahuilla and extend more than 40 miles in a dune system averaging five miles in width.  More than a million off-highway vehicle enthusiasts recreate annually on the Dunes, which can rise more than 300 feet above the desert floor.  The  Dunes also offer unique scenery, as well as opportunities for solitude and viewing rare plants and animals.


--BLM--

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John Stewart

Recreational Groups Decry Tellico Closure

"Sadly, we are not surprised.  It now appears the Forest Service knew it would close the Area years ago, and undertook the intervening 'public process' to justify a decision already made," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition. "We are sorely disappointed that the Forest Service has determined it cannot effectively manage the Upper Tellico OHV Area that users have supported with millions of dollars in fees and thousands of hours of volunteer labor.  With our recreational partners, we will evaluate all options that may change that determination."

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation.  For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

 

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