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John Stewart

RECREATIONISTS JOIN EFFORT TO BRING ROADLESS RULE TO THE HIGH COURT

"This fight has been going on for over a decade.  BlueRibbon and Cal4 have been involved in every facet of the Roadless litigation since the beginning, and we are resolved to stay that course," observed BlueRibbon Public Lands Policy Director Brian Hawthorne.  "We believe the Wyoming court correctly noted the legal flaws in the 2001 Rule.  We also believe that the U.S. Forest Service needs to address "roadless area" management through local planning, not through politically driven-one-size-fits-all-templates created in the White House," Hawthorne concluded.

It is anticipated that an array of states and private interest groups will support the petitions and join in asking the High Court to grant review.

The Supreme Court will conclude its present term in June 2012.  Responses to the Roadless petitions are not due until mid-July, so the Court will apparently decide whether or not to grant review when its next term begins in September 2012.  Obtaining review is a daunting task.  In recent years nearly 1,600 petitions have been filed each term, with the Court issuing 80 or fewer opinions per term.

To see a copy of the BlueRibbon, Cal4, AFRC amici curiae brief click HERE.

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The California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs is a California nonprofit organization actively promoting conservation and responsible vehicle-oriented recreation.  The Association represents over 8,000 members and 160 member clubs. 1-800-4x4-FUNN. www.cal4wheel.com

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

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John Stewart

Tin Benders Off-Road Club Donates $10,000 to Help Save Johnson Valley OHV Area

"This land is very important to all of us, we need to do everything we can to protect it" said club member and Ultra 4 racer Eric Anderson.

Mike Hendrix a long time club member felt the event was the best to date, "even though attendance was down a bit this year, revenue was increased from years past. Nearly everyone who participated in the raffle had a winning ticket and came away with a really great prize."

The Tin Benders are looking forward to next year, and they're issuing a challenge to other clubs to get in gear and do some of their own fundraising to further the Johnson Valley cause. Many people are unaware that the Johnson Valley OHV area, which is the largest in the country, is under threat of becoming part of the massive 29 Palms Marine Corps base. The expansion will make it the largest base in the world - larger than the State of Rhode Island.

Eric Anderson concluded by saying "It's encouraging to see how big an impact a small club like ours can have in such a noble cause, now we hope others will join in and help us win this fight once and for all. We're not a large organization, but we felt we had to do our part to help save this amazing location. I hope others will be inspired to reach in their wallets and help protect this area from expansion".

Fundraising is not new to the Tin Benders club. Many OHV enthusiasts should remember their efforts at Panamint Valley, where the club invested over 30 thousand dollars in an attempt to save Surprise Canyon.

If you would like to follow the lead of the Tin Benders and make a donation to the California Motorized Recreation Council "Save the Hammer's" effort please visit www.savethehammers.org With your help we can save the Johnson Valley OHV area.

 

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John Stewart

State Parks Director Resigns Amid Funding Scandal

According to the Sacramento Bee story, State Parks has been sitting on almost $55 MILLION cash surplus while they have been pleading they don't have the funding to keep the parks open. The threat of closure of 70 state park units has prompted shifting funding from other sources during the recently completed state budget process, including the taking funds from the state's Off-Highway Vehicle Fund.

The emerging funding scandal has prompted a more in-depth investigation to determine the full extent.

The link is to a Sacramento Bee article about the issue.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/07/20/4645141/state-parks-director-resigns.html

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John Stewart

OHV COMMUNITY SUPPORTS GOVERNOR’S EFFORT TO REVIEW FUND

OHV leadership is asking that the OHV program, a national model and one with absolute fiscal clarity, be restored completely.

The OHV program is the most successful division of State Parks and responsibly provides recreational opportunities to millions of Californians.  OHV recreation is also critical to the rural economy of the state.

OHV leadership noted they are not amused by the protestations of former Director Ruth Coleman that she had no idea the problem existed. Certainly, her career as a budget expert spanning more than two decades is a matter of record.  "The buck stops someplace…we hope that is where the investigation will begin."

OHV leadership welcomes the scrutiny and looks forward to participating in the process and restoring the state OHV program to its national prominence.

 

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John Stewart

Court Releases Final Decision on Eldorado National Forest Lawsuit

Pro-access recreation groups are disappointed with the order but glad to see the case concluded.  Several key organizations participated in this suit and decades of litigation involving the Eldorado, including the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4), California Enduro Riders Association, District 36 of the American Motorcyclist Association and the BlueRibbon Coalition.  Mark Cave, President of Cal4Wheel, observed, "We're concerned these closures are unnecessary and issued without legally required findings.  But the "interim" status was complete closure of the 42 routes, so even this result is a step forward that allows some access." The Forest is completing renewed analysis and will issue a new decision on these routes.

Cave used the "David versus Goliath" analogy to describe how difficult it is to prevail against the well funded preservationist efforts. Still, none of the groups involved are willing to give up. "We encourage interested parties to stay in the loop, participate in the ongoing management process and help support whatever next steps the recreation groups decide to take." Cave added.

The case is entitled Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. CV-09-2523.  A copy of the Court's order including a description of the 42 meadow routes may be viewed at http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/112-Order_on_remedy.07.31.12.pdf .

 

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OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2019 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.