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About you, your 4x4 and access

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.

John Stewart

Short primer on how to be a very effective advocate for OHV access

 Be an effective advocate for OHV access! Click here to learn how and here to make it happen.

We are kicking off 2017 with a legal fundraiser - all proceeds going directly to our legal fund. I'd like to take this opportunity to let you know why now, more than ever, a robust legal fund is so important.

Like many of you we are still trying to come to grips with the recent upheaval in national politics. For some, bold predictions are the order of this new day. We have navigated these waters before, and can provide a dose of experience and reality in guaranteeing: (1) whatever the predictions are, they will not match reality; (2) our anti-access opponents will return, particularly to the courts, with even greater zeal fueled by already brimming coffers growing at a record pace.

John Stewart

BRC QUESTIONS OHV RESTRICTIONS IN BI-STATE SAGE GROUSE DECISION

BOISE, ID (May 31) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

BlueRibbon Coalition

NEVADA - BLM Extends Comment Period for The NV & CA Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Land Use Plan Amendment

 

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NEVADA - BLM Extends Comment Period for The NV & CA Greater Sage Grouse Bi-State
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John Stewart

RECREATION GROUPS SETTLE ILLEGAL WILDERNESS LAWSUIT

The FS commits in the settlement to issue a new decision that will govern motorized and over snow access management to RWAs. The agreement states the FS will endeavor to implement a new decision before the 2014-2015 winter season. In the absence of such a new decision, management will revert "to previous management direction" which has authorized snowmobile, motorcycle and mountain bike access to some portions of these remote areas, particularly including the "Great Burn" along the north central Idaho-Montana border.

"We are pleased by this development," stated Sandra Mitchell, Public Lands Director of the Idaho State Snowmobile Association, the lead plaintiff.  "The concern over administratively designated wilderness will likely continue, but at least in this case the Service is agreeing to reconsider what we contend was an illegal expansion of the agency's role," Mitchell concluded.

The settlement is awaiting court approval. Wilderness advocacy organizations have intervened in the case, and court documents suggest they will object to the settlement agreement. "We have on numerous occasions reviewed similar settlement agreements where the parties' roles were reversed," noted Paul Turcke, the Boise, Idaho lawyer representing the recreation plaintiffs. "We look forward to responding to any objections the intervenors may seek to raise," added Turcke.

The case is entitled Idaho State Snowmobile Ass'n v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. CV-12-447-BLW. A copy of the complete settlement agreement may be viewed at http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/ISSA_v_USFS_Case_CV-12-447-BLW

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John Stewart

BRC BRINGS NEW SUIT TO RESTORE TRAIL ACCESS - WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT

Since 1997, the BRC Legal Program has sprung to action across the nation to challenge arbitrary closures and defend pro-trail agency decisions.   BRC's unmatched investment in legal advocacy for access since 1996 has been $1,721,195.  Many cases involve defense of attacks from anti-access groups.  Some, like Trail 38, are efforts to go "on offense" and establish or restore access opportunities.  BRC Legal has represented plaintiffs or filed cross-claims against the agency in at least 14 cases.

BRC Legal has appeared in California 15 times, 9 each for Idaho and Utah, 7 in Wyoming, 5 in Montana or on issues of Nationwide importance like Roadless Rule(s), and 3 or less in the remaining states which include Oregon, Alaska, Colorado, Arkansas, Illinois, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Florida.  The methods of access at issue have varied too, with 23 matters involving all forms of wheeled access, 14 focused on over-snow vehicles, 9 covering all motorized access, 5 exclusively 4WD, 3 exclusively ATV, 3 boating or personal watercraft, 3 including equestrian access, and 1 backcountry aviation case.

On multiple occasions BRC Legal has brought jurisdictional challenges to anti-access lawsuits that the Government declined to join, the most notable being in the 2001 SUWA lawsuit where our motion was granted in the district court and eventually became the basis for a 9-0 Supreme Court decision that all but killed a growing "failure to act" litigation strategy.  

BRC Legal cannot do its job without your generous support!  Please consider a donation today as we stand together in our legal effort to challenge unwarranted closures of public roads, trails, and areas.

BRC Legal Fund BRC Legal Fund - Trail 38


Watching those battles from the sidelines is not an option.  Our adversaries will pick a path of least resistance, and we need to maintain a legal presence to be reckoned with.

Thanks for your contribution and support!

The BRC Legal Team

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