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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

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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Original author: [email protected]
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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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John Stewart

State Level Coordination, Cooperation and Collaboration for Off-Road Recreation

In fact, it is being done at the national level, and that same model can be followed at the state level.  The North American Motorized Recreation Council (NAMRC) has laid the framework for uniting efforts across the country.  More can be done; but the model is solid.   NAMRC is supplemented with National Leadership Calls on a regular basis, albeit not directly affiliated with NAMRC at this time.

It begins with STEP 1: a common communications network (email, forum, Skype, Go To Meeting, etc.).  The critical part is getting everyone rounded up so they know there is a place to share ideas.  Make sure every possible group is invited.

STEP 2:  is to meet once or twice a year, or as often as needed, to tackle issues and meet each other face to face.    It is about the same process as starting a “coalition” as I write about here: http://www.delalbright.com/articles/coalitions.htm.   The actual process for CA was set in 2003 with this Multiple-Use Summit: http://www.delalbright.com/access/summit.htm

Continuing with the CA example, the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC) was established to work on Johnson Valley in an unified voice.  That can easily be expanded to all state level issues.  This was attempted in 1997 with the first state level multiple use group called the Resource Education Network (REN).  It was fueled by the Desert Protection Act and lasted several years before morphing into the Sierra Nevada Framework efforts.  More on REN here: http://www.delalbright.com/Access/ren.html

Bringing multiple-use groups together is part of the process needed for state-level unification.  One early example was set in 1997 with the Multiple-Use Shared Trail (MUST) Workshop that could be repeated, or blended into a Leadership Summit type meeting.

Then STEP 3:  is to supplement the face-to-face meetings with leadership calls much like a non-profit would have Board meetings by phone calls or Skype or Go To Meetings (examples).  Each call is facilitated and the agenda is announced beforehand.

For large states like CA, oversight or executive level committees can be established to make the working element a bit smaller and easier to work with, as long as they are working under the expectations of the entire group.

Finally, STEP 4: publish the results and actions so that every participant is informed and included, and the actions of the group are seen by others.

Some unwritten parts of the success of an effort like this include setting aside egos, minimizing club/turf boundaries, and finding ways to be positive and cooperative instead of self-protective.  It can be done.

Del Albright

Interim Director of Operations, BlueRibbon Coalition www.sharetrails.org
Founding Trail Boss, Friends of the Rubicon www.rubiconfriends.com
Environmental Affairs, CA4WDC www.cal4wheel.com

Find Del on Facebook here
Find BRC on Facebook here.

Contact Del at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: www.delalbright.com
Del’s Cell:  (209) 304-7693

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