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A Message From BRC's Executive Director

Dear BRC Members and Supporters,

Must Read Editorial
I want to encourage everyone to read Brian Hawthorne's editorial this week.  I give you fair warning, what the National Park Service (NPS) is doing here is outrageous. NPS Oyster Stew - Betrayal Deja Vu.

When I watched the associated video Brian linked to, I was outraged, but I cannot say I was surprised. The vicious betrayal by the NPS of a family owned oyster farm is outrageous, but the fact that they used trumped up science to do it seems to me sadly typical of today's U.S. Department of Interior. I have been all across the US on my Turn the Tide Tour, and have seen this literally from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic to Point Reyes on the Pacific.

Best available science my eye! More like "most convenient trumped-up allegation."

Science in the Department of the Interior has become a joke, and the agency should be ashamed. I can't help but ask, "At what point does the personal opinion of agency leadership outweigh actual public policy?" You shouldn't be able to twist the science and rewrite history to suit your agenda.  

While we are on the subject of the DOI

Here is a quick Update on the Canyonlands Monument proposal. I want to thank our supporters who responded to our recent blast on the proposal to designate a massive new National Monument in southeastern Utah.

The issue has gotten a lot of national media attention, including in key Washington DC based natural resource newsletters.

In our update, BRC's Brian Hawthorne noted

"I have been personally involved in numerous collaborative efforts to determine how these prized recreational lands are managed, both as a recreationist who loves visiting the area and also as a representative of the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national OHV advocacy group.
The Outdoor Industry Association's advocacy arm has lost all credibility. Their letter requesting that President Obama establish a new National Monument is nothing less than an end-run around local and state efforts to consider how best to protect these lands. Their requests pulls the rug out from under those who will be most likely to be impacted by land use decisions - local citizens - as they hammer out compromises."

Indeed, San Juan County is an example of how to do it right. This last Monday, the County and the Navajo Nation signed a formalized agreement to "work together in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to recognize and consider how to effectively manage the outstanding natural, cultural and recreational resources on state and federal lands in San Juan County, as well as the socio-economic conditions for the enhancement of the quality of life for all San Juan County residents."

Mark Maryboy, the County representative for the Navaho Nation was quoted as saying:

"Navajos have always felt that the local people, whether they be Navajo or non-Navajo, should be at the forefront of discussing public lands."
Maryboy added that the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument effort, which has received support from a variety of national groups, should begin as a local effort.

Sadly, 100 outdoor retailers disagree. They seem to be doubling down on their request for President Obama to do an "end run" around these local collaborative efforts, and unilaterally designate a massive 1.4  million acres National Monument.

Read about the San Juan County/Navaho Nation agreement here:
San Juan County and Navajo Nation to coordinate land use efforts

The issue has also brought some much needed attention on a very dangerous lawsuit filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA).  After years of sitting dormant, it has been resurrected in the U.S. District Court in Utah, and could close some of the most nationally significant motorized recreation trails in Moab, Cainville and the San Rafael Swell.

Whatever the threat, BRC is committed to defend OHV recreation across the U.S. As Hawthorne noted in his editorial, we aren't surprised by much anymore. Just resolved to fight harder.

Thank you all for your support,
Greg Mumm
Executive Director
BlueRibbon Coalition

Learn about the SUWA lawsuit in our most recent Utah update

Support our Legal Program

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. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. 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 or http://www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

  17003 Hits

COLORADO - SCORR's TENDERFOOT MOUNTAIN TRAIL PROPOSAL NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT

Dear BRC members, supporters and action alert subscribers, Our partners over at the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) and the Summit County Off-Road Riders (SCORR) sent us their latest call to action on the proposed Tenderfoot Mountain Motorcycle Trail System. BRC is asking our members and supporters in Colorado to contact Scott Fitzwilliams, Forest Supervisor for the White River National Forest, telling him what you think of this pl

BLUERIBBON COALITION PARTNER ACTION ALERT!

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Original author: sharetrails

  8845 Hits

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Makes No Cents!


Is This the Future of OHV at Stonyford for the Next 2-3 Years?
As some of you already know, the Mendocino NF issued a public notice on Nov. 20 for comment on the Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project. Public comments are due by Dec. 17.
Mill Fire Salvage Scoping Letter (with contact info)
Mill Fire Salvage Project Info
Mill Fire Salvage Project Map
While HQ historically supports responsible timber/salvage sales, this plan hardly mentions OHV recreation. In addition, the proposal functionally closes the area until late spring/early summer 2014 for both casual riding and permitted OHV events. I also think this proposal seriously undermines the agency’s credibility with the OHV community and other stakeholders.
It appears many important connector roads and trails will be closed during logging/treatment. Again, this could mean no enduros in 2013 and possibly 2014. The proposal gives no estimate on when the trails could be re-opened for casual use. Again, OHV recreation is hardly mentioned. There is no mention of what this functional closure would have on the largest FS destination OHV area north of the Grapevine. There is no mitigation for repairing the trail system. At 20K/mile (or more), it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix obliterated trails.
Also, there is no mention of the sale’s impact on the current and ongoing post-fire trail restoration efforts.
The proposal does not address what HQ feels is a critical matter and that is dealing with the knobcone pine infestation (and the beetles/bugs that are eating them) on Sullivan Ridge and the Potato Hill area. How would this closure of the area impact the potential for grants during the closure time?
All of the affected trails listed below would be most likely converted from a system trail to a road and closed during the logging operation. At a minimum, a project like this would have to have project level NEPA to analyze the conversion of 50 inch or wider system trails to roads.
Initial List of Impacted (e.g. closed/obliterated routes by salvage sale)
Trails 03, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 33, 35, and 36.
4WD/OHV route/roads – 17N02, 17N14, 17N62B, 17N62C, 17N95, and 17N97
Be assured that HQ and BRC will be sharing our concerns with the FS, users, and conservation groups about what appears to be an ill-advised plan. This proposal as currently crafted is nothing more than an appeal and/or litigation magnate. I expect the FS will get hit from both sides of the land-use spectrum unless this plan is withdrawn or rewritten.
This proposal does not make any cents! (Yes, I mean cents as in wasted taxpayer and green sticker monies)
# # #

 

Original author: Don Amador

  13714 Hits

Stonyford - Mill Fire Update - Good and Bad News!


View of Trails 40, 32, and 34 from M5
View of Trail 33 Near Mill Valley Campground
The Recreation HQ got to spend a few days up at Stonyford last week touring (and working too) the burn area with FS staff. We reviewed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mill Fire and looked at the extent of the damage and some of the challenges the agency must address before reopening it for public use.
The good news is that the campgrounds at Fouts and Davis Flat are open for camping. Non-street legal OHVs can use Trail 42 that is a loop next to Davis Flat. However at this time, there is no access to the main trail/road network (i.e. Trails 34, 32, 40,37,39, or the shortcut to M5). In fact, M5 remains closed at this time.
If you have a dual-sport you can ride up M10 and get on the trails/roads that are open (i.e. Trail 6, 8, 12, 45, etc.). If you have non-street legal OHVs, you can trailer them up and park along M10 where it becomes a mixed-use road. That begins just past the junction of where the Letts Lake Road intersects with M10. Now is a good time to take the OHV corridor over to the Upper Lake OHV area and explore some of those trails.
The bad news is the main trail network that got burned looks like it will remain closed through the winter so that portions of the routes that have to be restored after getting blitzed by the bulldozers cutting firebreaks can heal.

The ugly news is there are a lot of potential impacts to the roads and trails from excessive soil erosion if the area gets hit with heavy rains. For example, a lot of tree stumps burned down to the root systems which often cross a road or a trail. Now with the stump/root gone, there is the potential for water to carve or gully up the road/trail bed.
Stump/root burnout on road
There are a number of volunteer days still ahead where you can help. Here is a link to where you can sign up.
HQ Blog with Vol. Dates and Sign Up Info
HQ believes that after these initial rains, the agency should make it a high priority to open up several corridors ASAP (i.e. Potato Hill and M5) so that riders can access the trails that are open in the non-burned areas.
HQ also wants to thank the agency and state trail crews that have been working very hard since the fire to help bring the impacted trails up to specs.
Watch for an update soon on the 1st volunteer trail day last week. We had a great turnout!
Original author: Don Amador

  16241 Hits

OHV and Nature Can Coexist at Carnegie/Tesla?


The Recreation HQ would like to give an update on the East Bay Regional Park District’s planning effort and how their narrative has apparently softened a bit when it comes to new OHV use on the Tesla property which is part of Carnegie SVRA.

I thought the Bay Nature article below did a pretty good job of weaving through the concept that managed OHV recreation and resource protection are not mutually exclusive and can and do co-exist on many state and federal lands.

Oct. 15 Bay Nature Article

http://baynature.org/articles/can-off-roading-and-nature-coexist/

What appears to be a new era of cooperation between the District, OHMVR, and user groups would not have happened without thousands of OHVers and their families showing up at various public meetings and sharing their views both verbally and in writing with District staff and board members.

I believe the various letters from OHV groups including BRC’s documents obtained by a public records act request had helped illustrate to the District that it was engaged in a less than robust quasi-CEQA process with unclear goals and objectives.

HQ Blog with Orig. BRC CEQA Concerns and Overview

Continue reading
  13128 Hits
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