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Union Tribune Article...A Must Read !!

KTM_rad

Well-Known Member
If this doesn't motivate you to get involved, whatever way you can, then nothing will. Obviously, one of the hurdles we have to overcome is the money situation. The groups need contributions, so donate a few dollars whenever you can !!

>
> Trail's end for OHV recreation?
>
>
> By Roy Denner
>
> August 16, 2001
>
>
> The movement to curtail off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation became
> publicized in 1994 when California Senate Bill 21 was passed. That bill
> closed about 32,000 acres of the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area
> (ISDRA), commonly known as the Glamis area, to off-highway vehicles.
>
> Many OHV enthusiasts conceded that, if unique species of plants and
> animals really do live only in the dunes, this closure was necessary to
> protect those species. There would still be around 100,000 acres left for
> OHV recreation in what is probably the most popular OHV area in the world.
>
> Recently, three environmental organizations teamed up and sued the Bureau
> of Land Management (BLM) for not properly following the requirements of
> the Endangered Species Act. One of the many claims in the lawsuit was that
> the BLM was not properly monitoring the impacts on the Peirson's
> milk-vetch plant caused by OHV use in the ISDRA.
>
> The BLM reacted by closing another 49,000 acres of the ISDRA to OHV use.
> Theoretically, this closure is an interim action until it can be
> determined whether OHV use is actually having an impact on this threatened
> plant.
>
> The impact on OHV use in the California desert goes well beyond the
> closure in the ISDRA. To comply with the demands of the lawsuit, the BLM
> is in the process of hurriedly updating 20-year-old management plans for
> the 10 million-acre California Desert District.
>
> These new management plans, written in the shadow of the current lawsuit,
> are actually environmental impact statements (EIS's). They provide
> mechanisms for curtailing all types of recreation if such use can be shown
> to be having an impact on threatened, endangered or sensitive species
> and/or their habitat. No mitigation is provided in any of the new
> so-called management plans for impacts to recreation resulting from the
> implementation of these plans.
>
> In July alone, the BLM issued no less than five letters and environmental
> assessments that impose "emergency closures" resulting from the lawsuit.
> One assessment proposes closure to motorized vehicles of five areas within
> the ISDRA. Another proposes OHV route closures in the popular Painted
> Gorge area to protect the bighorn sheep. Yet another closes OHV routes to
> protect the desert tortoise.
>
> In June, at a meeting in Ridgecrest, California Desert District Advisory
> Council members were given a tour of desert areas managed by the BLM
> Ridgecrest office. In the Rand Mountain area, district advisory members
> were shown how effectively the BLM has closed 83 percent of the OHV trails
> that once existed in this area. Remaining are only 129 miles of trails. In
> the Jawbone area, two-thirds of the OHV roads have been closed.
>
> It was described how, in the Western Mojave planning area, early plans
> propose the closure of between 6,000 and 8,000 miles of off-road vehicle
> routes. In the Northern & Eastern Colorado Desert Area in Southern
> California, five more OHV recreation areas are listed for closure along
> with thousands of acres of desert washes.
>
> And if this were not enough, the state of California's "Green Sticker"
> program is under attack. This successful self-funding licensing program
> for off-highway vehicles has been in operation since 1971. According to
> the publication, Responsible Recreation, "California's program for
> off-highway vehicles is the oldest in the nation and a model for similar
> programs throughout the country. Each year, 3.5 million Californians --
> mostly families -- enjoy the state's natural beauty in off-highway
> vehicles. They contribute $3 billion annually to the state's economy." Not
> mentioned in that publication is the fact that the $3 billion figure was
> for the 1993/1994. Off-highway vehicle registration has almost doubled
> since then.
>
> The result of all of this is that the OHV community feels that it has
> been backed into a corner. After years of compromising and loss of
> recreation opportunities, it has become clear that opponents will not
> cease their efforts until OHV recreation has been totally eliminated.
>
> OHV groups and their leaders have become organized and united and are
> gearing up to fight fire with fire. Since litigation works so well for
> those opposed to OHV recreation, the OHV community feels it has no choice
> but to enter that arena.
>
> The OHV community has engaged the San Diego firm of Procopio, Cory,
> Hargreaves, and Savitch to review all of the unbalanced management plans
> currently being prepared by government agencies. The firm has completed a
> review of the draft of the first major plan released by the BLM -- the
> Northern & Eastern Colorado Plan). A few comments from the review:
>
> "In short, the document is replete with errors in logic, unsupported
> hypotheses, gross and unsubstantiated generalizations, and impact
> assumptions based on little or no technical evidence. Further, the EIS
> reflects an institutional bias against off-highway vehicle recreation so
> strong it disfigures nearly every aspect of the environmental analysis. .
> . . As a result, the EIS is legally deficient and may not be used to
> support the proposed NECO Management Plan."
>
> Where this battle will go is anybody's guess. Unfortunately, large sums
> of money will be spent on litigation -- money that could be used more
> effectively to improve recreation opportunities on public lands. The OHV
> community believes, with reams of evidence, that, if the money is not
> spent on litigation to stop the trend of closures, there will be no
> recreation on public lands for future generations.
>
> Denner is president of the Off-Road Business Association and education
> chairman of the San Diego Off-Road Coalition. He is also recreation
> representative of the Bureau of Land Management California Desert District
> Advisory Council.
>
>
>
> Copyright 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
>


Randy
CORVA Field Rep - So. Cal.
(California Off Road Vehicle Association)
AMA Member
 

Paige

Well-Known Member
That is great Randy - thanks - Roy certainly put his thoughts into words didn't he?

<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
yeah-but you should see the other sides words...read the press releases from the cbd-every animal, fish, fly or frog, is being killed by irresponsible offroaders. how we kill the sucker fish in klamath is beyond me, but they tie us to it

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

EQuin

Well-Known Member
You make a good point, Martin. Alot of these groups like to blame off-road recreation and racing as one of the most destructive activities to the environment. I'm no ecologist or biologist, so I don't know how off-roading adversely affects species and habitat, much less destroys the environment. Yet, while some of these groups focus all their energy attacking a recreational and sporting activity that many tax-paying citizens enjoy, they virtually ignore true destructive problems to public health and the environment.

Just west of the Glamis Sand Dunes in Imperial County runs a river known as the "New River" that flows north from Mexicali and into the Salton Sea. Sampling data of the New River's water column has revealed toxic levels of many hazardous substances, including even a strain of the polio virus. Law enforcement personnel are under strict orders not to wade into the river to retrieve evidence due to the contamination. Only specially suited divers can go into the river to retrieve evidence such as drugs and other contraband that the criminal element tries to hide and smuggle to avoid detection, knowing of the river's reputation for contamination. Despite this obvious health and environmental risk, why is it that some of these environmental groups do not focus any attention whatsoever in addressing and solving this serious problem? To spend so much time, resources and money on lawsuits and other avenues that seek to close public lands from off-road recreational use, while completely ignoring such an obvious environmental problem, tends to put doubt in the credibility of their purpose.

Everyone knows that elevated levels of mercury, arsenic, hexachlorobenzene and other hazardous substances listed in 40 C.F.R. 302.4 can result in high toxicity to all organisms, including humans. In the Calcasieu Estuary in southwest Louisiana, where numerous petrochemical facilities discharge effluent (pursuant to valid, NPDES permits), the State Department of Health was forced to issue a health advisory against consumption of fish and shellfish from the area due to elevelated levels of the above listed hazardous substances. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, the folks who bring us news of the weather) released a report showing high toxicity levels in the area that some believe are attributed to those hazardous substances. As a result, the local fishing industry went bankrupt, ruining the livelihood of many local families dependent on that industry. Granted, the petrochemical industry provides us with many useful products and consumer goods without which we would not be able to enjoy the standard of living we've been accustomed to enjoy. However, where there is such an evident problem of sediment contamination and toxicity to benthic organisms, why do those groups who claim to be champions of the environment completely ignore this true environmental problem that has not only affected aquatic biology but has also ruined financially a once viable fishing industry?

Just my humble opinion on the matter. Take care,



Ed Q.
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Sir Winston Churchill
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
equin- what most offroaders fail to realize is that this is a process they have been partaking in for over 30 years. they have placed politicians from their vent, educational personel to teach and brain wash, and portrayed us in the media for so long with truth, that now they can say anything about us and the public buys it. if there are any offroaders out there who don't know of someone who has disregarded all responsilbility for the environment at one time or another, you are not a very active offroader. there are those in our group who think they should be able to obliterate anything they want whenever they want in the name of access, multiple use, and freedom on public land. i'm gonna say this, offroading is a priveledge, just like driving.
our biggest problem is we have always felt we could compromise with these folks. give a little here and a little there and everyone will be happy. boy were we wrong! and it only took us 15 to 20 years to realize it, so we are so far behind the curve on public education that we are losing access everyday! our biggest hope is that other groups hear the warning siren and support us. i know this is happening with wemo. the equetrian group is really supporting the offroad access issue, not neccessarily because they are all offroaders, but they see the path and where it leads. snowmobilers, mountain bikers, personal watercraft users, they should all be involved with this. they are on the list.
the list- i will keep it short for simplicity. i have seen it and it is very inclusive and there is an order to it. but basically when all is said and done and they get their way, you can take pictures and leave footprints. seriously. you even have to pack your poop out! the other thing is these people really feel religous about this cause. they feel they are riteous and everyone should be in line with their thinking. you are either in their car, or getting run over by it. and this issue is worldwide. check into the NWO and see how they are spread across the globe. even the little house on the prarie used to much wood for these folks.
i know i'm getting long winded, but if you sit on your ass long enough about this stuff, they may outlaw the wooden seat your on! martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

EQuin

Well-Known Member
Very well said, Martin. Yet I'm still at a loss as to why these groups fervently target the closure of vast public lands to the public in the name of championing the environment while completely ignoring true environmental problems. Their zeal in achieving this end appears to lack substantive merit with respect to protecting and restoring the environment.

From what I understand, they appear to rely heavily on the Endangered Species Act as an argument for justifying closure. Granted, I have not been to their websites and read the scientific explanation, if any, on how responsible off-roading in designated areas adversely affects species which they claim are on the list. Do they have any studies to base their claims? For instance, whenever a remedial investigation and feasibility study is performed on a highly contaminated site, one of the studies done is a human health and ecological risk assessment. Risk assessors and toxicologists take into account the background levels and actual concentration levels of each hazardous substance to determine not only which is a risk driver, but also what effect each has on the known habitat and species and the kind of human exposure that is likely. Known and suspected carcinogens, such as poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, are even taken into account during the human health risk assessment. Yet, I have yet to see or even hear of any similar eco-risk assessment by these groups on the effect, if any, that responsible off-roading in designated areas may have on any respective species known to be in the area. If there are such studies, then I would be very curious to review their results, as well as know who performed such studies. It would not suprise me, however, to find that no such studies have been done.

Like you implied, the great majority of us who partake in our recreational sport do so responsibly with no intent whatsoever to destroy habitat. The few that disregard responsibility with reckless abandon unfortunately give the rest of us a bad name. However, those few should simply be prosecuted for their misdeeds and charged with criminal trespass and/or intentional destruction of property. Instead of wasting time, money and resources on closing vast areas to the public, maybe more funds could be allocated by Congress to enforcement efforts. I don't know if that would work, or even if that would be a good idea, but it seems illogical to go from one extreme to another.

More importantly, though, you are right that we must get involved to educate and argue against the illogical path that the other environmental groups appear to have chosen. Closing vast areas of public lands to off-roading and other recreational uses is not the answer, especially where such activities have not been shown to be harmful as these groups mistakenly claim. In the meantime, more aggressive enforcement and prosecution against the few who feel they can wantonly blaze through any and all areas without care or regard is needed and should be lobbied for, instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water. As you correctly pointed out, lack of involvement and participation in this process will lead to the illogical and erroneous consequences that we fear.

Just thought I'd add once more my humble opinions on this interesting yet serious topic.

Take care,


Ed Q.
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Sir Winston Churchill
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
ed- funny you bring up real science, because real science is what we, offroaders, accept as proof. in their case, any opinion that suits their agenda is "science". it is not only about offroaders, it is about lifestyle, theirs versus anyone elses. the overall intent is a return to life as it was pre-industrial revolution. some of the ideas make sense, but their approach to achieving them and the degrading impact they would have on life as we know it would be devastating.
their use of the esa is what happens when a truly good idea becomes prostituted out with a loophole. in this case, the line in the esa that any and all processes that have or could have a detrimental impact on the specific species must cease. this leaves little room for arguement and is the reason they attack in this manner. iy is federal law and cannot be usurped by state or local law unless that law is even more stringent. no one on capitol hill wants to be labeled the person who destrpyed the law trying to make a simple fix. it would take someone term limited out with no other future just to introduce the subject. probably 4-5 years before real talks about it even entered the picture after the initial blow up by the left and conservationists. it is a grenade that has already gone off and is blowing up as we speak, yet noone wants to try and put the pin back in.
as for studies, etc...these usually happen after the fact and usually refute the initial assesmene, but noone wants to let the public know how bad the first decision was, so the report dies, and political and promotional opportunities continue for those who fought for the cause. deliniating species simply by geography is one of their favorite ways to work the system. i would not be surprised if the pirsons milkvetch in glamis is brought up as 2 different species due to the divide of hy. 78. it wouldn't be the first time. stephens kangaroo rats, delhi sands loving flies, mojave ground squirrels, it all revolves around junk science. they claim the species is in decline without any actual counts, but because the law is written to stop all activities that may have an affect before an actual study is done...all activities stop until the funding is granted, the biologists picked, the financial impact, environmental impact, and mitigation forms decided before anything happens. we are talking about 8-20+ years here. and all the while, the recreation, grazing, boating, whatever, has been stopped. a generation goes by and the cause is forgotten. chalk another up to the econazis.
this won't change until the public as a whole is outraged by it, and as long as they keep piece mealing it out, the public as a whole won't react. martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Rodney

Well-Known Member
Ed & Martin,
AS usual, you guys are right on with your comments. It is simply amazing to see how common sense gets tossed out the
window whenever the econazis get involved. Martin is absolutely correct with the anology of the grenade going off as we speak.
Fortunately, the other side isgetting at least some backlash.The klamath water fiasco made time magazine. The ESA is starting
to affect the average citizen. This is exactly what we need,mainstream america needs to feel the pinch. Foxnews had
a spot about the shark attacks in florida...The gov. stopped all commercial fishing in state waters (up to 3 miles offshore) and
put more stringent limits on recreational fisherman. The result has been an explosion in the bait fish population in these
areas...thus more predators. Florida just signed into law a measure that creates the largest no fishing zone in the world...there is
no doubt the shark situation will get worse. I also agree that the econazis absolutely will not stop. I wonder why they feel so
quilty aboutbeing human? Another point few will talk about is the fact that plant and animal extinctions are nothing new.
Apparently, these number in the tens of thousands BEFORE humans were any factor. How do we know that we are not trying to save
something that has been barely hanging on in the past few hundred years anyway? Our biggest problem however, is ourselves.
To our own detriment, most people on our side are very private, not wanting to tell anyone else what they should and should not
do, and are reluctant to get involved. Their side is full of al gore types who are self rightous and feel it is their right to tell us
what to do and when to do it. I wonder just how bad it will have to get before there is a huge uprising in this country.

Winning IS everything
 

EQuin

Well-Known Member
Once again, very well said, Martin.

Ed Q.
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Sir Winston Churchill
 

EQuin

Well-Known Member
Hi Rodney,

I've heard a little bit about the Klamath issue, but have not yet read the Time magazine article on it. Unfortunately, I know too little about the ESA and the extinction of species to comment about it. Like Martin implied, the ESA was based on a good principle, which I agree with. But it appears that it can be, or that it has already been, interpreted in such a way to be used as a tool to further the agenda of some groups. I just wish their agenda would include more effort towards what I humbly perceive to be more pressing issues, such as uncontrolled urban sprawl development,and the cleanup of oil spills and contaminated sites that affect both the public health and the environment. I know I'm repeating what I've written in the above posts, but to focus so much effort against off-roading and other recreational activities on public lands while ignoring more important environmental concerns appears to lack environmental credibility.

Take care,


Ed Q.
"If you're going through hell, keep going." Sir Winston Churchill
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
time magazine...A Must Read !! NOT!!!

funny you bring up time magazine...the issues regarding the west and klamath basin shed some light, but each articles bent was definitely tree hugging, granola eating, anti anything but sierra club/earth first/ cbd cud. how an editor could allow its writers to be so biased on an issue and let it be printed as news is beyond me. just read about the push for more wilderness in utah/colorado and how offroaders are described..." we only stop to smell the flowers after we run them over...." pretty unbiased if you ask me. i think they must also work for the cbd...you should read some of their press releases. martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 
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