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WIldlands Newsletter from "The Other Side"

KTM_rad

Well-Known Member
WIldlands Newsletter from \"The Other Side\"

SKID MARKS
ISSUE #42 September 21, 2001

Skid Marks, Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads' (usually) biweekly e-mail newsletter, reports on activist efforts to challenge roads and motorized recreation nationwide. Skid Marks shares instructive and precedent-setting successes and failures in the campaign to halt motorized abuse of wildland ecosystems.

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CONTENTS:

1. PEDIATRICIANS CONCERNED OVER OFF-ROAD VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

2. OFF-ROAD VEHICLES THREATEN OCEANO DUNES ECOSYSTEM

3. PERSONAL WATERCRAFT BAN PASSED FOR FARALLONES

4. OFF-ROAD VEHICLE INVENTORY FINDS TIMBER THEFT

5. FOREST SERVICE CLOSES ROADS IN BOX CANYON

6. HIGHWAY TUNNEL FOR STANFORD'S SALAMANDERS

7. FOREST SERVICE IMPROVES OFF-ROAD VEHICLE BARRICADES

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1. PEDIATRICIANS CONCERNED OVER OFF-ROAD VEHICLE ACCIDENTS

A group of pediatricians said states need tighter laws and better enforcement of rules governing the use of off-road vehicles by young people. Their findings were published in the September 4th edition of the journal Pediatrics. The doctors studied off-road vehicle injuries suffered by children in Utah and found that dozens of injuries and four deaths could have been avoided by following off-road vehicle safety guidelines.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission crafted an agreement with off-road vehicle manufacturers to get rid of three-wheel ATVs, to train people in safety and to keep more powerful machines away from children. However, state laws often aren't as strict as that agreement. For example, the agreement specifies that no one under 12 should drive an off-road vehicle, but Utah law allows those older than 8 to run the machines. In Utah, it added up to 788 off-road vehicle-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations in 1996. Of those injured, 34 percent were younger than 16.

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2. OFF-ROAD VEHICLES THREATEN OCEANO DUNES ECOSYSTEM

On the eve of Labor Day weekend, the Environmental Defense Center (EDC), the Santa Lucia Chapter of the Sierra Club, and concerned citizens held a press conference to focus attention on the plight of imperiled species at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA), where 65,000 off-road vehicles were expected to descend upon the Dunes over the weekend. Because an entire generation of snowy plover chicks were lost at the Dunes this year, EDC and the Sierra Club announced that they have sent the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) a second notice of intent to sue, which alleges that DPR's management and operation of the park has continued to result in unlawful taking of snowy plover and California least tern in violation of the Endangered Species Act. The notice letter also alleges that DPR's policy of permitting motorized vehicles to cross and drive through the Arroyo Grande creek results in "take" of the federally protected steelhead.

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3. PERSONAL WATERCRAFT BAN PASSED FOR FARALLONES

New federal rules were finalized in early September that will prohibit the use of personal watercraft (PWC) such as Jet Skis, WaveRunners and Ski Doos across nearly 950 square miles in the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary in the San Francisco Bay area. The ban, which takes effect on October 10, will create the largest jet ski-free zone in America. Jet Skis and other PWCs already have been prohibited in many areas of the Bay through a California law that permits local governments to set boating ordinances.

"We urge NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to take similar action at other marine sanctuaries to protect the public, sanctuary resources and wildlife from these noisy, dirty and dangerous machines," said Sean Smith of Bluewater Network of San Francisco, the key player in supporting the ban. The ruling was first proposed by the Environmental Action Committee of West Marin.

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4. OFF-ROAD VEHICLE INVENTORY FINDS TIMBER THEFT

Biodiversity Associates' staff person Eric Molvar, while conducting a roadless inventory, came across an apparent illegal logging operation on between 150 and 200 acres of a roadless area in the Medicine Bow National Forest. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that Molvar "was skirting the edges of the 9,592-acre Pennock Mountain roadless area, looking for vehicle routes, illegal ATV trails and gauging the wilderness quality of the area" when he came upon the illegal trespass. He said he saw five separate clear-cuts and several illegal vehicle roads within that roadless section of the Medicine Bow National Forest. "This is a very remote area and it is not visible from the nearest Forest Service road," Molvar said. Whoever logged the roadless area bladed an access road and had skidder trails that were used to get the timber out. A Forest Service investigator has been assigned to the case.

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5. FOREST SERVICE CLOSES ROADS IN BOX CANYON

As part of an aspen timber sale approved in 2000, the Forest Service has closed 26 miles of Forest Service roads in the Box Canyon watershed in the San Juan National Forest in southwestern Colorado. During the timber sale's environmental analysis, the Forest Service found that Box Canyon Creek was filled with fine silt, causing a sedimentation problem harmful to the cold-water aquatic life that feeds and spawns in the creek. Before the road closures, the road density in the area measured 6.9 miles of road per square mile of watershed and was entirely open to off-road vehicles, which contributed to the erosion and sedimentation. The current density of roads is 1.8 miles per square mile of watershed and motorized travel is allowed only on designated routes. According to the Cortez Journal, the rehabilitation projects, which include removing a culvert and restoring the creek's riparian area, are being funded in part by a portion of the aspen timber-sale receipts.

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6. HIGHWAY TUNNEL FOR STANFORD'S SALAMANDERS

California's Stanford University has created a "50-foot-long, one-foot wide experimental tunnel" to help an Endangered Species Act candidate species, the California tiger salamander, migrate from its upland habitat under a busy highway to its "breeding grounds in the luxurious mud holes of nearby Lake Lagunita" says the San Francisco Chronicle. Stanford's tiger salamander population is "one of the largest left in California." Stanford University has discussed closing the road during the migrations, but fears being "crucified by commuters." While it is expected that only a small percentage of tiger salamanders will use the tunnel, if it is successful "as many as four more" may be installed.

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7. FOREST SERVICE IMPROVES OFF-ROAD VEHICLE BARRICADES

In response to vandalism of a road closure gate and earthen barriers on the Siskiyou National Forest, the Forest Service has stood firm in their commitment to prohibit motorized travel on the Chetco-Divide Trail and into the Kalimiopsis Wilderness. With those barriers breached, vehicles were driving the Chetco Divide Trail through the South Kalmiopsis Roadless Area and illegally entering the Wilderness.

On August 14th, the Siskiyou National Forest re-barricaded the Buckskin Peak road at the Chetco Divide Trailhead. The improved barriers now consist of embedded boulders, the two deep earthen barriers, which were repaired, and about 75 feet of road obliteration, followed by four non-driveable waterbars. The Chetco Divide Trail goes along the divide between two large, essentially roadless watersheds. The prohibition of motorized access on this trail will help protect significant populations of Port Orford cedar in both watersheds and the integrity of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. For more information contact The Siskiyou Project at (541) 592-4459.




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Please keep in touch with us about your roads and motorized recreation work.
Questions about Skid Marks should be directed to Jacob Smith at
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Skid Marks is brought to you by the friendly road-rippers at Wildlands CPR.
Thanks for your support and all of your efforts on behalf of wild places and
imperiled species.




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Wildlands Center for Preventing Roads

Wildlands CPR
PO Box 7516
Missoula, MT 59807
406/543-9551

mailto:[email protected]
<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.wildlandscpr.org>http://www.wildlandscpr.org</A>


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