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Old August 30th, 2004, 22:29
Ed A. Stevens's Avatar
Ed A. Stevens Ed A. Stevens is offline
NAXJA Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Desert Beach So Cal
Posts: 1,105
Brc Important Land Use Update (8/30/04)

***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT ***** BRC ALERT *****

Dear Subscriber,

We've got a great LAND USE UPDATE for you today. There is great news from
Washington and Oregon, planning projects in Colorado and California and we
even have good news from Montana!

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Director
BlueRibbon Coalition




We have completed our analysis of the Forest Service OHV Rule. BRC's Legal
Team is reviewing our ACTION ALERT that will be released tomorrow, Tuesday
August 31, 2004. I want to thank you all for your patience.

I'd like to request BRC ACTION ALERT subscribers encourage your friends and
family subscribe to our email list right away. The new OHV Rules could be the
most important recreational access issue to be proposed in a decade. Your
involvement will be critical to prevent the anti-access crowd from making it
into a closure scheme.

Let me just ad a bit of personal perspective to this. This new rule is
supposedly motivated by a need to address "unmanaged recreation". But BRC
members and supporters know that good management will not flow from the whisk
of a pen in Washington, D.C.

My message to the Forest Service regarding their new policy is this: This OHV
rule must be accompanied by adequate budget, staffing, and priority to
achieve critical on-the-ground goals. I don't want more study, analysis and
paper shuffling without any on-the-ground efforts.

I am willing to ride on properly-designated roads, trails and areas, so long
as the agency resolves to manage OHV use. They must make adequate maps and
other material available to inform motorized and non motorized users where
recreational opportunities are. I am willing to volunteer my time to "adopt"
trails in order to mitigate any problems. I even support enforcement efforts
because I know this is a key factor in any reasonable managed recreation

But I will not tolerate any top-down, inflexible mandates that end up
ensuring nothing happens on the ground. The American people have made it
clear: We want more recreation. The time has come to make "managed
recreation" the Forest Service's top priority!

BRC's Legal Team is reviewing our comments and analysis of the rule as I
write this. Soon, we'll post a complete analysis of what the FS is proposing
to do, and we'll tell you what we think about it. DON'T MISS IT!


The effort to re-open Salt Creek Road in Canyonlands National Park has taken
almost as many twists and turns as the road itself. Years ago, the
anti-access crowd attempted to close all of the backcountry roads in
Canyonlands to all vehicle use, [even mountain bikes!] via lawsuit. BRC,
along with several groups including the Utah Shared Access Alliance and the
United Four Wheel Drive Associations, intervened and were successful in
keeping all of the roads open except for the Salt Creek Road past Peekaboo
Springs. When we won an appeal of that decision in the 10th Circuit Court,
the Clinton Administration kept the road closed via a very creative
administrative rulemaking.

Recently, BRC and United sought to reverse that rulemaking in federal court.
In related news, Utah's San Juan County sent notice to the Park Service that
they intend to adjudicate the question of ownership of the Salt Creek Road.
San Juan County has asserted Salt Creek is a grandfathered right of way
pursuant to R.S. 2477.

Kudos' to The Mountain States Legal Foundation (MSLF) for continuing to help
BRC fight for this wonderful road. For those of you who aren't aware, the
Salt Creek Road winds up Salt Creek Canyon for 11 miles and ends at Angel
Arch, one of Utah's most spectacular geologic wonders. Angel Arch is now
accessible only to those healthy and hardy enough to endure the grueling 22
mile backpacking trip. The Salt Creek Road is one of America's National
Treasures. MSLF was there to help us protect this wonderful road in the
beginning and they continue to fight for it today. Learn more about MSLF on
their brilliant website:

Recently, the BlueRibbon Coalition and the Utah Shared Access Alliance filed
a "friend of the court" brief in a lawsuit addressing the manner in which BLM
can designate Wilderness Study Areas (WSA) outside a public process. In 1999,
the State of Utah sued the BLM when they initiated a process to nearly double
the amount of WSA's in Utah. That lawsuit was recently settled when the BLM
properly acknowledged their ability to designate WSA's was limited by
Congress. Naturally, the anti-access crowd is having fits, and are appealing
the settlement in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Learn about this
interesting legal issue in the September issue of BlueRibbon's Magazine. It's
likely the latest issue is in your mailbox right now. If not, check our
website. Our webmaster was working on posting the latest issue this morning.

Now this is exciting news! Two new OHV organizations have recently formed in
Oregon and Washington State. This is very good news as these states are home
to some world class OHV opportunities which are threatened with closures.

In Washington State, a group of snowmobile enthusiasts have formed the
Snowmobile Alliance of Western States (SAWS). Their mission is to help
preserve and protect your right to snowmobile on public lands by cutting
through the deceptions and public misperceptions through effective
communication and education of the issues that affect snowmobiling throughout
the western United States. According to Dave Hurwitz, President of SAWS, they
intend to learn of past successes (and failures) to ensure that upcoming land
use issues are dealt with swiftly and appropriately.

If I know Dave, and I do, SAWS will be a pro active "take no prisoner"
advocate for responsible snowmobiling on public lands. There will be no dues
to join SAWS although they will gladly accept donations from members and
businesses that are willing to help cover minimal costs. The plan is to have
representatives communicate with members in their respective states through
email and inform them of access issues that need immediate action. To learn
more about SAWS check out their website:


Recently in Oregon, BRC's Tom Crimmins and Don Amador helped facilitate a new
coalition of outdoor recreationists called the Oregon Recreation Coalition.
BRC received several calls and emails from Oregonians thanking us for sending
Don and Tom.

Idaho has a similar coalition and I can tell you this kind of thing is
extremely effective. Whenever diverse recreationist stakeholders unite it
creates a very powerful coalition. If you live or recreate in Oregon I
strongly encourage to you become involved in the ORC.

Del Albright, BRC's four wheel drive Ambassador has offered his assistance
with a website for the new group. Check it out at :


Ed Tobin from the Salinas Ramblers Motorcycle Club sent us word that the BLM
is still taking comments on the draft plan for management of the Clear Creek
OHV Management Area. This popular OHV recreation area is the home of the
Quicksilver National Enduro, the longest continuous running event on the
American Motorcyclists Association's national enduro calendar.

To Tobin and the many thousands of OHV users, the release of the draft plan
is a bittersweet victory. BRC filed a Notice of Intent to sue the BLM over
their refusal to properly manage OHV use. OHV users were rightly concerned
that the BLM's lack of action would pave the way for closures via
environmentalist lawsuit.

The draft, however, leaves much to be desired. According to Tobin, BLM would
like to close over 60% of the existing trails, and if not significantly
altered could spell the end of the Quicksilver Enduro. The anti-access crowd
would love to see that, of course, and make no secret of their desire to see
the entire area closed to OHV use.

Ed asked us to ask all of you to help defend this great OHV area. If you ride
in Clear Creek you need to get involved.

The plan is available on the web:
or you may call the office and request a copy. Please contact George Hill at
831-630-5036. More info is available on the Clear Creek page of the Salinas
Ramblers Website. See:



If you haven't already, the comment period for the Rabbit Ears Pass winter
recreation plan ends on Tuesday, September 30th. The Forest Service is good
about considering comments sent after the deadline so if you get this email
past Tuesday, go ahead and comment.

Mel Wolf and the folks at the Colorado Snowmobile Association, in cooperation
with the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition have been working hard to
keep this world class snowmobile area open.

They've posted lots of info on the excellent Sled City website: . DO bookmark this exceptional website! DO NOT
forget to send in comments. Click here and scroll down to the
August 18, 2004 post about Rabbit Ears/Buffalo Pass.

The closure of other riding areas along Colorado's Front Range has made
Rampart Range about the only open OHV area near Denver. The FS is beginning a
planning process to study some options to meet the increase in use. It's not
all bad, in this case, thanks in large part to Rampart's dedicated group of
enthusiasts: the Rampart Range Motorcycle Management Committee (RRMMC). RRMMC
is a non-profit, volunteer organization, which works in conjunction with the
U.S. Forest Service to maintain and manage the Rampart Range and Pike
National Forest. Learn more on the web: and Great
comment info at:

Ed Melcher emailed us about an important planning project going on in
Montana?s Custer National Forest. That planning project was going down the
closure road at break-neck speed until Ed got the Off Highway Vehicle
community organized in Billings.

Ed formed the Families For Outdoor Recreation and organized a big rally. It
got nation wide press, as well as the attention of the local forest
supervisor and Montana's politicians.

Ed?s done a yeoman's job working to keep those roads and trails open. He
deserves your support. If you recreate on the Custer NF you need to get
involved. There is lots of info on the web:
The entire Travel Plan can be found online:

Please take a minute and send some comments to the Custer. The comment
deadline ends soon (Sept 1, 2004!!!! ). Don?t forget to stop by the Families
For Outdoor Recreation website:


When the Capital Trail Vehicle Association appealed the Sleeping Giant Travel
Plan out of the Butte Field Office of Montana BLM, the agency was hoping for
a quick dismissal. We're glad to report their hopes where dashed when the
BLM's Interior Board of Land Appeals in Arlington Virginia denied BLM's
request, and granted CTVA permission to proceed with the appeal.

Ken Salo from CTVA said: "Hopefully, this failure to dismiss the OHV
community will motivate the Montana BLM to take us more seriously".

Salo also emailed us regarding a very small group of motorcycle riders
deliberately cutting new single-track trails in the Whitetail-Pipestone area.
As a group representing responsible OHV use of the Whitetail-Pipestone area
CTVA is very concerned about these reports.

The Whitetail-Pipestone area is a very important recreation resource to a
very large number of responsible OHV recreationists. CTVA is concerned that
the area or parts of the area could be closed because of the irresponsible
acts of a small minority group.

SALO and CTVA fight hard for recreational access in Montana. Illegal acts
like this do nothing to advance the cause of legitimate recreation.

***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT ***** END ALERT *****
You are receiving this email because you are currently
subscribed to a BlueRibbon Coalition email list. To remove
yourself from this list, go to this link:
is more than quality web forums and organized events, support the collective XJ/MJ voice and join the club.

Happy Trails!
Ed A. Stevens
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Old August 31st, 2004, 07:51
Jes's Avatar
Jes Jes is offline
Join Date: May 2002
Location: San Bruno, CA.
Posts: 6,402
Re: Brc Important Land Use Update (8/30/04)

Thanks for the update.
Some encouraging news in there.
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