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jeep4offrd
11-18-2005, 02:38 PM
Once again, from our enemies.

Bruce


>Date: Thu, 17 Nov 2005 16:39:27 -0700
>From: skidmarks@wildlandscpr.org
>Subject: [Skidmarks] SKID MARKS ISSUE #100, November 17, 2005
>
>>SKID MARKS ISSUE #100, November 17, 2005
>>
>>Skid Marks, Wildlands CPR's tri-weekly 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 systems.
>>
>>---
>>
>>1. NEW OFF-ROAD VEHICLE RULES TOO WEAK
>>2. ROADLESS RULE UPDATE
>>3. NEW OFF-ROAD VEHICLE SYSTEM CANCELLED IN VIRGINIA
>>4. NEW BIGHORN FOREST PLAN: SOME GOOD, SOME BAD
>>5. FOREST SERVICE TO CLOSE ILLEGAL TRAILS ROADS AFTER PETITION
>>6. LAWSUIT OPPOSES OFF-ROAD VEHICLE PROJECT IN PROPOSED WILDERNESS
>>7. PROPOSAL TO ALLOW EXPANDED OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE IN ALASKA
>>
>>---
>>
>>1. NEW OFF-ROAD VEHICLE RULES TOO WEAK
>>
>>The US Forest Service has released new regulations for the designation of
>>off-road vehicle routes. Acknowledging the increasing damage and
>>disturbance caused by motorized recreation across the country, the agency
>>hopes to improve the situation by requiring off-road vehicles to stay on
>>designated routes. However, a national coalition of conservation
>>interests said the new regulations fail to adequately address urgent
>>threats and pressed the agency to halt the continued creation and use of
>>unauthorized, renegade routes in America's forests.
>>
>>While welcoming the Forest Service's recognition of the serious problem,
>>Wildlands CPR, the Natural Trails and Waters Coalition and member
>>organizations said threats from these unplanned routes will not be
>>controlled under the new regulations. Such routes--made when ATVs, dirt
>>bikes, jeeps and other off-road vehicles travel cross-country--damage
>>wildlife habitat, create conflicts with other forest users, and
>>facilitate trespass onto adjacent lands. In fact, the regulations weaken
>>the agency's authority granted by President Nixon's Executive Order
>>requiring off-road vehicle use to be "controlled and directed . . . to
>>protect the resources of (public) lands . . . and to minimize conflicts"
>>with other forest users, like hikers, hunters and ranchers.
>>
>>Conservationists contended that the Forest Service should require that
>>the off-road vehicle route webs they designate are manageable and
>>enforceable. Further, routes must be carefully analyzed for their impacts
>>and designated according to the clear criteria articulated in the
>>off-road vehicle Executive Orders. In addition, more funding is needed to
>>increase law enforcement.
>>
>>
>>Jim Furnish, former deputy Forest Service chief and Wildlands CPR board
>>member, said, ""What's lacking is the assurance of tough enforcement and
>>evidence of backbone needed to bring this runaway problem under control."
>>
>>
>>---
>>
>>2. ROADLESS RULE UPDATE
>>
>>Progress is being made in the fight to reinstate Clinton's Roadless Rule.
>>
>>A group of about 20 environmental organizations has joined the states of
>>Oregon, California, and New Mexico in filing suit against the Bush
>>administration for over its new forest roadless plan, seeking
>>reinstatement of the Roadless Rule adopted by the Clinton
>>administration. The Bush rule invites Governors to petition the
>>Secretary or Agriculture for protections that were previously guaranteed
>>under the Clinton-era, widely supported ban on road construction in
>>roadless areas. Petitions may or may not be granted. The lawsuit was
>>filed by Earthjustice, on behalf of national, regional, and local
>>conservation organizations. The Wilderness Society, California Wilderness
>>Coalition, Forests Forever Foundation, Northcoast Environmental Center,
>>Oregon Natural Resources Fund, Sitka Conservation Society, Siskiyou
>>Regional Education Project, Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Sierra
>>Club, National Audubon Society, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Center for
>>Biological Diversity, Environmental Protection Information Center,
>>Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center, Defenders of Wildlife, Pacific Rivers
>>Council, Idaho Conservation League, Conservation NW, and Greenpeace.
>>
>>In Colorado, hundreds gathered for a public meeting to discuss the future
>>of roadless areas in the state. This meeting, in Delta, was the first of
>>eight to be held by the Roadless Area Review Task Force. This
>>bipartisan, 13-member body was created by the state legislature. They
>>will travel around Colorado, taking public comment, before making land
>>use recommendations to Gov. Owens.
>>
>>In Wyoming, Gov. Dave Freudenthal has expressed doubts over the new
>>forest planBush Administration's invitation to consider protective
>>petitions from state Governors. Two of the state's largest forests, the
>>Shoshone and the Bridger-Teton, have management plans that are still
>>currently being formedrevised. Because state and local governments were
>>given "cooperating agency" status, Freudenthal said the state may prefer
>>to plan the future of roadless areas through the conventional forest
>>planning process.
>>
>>Meanwhile, a petition submitted by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski, requesting
>>states retain the option of adopting the 2001 Roadless Rule, has been
>>rejected by the US Department of Agriculture. It was an effort on
>>Kulongoski's part to protect Oregon's two million roadless acres from
>>development, as well as the millions of vulnerable acres in other states.
>>
>>A letter from Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey suggested that the
>>petition was rejected, in part, due to Oregon's participation in the
>>lawsuit against Bush's forest plan. Because the Roadless Rule was
>>struck down by a Wyoming federal court, Rey said that it'sits
>>reinstatement was n'tnot a possibility. He did imply that if Oregon
>>were to withdraw from the lawsuit, the Department would be willing to
>>"engage...in a good faith discussion of protection for roadless area
>>values in Oregon." Kulongski is evaluating the letter and its proposal.
>>
>>A similar petition has been submitted by Washington Gov. Christine
>>Gregoire, also seeking the freedom for states to adopt the Roadless
>>Rule. Gov. Gregoire has said the state is also considering joining the
>>lawsuit against the Bush Administration.
>>
>>---
>>
>>3. NEW OFF-ROAD VEHICLE SYSTEM CANCELLED IN VIRGINIA
>>
>>A proposed off-road vehicle trail route in the Jefferson and George
>>Washington National Forest of Virginia has been discarded, after several
>>months of careful consideration, purportedly due to the unacceptable
>>environmental risks it posed.
>>
>>The project was seen by many as a potential financial benefit to the an
>>economically depressed area. Off-road off-road vehicleORV use therein
>>the area is becoming more popular, and recreation groups are asking for
>>increased access to public land.
>>
>>During the consideration process the location of the original 28-mile
>>trail route was altered to avoid areas with particular environmental
>>sensitivity, such as wetlands and other critical habitat.
>>
>>However, environmental groups, such as Virginia Forest Watch, remained
>>skeptical. There was concern that the forest would be unable to limit
>>off-road vehicleORV use would not be limited to designated trailsroutes.
>>
>>The area is home to endangered mussel species and song birds, among many
>>organisms that would be stressed by increased noise pollution and habitat
>>damage.
>>
>>Special geotextile matting, intended to protect the land from erosion,
>>was intended for the new trailroute. Additionally, some ORV groups had
>>agreed to several unusual provisions, including to help with trail
>>enforcement, and to pay fees in order to use the trail.
>>
>>The District Ranger overseeing the project shared concerns over
>>enforcement and got a verbal commitment from the Scott County ATV Group
>>to assist in the enforcement. However, the group later denied such an
>>agreement and never signed a Memorandum of Understanding for joint
>>enforcement. One news account quoted District Ranger Doug Jones as
>>saying, "The Scott County ATV Group told me specifically that they would
>>help with trail enforcement. If they don't, there will be no ATV trail,
>>period."
>>
>>
>>Despite all this, iUltimately, the Forest Servicet was decided that the
>>potential ecological costs were cited as simply too great to warrant the
>>designation of the route, and the proposal was formally abandoned in October.
>>
>>---
>>
>>4. NEW BIGHORN FOREST PLAN: SOME GOOD, SOME BAD
>>
>>Wyoming's Bigh Horn National Forest has released its new management plan,
>>with some provisions drawing praise from environmental groups. Other
>>sections, however, are drew questionsable.
>>
>>The plan calls for restricting off-road vehicle use to designated
>>routes. Additionally, it sets aside the Rock Creek area as potential
>>wilderness, and nominates the Little Bighorn and Tongue rivers for "wild
>>and scenic" designation from Congress.
>>
>>The new rules plan will also nearly double the amount of timber harvested
>>in the Forest, and open an additional 80,000 acres to potential off-road
>>vehicleORV use. Timber and motorized recreation projects This potential
>>would be evaluated in the future on a site-specific basis.
>>
>>Liz Howell, president of the Wyoming Wilderness Association, praised the
>>proposed Rock Creek designation, but was extremely concerned about the
>>possibility of increased timber harvest and expanded off-road vehicleORV
>>use. According to Howell, if adopted, this plan would seriously
>>jeopardize the future of remaining roadless areas within the Bighorn
>>National Forest.
>>
>> From the date of the proposal's public release (slated for early
>> November), citizens have 90 days to comment. A copy of the
>> environmental impact statement and decision for the plan can be found at
>> <file:///../../../../../../../Local%20Settings/Temporary%20Internet%20Files/OLK11/www.fs.fed.us/r2/bighorn>www.fs.fed.us/r2/bighorn.
>>
>>
>>---
>>
>>5. FOREST SERVICE TO CLOSE ILLEGAL TRAILS ROADS AFTER PETITION
>>
>>At the behest of a petition circulated by environmental groups, the
>>Forest Service has tentatively agreed to close a road used to access
>>illegal trails roads in Wyoming's Medicine Bow National Forest.
>>
>>The petitioners, including the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance and
>>Wildlands CPR, had requested that three roads be closed, in an effort to
>>more effectively deter unauthorized motorized use. In response to the
>>damage caused by off-road vehicles, the Forest Service has already placed
>>obstacles, such as boulders and fences, at trail route access
>>points*these closure methods (which have proved ineffective). In
>>addition, the agency said they will enforce some seasonal road closures
>>are also enforced in hopes of deterring illegal off-road vehicleORV use.
>>
>>The intent of the road closure is to make illegal routes
>>inaccessible. This disturbed land will then be restored, as will a part
>>of the closed road. The Forest Service has also proposed increased law
>>enforcement presence in order to ticket violators.
>>
>>A final decision will be made after public hearings are held and studies
>>are completed.
>>
>>---
>>
>>6. LAWSUIT OPPOSES OFF-ROAD VEHICLE PROJECT IN PROPOSED WILDERNESS
>>
>>A coalition of environmental groups has filed a lawsuit in an effort to
>>halt a Forest Service project to expand off-road motorcycle use in
>>Washington 'sState's largest unprotected roadless area, the Mad River
>>system. Mad River is a proposed addition to the adjacent Glacier Peak
>>Wilderness Area.
>>
>>The motorcycle project would expand off-road vehicleORV opportunities use
>>within to a 200-mile trail route system.
>>The suit argues that key provisions of the National Environmental Policy
>>Act (NEPA) were not properly followed before the decision was made, such
>>as drafting comprehensive Environmental Impact Statements and considering
>>a full range of alternatives.
>>
>>A similar off-road vehicleORV project in the nearby Goose-Maverick system
>>was stopped in 1999 after a federal court ruleding that the Forest
>>Service had violated NEPA.
>>
>>Plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal court, include The
>>Mountaineers, North Cascades Conservation Council, Sierra Club and
>>Washington Wilderness Coalition. Plaintiffs are represented by Karl
>>Forsgaard and Andrew Salter.
>>
>>---
>>
>>7. PROPOSAL TO ALLOW EXPANDED OFF-ROAD VEHICLE USE IN ALASKA
>>
>>The Alaska Senate's Resource Committee is considering a controversial
>>bill that would lift off-road vehicle restrictions for five miles along
>>either side of the Dalton Highway, a 414- mile road running between the
>>Arctic Coast and the Yukon River in Northern Alaska. The highway runs
>>parallel to the Trans-Alaska Oil Pipeline.
>>
>>Introduced twice previously, this proposal has always been unpopular, and
>>public opinion this time is unchanged. The overwhelming majority of
>>public comment received has opposed the bill. Protesters contend that
>>there is already sufficient hunting and recreation access in the area
>>(via skiing, dog-sledding, etc). The health of wildlife populations,
>>such as local moose and caribou, would be compromised. An important
>>scientific field station is also in the area, and off-road vehicleORVs
>>could disrupt sensitive data collection. Conservation groups, such as
>>the Northern Alaska Environmental Center, contend expanded off-road
>>vehicleORV use is unnecessary and would cause myriad problems.
>>
>>The first 180 miles along the highway are federally managed, and if he
>>bill is passed, it will not go into effect for a year while state and
>>federal management plans are coordinated. The proposal is expected to
>>reach the Senate floor when the Legislature convenes in January.

My1stJeep
11-18-2005, 03:12 PM
Thanks for posting this. I know we are beginning to get into play, but things like this show just how organized our opposition is and what level we are going to have to strive to in order to achieve results.

It is things like this that bring out just how valuable some of our members who attend just about every meeting and spend their vacation times fighting for our rights to wheel. Yep I said, we have a member who gave up his weeks vacation to go to Washington to fight for our rights. He did not go on a huntin trip, wheeling, or an exotic location, he went to work fighting for us. This is the kind of sacrifice we are all going to have to make if we want to beat these guys.