A dark storm struck the SF Bay Area today when a California court gave off-roaders a lump of coal followed by a gut punch when it granted a short STAY of the closure of Carnegie SVRA. The STAY expires at the end of business on Monday, December 28. The park will be closed on December 29 unless an appeal (with Divine intervention) is successful. *Even though the OHMVR new release below states the park is open on Dec. 29., I believe the park’s last day is Dec. 28. – will verify.
OHMVR News Release on STAY
OHMVR News Release on STAY
The General has been in a lot of land use wars since 1990. The private property wars, the timber wars (my good friend was blown up by the Unabomber), the ESA wars, the Clinton-Gore roadless wars, the OHMVR Commission Wars, and now the OHV Legal Wars. It is my feeling that hard core anti-OHV groups may have scored a temporary victory, but they could have made a strategic error by awakening riders in the Bay Area who for the most part were unaware of eco-lawsuits and how they are being used as a weapon against OHV recreation.
Some of you already know about the eco-lawsuit scam. That is where anti-OHV groups file suits mostly on technical issues such as meeting a filing deadline or a resource issue that is already being worked on by the agency. In this day and age, it is very easy to get a court to side with that group against the agency. Hence, that OHV activity, farmer, rancher, builder, ski resort, or timber operation is ordered to halt by the court until that technical correction is addressed.
The General could play this game as well since he could find similar technical issues or resource concerns on any federal Wilderness Area or non-motorized state park. In fact, I have had an environmental group tell me that if I ever “wanted to switch sides” that I could have a job with them. Trust me; there is no land management agency that is perfect. Be assured, this is a power and political play that has nothing to do with “protecting the environment.”
What makes this worse is that enviros claim a win and often collect their tax-payer funded court and lawyer fees and use those funds to go after another victim.
See Story on Eco Legal Scam
Yes, California Awards Eco Lawsuits Too
More on Eco Lawsuit Scam at Taxpayers Expense
Info on Eco-Hoax Groups - read about a Skunk in OHV Politics
Most of the phone calls and emails my HQ has received are from riders and families who had never heard of eco-lawsuits, BRC, AMA Dist. 36, or other OHV clubs. On a personal level this closure is a deeply disturbing and ugly turn of events. On a professional level, I believe we must use the new energy (e.g. anger/frustration/determination/commitment) to gear up for this and other land use battles that will be coming at us in 2010.
It is uncertain if an appeal effort by the state will be successful. It looks like riders should be prepared for a 3-4 month closure of the park. Certainly there will be action items like a rally, letter writing campaign, petition signings, protest rides, etc. Also, there may be opportunities for volunteer work parties to help park staff on resource projects during the closure.
In the meantime, if you are not a member of BRC and want to help in the fight then join at http://www.sharetrails.org/
Since BRC works closely with AMA D36 and other groups…join AMA Dist. 36 as well
*Legal side note: Be aware there was no real effective way for BRC legal or any other pro OHV legal representation to be involved in this case since you had greens on one side… Jerry Brown/AG (a green too) on the other side defending OHMVR, and the court presiding.
At this point, I plan to be at the park on Monday, Dec. 28 at noon and ride with my fellow brothers and sisters and stay until the park closes. I expect that others may join me. Stay tuned to this blog as I will be updating it on a regular basis. I wish I had better news.
Thanks for your service!