Thursday, December 17, 2009

OHV Wars Hit Carnegie Park and the SF Bay Area

The recent turn of events regarding the court order to temporarily close Carnegie SVRA has been a clarion call for Bay Area off-roaders who did not think that the “OHV Wars” would touch down so close to home. That impression is based on the large number of emails and phone calls The General has received by riders – many of which were not aware of how the anti-OHV groups use (or misuse) the courts to enact their political agenda.

Read the Lawsuit

As you know, OHMVR has filed a STAY with the court to keep the park open. We should know the outcome of that STAY by late Friday. If the STAY is granted, the park would stay open while various management options are implemented regarding riders in the creek bed, soil erosion, etc.

If the STAY is not granted, OHMVR would file an appeal. Based on the outcome of that action and the negotiations between OHMVR and enviro attorneys, the park might have to close in the near future or mitigations might be agreed to by the various legal parties such as completely fencing off the creek, banning permitted events, longer wet weather closures, etc. or if those future talks were productive the park could stay open until the park receives a waiver or approval from the Water Control Board.

I know a lot of you are chomping at the bit and want to take immediate action to voice your outrage. I don’t blame you.

As a rider and voter you always have the right to call or write your elected representative and I encourage you to do that. However, I am waiting for the outcome of the stay before I initiate
an official action item such as a letter or phone call campaign. The General believes in targeting
our effort for maximum effect. Once the STAY issue is resolved, I will recommend to you the person or body (e.g. governor, state senate or senator, agency representative) that most needs to hear from you ASAP.

Also, once the status of the park is determined there are a number of effective options such as rallies, protests, bumper stickers, t-shirts, fundraisers, etc. that should be on the table for us to consider.

Many of you have asked the famous question…”Why don’t we sue the *$&&#s?” That question or statement while simple albeit appealing on the surface does not appreciate the complex field of battle that OHV now operates in. This case is complex because the Attorney General is Jerry Brown and it is his office that is defending state parks. What you don’t know is that his office often files these types of eco lawsuits against agencies that don’t propose to close enough OHV routes. In fact, BRC/Cal 4WD et al are in just such a case where Jerry Brown wants more Forest Service lands put off limits to OHV.

See Info on So Cal Forests Roadless Lawsuit (we are still in court on this case)

I know you want a formal action item immediately, but I ask your patience for the next day or so as the STAY issue plays out. As you are learning…not only are ALL land use decisions political decisions but most if not ALL court decisions are political decisions as well. The facts of the case, well reasoned arguments and/or solutions can be, and often are, overlooked by the court and a “Political Decision” is rendered.

Just ask the Timber Industry or Farmers in the Central Valley about political decisions made by the court to put them out of business. Be assured of one thing… OHV is on that same list of activities slated by hard core enviros for extinction. How we react and fight back will determine our future.

Stay tuned for more updates.

Thanks for your service!

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