Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Faux Liability Issue at CCMA

Reading an article today of the growing “body count” at California beaches from recreationists who have drowned reminded The Recreation HQ about its March 26 blog where it talked about how the BLM (and other federal and state land agencies) simply post warning signs and use educational outreach to inform users about safety or health issues while recreating on public lands.

March 30 San Mateo County Times “Body Count” Article

In BRC’s March 5 CCMA DEIS comment letter, BRC stated it believed the BLM, by closing CCMA and/or restricting or banning OHV use there in the future, has created an agency liability where none currently exists. Again, warning signs and educational outreach are an accepted and widely used prescription to address health and safety issues on public lands.

The obvious answer to the CCMA issue is for the BLM to simply review signing and educational outreach plans currently being used by its own agency or sister land agencies to address health and safety issues. An informed public can then make up its mind if they want to use the area just as they do while swimming at beaches or climbing cliffs in a park.

Unlike the beach issue where a body count is being kept by government officials, the Hollister Field Office continues its search to find even one “body” over the last 100 years of use at CCMA. Rather than continue its search for that elusive dead OHVer, the HFO should remember its congressional mandate is to provide multiple-use of public lands and not set itself up as a nanny-state agency where unelected bureaucrats issue unpopular and unwarranted edicts from behind a desk.

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