Friday, March 26, 2010

Riders Want Back In at Clear Creek

The Recreation HQ wanted to share this article that appeared on a NPR website regarding
BLM’s San Jose DEIS public hearing.
PHOTO: The General at a "Warning Sign" at the BLM's Samoa Dunes Recreation Area (OHV, fishing, surfing, equestrian) near Eureka, CA

The reporter did a pretty good job of capturing the OHV community’s frustration with the continued closure of CCMA. However by focusing on the personal attacks on Rick Cooper (the reporter does capture that BRC did not support hostility or threats) did not detail the fact that the closure is based on Cooper’s fear of a disease that is non-existent in the OHV community..

Rather the reporter could have shown, as BRC and others have requested, that the BLM failed to analyze how the agency or sister land agencies deal with public access and health/safety issues including naturally occurring asbestos. Cooper told me at the San Jose meeting that he did not do that analysis as requested by BRC et al..

If he had done some research he would have found that the Department of Interior does use signing and education as a tool to address NOA and other dangers such as fishermen being washed out to sea, children being drowned at the beach or river, etc.

For example, the US Forest Service addresses NOA through the use of signs, education/outreach, soil treatments, and speed limits vs. an unwarranted and massive land closure.

Forest Service NOA Program/Educational Outreach

The article also misses the point about riders being “worried” about NOA. It’s not that riders are not worried about health issues (heck, we wear riding gear, keep our bikes in good condition, and avoid driving off cliffs, etc.) but rather we don’t worry about politically-driven faux issues that are used arbitrarily to make the Hollister Field Office an “OHV Free Zone.”

Thanks for your continued vigilance in the fight for CCMA.


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