Thursday, August 12, 2010

An NCA or Monument is Coming to a Riding Area Near You

The Recreation HQ has been very busy over the last few days dealing with a number of access issues and wants to share its thoughts with you regarding the ARRA news release on August 6 about the rest of DOI’s “secret documents” related to the creation of National Monuments by the Obama administration.

ARRA link to DOI Documents

News Article on Document Find

As you know, The General is a veteran of many battles in OHV Wars starting with Clinton’s War on the West in the mid 1990s. Those fights included the Clinton/Gore unholy triad of Forest “Rules.”

Planning Rule – This rule birthed the subsequent Bush-era planning rules that were successfully challenged by environmental groups and the new Obama planning effort that excludes the topic of recreation from the proposal.

Transportation/Roads Rule – This rule spawned the Bush-era TMR that has been perverted on many Forests to close thousands of miles of OHV routes.

Roadless Rule - This rule continues to be litigated. BRC and others are still in court on this issue.

The simple lesson learned from those battles is when the environmental/political industrial complex fronts such proposals that you as a rider will see some manifestation of those plans enacted into law or created by presidential fiat.

What is interesting - albeit very disturbing - about the newly acquired documents is that DOI is recommending to the White House that if local NCA or National Monument proposals are not worked out with the local users that the president should bypass the collaborative process and designate the project area as a National Monument.

While it is commendable and certainly appropriate to object in principle to a NCA designation in areas that are already “protected” by federal land use laws and regulations, The General believes that OHV should be involved in any local stakeholder process regarding proposed NCA or National Monument legislation.

BRC Support of the Collaborative Process in S. 2921

Should riders and clubs continue to object to the misuse of the Antiquities Act by the president to make restrictive land designations? The General believes the answer is a solid yes.

However, when OHV is given the opportunity to participate in a stakeholder group - regarding upcoming legislation - we should. That is the current political paradigm - like it or not.

A big salute to all of you who remain engaged during these very difficult times.

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