Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thoughts from HQ on Christmas, New Years, and the OHV Struggle

The Trails You Take in Life are Important
 - Don Amador

The Recreation HQ wants to wish all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The General believes that OHV may be starting to turn the corner in the land-use fight.

Sure, there have been some setbacks such as the “cost recovery” issue that effectively stopped a number of historic enduros held in the Sierra Nevada, CCMA remains closed, enviros filed new “Subpart A” lawsuits against the FS in CA, NV, and ID, and non-street legal and street-legal OHVs have been banned on many historic trails (i.e. unauthorized routes) and forest roads.

However, looking on the bright side OHV does have some good news. Here are just a few: BRC legal and partners got the court to rule against the closures in the Little Belts Travel Plan; a stipulation was signed on the Six Rivers National Forest case to help stop illegal road ripping; a potential disaster in the So Cal Roadless case was averted because of OHV legal involvement; OHV leaders encouraged the FS to hold off implementation of Subpart A in Region 5 and elsewhere, BRC legal and partners successfully intervened in the ongoing Eldorado NF lawsuit and the new Subpart A lawsuit on the Stanislaus NF; and OHMVR is working on its own asbestos study that could help in the fight to reopen CCMA. OHV/BRC legal and partners argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and it was captured on video -- and they did a darn good job!

There are many other good news items such as the fact that Carnegie SVRA (under threat of a court ordered closure last Christmas) is still open. Also, the Mendocino National Forest just went back to its old “2 inch rain policy” so that it would not be closed all winter by an ill-advised ad hoc “extended rain closure” policy. And, the Shasta Trinity National Forest has not yet published its MVUM, which is the implementation tool for the TMR FEIS/ROD. HQ believes that Forest wants to work with the OHV community and develop a real program with an official OHV trail coordinator that will work on post Subpart B project level trail efforts. There are other good news stories too.

Finally, a lot of you got involved in the political process this election cycle. While OHVers may not have gotten the results they wanted in CA, OR, NV, and WA, the off-road voter did help boot out anti-OHV legislators in other states on November 2 and we now have pro-OHV and pro-access chairmen in various House committees.

HQ believes that 2011 will be very busy on the land-use front and encourages the OHV community to stay engaged and be of good cheer. There are sure to be a lot of ongoing and new battles that we must fight. However, HQ believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel and looks forward to celebrating many new victories with my friends next year.

There are too many partners to thank and name in the above issues, but you know who you are and I appreciate your support, friendship, and commitment.  All of the above victories and ongoing fights are a TEAM effort.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The General
PS – Now enjoy some time with your family… That’s an order!

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