Wednesday, July 27, 2011

HQ ACTION ALERT - Send Letter Today to Support OHV Use on Level 3 Forest Roads

Let OHVs Use Level 3 Logging Roads

HQ ACTION ALERT – Send a short letter today asking your Representative to oppose any effort by anti-access legislators to have Section 446 stripped out when the House considers H.R. 2584. Section 446 is an effort by Congressman Wally Herger to keep level 3 logging roads open for historic non-street legal OHV use.

BRC Action Alert with Herger’s Dear Colleague Letter – there is a link to contact your representative using’s email contact system. You have to register (I did and it is no big deal) to use it.

BRC Action Alert

If you don’t want to register to use, you can use the link below to plug in your zip code and then send an email to your Congressman.

Contact your Member of Congress

Here is suggested text for your letter (feel free to edit and add your own story)


I am deeply concerned that anti-access groups and their supporters in Congress will try and have Section 446 stripped when the House considers H.R. 2584, the Department of the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Act.

Section 446 is Congressman Wally Herger's pro-access language that attempts to fix some anti-access tenets from Region 5's version of the Travel Management Rule. Section 446 is almost identical to bill language in Herger's H.R. 242 that was introduced in February 2011.

The main issue is the Forest Service has proposed to close hundreds if not thousands of miles of old logging roads to non-street legal OHV use. This access is important for continued recreational access, connectivity between existing OHV trail systems, and the rural economy.

Please let OHVers continue to use historic non-paved logging roads in California.

Thanks in advance to taking time to send this short letter!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

New Green Skunk at OHV Party - Old Trick from Tired Playbook

Something Does Not Smell Right

Over the years, HQ has seen a number of faux OHV groups started by anti-access groups as a way to sucker motorized recreationists into unwittingly join their efforts to have Congress create more non-motorized land classifications such as designated Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Algore’s version of Roadless, and closure oriented travel management plans.

Many of you remember my blog in 2009 about one such group called Responsible Trails America. It turned out they were in fact a skunk at the party.

2009 Blog on OHV Skunk at the Party (a good history lesson)

Well it looks like might have a new Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing or Skunk at the Party after getting a tip from a dirt-biker about Trout Unlimited’s new OHV group called Sportsmen Ride Right.

TU's Sportsmen Ride Right Website

Just as with some of RTA’s tenets regarding responsible use, I agree with SRR policies promoting a responsible riding ethic for hunters and fishermen. Just as I also agree with the land ethics regarding sporting access that are promoted by legitimate OHV groups such as BRC and Tread Lightly!

TL’s Hunting Ethics

BRC’s Policy on Hunting with OHVs

BRC’s Land Use Ethics

However, as I dug through SRR’s website I was struck by the fact that is sponsored by Trout Unlimited, a group that often files lawsuits or comments to close OHV use on federal lands. Remember that RTA officials often advocated for OHV closures as well.

TU on the Tellico NF

TU on the Nantahala NF

TU on the Tahoe NF

TU assault on access in Colorado

In addition, SRR has buried deep within its website a red herring. That deal killer is the “big license plate” mandate for OHVs that groups such as PEER have been pushing hard for since 2003.

The most damage caused by SRR to legitimate national and local OHV groups is they confuse the largely disengaged motorized recreation community by trying to get them to join and therefore legitimize their group. Users that might join a legitimate OHV group have now just joined (for free) an OHV group that often promotes the closure of historic and important OHV trails.

If HQ could give advice to TU and other green groups it would be to drop the old and tired “hey, lets start a new faux OHV group” from their playbook and instead try and work with legitimate OHV groups to promote a responsible land use agenda that appreciates and supports a holistic approach to management of motorized recreation on public lands.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

BRC Issues National Call for Legislative Fix to Permit/Cost Recovery Mess

The Recreation HQ is proud that BRC has issued its call today for a legislative overhaul of the recreation permitting process including “cost recovery” on federal lands. For several years, OHV clubs such as the California Enduro Riders Association has been going through an ugly type of “permit hell” regarding several of its long-standing events held on the Eldorado National Forest.

July 21, 2011 BRC News Release Calling of Overhaul of Permit Process

BRC Overview of Permit Issue with Stories (a very good and informative read)

Most of you know this issue has been steadily growing worse. After attending a number of meetings over the last 2 years with local OHV clubs, federal agencies, congressional staff, and other stakeholders, the Quiet Warrior became convinced that a legislative fix was the only way to address what has become a bureaucratic entanglement of red-tape and illogical cost recovery charges. The permit issue was not just happening in CA and NV, but throughout the West.

HQ Blog on NV Permit Issue

Article About Congressman Tom McClintock Addressing the Permit Mess for Both OHV and Equestrian Events

May 2011 HQ Blog on Cost Recovery

QWR Call to Action in June 2011

The Recreation HQ urges clubs to send in their horror stories about having to cancel historic club events and rides because the permitting process and cost recovery charges have gotten out of control.

Helmets off to the BRC crew for working on this issue. Time to change the rules and make them user friendly for both motorized and non-motorized clubs.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Action Alert - Comments to Keep OR Dunes Open for OHV Use Due July 25

Yes folks, it can happen (see above photo)

Just a short time ago, the BlueRibbon Coalition issued an action alert for OHV enthusiasts throughout the West who like to ride at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area.

BRC Alert with Suggested Comments and FS Contact Info – Comments Due July 25, 2011.

Recent HQ Blog on OR Dunes Issue

The Recreation HQ urges people to send in comments before the July 25, 2011. As the BRC lead on this issue, Don Amador, in his capacity as the western representative, apologizes for the late alert but trying to sift through the rather complex Oregon Dunes travel issue has been difficult.

Also, Amador (and several local OHV leaders) has requested that the Forest Service extend the comment but has not heard back from the agency at the time of this posting. BRC has also sent letters to Coos, Douglas, and Lane County Commissioners asking them to review this issue.

Stay tuned to the HQ and BRC for updates should there be an extension and/or other developments at the OR Dunes.

Thanks for your involvement!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

OR Dune Riders Must Stand Up and Fight Back Against More Closures

By now, many of you already know about the ongoing closures to OHV recreation at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (ODNRA). HQ has heard an interesting theme that has been coming from users, resource professionals, and other interested parties. That narrative states that if the Forest Service does not aggressively attack the rapidly encroaching vegetation… there will not be a dune riding area at the NRA in 20 years.

July 13, 2011 Op-Ed by Amador in The Umpqua Post Newspaper

HQ is encouraging the dune fans that travel from CA, WA, NV, and OR to the ODNRA to send in comments (due July 25) about how the Forest Service should “push the pause button” on more OHV closures and instead focus on saving the dunes from the real enemy… encroaching vegetation.

Stay tuned for more on the OR Dunes battle.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Algore Roadless Chief Behind Closure Agenda at Oregon Dunes?

Being all to aware of the historic loss of motorized access to ocean beaches in California, HQ has been particularly troubled by a similar loss of beach and dune access at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area (NRA).

For the last two years BRC member, Jody Phillips, has been part of a dune working group (there were other OHVers there too). As part of that group, he has championed well-managed and continued motorized dune-based recreation on the unit.

Unfortunately, it appears the NRA is going to continue down the path of more closures (and poor management) if OHV users don’t stand up and fight back.

In June 2011, the Forest Service issued a Notice of Intent that started a public comment period for a proposed action related to OHV recreation. The comment period ends July 25, 2011.

FS NOI/Proposed Action

Jody and a number of other OHV recreationists have contacted HQ and the BRC about reviewing the proposal and helping craft comments and take other actions to protect OHV recreation at the Dunes.

Although HQ and BRC are still in the process of reviewing the documents, HQ took some time to review the ongoing and tragic loss of motorized access to the NRA. Here is what I have found.

In 1972, about 28K acres of the 32K acre ODNRA was open for OHV/motorized use. In 1979, that was reduced to 15K acres. In 1994, that was reduced to less than 6K acres for open riding. Even though the FS states there are an additional 4,500 acres open for motorized use on designated trails, the actual land footprint for the few miles of trails is less than a couple of acres.

The staggering loss of access, which was most notably realized in the 1994 Dunes Management Plan, caused HQ to see what Forest Service Supervisor presided over, crafted, and authorized that loss. It was not really surprising for HQ to find that it was, Jim Furnish, one of Algore’s chief architects behind the now infamous (circa 1997-2001) Clinton/Dombeck/Algore Roadless Plan. Today, Furnish is a board member of one of the most anti motorized trail/road groups in the country.

2004 Article on Jim Furnish and his anti-access agenda

Furnish at 2010 Wildlands Center for the Prevention of Roads Board Meeting

If we stay on this track, I strongly believe that motorized use on the ODNRA will cease to exist in any substantive manner. I hope our collective effort is not too late.

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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Raley's Supermarket to Rescue CA State Park Budget Mess?

Official HQ/BRC Land Use Battle Wagon

The Recreation HQ was encouraged recently when it read about Raley’s effort to raise funds to help keep regular California State Parks in the black.

Fresno Bee Article on Supermarket Fundraiser

For several years, HQ has been encouraging California State Parks that the best way to keep regular parks open is to think out-side-of-box and make their program more relevant and self-sustaining. HQ also cautioned state park leadership and the legislature against continuing to lean on OHV Trust Fund monies as a “fiscal crutch.”

March 10,2010 Blog on Encouraging Parks to Become Relevant and Use Creative Ways to Stay Open

Please take the poll in the upper left hand corner of this blog page. The idea for ads and coupons that could be placed in state park mailings came to me as an idea when I opened some correspondence from the U.S Postal Service and they had a number of local ads. Several of which I intend to take advantage of.

Feel free to share your ideas on how State Parks can stay in the black.

Thanks in advance for your service and ideas!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Happy Birthday America! This is my favorite birthday celebration

Old Glory flying at the Recreation HQ  (Video)

Please enjoy this time with your family and friends.  Be proud to be an American.  HQ will remain open this Holiday weekend should any breaking news have an impact on our freedom to enjoy our public lands in a responsible manner.

Happy 4th of July!


Friday, July 1, 2011

New Interior Economic Report Scrubs OHV Recreation

Last week, I testified before the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public lands about the Hollister Field Office obliterating all evidence that OHV recreation had existed at the Clear Creek Management Area. And, the unit had even scrubbed all OHV symbols from their main website.

In 2005, the Forest Service published a recreation report that stated approximately 23% of Americans participate in some form of OHV recreation each year.

2005 FS Recreation Report (a good and informative read)

Just as Obama’s Great American Outdoor program failed to reference or acknowledge that OHV recreation even existed, Interior’s newly published Economic Report failed to reference OHV recreation. The Report failed to acknowledge that OHV recreation is an important element of the recreation opportunity spectrum and is also an important economic multiplier.

Interior’s June 21 New Economic Report (sans OHV)

June 22 SLT Article (no mention of OHVs - guess all those wheelers at Moab don't count)

In HQ’s opinion, this Interior report has little if any credibility. By ignoring the huge off-road aftermarket (custom shops, parts, wheels, tires, etc.) and industry (4WDs, dirt-bikes, ATVs, RVs, trailers, and UTVs) and service industry (hotels, food, restaurants, fuel, etc) – the report ends up being nothing but a propaganda tool used to champion the agency’s non-motorized political agenda.

HQ supports both non-motorized and motorized recreation. Hiking, fishing, biking, and other uses are important. But what Interior has done is try the old divide and conquer techniques that at the end of the day are ineffective. Again, this report only serves to daylight the administration’s non-motorized political agenda.

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