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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  1. Excellent information Don.
    A wolf in sheep's clothing is much less effective if folks are able to see through the disguise.

    Will pass this along, thank you!

  2. Kate, I remember during the debate on the 2006 Thompson Wilderness bill that a "new OHV group" was formed in N. Calif. that supported the bill (sans access tenets). It turned out to be a one owner bicycle shop in Lakeport.

  3. Next thing you know there will be a group called Mountain Bikers for Wilderness (remember that no MTBs are allowed in Wilderness). Oh wait, there was a group like that which was outed by a true mtb bike group.

  4. Thanks for posting Don...if we all pay attention to the new groups/causes out their and question them about their TRUE agenda we can sniff them out....it just takes a little time on our part to do a little searching..

  5. they do have better looking websites....