Thursday, September 22, 2011

ABC NEWS STORY on CLEAR CREEK - EPA/HFO Makes Case for NRA Designation

Many riders watched the ABC feature story last night regarding the ongoing closure of the Clear Creek Management Area to all users. A big HQ salute is given to local off-road advocate Ken Deeg for telling his story to the reporter. As far as mainstream media coverage goes for OHV recreation, HQ believes the story scored an 8 out of 10.

ABC Video and Article on the Closure of Clear Creek (must watch video)

What struck HQ the most out of the whole video were statements made by EPA and Hollister Field Office officials. Just as Don Amador stated in his June 22,2011 testimony before a Congressional Subcommittee hearing in DC, EPA/HFO continue to give their agencies a black eye by showing their collective intent to permanently close or severely restrict OHV recreation at Clear Creek.

Blog with Video of Amador’s June 22 Testimony, link to IERF study, etc.

While CA state parks spokesman, Phil Jenkins, did a great job sharing the OHV Division’s perspective on the issue and risks associated with high risk sports such as OHV, swimming at public beaches, rivers, and lakes, rock climbing, and snow skiing, HQ believes that ABC should have also interviewed one of the scientists from IERF.

As you know, on March 22, 2011 a report was completed by scientists from the International Environmental Research Foundation (IERF), the Department of Physics at Harvard University, and the Center for Applied Studies of the Environment at the City University of New York.

According to that new and scientifically valid report, “…the [health]risk at Clear Creek is similar to the lifetime risk of death from smoking less than one cigarette over a one year period. They noted other recreational activities, such as swimming, hiking, and snow skiing are over a 100-fold more dangerous.

In summary, EPA/HFO’s statements in the ABC story only validated and strengthened Amador’s June 22 recommendation to Congress that they should consider bipartisan legislation that designates the 70,000-acre CCMA as a National Recreation Area with OHV recreation and other multiple-use recreational activities codified as “prescribed uses.” Congress could designate as “open” all 242 miles of routes and 400 acres of open areas identified for motorized use in the 2005 CCMA Travel Management Plan.

HQ believes HFO/EPA have lost their objectivity and credibility during the CCMA debate by inserting  junk science and their personal political agendas into the decision-making process. Every day that CCMA remains closed to public use means that Congress is one day closer to deciding the future of Clear Creek by designating it as a National Recreation Area.

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