2013 Shutdown Closure Sign
BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area
By Don Amador
DON’T USE RECREATION AS A PAWN IN SHUTDOWN BATTLE
If a shutdown occurs, outdoor recreationists could face a loss of access to federal lands. We all remember the shutdown in 2013 where OHVers and others were met with a confusing array of closure signs and inconsistent messages/enforcement.
2013 Shutdown Gate Closure at OR Dunes NRA
Photo Credit: Save the Riders Dunes
The 2013 shutdown forced the BLM to cancel an AMA sanctioned motorcycle event. On another unit, a scheduled cleanup day sponsored by OHV enthusiasts was cancelled.
Should we expect that, once again, “closed to the public” signs will be put up at the entrances to many, if not most, developed campgrounds on FS and BLM lands? Some units could also post closed signs on the trails.
Although federal recreation programs get a tiny portion of the budget, they are what the public sees and uses. Regardless of who is in political power, elected officials should not use agency recreation staff and the users as political pawns.
Let’s hope that they find common ground and avoid a shutdown.
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Don Amador writes from his office in Oakley, California on OHV recreation and land-use issues. Don has 28 years of experience in OHV-related recreation management and advocacy. Don is President of Quiet Warrior Racing, his recreation consulting business. Don is a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org where he serves as their Western Representative. Don was a 2016 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Don may be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org