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John Stewart

CCMA Closure Decision Challenged

The letter, signed by Paul Turcke, an attorney for the BlueRibbon Coalition, highlights a number of the documents obtained, such as a memo authored by BLM experts seeking underlying data and questioning methodology relied upon by the EPA in its May, 2008 report that forms the basis for BLM's closure of the CCMA. The BLM closed the area through an emergency order in conjunction with the release of the EPA Report in 2008, but has promised to reevaluate the report and all reasonable management options in an ongoing and more robust public planning process. This is expected to result in the release of a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) in 2009.

"The EIS range of alternatives is not the place to fully concur in or reject EPA's analysis, but is instead designed to allow BLM and the public to meaningfully consider and provide input upon possible management options," the letter concludes.

The draft EIS was previously scheduled for release in January 2009, but has been delayed several times.  After it is released, it will be subject to public comment and will undergo further review before BLM announces a final decision.

View document here:  http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/FOIA_CCMA_Turcke_Letter_July_8_2009_Final.pdf

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. http://www.sharetrails.org
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John Stewart

Forest Service Closes Tellico OHV Area

Carla Boucher, legal counsel for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, stated, "The Forest Service has failed to make the case with regard to adverse effects and resource damage. There is no immediate threat to public health, safety, or other requisite finding required by such an order. Water quality standards cited by the Forest Supervisor as the basis for such an order are not being exceeded." Boucher added, "In making this decision, the Forest Service must be prepared to explain why similar findings have not been made in the decades of greater environmental impact and they simply have not done that."

Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, stated, "Implementing this closure order threatens the integrity of the ongoing planning process in which the interested public and our federal government have collectively invested significant time and resources."

Mumm concluded, "The economic impact of this closure will be devastating to the area and comes at a time when the current administration is calling for more jobs, economic development, and healthy outdoor recreation. It makes no sense."

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

 

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John Stewart

Rubicon Water Quality Being Studied

In mid-March, the Water Quality Control Board will convene a meeting between trail closure advocates and OHV activists, with representatives from the responsible agency, El Dorado County’s Department of Transportation, as well as representatives from affected agencies such as the Forest Service, the Department of Fish and Game, and the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Department. The Water Quality Control Board is scheduling this meeting and extending the comment period as a fact finding mission and a discussion of completed, ongoing, and planned mitigation efforts, proven best management practices, and schedules. Discussion may also include what stakeholders would like to see in the future for the Rubicon Trail.

Randy Burleson, President of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, stated that “OHV users welcome the openness of the Water Quality Board to hear the full story of the many improvements which have already been completed, are now in progress, or are planned for the Rubicon. The few individuals lobbying to close and/or restrict trail usage omitted details of effective mitigations, decreased traffic, and improved trail conditions. We look forward to sharing these facts with the Regional Water Quality Board, and adding them to the list of agency partners working together for the good of the Rubicon Trail.” Friends of the Rubicon and Rubicon Trail Foundation work well together, and have successfully partnered with El Dorado County, Placer County, El Dorado National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Board, and the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

Please join the Rubicon Trail Foundation in providing substantive comments to the Water Quality Control Board, especially those regarding the abatement order, or the Assessment of Sediment Delivery from the Rubicon Trail study cited in it. The March meeting agenda will focus on best management practice and working together to form an abatement order that 4x4 and OHV users and closure advocates alike can live with – the Foundation needs your help to shine light on all of these issues in your letters. Questions and comments may be directed to CVRWQB’s Sue McConnell by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – please copy the Foundation on any comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The Foundation lists discussion points at our website: www.RubiconTrailFoundation.org.

The Rubicon Trail Foundation was formed in 2004. We are a federally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to the future health of the Rubicon Trail and our mission is to enhance the future health and use of the Rubicon Trail, while ensuring responsible motorized year-round trail access. We work with the individuals, clubs, organizations, and agencies to maintain and manage the trail. Our Officers and Directors represent a wide variety of Rubicon Trail OHV users, land owners, county representatives, manufacturers, and event organizers.

More information is available at www.RubiconTrailFoundation.org

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If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with a representative of the Rubicon Trail Foundation, please e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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John Stewart

Off Road Businesses Urged to Oppose S.22

THE OFF-ROAD BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (ORBA) URGES THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TO OPPOSE S. 22, AN OMNIBUS BILL THAT WILL MAKE OFF-HIGHWAY VEHICLE (OHV) USE ILLEGAL ON OVER 2 MILLION ACRES OF PUBLIC LAND
 
BAKERSFIELD, CA (February 10, 2009) S. 22, an omnibus public lands bill approved by the Senate January 15, 2009 has now moved to the House of Representatives. This bill would designate over 2 million acres of public lands as wilderness, the most restrictive land use designation available. All forms of motorized and mechanized recreation are prohibited in wilderness areas. In a time when our economy is seeing a dramatic slow down it makes no sense to eliminate one of the few income makers in some of the rural communities effected by this bill, OHV recreation.

 We recognize the need for wilderness in the appropriate areas and with the proper local input so that trails and areas of high recreation value are cherry stemmed or excluded totally from this type of designation. It is not good public policy for congress to push a 1200 page piece of legislation through without giving people the proper time to digest and understand it, as they are attempting to do with this bill.
 
A recent addition to this bill is the codification of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The NLCS would, in our opinion, create an additional and undue level of bureaucracy for the national system of public lands.
 
ORBA urges its members and anyone who enjoys motorized recreation on public lands to contact their representative and ask them to oppose S.22. If you are not sure who your U.S. Representative is go to the following link to find out. https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml
 

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ORBA is a national trade association composed of off-road related businesses united to promote common goals that support the prosperity and growth of the off-road industry.
 
 
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John Stewart

Federal Statutes: What They Are and Where to Find Them

This report provides a brief overview of federal statutes and where to find them, both in print and on the Internet.

When Congress passes a law, it may amend or repeal earlier enactments or it may write on a clean slate. Newly enacted laws are published chronologically, first as separate statutes in "slip law" form and later cumulatively in a series of volumes known as the Statutes at Large. Statutes are numbered by order of enactment either as public laws or, far less frequently, private laws, depending on their scope.

Most statutes are incorporated into the United States Code. The United States Code and its commercial counterparts arrange federal statutes, that are of a general and permanent nature, by subject into titles. As the statutes that underlie the Code are revised, superseded, or repealed, the provisions of the Code are updated to reflect these changes.

The slip law versions of public laws are available in official print form from the Government Printing Office. Federal Depository Libraries (e.g., university and state libraries) provide slip laws in print and/or microfiche format. The Statutes at Large series often is available at large libraries. The United States Code and its commercial counterparts are usually available at local libraries. In addition, statutes and the United States Code can be found on the Internet.

Many significant statutes (for example, the Social Security Act and the Clean Air Act) are published and updated both in the public law, as amended, version and in the United States Code. For some titles the public law, as amended, is the authoritative version of the statute and not the Code. In these instances, an asterisk will not appear next to the title in the Code. After providing an overview on the basics of federal statutes, this report gives guidance on where federal statutes, in their various forms, may be located on the Internet.

Click here to download a copy of this Congressional Research Report.

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