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John Stewart

A Message From BRC's Executive Director

Dear BRC Members and Supporters,

Must Read Editorial
I want to encourage everyone to read Brian Hawthorne's editorial this week.  I give you fair warning, what the National Park Service (NPS) is doing here is outrageous. NPS Oyster Stew - Betrayal Deja Vu.

When I watched the associated video Brian linked to, I was outraged, but I cannot say I was surprised. The vicious betrayal by the NPS of a family owned oyster farm is outrageous, but the fact that they used trumped up science to do it seems to me sadly typical of today's U.S. Department of Interior. I have been all across the US on my Turn the Tide Tour, and have seen this literally from Cape Hatteras on the Atlantic to Point Reyes on the Pacific.

Best available science my eye! More like "most convenient trumped-up allegation."

Science in the Department of the Interior has become a joke, and the agency should be ashamed. I can't help but ask, "At what point does the personal opinion of agency leadership outweigh actual public policy?" You shouldn't be able to twist the science and rewrite history to suit your agenda.  

While we are on the subject of the DOI

Here is a quick Update on the Canyonlands Monument proposal. I want to thank our supporters who responded to our recent blast on the proposal to designate a massive new National Monument in southeastern Utah.

The issue has gotten a lot of national media attention, including in key Washington DC based natural resource newsletters.

In our update, BRC's Brian Hawthorne noted

"I have been personally involved in numerous collaborative efforts to determine how these prized recreational lands are managed, both as a recreationist who loves visiting the area and also as a representative of the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national OHV advocacy group.
The Outdoor Industry Association's advocacy arm has lost all credibility. Their letter requesting that President Obama establish a new National Monument is nothing less than an end-run around local and state efforts to consider how best to protect these lands. Their requests pulls the rug out from under those who will be most likely to be impacted by land use decisions - local citizens - as they hammer out compromises."

Indeed, San Juan County is an example of how to do it right. This last Monday, the County and the Navajo Nation signed a formalized agreement to "work together in the spirit of mutual respect and cooperation to recognize and consider how to effectively manage the outstanding natural, cultural and recreational resources on state and federal lands in San Juan County, as well as the socio-economic conditions for the enhancement of the quality of life for all San Juan County residents."

Mark Maryboy, the County representative for the Navaho Nation was quoted as saying:

"Navajos have always felt that the local people, whether they be Navajo or non-Navajo, should be at the forefront of discussing public lands."
Maryboy added that the proposed Greater Canyonlands National Monument effort, which has received support from a variety of national groups, should begin as a local effort.

Sadly, 100 outdoor retailers disagree. They seem to be doubling down on their request for President Obama to do an "end run" around these local collaborative efforts, and unilaterally designate a massive 1.4  million acres National Monument.

Read about the San Juan County/Navaho Nation agreement here:
San Juan County and Navajo Nation to coordinate land use efforts

The issue has also brought some much needed attention on a very dangerous lawsuit filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA).  After years of sitting dormant, it has been resurrected in the U.S. District Court in Utah, and could close some of the most nationally significant motorized recreation trails in Moab, Cainville and the San Rafael Swell.

Whatever the threat, BRC is committed to defend OHV recreation across the U.S. As Hawthorne noted in his editorial, we aren't surprised by much anymore. Just resolved to fight harder.

Thank you all for your support,
Greg Mumm
Executive Director
BlueRibbon Coalition

Learn about the SUWA lawsuit in our most recent Utah update

Support our Legal Program

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://www.sharetrails.org
_______________________________________________________

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit http://www.sharetrails.org/make-a-difference-now to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!


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BlueRibbon Coalition

A Message From BRC's Executive Director

Dear BlueRibbon Coalition Members and Supporters:

I hope this email finds you all well and looking forward to spending a great Thanksgiving Holiday with your friends and family.  On behalf of everyone at the BlueRibbon Coalition, I want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

I also want to draw your attention to a few things we are working on:

Our latest legal update includes an amazing denial by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) that their policy to manage Recommended Wilderness Areas (RWA) as if those RWAs were congressional designated Wilderness exists. What makes the denial amazing is that we have written copy of that policy, and we've included a link to it in our update! To quote our alert:  "The whole point of this suit is to find out which version reflects reality - ours or the USFS!"

This is an example of why our legal program is so important. You can read our alert and learn more about our legal efforts here:

Continue reading
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BlueRibbon Coalition

ANOTHER MASSIVE NATIONAL MONUMENT PUSHED IN UTAH!

ANOTHER MASSIVE NATIONAL MONUMENT PUSHED IN UTAH!

Greetings Utah BRC members and supporters...

Given the news of this week, we felt a need to update our update. We hate to inundate your inbox like this, but the threat is real, and you need to know about it.  

Situation:
For whatever reason (November election, perhaps?) the Washington, DC.., Wilderness Lobby has twisted their proverbial throttle to "WIDE OPEN."

From Montana, we learn the Wilderness lobbyists feel "emboldened by election results" and are pushing the incredulously named "Forest Jobs and Recreation Act." That's Montana Senator Jon Tester's pitch to add an additional 600,000 acres to Montana's already impressive 3.5 million plus acres of Wilderness.  

And in California, our friends at the American Lands Rights Association recently sent an action alert noting plans for yet another new National Park are in overdrive. Ditto for Wilderness efforts in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

Continue reading
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staff_user

Save Tellico Now - Before There Is Nothing Left To Save

Caving under the pressure of SELC and TU, the Forest Service announced on December 18, 2007 there would be a seasonal closure of the entire trail system and Trails Lower 2, 7, and 9 would be closed for a year to assess the condition of the trails to see what needs to be done.

Closing trails does not address the issues and SFWDA feels that the Forest Service took steps that are not correct. This lawsuit is intended to reopen the trails that were improperly closed.

SFWDA has worked with the US Forest Service in the Tellico OHV area for over 20 years, providing free maintenance and restoration work to address the agency-wide maintenance backlog estimated nationwide at over $100 billion. The trail maintance, clean up, and volunteer work we have donated to the area is well over $100,000 just in the past few years. SFWDA values the relationship we have with the US Forest Service and plan to continue the work, volunteering and cleaning up as we've done in the past.

What are the effects of the closures?
The impact of closing the trails has greatly wounded the economy in the area. Not only are there fewer places to ride in the Upper Tellico area, but local businesses have felt the impact. Cabin Rentals, Campgrounds, parts stores have all seen a decrease in business. Outside of the impact to the economy, this act sets a precedent for large special interest groups to bully our government to preferentially close access to public land to one user group.

What you can do
Frankly, law suits are not cheap. We need your donations. You can donate online at www.SFWDA.org or Tax deductible at www.sharetrails.org/rescue-tellico or donate tax deductible through the United Land Action Fund at P.O. Box 15696, Chesapeake, VA 23328. You can purchase Rescue Tellico Items at www.cafepress.com/rescuetellico. All proceeds are donated to the Rescue Tellico Fund.

At the very least we need your membership. If you are not a member of any or all the below mentioned groups we need you. Please join us so that you can have your voice counted in unison with ours. If you have always wondered, what does my membership get me, here is your answer. SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC are fighting to keep trails open so we have places to ride.

Please spread the word. This is not only a 4x4 problem but ATV, Motorcycle and UTV's are affected as well.

Who's Who

The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, 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. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open 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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