A Victory For OHV Uses!

Discussion in 'Land Use' started by mudfanatic, Nov 3, 2000.

  1. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

    Feb 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Aloha, Oregon



    POCATELLO, IDAHO- In a hard-fought compromise between environmentalists and
    motorized recreationists finalized on October 31, 2000, an initial stipulation
    restricting off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in the Imperial Sand Dunes
    Recreation Area (ISDRA) was modified to allow additional OHV recreational

    The agreement was completed as part of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court
    for the Northern District of California by the Center for Biological Diversity
    and other organizations against the Bureau of Land Management, contending that
    the Bureau had failed to comply with the Endangered Species Act in managing
    the California Desert Conservation Area. The agreement was signed by these
    two parties, as well as a coalition of recreational organizations, including
    the High Desert Multiple Use Coalition, Desert Vipers, San Diego Off-Road
    Coalition, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs and the BlueRibbon

    These recreational groups successfully intervened in the action in August and
    participated in final discussions on October 30 and 31 in a settlement
    conference conducted by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero. Of primary concern
    was ISDRA management for Peirson's milkvetch, a plant that was listed as
    threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1998. The new agreement should
    govern OHV issues in the ISDRA while the Bureau obtains a biological opinion
    from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regarding potential impacts of the
    CDCA management plan upon species like Peirson's milkvetch.

    The agreement follows a week of legal maneuvering by all parties. An initial
    settlement conference occurred on September 18, 2000, which included
    discussions focusing on possible immediate OHV closures in the ISDRA. While
    the recreational groups participated in the settlement conference they did not
    sign a stipulation which was filed by the Center and the Bureau on October 20,
    2000, proposing immediate closure of more than 50% of the ISDRA previously
    open to OHV travel.

    On Monday, October 23, 2000, the recreational groups filed a motion before
    District Court Judge William Alsup asking him to postpone implementation of
    the agreement in order to hear their objections. In response, the Center moved
    the next day for a temporary restraining order, asking the Court to
    immediately approve the stipulation to close about 48,000 acres of the ISDRA.
    A hearing was conducted on the motions by telephone on October 26, 2000, and
    the Court denied the Center's motion, declined to order immediate closure and
    established a schedule for presentation of legal memoranda and argument to
    consider objections to the initial closure agreement.

    As a result of these rulings, a previously-scheduled settlement conference on
    October 30, 2000, took on new significance. In discussions which lasted
    nearly two days the parties achieved their final agreement which modified the
    original proposal to open areas within the original proposed closure while
    creating smaller closures around known plant populations outside the original

    Paul Turcke, a Boise, Idaho, lawyer representing the recreational groups,
    stated "We don't like having to agree to any closures, because we feel the
    best available information shows that OHV enthusiasts and the Peirson's
    milkvetch have successfully shared the Dunes for decades. We took maximum
    advantage of laws which allowed us to enter this litigation, but must
    recognize federal courts conduct very limited review of proposed settlements."

    "We concluded we would accomplish more actively negotiating instead of
    standing on the outside and looking in on the other parties' agreement. We
    believe the new agreement is far better for OHV users and Peirson's milkvetch
    as a result," Turcke concludes.

    OHV enthusiasts agreed. "A portion of the Dunes will be temporarily closed,
    but the new agreement allows important riding opportunities to remain
    available in desirable areas," said Jeri Ferguson, the southern representative
    of the California 4 Wheel Drive Association.

    Jim McGarvie, a spokesman for the San Diego Off-Road Coalition, noted, "We
    agreed to closure of the areas containing the largest plant populations, which
    were - ironically - outside the original closure agreement. The first
    agreement was a poor fit between needs of recreationists and the plant. We
    will continue responsible use of the Dunes and look forward to a biological
    opinion which will allow even greater recreational opportunities for Dunes

    Don Amador, the western representative for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, says,
    "I'm glad that we were able to reach a compromise on this lawsuit because many
    families look forward to enjoying the sand dunes during the Thanksgiving and
    Christmas holiday season. It had appeared to many of us that this lawsuit
    would turn out to be the 'Green-grinch' who stole Christmas."

    The agreement will take effect as soon as it is authorized by the Court. On
    the ground signing of the closed areas will take place by November 22, 2000,
    after representatives of all parties confirm locations of actual plant
    populations and help distribute information regarding the agreement to the

    # # #

    The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a national recreation groups that champions
    responsible multiple-use of public lands. It represents over 750
    organizations and businesses with 600,000 members.

    <font color=red>get involved with land issues or lose the land</font color=red>

    DBLAZER 1/2 ton status

    Apr 2, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Haslet, Tx
  3. 4GUNZ4X4Z

    4GUNZ4X4Z 1/2 ton status

    Aug 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Mustang, Oklahoma
    I'm glad somebody actually listened to us. It may sound like a small step considering all the other closures around are great nation, but its definitly a step in the right direction. I hope this opens the doors for other OHV organizations, we've been heard, now we wont be ignored any longer.

    <font color=blue>Professional <font color=red>JEEP EATER</font color=red>, it's a population control thing.</font color=blue>
  4. 1HIHUM

    1HIHUM 1/2 ton status

    Jun 28, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Fremont, CA
    Yeah baby, yeah! Now if are fellow wheelers down there do good on our end of the bargain, we have our foot in the door!!! We can use the agreement as an example for others to follow. And it also shows that we care about our environment too.
  5. blazen91

    blazen91 1/2 ton status

    Sep 10, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Hesperia, Ca 92345
    A bitter sweet victory. There's a map athttp://www.glamisonline.org/closure.htm, as well as a wealth if other info. This is the land we all signed the petition for. We still lost land, but as much as we could have or still could. If any of you are Glamis goers, PLEASE stay out of the closed area or <font color=red>THEY WILL CLOSE IT ALL!</font color=red> I'm going out there next weekend and I'm very scared it will be my last trip ever. Let's all pray.

  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Jul 23, 2000
    Likes Received:
    E-town baby!
    Well I for one am somewhat happy that something could and was done. I've always been kind of cynical about the affect a petition really has. I'm glad that it had some positive affect in this case. Its too bad that any of the lands had to be closed, but I'm sure it could have been worse.



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