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Court Orders Closure of State Park



The order stems from a complaint filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the California Sportfishing Protection Alliance.  The group's complaint alleged OHV activities at Carnegie SVRA are causing discharge to enter Corral Hollow Creek, which flows through the park. The creek only runs 4 to 6 weeks a year, and after leaving the park eventually runs out into an agriculture field and   disappears into the ground.

"If  regulatory agencies are satisfied with what the park has been doing, why does this judge in Alameda think he knows better than the environmental professionals?," asked Dave Pickett, President of  American Motorcyclist Association District 36 and member of the Carnegie OHV Taskforce. "This is an attempt by special interests groups to highjack lasting collaborative solutions, and deny family recreation enjoyed by over a 100,000 visitors to this park annually. This is just flat wrong!"

For years, staff from Carnegie has been working with the Regional Water Board and nearby property owners to address water quality issues in Corral Hollow Creek, which runs through the State Park. In 2004, State Parks initiated a watershed assessment, paid for with OHV user fees, to diagnose potential issues in the watershed and design fixes. Regulatory agencies together with State Parks are identifying solutions to address problems.

"We have been working with the park to address the hill climbs in Carnegie, which have been problematic, as well as making sure the vehicles are out of the creek. But we have no control over Hetch Hetchy, who illegally performed work in the creek bed, or the munitions testing facility," said Pickett, referring to the activities of neighbors of the park. "It is troubling when the OHV community wants to work within the system and is now taking all the blame."

According to Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition and fellow member of the Carnegie Taskforce, "If the park is forced to close, more than 100,000 park visitors will be displaced. The closure will impact other OHV recreation areas, causing overcrowding and unanticipated effects from the overload. The closure will not hasten better water quality, but is just another example of the Plaintiffs grandstanding and misusing environmental law to enact a political agenda that is anti-recreation and anti-park."

"Californians would be better served if PEER extended the hand of partnership to legitimately address the issue, rather than using the court system to close a park at a time when residents have been fighting so hard to keep State Parks open. This court decision is deeply troubling on any number of levels," Amador concludes...

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national (non-profit) trail-saving group that represents over 600,000 recreationists nationwide The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is beginning. 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 http://www.sharetrails.org

 

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Temporary Stay on Lead in ATVs Released

MOTORCYCLE INDUSTRY COUNCIL: CPSC’S STAY OF ENFORCEMENT IS INADEQUATE; LEGISLATIVE SOLUTION NEEDED

IRVINE, Calif., May 4, 2009 –The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) issued the following statement in response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) release of a Federal Register notice on a Stay of Enforcement for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles from the new lead content limits contained in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA):

"MIC and SVIA thank CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord and Commissioner Thomas Moore for attempting to get youth model ATVs and motorcycles back on showroom floors, and for acknowledging that the current ban on youth model ATVs and motorcycles creates a compelling safety issue because it likely will result in children 12 years of age and younger riding larger and faster adult-size vehicles, while, as the CPSC's staff scientists acknowledge, the presence of lead in metal alloys in these youth models does not present a health hazard to children. The Commission also acknowledges that children riding these vehicles only interact with a limited number of metal component parts that might contain small amounts of lead, like brake and clutch levers, throttle controls, and tire valve stems.

However, although the Commissioners' intentions are laudable, it is clear that the stay of enforcement as drafted is a temporary stop-gap measure with conditions largely unrelated to safety. It does not and cannot end the ban on these vehicles. Due to the highly restrictive language of the CPSIA and the fact that the CPSC is not the only agency responsible for enforcing the law, this stay of enforcement is simply inadequate in legal terms and leaves the industry vulnerable to lawsuits and actions by federal and state agencies.

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Forest Service Urges Caution

Be Safe on our National Forests: What to do if you Encounter a Marijuana Cultivation Site

VALLEJO, Calif., May 06, 2009—As the summer approaches, the marijuana cultivation season will begin and it is especially important to be aware of your surroundings on national forests.

Marijuana growers will be active on the national forests from now until usually the end of October. Here are some clues that you may have come across a site:

  • The smell of marijuana especially on hot days is like a skunk.
  • Hoses or drip lines located in unusual or unexpected places.
  • A well used trail where there shouldn’t be one.
  • Voices coming from an unusual place.
  • People standing along roads without vehicles present, or in areas where loitering appears unusual.
  • Usually plantations are found in isolated locations; in rough steep terrains (typically between 500 to 5500 elevation).
  • Camps containing cooking and sleeping areas with food.
  • Small propane bottles (so the grower can avoid detection of wood smoke).
  • Fertilizer, weapons, garbage, dead animals.
  • Individuals armed with rifles out of hunting season.

As soon as you become aware that you have entered a cultivation site, or have encountered any of the above listed situations, immediately reduce the threat by removing yourself from the area. Walk, crawl or run out the way you came in and make as little noise as possible. The growers may be present, and may or may not know that you have found their operation.

As soon as possible, contact your nearest Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer or Deputy and report as much detail about the incident as you can recall. Please contact Acting Special Agent in Charge, Laura Mark at (707) 562-8648 for more information.

Over seven million plants have been seized off California National Forest System lands since 2003.

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Off Road Enthusists Visit Capitol

California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs was well represented with members from Tierra del Sol Four Wheel Drive of San Diego and the San Diego 4 Wheelers joining Association President Mark Cave and others.

The day started with remarks from California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman followed by Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Deputy Director Daphne Greene explaining the looming impact of the state budget crisis on motorized recreation. During the afternoon, OHV enthusiasts walked the halls of the Capitol and visited with their elected representatives.

Senate and Assembly Members and their staff were invited to an evening reception hosted by CLORV.  During the reception, recognition awards were presented. CA4WDC Natural Resources Consultant John Stewart was recognized as Southern California Off-Road Advocate for 2011 and Dave Picket, American Motorcyclist Association District 36 was recognized as the Northern California Off-Road Advocate. Tony Pellegrino, co-owner GenRight Off-Road and 2nd Place finisher at 2011 Griffin King of the Hammers, was recognized as the 2011 Off-Road Business Advocate of the year.

In addition to meeting with elected representatives, Mark Cave and John Stewart were able to arrange private meetings with OHV lobbyist Terry McHale and OHMVR Deputy Director Daphne Greene to discuss issues of importance to CA4WDC members.

 

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Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Announces Historic Decision

Paul Turcke, who argued the case and has long served as lead counsel for the BlueRibbon Coalition's Legal Program, said, "Today's decision will positively affect all nonfederal interests who rightfully seek a meaningful role in public lands litigation affecting them. These positive effects extend, ironically, to the preservation groups who opposed our intervention here and provided the foundation and fuel for this appeal."

The decision follows an en banc hearing of the Court held on December 13, 2010. The underlying case was originally brought in the U.S. District of Idaho when The Wilderness Society and Prairie Falcon Audubon, Inc. sued the Forest Service seeking greater restriction on motorized vehicle access to the Minidoka Ranger District in the Sawtooth National Forest. The BlueRibbon Coalition, the Magic Valley Trail Machine Association and the Idaho Recreation Council were denied intervention on the side of the Forest Service in that case. The district court determined, in large part, that intervention was prevented by the Federal Defendant Rule.

The recreation groups appealed the decision with initial arguments presented in March of 2010 to a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel by Turcke and the Western Environmental Law Center.  Rather than issuing a decision, the three-judge panel asked for further briefing on the question of whether the Court should convene en banc to consider abandoning the Federal Defendant Rule.  In September, the Court issued an order to hear the appeal en banc.

In addition to the recreation groups, thirty-seven other parties filed "friend of the court" briefs on the issue-including conservation, recreation, commercial groups, state and local governments, Indian tribes, regional water authorities and the federal government.

The underlying case remains pending in the District of Idaho. Today's decision marks the elimination of  the Federal Defendant Rule, offers guidance on the proper test for intervention in NEPA cases, and remands the matter to the District Court "to consider anew" the Recreation Groups' motion.

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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. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org


 

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