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We wanted to alert BRC members in Arizona that several OHV groups, including the Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (AZOHVC) and the Arizona ATV Riders (AAR), are working to oppose the unfair implementation of a dust ordinance that could close hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands in the Grand Canyon State. National groups such as AMA and BRC are involved as well.

Robert Janis from ATV Source has written an excellent article about the efforts. See: Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Coalition Combating Closures of Trails for Dust Rules Violations

And, a new group calling themselves Arizona Offroaders has started a petition drive to fight these unfair closures.  Don Hood and Jeff Gursh over at AZOHVC say these are good guys and AZOHVC is supporting the petition project.

I want to take the opportunity here to note how important it is that OHV users support the organized OHV groups in AZ.  If I am to be completely truthful, I must admit that the situation in Arizona at this time is grim. The threats to motorized and mountain bike recreation have never been greater. Radical anti-recreation operatives like Center for Biological Diversity's Dan Patterson are spending a lot of time and money in Arizona. After this election cycle, they will be well positioned to advance their aggressive agenda.

Sadly, most Arizona-based OHV groups have very little money, and considering the number of OHV enthusiasts in Arizona, their membership numbers are low. Ditto for Arizona memberships in National groups such as BRC, AMA and the United Four Wheel Drive Associations.

I know that an email to BRC members about this stuff is preaching to the choir. As members, you have become part of the solution, and we appreciate your membership and involvement.

But membership numbers matter because, unlike what you read in the mainstream media, our groups aren't funded by the OHV manufacturers. OHV groups like BRC and AZOHVC depend on memberships and donations to fund efforts that keep lands open. For whatever reason, OHV folks in AZ haven't been as good as they need to be about joining clubs.

So I'm going to make a request to BRC members. Please take a minute to sign the petition, and please use the opportunity to encourage your friends and family to join an OHV group. Send them the link to the petition, but also send them the links below and tell them AZ's OHV groups need their help in stopping these unfair closures.

Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

Sign the Petition! 
Arizona Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
List of other AZ Clubs and Organizations
Arizona State Association of 4-WD Clubs 
Arizona ATV Riders 
Join or Contribute to BlueRibbon Online

Off-roaders could be kicked off trust land
Vehicle ban set for desert park   
Maricopa County Dust Restrictions

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American Trails Action Alert - August 2008

American Trails Action Alert    
August 2008

We'd like to bring your attention to two important issues that will effect all trail users, planners, and managers:

1. Use and definitions of powered vehicles for ADA accessibility
2. Transportation funding: major changes proposed

ADA rule making proposed for "power-driven mobility devices"

“Should motorized devices that use fuel or internal-combustion engines (e.g., all-terrain vehicles) be considered personal mobility devices that are covered by the ADA?”

This is one of the questions asked by the Department of Justice (DOJ) in a request for public input. DOJ is proposing to add a category of “other power-driven mobility devices” to accessibility regulations for state, local governments, and businesses. All comments must be received online at Regulations.gov by August 18, 2008.

Trail managers and supporters, as well as some accessibility advocates have raised concerns about the proposed rules and definitions for mobility devices. Some Segway users make a good case for being allowed to use these devices in buildings, on trails, and on sidewalks, in place of wheelchairs. The concern is that without careful wording, any person who says they have a disability will be allowed to operate any device that increases their mobility, even if the use of such devices in that location are prohibited for all other people. It would then be up to individual land managers to evaluate trails and areas to post regulations concerning specific types of mobility devices.

For more on this and other ADA and accessible trails issues, visit our website area on “Accessible Trails.”

Administration proposes new approach to national transportation programs

As reauthorization of federal transportation funding approaches, the administration is sending a clear message that things will be different. “Without a doubt, our federal approach to transportation is broken," said U.S. Transportation Secretary, Mary E. Peters, announcing the "Refocus, Reform, Renew Transportation Plan" on July 29, 2008.

A key message is "greatly reducing over 102 federal transportation programs which have proliferated over the last two decades replacing them with eight comprehensive, intermodal programs." Secretary Peters stated that,"These programs dilute the effects of federal funding by forcing state and local officials to fund projects such as recreational trails, while projects that would make a difference for commuters languish."

For trail advocates, the question is whether the Recreational Trails Program, Transportation Enhancements, and Scenic Byways funding would remain.

This press release on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee site at http://transportation.house.gov/News/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=721 has a different perspective that one should be aware of in considering where the Congress and next administration may go with the next reauthorization.

Keep informed on these crucial funding issues as we learn more, and as Congress and the Presidential candidates add their own visions of transportation. We must be an active and positive voice in the reauthorization process. See our "Supporting Trails" page for more information.

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Notice of Proposed Legislative Withdrawal and Opportunity for Public Meeting; California (Johnson Valley OHV Area)

The U.S. Department of the Navy, in accordance with the Engle Act, has filed an application requesting the Secretary of the Interior to process a proposed legislative withdrawal and reservation of public lands for military training exercises involving the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, San Bernardino County, California. The proposal seeks the transfer of jurisdiction and the withdrawal of approximately 365,906 acres of public lands and approximately 507 acres of Federal subsurface mineral estate from all forms of appropriation under the public land laws, including surface entry, mining, mineral leasing, and the Materials Act of 1947.

This notice temporarily segregates for two years the public lands and mineral estate described from settlement, sale, location, or entry under the public land laws, including the mining laws, and the operation of the mineral leasing laws and the Materials Act of 1947. In addition, the surface estate of the 507 acres of mineral estate and the surface and mineral estate of an approximately 72,186 acres of other non-federally owned property in the proposed withdrawal area, if they should be acquired by or returned to the United States by any means, would also be included in the proposed withdrawal and subject to the temporary segregation authorized by this notice.

DATES: Comments should be received on or before December 15, 2008. In addition, at least one public meeting will be held during the comment period to help the public understand both the proposed action and the decision-making processes. The public meeting will be announced at least 30 days in advance through local news media, public notices, mailings, and agency Web sites.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice


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Nevada - Travel Management in Humboldt-Toiyabe NF

Attention Nevada Recreationists!

Located in central Nevada, the Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest are inviting public comments on the proposed Combined Travel Management Project. This project includes adjustments to the current forest transportation system, additions of user-created routes to that system and the prohibition of motor vehicles off designated routes.

A scoping document and maps describing the project are online at http://www.fs.fed.us/r4/htnf/projects/. Hard copies (either printed versions or CD) can be obtained by contacting the Austin Ranger District Office at (775 ) 964-2671 or by written request to Austin Ranger District, P.O. Box 130, Austin, NV 89310.

In summary, the Proposed Action would prohibit motor vehicle use off the designated NFS roads and NFS trails. The Proposed Action also includes changes to the current forest transportation system located on the Austin and Tonopah Ranger Districts. These include changes to the status of NFS roads and NFS trails. The Proposed Action includes the addition of some user-created routes to the current forest transportation system. Motor vehicle use on these routes may be authorized by the type of vehicle permitted and by the time of year.

The Proposed Action does not include the designation of OHV areas where motor vehicles would not be restricted to designated routes nor does it provide for game retrieval. The Forest would continue to be open to other forms of cross-country travel, such as by horseback, hiking, over-snow machines and cross-country skiing.

To assist the Forest Service in identifying and considering issues and concerns on the Proposed Action, comments or suggestions should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to specific events, conditions, or practices, whenever possible. Comments may also address the Proposed Action, issues, and alternatives described in the scoping document.

You can mail your comments to the addresses listed below or you may email your comments to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  You may also fax or hand-deliver your comments. Public involvement will be ongoing throughout the analysis process. However, written scoping comments should be received by August 31, 2008. Comments received, including the names and addresses of those who comment, will be considered part of the public record on this proposal and will be available for public inspection.

Steven Williams, Austin and Tonopah District Ranger       James Winfrey, Project Manager
100 Midas Canyon Road                                                1200 Franklin Way
P. O. Box 130                                                               Sparks, NV 89431
Austin, NV 89310                                                                    

If anyone has questions regarding the planning process or timeframes as they relate to this project, please contact Project Manager James Winfrey at (775) 778-6129. If you have questions regarding specific roads, or if you would like to arrange for a Forest Service representative to attend your meetings or visit with your group to provide additional information, please contact District Ranger, Steven Williams at (775)  964-267l.


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Colorado Roadless Rule and DEIS Available for Public Comment

The U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region and the State of Colorado will host eight open houses for the public across the state the last two weeks of August as well as a July 29 meeting in the Washington, D.C. area to facilitate understanding of the proposed rule and provide comment opportunities.

The proposed rule and DEIS culminate ongoing, intensive, and cooperative work with the Colorado Governor´s office that began in 2005. The undertaking also represents the State of Colorado´s support for a roadless area protection strategy after years of concern over the effects of the 2001 Roadless Conservation Area Rule to the State of Colorado and its residents.

“Collaboration among the State of Colorado, local communities, and the U.S. Forest Service has resulted in a proposed roadless rule that provides the most effective way to manage and conserve National Forest System roadless areas in Colorado,” said Colorado Department of Natural Resources Deputy Director Mike King.

The proposed Colorado Roadless Rule would conserve the natural integrity and character of Colorado roadless areas. It prohibits road building and tree cutting except for limited circumstances similar to those under the 2001 Rule as well as specific Colorado exceptions. These include temporary roads needed for fuels treatment to protect communities; roads needed to construct or maintain water and utility infrastructure; and temporary roads for exploration or development of the North Fork coal mining area.

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