ARRA-Logo-9-24-13The ARRA sent out this release regarding the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day:

This coming Saturday, the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day, public lands throughout the country will be offering opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference by volunteering. This is a chance to put your hands to work in your favorite park or public lands.  The Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, the National Park Service, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and many state and local agencies are prepared to welcome eager volunteers and put them to work making public lands all the better.

Trails will be improved, trees will be planted, areas cleared of brush and habitats for wildlife will be enhanced. These agencies have created special projects where your talents and energy can make a difference.

BlueRibbon-Coalition-Logo-9-28-12The Blueribbon Coalition sent over this update on the BLM seeking comments on this ATV event in Utah. See more info below:

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is seeking the public’s input on a proposal by Monticello to host and guide the 2013 San Juan ATV Safari. This is an incredible three-day adventure of world-class riding that needs your support. We are asking all OHVers in Utah to take the time to shoot the BLM an email or a quick note supporting the Special Recreation Permit (SRP) for this annual event. We have provided some bullet points below to help.

SCORE previously announced that the 2012 Laughlin race would utilize a longer course and expand from the 6 mile course loop that has been used for the past five years to the 12 mile course loop that we last used in 2005.

After a complete review of the Bureau of Land Management and Las Vegas Metro Police event stipulations, SCORE has determined that expanding to the 12 mile course loop will negatively impact the race in the following ways:

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT STIPULATIONS:
1 – No passing zones to prevent new disturbance to existing vegetation.
2 – Mandatory penalty for racers that create new vegetation disturbance.
3 – Severe financial penalties imposed on SCORE for new vegetation disturbance.
4 – Cancellation of the remaining parts of the event if harm occurs to desert tortoise.
5 – Prohibition against watering the expanded course will create severe dust conditions.

LAS VEGAS METRO POLICE:
1 – Prohibition against crossing the Needles Highway on Friday to prevent a traffic delay inconvenience at the High School means that racers will be unable to practice on the expanded course and the SCORE Trophy Trucks will be unable to qualify on the expanded course.

The Utah Shared Access Alliance passed along a note regarding a meeting in Moab, Utah, today, regarding job creation and off-highway access:

MOAB, Utah-On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will join Moab community leaders and outdoor recreation stakeholders for a conversation on the importance of conservation and outdoor recreation in creating jobs and building strong local economies across America.   During the visit, the Secretary will hear about locally-driven conservation initiatives taking place on public lands in Utah and learn how the Department can better support them. Prior to the discussion, Salazar will visit the Mill Creek Canyon Wilderness Study Area (WSA) to learn firsthand about recommendations to preserve unique recreational and wilderness values of certain areas, such as Mill Creek, through potential Congressional action.

In June, Secretary Salazar directed Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes to solicit input from members of Congress, state and local officials, tribes and federal land managers to identify lands that may be appropriate candidates for Congressional protection under the Wilderness Act.  Hayes will deliver a report to the Secretary and Congress regarding those areas that the Department believes can be the basis for a bipartisan wilderness agenda that can be enacted in the 112th Congress.

WHO: Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior                        Jeffrey “Rock” Smith, Bureau of Land Management Regional Office Manager

WHAT: Conversation about Outdoor Recreation, Conservation, and Job Creation

WHEN: Wednesday, September 28, 2011                        4:30 p.m. MDT

Conversation about Outdoor Recreation, Conservation, and Job Creation

WHERE: Location:  Moab Adventure Center225 South Main StreetMoab, UT 84532

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has released the Bakersfield Field Office’s Draft Resource Management Plan for public review and comment.  The BLM has also announced a series of public meetings to be in October.

The Draft Resource Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS) covers lands (excluding Carrizo Plain National Monument) managed by BLM’s Bakersfield Field Office, which includes lands in eight counties in central California: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kings, Tulare, Madera, eastern Fresno and western Kern.

The Draft RMP/EIS establishes goals, objectives and management actions for approximately 404,000 acres of BLM-administered public land and 1.2 million acres of federal mineral estate. It also documents the analysis of the environmental impacts of many land management issues, including, recreation, special status species and energy development.

Copies of the Draft RMP/EIS are available upon request from the Field Manager, Bakersfield Field Office, Bureau of Land Management, 3801 Pegasus Drive, Bakersfield, CA 93308 or via the internet at http://www.ca.blm.gov/bakersfield.

The Draft RMP/EIS can also be reviewed at the BLM California State Office at 2800 Cottage Way, Suite W 1834, Sacramento, CA, and at the following public libraries: Bakersfield Beale Memorial Library, Fresno County Public Library, Kern River Valley Branch Library, Taft Branch Library, Three Rivers Library, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, Santa Barbara Public Library and Ventura County Library.

The BLM Bakersfield Field Office will hold meetings to introduce the plan and answer questions beginning on Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at the field office. Meetings also will be held, all from 6-8 p.m.:

Oct. 13, San Luis Obispo, Ludwick Community Center, 864 Santa Rosa St.
Oct. 17, Kern River Valley Senior Center, 6409 Lake Isabella Blvd.
Oct. 18, Three Rivers Memorial Building, 43490 Sierra Drive.
Oct. 19, Taft Chamber of Commerce, 400 West Side Highway.
Oct. 20, Prather, Sierra Unified School District, 29143 Auberry Road.

The public is invited to submit comments on the Draft RMP/EIS prior to December 9, 2011, by email to: cacalrmp@blm.gov or by mail to:  Bakersfield RMP, Bureau of Land Management, 3801 Pegasus Dr, Bakersfield, Calif. 93308.

Additional information is available from the Bakersfield Field Office, (661) 391-6022, or by contacting BLM Public Affairs Officer David Christy at (916) 985-4474.

Reno, Nev.— The Vegas to Reno Off-Road Race brought more than 5,000 people through 16 rural Nevada communities and over 500 miles of BLM desert last weekend.  While race safety is a priority in permitting the event, the economic boost to these communities is vital, too.

There were no major accidents and only a couple of minor medical incidents. The BLM will continue to permit off-highway-vehicle racing on public lands while working with promoters and participants to improve safety and reduce the impacts to public lands.

“The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) was comfortable permitting this event,” said Leo Drumm, outdoor recreation planner. “The race promoter, Best in the Desert, has a good safety record and planned for all contingencies.”

The race is held annually on established roads on public lands in Nevada. The race has continued running for over 20 years and has become a part of the state’s history.

Starting near Beatty, Nev., to avoid Mojave desert tortoise habitat, motorcycles, quads, buggies and unlimited trucks headed north and traveled through 16 rural Nevada towns along the way. In Tonopah, restaurants were full and gas stations were busy.

Before issuing the Special Recreation Permit (SRP) for the Best in the Desert Racing Association, the BLM analyzed the Environmental Assessments (EA) used for permitting the event in previous years and determined the EAs provided adequate environmental analysis to permit the event for this year.

Best In The Desert official sponsors: Ford Motor Company – official truck, General Tire – official tire, Lucas Oil – official oil, VP Racing Fuels – official fuel, KC HiLiTES – official light, John Deere – official UTV, Husqvarna – official motorcycle, Fabtech – Official Suspension, Fall Advertising, Prerunner Maniac, McKenzies, PCI Race Radios, Azunia Tequila, and Sportsman Cycle Sales.

On July 19, 2011, the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a press release announcing that it will solicit recommendations from “state and local elected officials, Tribes, and other federal land managers on areas that deserve wilderness protection and that have broad support for congressional designation.”

In a previous June 10, 2011 American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) alert, the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar also announced in a letter that he will solicit recommendations from members of Congress about potential new Wilderness designations in their states and district, which will then be submitted to Congress by October 15 for consideration. This announcement comes on the heels of the Secretary’s June 1 memorandum directing the federal BLM Director Robert Abbey to not designate any lands as “Wild Lands.” This memorandum reverses Secretarial Order 3310, hereon referred to as the “Order.”

Secretary Salazar’s Order, issued December 22, 2010, would have created a new land-use designation that essentially would have allowed BLM to manage public land as if it had received a “Wilderness” land-use designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval. This new policy, if remained in place, would have restricted responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) riding in the affected areas.

Secretary Salazar cited the passage of H.R. 1473, the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, which includes a provision (Section 1769) that prohibits the use of appropriated funds to implement, administer, or enforce the Order in Fiscal Year 2011 as his reason to reverse this policy.

A Wilderness designation is one of the strictest forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal. The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible motorized recreation on public land.

Federal and state lawmakers called the “Wild Lands” policy a “land grab” and a blatant attempt to usurp congressional authority. The AMA sent a letter, dated January 11, 2011, to Secretary Salazar asking him to explain whether the new “Wild Lands” land-use designation will block traditional routes of travel for off-highway riding. To view the letter, click here. To view the BLMs response, click here.

The reversal of the Order is a major victory for responsible OHV riders and others concerned about appropriate access to public land. Anti-access groups will continue to push for legislation to inappropriately close off millions of acres of public land to OHVs. Not only are BLM lands under attack by these groups, but U.S. Forest Service land as well. Therefore, the riding community must remain vigilant. To thank the Secretary for his decision to reverse the Order, click here.

The AMA needs its members and others to send a message to their state lawmakers that all Wilderness proposals submitted to the BLM and ultimately to the Secretary meet the criteria established by Congress in the Wilderness Act of 1964. You can follow the “Take Action” option to send a pre-written e-mail directly to your state lawmakers.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Testifiers told a key U.S. House subcommittee on June 22 that off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation puts billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, and public land needs to be opened up for motorized recreation, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Supporters of H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011, testified that the bill would free up almost 43 million acres of public land that now may be off-limits to off-highway riding.

“As it stands, the BLM [federal Bureau of Land Management] currently restricts activity on nearly 7 million acres of WSAs [Wilderness Study Areas] despite the fact the BLM itself has already determined these areas are not suitable for Wilderness designation by Congress,” testified Thomas Crimmins, spokesman for the group Professionals for Managed Recreation.

“The situation with the Forest Service is even worse,” he said, “as access is restricted to over 36 million acres of IRAs [Inventoried Roadless Areas] that have been deemed unsuitable for ultimate designation as Wilderness.”

The testimony came during a House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands oversight hearing on “Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation on Public Lands, chaired by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah).

Besides Crimmins, others who testified included Scott Jones, who spoke on behalf of the AMA and the Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition; Dick Lepley of the Pennsylvania Off-Highway Vehicle Association; Russ Ehnes of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council; Don Amador of the BlueRibbon Coalition; and Karen Umphress of the Minnesota Motorized Trails Coalition and the Coalition of Recreational Trail Users.

The Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011 would remove stringent use restrictions on 6.7 million acres managed by the BLM and on 36.1 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land that was evaluated for strict congressional Wilderness land-use designations.

The federal agencies have determined the 43 million acres aren’t suitable for Wilderness designation, yet because of various laws and rules they must continue to strictly manage the land until Congress “releases” it for other possible uses, which H.R. 1581 would do.

Crimmins, who worked for the Forest Service for 32 years, was involved in the process for evaluating Forest Service land to determine whether it deserved a Wilderness designation. A Wilderness designation bars off-highway riding and most other uses.

“The intent of the process was to identify any and all areas that could potentially be considered for Wilderness designation and then, once and for all, make recommendations for areas that should be considered for Wilderness designations and areas that should be managed for multiple use,” Crimmins testified. “This would allow the agency to move forward with its mission to manage the national forests.”

While land mangers expected that areas ultimately deemed as unsuitable for Wilderness designation would be released, “this has not been the case,” he said.

On the economic side, Jones testified that “OHV recreation provided over a billion dollars in positive economic impact and resulted in over 12,000 jobs in the state of Colorado alone.”

Umphress said that all-terrain vehicle (ATV) activity alone in Minnesota contributed $2 billion to the economy in 2006.

Lepley, who also owns a motorcycle dealership, testified that the estimated economic value of the OHV retail market was $14.6 billion in 2009, “bolstered by the sale of 131,000 new off-highway motorcycles and 321,000 new ATVs, which are now part of the estimated 12.2 million dirtbikes and ATVs in America.”

“Clearly, the powersports industry contributes mightily to the nation’s economy during both good times and bad, but regardless of the economy, nothing threatens dealerships and the industry at large like having no place to ride,” he said.

To urge your federal lawmaker to support H.R. 1581, the Wilderness and Roadless Area Release Act of 2011, go to http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/issueslegislation.

WASHINGTON, DC (June 22) — A spokesman for the BlueRibbon Coalition, a national trail-based recreation group, is testifying today at a hearing held by the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands. The hearing will be at the 1324 Longworth House Office Building at 10 a.m.

In 2002, Dirt Rider Magazine listed the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) as one of the top 10 OHV recreation sites in the country. This popular off-road area was closed by an emergency closure order issued by the Bureau of Land Management in May of 2008. The unit remains closed to all publics. While the closure only “technically” closed 33,000 acres, it functionally closed 75,000 acres, since practically all route networks originate in the closure area.

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “I believe the Hollister Field Office, with the Environmental Protection Agency as an accomplice, has failed to fulfill its congressional multiple-use mandate via its current effort to use junk science and personal agendas in an ongoing scheme to close public lands and create de facto Wilderness at CCMA without Congressional approval or direction.”

“I believe that Congress must intervene and help the public get answers to the many unanswered questions regarding the bizarre and historic closure of CCMA to all human uses and the ongoing decision-making process surrounding the May 2008 emergency closure,” Amador concludes.

Ogden, Utah - The nonprofit Tread Lightly! has re-established its relationship with Ford Motor Company through a special partnership with American Park Network-who just launched the free Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder app. The app allows users to easily find parks and public lands throughout America, based on their favorite activities.

“Outdoor recreation not only provides priceless physical, economic and social benefits to this country, but it also creates future stewards of the environment,” said Lori McCullough, Tread Lightly!’s executive director. “This app will undoubtedly help get Americans outside and propel Tread Lightly!’s mission to promote responsible recreation by providing minimum impact information on a wide variety of outdoor activities.”

A team of more than 50 writers and editors created and curated a searchable database of every federal and state public land in America. This is the same team that publishes the ubiquitous little green Oh, Ranger! guides to national parks and public lands that are read by more than 20 million park enthusiasts each year.