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Obama's pick to be the new Secretary of the Interior presents both challenges and opportunities for the OHV community

February 07, 2013 6:35 PM
Sally Jewell (right)

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POCATELLO, ID (February 7, 2013) -- President Barack Obama announced yesterday his choice of Sally Jewell to replace outgoing Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Jewell is the current CEO of Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI). She is described in the media as a former oil engineer, commercial banker and a pragmatic business leader who will "work with both parties and interest groups on all sides."

Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, said he hoped Jewell's appointment would translate into expanding a diverse range of recreational pursuits on public lands and National Parks. "There needs to be a focus for providing both motorized and non-motorized uses. Recent management plans have closed nearly 50% of the roads and trails open for motorized recreation. There is a need for a better balance." Mumm notes any loss of motorized recreation on public lands locks out Americans who choose or are required to use OHVs for recreation, and fails to take advantage of the economic benefits of sustainable OHV and snowmobile use.

But Jewell's nomination comes with questions from the OHV and snowmobile community. One concern is the anti-OHV activism that has been a hallmark of both REI and the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), where Jewell serves as a board member. REI has long supported anti-access groups such as the Sierra Club and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. The NPCA  has been at the forefront of many anti-OHV and OSV lawsuits at such places as Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida.

On the other hand, Jewell's private sector ties hopefully reflect her understanding of recreation's unique place and potential importance to rural tourism and local economies. "We hope that, in her first role as a public servant, we see Sally Jewell balancing her personal predisposition to non-motorized recreation with legally supportable and just-as-popular forms of motorized recreation on both Park and non-Park lands," Mumm concluded.

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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

May 31, 2016 3:24 PM
Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains

BOISE, ID (May 31, 2016) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

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November 23, 2015 3:16 PM
Associated Image

MISSOULA, MT (November 23, 2015) --Various organizations, led by the Ten Lakes Snowmobile Club, have filed a lawsuit challenging U.S. Forest Service planning efforts on the Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests.  The complaint, filed on November 12, 2015, in federal court for the U.S.

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November 23, 2015 10:38 AM

POCATELLO, ID (November 23, 2015) – Early last week, the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org joined with other recreation groups in a letter sent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of a balanced approach to managing public lands as part of the Moab Master Leasing Plan.

The letter addressed to BLM serves as formal comments from OHV stakeholders.  It also represents an effort between motorized and non-motorized recreation groups working together for the protection of outdoor recreation resources on public lands.

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