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BlueRibbon Coalition Makes Formal Request For Supplemental Sage Grouse Analysis

August 31, 2015 4:24 PM
Pine Nuts Image
BRC's Don Amador looks over Bi State GRSG habitat, framed by Nevada’s Pine Nut Mountains.

BOISE, ID (August 31, 2015)--The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, is again urging federal agencies to avoid "exit-based" final land-use decisions. BRC has weathered numerous litigatory storms at the Presidential administration such as occurred over winter use in Yellowstone Park, or various incantations of a "roadless" rule on our National Forest System lands.

BRC believes the Forest Service and BLM are headed down a similar pathway that will lead to intractable litigation over numerous Greater Sage Grouse (GRSG) planning efforts in Western States.

BRC highlighted these concerns in a letter Friday, punctuated by the apparent trajectory of the Bi State Grouse decision process on the Humboldt-Toiyabe Forest. Under the Bi State decision new restrictions would be for off-highway vehicle events through an apparent agreement with environmental groups under the guise of the objection resolution process. The lek buffer distance would be nearly doubled from 3 miles to 4 miles, the 10 a.m. event restriction amended to an all-day closure, and the seasonal restriction expanded by 45 days to include the time from May 15 to June 30.

Don Amador, BRC's Western Representative, stated, "I think these new restrictions are unwarranted and were never day-lighted during the public process. OHV recreation has been identified as nothing more than a secondary threat to GRSG, but is an important land-use activity in the West.  We are concerned that the GRSG is becoming a convenient excuse to issue parting gifts to various special interests during the Administration's final year."

BRC's letter outlines significant new information and changes that were not available for public comment. BRC formally requested that the agencies conduct a supplemental analysis, and seek an extension from a deadline which would force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide on or before September 30, 2015, whether the GRSG must receive protection under the Endangered Species Act. "The purported urgency of meeting this deadline is improperly driving this process," Amador noted.  In fact, the deadlines in the settlement agreement have been extended on multiple other occasions for other species. "We intend to test the agencies' willingness to conduct a proper process that incorporates best available science and allows for full public involvement," Amador concluded. 

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The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well -- all sports; all trails. 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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