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Sharetrails.Org/BRC Questions OHV Restrictions In Bi-State Sage Grouse Decision

May 31, 2016 9:24 PM
Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains

Some of the many historic OHV routes in the Pine Nut Mountains just east of Carson City, NV. These popular trails are either in or near leks or grouse habitat.

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.

BRC’s concerns focus on final decisions announced late last week related to the Greater Sage-grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS), involving public lands in Nevada and eastern California.  The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Plan amendment includes approximately 426,809 acres of bi-state DPS habitat managed by the Forest Service.  The BLM’s Nevada California Greater Sage-Grouse Bi-State Distinct Population Segment Land Use Plan Amendment (LUPA)/Record of Decision (ROD) includes about 280,000 acres of public land located in Douglas, Esmeralda, Lyon, and Mineral counties in Nevada and Alpine and Mono Counties in California.

The new plans prohibit OHV events between March 1 and June 30 that pass within 4 miles of an active or pending breeding ground, known as a “lek.” The documents also prohibit motorized events within winter habitats from November 1 to March 1 and ban new recreation facilities in DPS habitat, which might include features like campgrounds and scenic pullouts.

These new restrictions mimic those demanded by preservation interests, apparently instituted by the federal agencies under the guise of their “objection resolution” process.  BRC earlier announced willingness to accept the Forest Service’s initial decision, but as modified following “objection resolution” the lek buffer distance/acreage has now nearly doubled from 3 miles to 4 miles, a 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 the DPS, but is an important land-use activity in the West.  We are concerned these closures are nothing more than parting gifts issued to various special interests during the Administration’s final year, and we have little choice but to challenge them.”

Support the Sage Grouse Fund, click HERE.

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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. - 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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