All posts by Peter

February 2018 eNews

 

Headlines:

  • OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL SPENDING DOMINATED BY MOTORIZED USAGE
  • BLM hosting public scoping meetings on possible changes to Desert Renewable
    Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP)
  • ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Program
  • Fish Conservation Group Blasts Jeep Super Bowl Commercial
  •  Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival
  • UFWDA thank Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association for their membership
    payment.
  • NMOHVA “Promoting OHV Recreation”
  • BLM announces scoping for modified Grand Staircase Escalante Management Plan & EIS
  • Sierra Trek registration drive at WFO Concepts in Auburn
  • DNR plans meetings on border to border OHV trail
  • Using fake news to target OHV trail use
  • BRC / OHV Events Calendar page

Read UFWDA eNews here

 

January 2018 eNews

Headlines

  • With 300 Jeepsters watching, Oakland County votes to create park for off-road vehicles
  • California Four Wheel Drive Association… Make your Convention hotel   reservations now
  • ExtremeTerrain’s Clean Trail Program Funds Just Under $10,000 Trail Projects 
  • Fiat Chrysler can double profit by 2022 on Jeep success, Marchionne says
  • DEFENDER LIVES ON: LAND ROVER LAUNCHES V8 EDITION TO CELEBRATE 70TH ANNIVERSARY
  • SNF, BLM to hold OHV grant workshop in Kernville
  • NEEDLES OHV Grant Meeting
  • Foundation seeks OHV public input
  • Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival 
  • Read eNews

The Forest Service is proposing to revise its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) procedures

The Forest Service is proposing to revise its NEPA procedures (including its regulations at 36 CFR part 220, Forest Service Manual 1950, and Forest Service Handbook 1909.15) with the goal of increasing efficiency of environmental analysis. The Agency will continue to hold true to its commitment to deliver scientifically based, high-quality analysis to decision makers that honors its environmental stewardship responsibilities while maintaining robust public particiption. These values are at the core of the Forest Service mission.

The Agency’s NEPA procedures are a key component of its overall environmental analysis and decision-making process. The Agency is seeking comments from the public on ways it can achieve the goals of increased efficiency of environmental analysis.

DATES:   Comments must be received in writing by February 2, 2018.

Read the full Federal Register notice

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area Decision Win !

On Tuesday January 2, 2018, the Superior Court for the County of Sacramento issued its final decision on the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicle Recreation Area (OWSVRA) litigation and found in favor of California State Parks and the Off Highway Vehicle Intervenors. This is a HUGE WIN for the OHV Community and means OHV use at OWSVRA can continue without interruption or change.

The Intervenor group was led by Ecologic Partners and their attorney David Hubbard. Ecologic Partners is a consortium of Off Highway Organizations owned by Off Road Business Association (ORBA), District 37 American Motorcycle Association Competition, and American Sand Association (ASA). Tierra Del Sol Jeep Club of San Diego also played a key role in this effort.

On behalf of ORBA, we are very excited about this decision and will keep forging ahead in keeping access open to all OHV use.

Fred Wiley
President/CEO
Off Road Business Association
fwiley@orba.biz

Additional details are available at
www.orba.biz

December 2017 eNews

Headlines

  • 6th Annual 4Wheeling For A Cure benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

  • Southwest District, Colorado

  • Get Involved! BLM Seeks Comments on Proposed OHV Trail System in Northwestern Colorado

  • UFWDA welcome the support of Royalty Core

  • 25th Annual VA4WDA Trail Ride hosted by Tidewater Fourwheelers

  • SFWDA 15th Annual Trailfest

  • Getting Trails on the Ground in New Mexico

  • Read it now online

November 2017 eNews

Headlines:

  • Travel Management – Rico West Dolores Roads and Trails Project
  • We Are Running Out of Forests to Save”
  • Shoshone National Forest travel management planning
  • FOUR WHEEL DRIVE CLINIC
  • October/November 2017 “In Gear”
  • Utahn picked as deputy director of BLM
  • Tri-PowerPACIFIC NORTHWEST FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION
  • Ford seeks patent on system for autonomous off-road vehicle
  • Read eNews here

August 2017 eNews

Contents:

  • Headlines….  A sneak peak at what United has been busy doing for you over the past year
  • A Wisconsin Opportunity
  • Annual Meeting Elections
  • OHV Volunteers Nail Another Project
  • UFWDA Annual Meeting record from 2016
  • UFWDA Environmental Director Summary
  • Johnson Valley Shared use area closes
  • UFWDA Thank NMOHVA For Taking A Stand; Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Rules Against NMOHVA
  • Pssst… want to buy a car company that makes Jeeps?

Download eNews

July 2017 eNews

  • Can New Jeep Trails Be Opened?
  • Thank you to our supportive clubs!
  • UFWDA provided comment on National Monuments
  • 2017 4WD Events
  • New Mexico Forest Plan Revision Update
  • Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests
  • Australia now has an International Four Wheel Drive Trainers’ Association… Master Trainer
  • USMC announces Johnson Valley closure dates
  • How four guys introduced off-roading to Vietnam
  • Open eNews

 

National Monument Comments

 

July 5, 2017

 

National Monument Comments

By Jerry Smith

Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations

 

Re:  National Monument Reviews

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Section 2 of the Antiquities Act reads as follows;

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected:

Nowhere in the Antiquities Act are things like scenic values, geologic or heritage sites, cultural sites, Wilderness, or Roadless Areas mentioned.  Protection of plant life or wildlife is not within the purview of the Act.

With the total lack of local public input into designations under the Antiquities Act, the economies of the surrounding area are seldom given any thought.  People who have never seen, nor are likely to ever see the area make decisions in places far from the areas in question.  They have no direct interest.  They have nothing to lose.

Only their selfish desire to “preserve” and “protect” something they have no real interest in drives these decisions.

People who have direct interest in these lands are few.  The areas are often remote with little human population and the economies are not always healthy.  Some of those inhabitants largely depend on that land for their subsistence and existence.

By naming vast areas as National Monuments, the management strategies of these areas change dramatically.

Removing motorized access to these lands will mean the local people can no longer utilize the areas in the manner they presently do.  When this happens, the exodus from the area results in impacts to local property values, the tax base, and entities like schools become crippled for money so their student’s educations suffer greatly.

In reading the Executive Orders that proclaimed these National Monuments, we do not see the need for taking vast areas out of Multiple Use management.  National Monuments are for protecting objects, not huge areas for their scenic values.

The Antiquities Act has been severely abused by the last few Presidents for the simple appeasement of a vocal “environmental” group.  It is past time to revise the act and put some serious limitations on it.  One limitation should be that public input is mandatory and another would be that local input should have more weight than that of others from long distances.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) defines “multiple use”, “public involvement”, and “sustained yield” as;

TITLE I

SHORT TITLE,

DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND

DEFINITIONS

(c)

The term “multiple use” means the manage­ment of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and non-renewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources without per­manent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with considera­tion being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.

(d)

The term “public involvement” means the opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rule making, decision making, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meet­ings or hearings held at locations near the affected lands, or advisory mechanisms, or such other pro­cedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance.

(h)

The term “sustained yield” means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use.

TITLE II

LAND USE PLANNING; LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION

LAND USE PLANNING

Sec. 202 (f)

The Secretary shall allow an opportunity for public involvement and by regulation shall estab­lish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give Federal, State, and local gov­ernments and the public, adequate notice and opportunity to comment upon and participate in the formulation of plans and programs relating to

the management of the public lands.

While the Antiquities Act grants certain powers to the President, the President must rely on certain information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the US Forest Service (USFS) BEFORE writing a proclamation in determining the size, boundaries, and “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States”.

In determining these things, the BLM must abide by land use laws like NEPA and FLPMA.  This is “Land Use Planning” 101.  The questions of “when was the public involvement” in this process and when were public meetings held need answers.  This would seem a violation of the law or at the very least a violation of procedure.

Whenever portions of public lands are subject to a change in management status, the public MUST be involved.  That is not just a statement, it is LAW.

Much of the western public lands are vast tracts of wild, untamed country.  Even as large as these areas are, they each have many unique qualities.  The lands are rich in historical places and things.  Much of our heritage and culture as Americans thrive in having access to the history and cultural places of days gone by.

Some families have used the same hunting grounds for generations.  Those families have occupied the same campsites year after year while access has not been denied.

Other families have grown up going to the same areas to camp, fish, ride OHVs, and learn to be with nature.

To deprive these family traditions is in no way practicing “Sustained Yield” or “Multiple Use”.  Recreational uses can be “sustainable” if given the chance.  When issues arise, a call for volunteers to remedy the issue will nearly always bet met with great enthusiasm.  If government would just get out of the way, volunteers could do much of the necessary work.

The distinction between lands designated as national parks and national monuments are not widely known or understood.  One of the primary differences is in the management goals of each.

National Parks are protected primarily for their scenic, inspirational, educational, and recreational values.  National Parks are designated by congress.

National monuments have objects of historical, cultural, and/or scientific interest.  They are not so much about the land as they are about the objects.  One person, the US President, often designates National Monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Using the Grand Canyon National Park as an example, in 2016 they claim 5,969,811 visitors came to the park.

“The North Rim, it invokes a sense of solitude and serenity.” That’s what the National Park Service would have you believe.  With nearly 6,000,000 annual visitors, where and when are you going to feel “a sense of solitude and serenity”?

When you are standing shoulder to shoulder on the few platforms they have to view the Grand Canyon, just the clicks of all the cameras will nearly deafen you. Does that sound like “serenity”?

Can you imagine “solitude” with 3300 people per day average in the months that they are open on the north rim? This is the way the National Park Service describes the attributes of National Parks and National Monuments.

They manage vast areas for the views from small, controlled places someone decides are “THE” place to achieve solitude and serenity and “enjoy” the area. Solitude and serenity are not achieved near as well standing shoulder to shoulder with 50 other people at a viewpoint.

The BLM has managed these lands adequately since its inception.  The “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” have survived just fine under “multiple use” management.  Will public viewpoints allow for the continuation of “protecting and preserving” these objects or call attention to them increasing the probability that someone will deface or destroy them?  The more the object is advertised and seen, the more likely it will be vandalized.

One last argument against naming National Monuments in or near National Forests would be the increased danger of extreme wildfires.  The “protection” of National Forests has proven to be one of the major causes of extreme wildfires.  The excuses of “Climate Change” and “urban encroachment” are only small symptoms.

When the Endangered Species Act caused the curtailment of logging in the northwest, THAT was the initial cause of the present extreme wildfires.  Since that time, the forests have not been “managed”, they have been left to “nature”.  Other circumstances have changed, but the management hasn’t kept up with the changes.

Courts untrained in proper forest management and emotional attorney pleadings have been responsible for much of the forest “management”.  We must return to utilizing “renewable resources” so the expense and “extreme” of wildfires will return to a manageable state.  The current “system” isn’t working, so logically, management needs to change.  This will take time, but the outcomes will be worth the wait.

Insect infestations will become better controlled with proper “multiple use” management.  A healthier forest can better cope with drought conditions.  Watersheds will be better off.  Wildlife habitat will also improve.  Logging normally does not occur in National Monuments or other “protected” resources, so rethinking management of them must be done.

It is for these reasons that the United Four Wheel Drive Associations prefer that all of the National Monuments named in the last 20-years  be managed by the BLM or the USFS for their entire list of resources, NOT for a few qualities associated with National Monuments.  The designation of these National Monuments was unnecessary, unwise, and unlawful.

About the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA).

UFWDA shall be a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of promoting the continued growth and organization of recreational four-wheel drive motor vehicle activities and maintaining access for recreational opportunities through education partnerships, stewardship and political awareness.