May 7, 2010
Organizations dedicated to active recreation management today announced their latest efforts to save access to the Upper Tellico OHV System. The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, and BlueRibbon Coalition filed a NOI, Notice of Intent to sue, with various federal agencies outlining possible claims under the Clean Water Act. The claims target the U.S. Forest Service decision dated October 14, 2009, to close the Tellico trails to motorized travel. The organizations filed administrative appeals from the decision, which were denied on January 15, 2010.
“The agency’s actions do not surprise us, but are cause for deep concern,” said Roger Theurer, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association. “It is apparent the Forest Service has disavowed any interest in continuing historical, or any vehicle access to the System. We hope that our organizations have been equally clear that we will fight for reasonable and sustainable access. This is but one step in that continuing effort,” Theurer concluded.
The NOI is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a citizen’s suit under the Clean Water Act.
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United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org
or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122