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Old 08-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Recreation Groups Join Efforts to Challenge New USFS Planning Regulations

BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Greg Mumm, BRC Executive Director, (208) 244-2112
Paul Turcke, (208) 331-1800

Date: August 14, 2012

Recreation Groups Join Efforts to Challenge New USFS Planning Regulations
POCATELLO, IDAHO (August 14, 2012) -- Recreation advocates yesterday joined with several other organizations in a legal challenge to new forest planning regulations promulgated by the U.S. Forest Service.

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the California Association of 4Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal 4 Wheel) joined forces with the other forest product and multiple use groups in filing a lawsuit to require the Forest Service to modify its new planning rule to avoid its devastating impacts on the health of National Forests, recreational uses of the forests and communities located nearby.

The U.S. Forest Service formally adopted new National Forest Planning rules on April 9, 2012. The new regulations shift the agency away from a jobs and ecosystem approach. Instead, the planning rule would cement the National Forests into endless litigation over single species management; an approach that even the agency admits has failed repeatedly in the last three decades.

The complaint takes the Forest Service to task for elevating species viability, ecological sustainability, and ecosystem services as mandatory national forest management objectives, above the five statutorily prescribed multiple uses: outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish purposes. It also admonishes the Forest Service for requiring recreational opportunities to fit the agency's definition of "sustainable" in order to be allowed on national forest lands.

Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director said; "The new planning rules are actually more complex, costly, and procedurally burdensome than the regulations they replace. The agency has utterly failed to meet the guidelines of President Obama's directive calling for regulations to be cost effective, less burdensome, and more flexible. As written, this rule will tie the hands of forest managers and allow preservationists groups to bury any active management in endless litigation."

Mark Cave, President of Cal 4 Wheel expressed concern that the new regulations shift the Forest Service away from multiple use/sustained yield and impose a binding requirement for "ecological sustainability," which the agency doesn't define clearly. "The new rules are a recipe for analysis paralysis. It doesn't take any clairvoyance to predict never ending challenge from the environmental community."

Cave said, "The wood products industry tried very hard to convince the Forest Service that these new rules work against forest health and jobs, both of which are vital to rural economies. We commented at every stage in the process. These rules ignore the multiple use mandate given to the agency by Congress. Instead, they focus on single species preservation,", said Howard Hedstrom, President of Hedstrom Lumber in Grand Marais, Minnesota, and President of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition. "Going to court against the Forest Service was the last thing on our minds when we launched this coalition last year, but with the impact on jobs that will be caused by the planning rules, we had no other choice."

Parties in the lawsuit include: The Federal Forest Resource Coalition, Alaska Forestry Association, American Forest Resource Coalition, American Sheep Industry Association, California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, California Forestry Association, Minnesota Forest Industries, Minnesota Timber Producers Council, National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Public Lands Council, and Resource Development Council for Alaska.

The Complaint can be found at http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Dkt_1_Complaint.pdf

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 08-14-2012 at 11:27 AM. Reason: formatting
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nice!!!!
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like people and business are getting fed up with the Fed's!
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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bout time!
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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This is a National Access Organization supported by many interested parties, some with REALLY deep pockets, bringing suit over a National access matter of GREAT importance to the future of OHV, against a freakiní Federal agency!!!

Where is all the fan fare?
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:06 PM   #6 (permalink)
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WOW! 12 different organizations listed as Parties (plaintiffs) against the USFS.

The court Complaint:
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Dkt_1_Complaint.pdf

Ride on
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It's really awesome - I have some more reading to do!
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Great news.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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King,

Remember what i said. When we, those who depend on the forest, get together and sue, we will win.

It is kinda nice to have "BIG MONEY" sponsers isn't it? The eco groups are taking notice on this, watch for a shift it beliefs and tactics.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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King,

Remember what i said. When we, those who depend on the forest, get together and sue, we will win.

It is kinda nice to have "BIG MONEY" sponsers isn't it? The eco groups are taking notice on this, watch for a shift it beliefs and tactics.
Even though they have allied themselves with some stake holders that have deep pockets and have not asked forest users to support such a costly endeavor, I am sure they would appreciate recognition from folks who use motorized means to access recreational opportunities in our forests.

Emails of appreciation and donations in a show of support for this action would seem appropriate given the HUGE BATTLE they have undertaken.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:02 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Love this news!!!!
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Emails of appreciation and donations in a show of support for this action would seem appropriate given the HUGE BATTLE they have undertaken.
Good idea.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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When ever I see Merlin and his dog on the trail. I pull over and stop our group to chat with that man. Everyone in our group coughs up at least a twenty spot to donate to the RTF. Simple way of saying thanks, plus getting some stories alone is worth the donation. He alway gives us a receipt too. Awesome guy to say the least.
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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This is terrific! But why aren't more OHV and motorcycle and mountain bike recreation groups involved?

Strength in numbers!!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 02:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This is terrific! But why aren't more OHV and motorcycle and mountain bike recreation groups involved?

Strength in numbers!!!
Why that's a mighty fine observation and question!

There is much cross support among various OHV Access groups which includes the AMA that goes unspoken but still . . . where are the manufacturers, vendors, motorsports stars etc?

Seems that offers of support from all mentioned would have been welcomed with open arms.

Perhaps it needed to remain black so that the defendants did not know it was coming.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Loggers, Off-Roaders Sue USFS over New Planning Rule

Groups Claim Agency Can’t Base Planning on Ecological Sustainability


By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Timber, ranching and off-road motorists are suing the U.S. Forest Service over a recently adopted national planning rule. The groups claim that the Forest Service illegally adopted ecological sustainability as a primary purpose of forest management, and that rule includes an unlawful mandate to provide ecosystem services.

Careful readers will hear the faint echoes of the paranoid black-helicopter crowd in the background, for example when the lawsuit mentions a UN-sponsored report that discusses forest ecosystem services such as carbon storage, along with “educational, aesthetic, spiritual and cultural heritage values.”

That’s all apparently a bit to touchy-feely for the hoof and chainsaw crowd, who have asked the federal District Court for Washington, D.C. to overturn the rule. Read the lawsuit here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/103189444/...g-Rule-Lawsuit

The groups also have taken aim at the planning rule’s requirements that the Forest Service use the best available science for planning decisions, apparently under the motto of “second-best is good enough” for the country’s 193-million-acre national forest system.

The lawsuit drew an immediate attack from conservation advocates, who at some point considered whether they should challenge the rule because it eliminated previous standards aimed at protecting wildlife and other natural resource values.

“The timber and livestock industries’ opposition to science and sustainability shows they care about only one thing when it comes to our national forests: their own profits,” said Taylor McKinnon, public lands campaigns director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Even as new rules roll back longstanding protections for wildlife, industry keeps complaining about any limits being set on what they can extract from our national forests.”

The suit, which was filed by groups including the American Forest Resource Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and BlueRibbon Coalition, challenges new regulations implementing the National Forest Management Act that the Obama administration issued in January 2012.

It alleges, among other things, that the Forest Service does not have the authority to require ecological sustainability and the use of best available science in the management of our national forests. The industry groups also challenged the Forest Service for requiring that recreation on our national forests be sustainable.

January’s rule marked the Forest Service’s fourth attempt since 2000 to revise planning rules that date back to the Reagan administration. All three previous attempts were challenged and defeated in court by conservation groups, who argued successfully that the Forest Service had failed to assess the impacts of the rule changes on the environment, including endangered species.

Like the 2000, 2005 and 2008 rules, the Obama administration’s planning rule weakens longstanding protections for biological diversity on national forests. Unlike earlier challenges, the industry groups directly challenge the substance of the new rule, for including common sense requirements regarding sound science and sustainability.

Congress enacted the National Forest Management Act in 1976 to guide management of the national forest system, which consists of 155 national forests and 20 national grasslands. In 1982, the Forest Service adopted national regulations to provide specific direction for activities such as logging, mining, livestock grazing and recreation. That rule included strong, mandatory protections for fish and wildlife, requiring the Forest Service to monitor and maintain viable populations.

Source: http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/08...planning-rule/

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 08-20-2012 at 01:17 PM. Reason: add link
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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RIGHT ON!!!
Nice to see some big organization happening. It's funny how they think that we're ALL ABOUT no limits, no restrictions and just burning down the country without any regard!!!
I love that groups, people and organizations are standing up to this!!
Thanks for the info!!
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:17 PM   #18 (permalink)
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RIGHT ON!!!
Indeed!

This coupled with the PLF TNF suit is STRONG medicine for the GREEN disease!!!
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Old 07-03-2013, 10:15 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I think this is the biggest legal issue since we started the Clinton-Gore Roadless legal fight about 13 years ago. I will send a link to my declaration related to the planning rule lawsuit.

http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/l...Amador_Dec.pdf

Have a great 4th!

Don
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I think this is the biggest legal issue since we started the Clinton-Gore Roadless legal fight about 13 years ago. I will send a link to my declaration related to the planning rule lawsuit.

http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/l...Amador_Dec.pdf

Have a great 4th!

Don
Don,

Any updates on this?

Bob
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:20 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Does anybody have a subscription the US Court's "PACER" system? One is required to access this case on the District Of Columbia District Court's Electronic Court Filings (ECF) System.

Here is the most recent information I could find on this, it's a Statement of Points and Authorities in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment filed 06/05/2013 by Mark C. Rutzick, the plaintiffs' legal representation.

Last edited by LYIN' KING; 02-24-2014 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:36 PM   #22 (permalink)
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DON AMADOR REVIEWS USFS PLANNING RULE MEETING

SACRAMENTO, CA (March 10, 2014) -- On behalf of the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), I recently attended the Forest Service Planning Rule FACA Committee Meeting in Sacramento, CA. This 21 member committee comprised of stakeholder representatives from timber, local government, environmental groups, tribes, and recreation organizations has met 7 times in the last two years.

According to the agency, the group reviewed the proposed planning rule directives with the goal of offering recommendations that could enhance the clarity of the directives and ensure that the directives contribute to a planning framework that is transparent, inclusive, efficient and effective.

As a member of the public, I was impressed by the following discussion points: agency commitment to public involvement, recognition of developed recreation, and challenges.

The agency stated their motto is to "Learn Locally and Advise Nationally." Based on the tone and direction of the committee's discourse and line-officer testimony from early adopter Forests (Sierra, Inyo, and Sequoia NFs), it appears that theme has been embraced by the agency as a foundation of the forest plan revision process.

It was noted the agency had received a lot of input regarding developed recreation and travel management and that portion of the planning efforts should be enhanced. In addition, there seemed to be consensus that planning efforts should be on-the-ground product oriented instead of the "planning being the product."

I believe the robust participation by national and regional OHV groups in the rule's public comment period was responsible for the plan's recognition of developed recreation (including OHV) as an important factor in the decision-making process.

There did appear to be some serious hurdles or challenges to future planning efforts on Forest Service lands due to loss of practical and institutional knowledge because of the ever growing number of retirements, endless litigation, unfilled staff positions, impacts to relationships because of the agency's "move to promote" human resources' plan, and conflicting regulations that prevent substantive fire/fuel treatments. I would be naÔve to overlook the fact that good words and even good intentions have too often failed to penetrate the bureaucracy and reach the ground, particularly for the recreation enthusiast.

I came away from the meetings with a strong impression that users must remain engaged and occupy a seat at the table for the foreseeable future. Sitting on the sideline is not an option.

To review BRC's role in the FS Planning Rule, please visit the link below:
New Forest Planning Rule Home Page - UPDATED 08.14.12 | BlueRibbon Coalition.
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