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Old 04-24-2001, 08:44 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wink Off-highway Vehicle Enforcement Bill May Be Misguided

Off-highway Vehicle Enforcement Bill May Be Misguided

- BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Adena Cook 208.524.3062
Don Amador 925.625.6287

Date:April 4, 2001

POCATELLO, ID -- Backcountry recreationists are concerned that a new off-highway vehicle (OHV) enforcement bill is misguided and unfairly singles out motorcyclists, jeepers, and mountain-bike riders.

Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced legislation in the House of Representatives yesterday that will dramatically increase fines for inappropriate use of motorized and non-motorized vehicles on public lands.

Many recreation groups including the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) have for several years asked the previousadministration for more resource protection officers to patrol public areas managed by the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The BRC feels that the Clinton/Gore administration had wrongly focused on bloated staffing in Washington DC instead of fielding resource officers at the local level.

Adena Cook, public lands director for the BRC, said, "OHVers have a huge stake in addressing the problem of vandalism, but this legislation misses the target. It's not legislation, it's persecution. We can't single out a specific recreation group and slam them with excessive fines. We need to get to the root of the problem, not arbitrarily address the result."

Don Amador, the western representative for the BRC, said, Although I agree with efforts to protect our natural resources while allowing public use, I object to Udalls focus on increased criminal penalties. If the congressman wants to prevent impacts to habitat, he should support adequate funding to the federal agencies for field staff who can perform educational outreach to campers, mountain-bikers, and OHV users.

Having more support staff in the field who can visit with families around a campfire is preferable to scaring folks with the threat of severe fines. Most users will recreate in a responsible way if the agencies do their job of signing the trails, offering public outreach, and providing user education, Amador concludes.

# # #

For information on how to contact you Representative please check Rockcrawler.Com @ How to Contact YOUR Government Officials!

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public lands.

"Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them....They make things happen." -- Dr. Robert Jarvick



Source: Blue Ribbon Coalition


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