30
Aug
2004

Bush Administration Seeks Broader Access for Off-Road Riders

#109 WILD NORTHWEST, August 30, 2004

A Message from Northwest Ecosystem Alliance

Keeping the Northwest Wild

Bush Administration Seeks Broader Access for Off-Road Riders
National forests may be opened to more dirt bikes and four wheelers

The Bush administration has proposed new rules that would allow national forests to designate the majority of forest roads--including abandoned roads in sensitive areas and illegally created routes across wildlands--as new “ORV routes.” Under the proposal, most secondary roads in a national forest could be opened up to ORV traffic with limited public review or environmental analysis. The rule would also allow national forests to designate routes across wild forests--routes created by dirt bikes and four-wheelers, but not officially sanctioned by the government--as new routes.

Public comments are due September 13, 2004. Please send a message! Tell the Forest Service that you want:

* site-specific environmental analysis and public review of every new route proposed for ORV use,

* an immediate ban on ORVs outside of currently designated ORV trails and play areas and within roadless areas, and

* increased funding for monitoring and enforcement of ORV use on national forests.

To send an immediate email message, go to
http://www.ecosystem.org/action/index.html?MessageTemplateID=1.

Or send a letter or fax to:
Proposed Rules for Designated Routes and Areas for Motor Vehicle Use
c/o Content Analysis Team
PO Box 221150
Salt Lake City, UT 84122-1150
Email: trvman@fs.fed.us
Fax: (801) 517-1014

Background information: Scroll down on http://www.ecosystem.org/act/109.html for links to 1) an overview of the rule’s strengths and weaknesses and a legal analysis prepared by Wildlands CPR; 2) a copy of the draft rule in its entirety; and 3) a report on environmental impacts, law, and policy relating to ORV use on national forests.

As always, thank you for taking action to further help protect our national forests. Your response matters.

Erin Moore
Communications Coordinator
Northwest Ecosystem Alliance
1208 Bay St., Ste. 201
Bellingham, WA 98225
360.671.9950 ext. 24
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