The Feds know how to get money from innocent citizens, and then close the door the use of the parks by those who paid for them.

“Off-road vehicle enthusiasts have been undeservedly attacked by environmental groups who paint a picture to their members that simply doesn’t exist on the scale they assert. The truth is, the forest roads and trails we use are thousands of times more pristine than Interstate 80.

“The Forest Service came to the motorized users community in need of funds to begin the Travel Management Program. Over $12 million was paid to help map all of our roads and trails.

“But then, once they were identified, they were promptly closed by the Forest Service,” Theisen continued.”

Government is theft and corruption—sounds more like a con game run by the Mafia then honesty in running a nation.  Bet you did not know about this theft of money and public land?

 

Feds sued over halting Tahoe National Forest access for off-road recreationists

Pacific Legal Foundation,  7/17/12

Sacramento, CA; July 17, 2012: On behalf of off-road motorized recreational users of the Tahoe National Forest, attorneys with Pacific Legal Foundation today sued the federal government for illegally closing off more than 800 miles of roads and trails that have been used for decades by the public for environmentally responsible off-road motorized recreation, access to camping and fishing, and to assist in the prevention of forest fires.

“We are filing this lawsuit to stop the U.S. Forest Service from illegally padlocking vast areas of the Tahoe National Forest and blocking the public from enjoying responsible recreational use of public lands,” said PLF attorney Brandon M. Middleton.

Donor-supported PLF is a legal watchdog organization that litigates nationwide for limited government, property rights, and a balanced approach to environmental regulations.
PLF attorneys always represent clients without charge. The plaintiffs in this case are organizations and individual recreational users of the forest, including Friends of Tahoe Forest Access (with members in Nevada County, Placer County, and surrounding areas); Nevada County Woods Riders; Grass Valley 4-Wheel Drive Club; High Sierra Motorcycle Club; and Webilt Four Wheel Drive Club, and Friends of Greenhorn, both based in Placer County.

Feds distort a “Travel Management Rule” process to illegally restrict forest access

The lawsuit targets the implementation of the Forest Service’s 2005 Travel Management Rule at the Tahoe National Forest. “The Rule calls for an open and transparent process for designation of roads and trails available to the public for motorized recreation,” said Middleton. “But the implementation of the rule at the Tahoe National Forest has been anything but transparent. Contrary to assurances that public recreational access has been protected, the agency has ended up prohibiting motorized off-road vehicles on hundreds of miles of roads and trails that have been traditionally available to the public for recreational purposes.

“This was a bait and switch game,” Middleton continued. “The Forest Service lulled people into complacency over the 2005 Travel Management Rule and said recreational enthusiasts had nothing to fear. But then, we find out that over 800 miles of roads or trails are going to be blocked off from traditional motorized recreational uses. In the end, less than 50 miles of formerly accessible trails have been left open for off-road motorized use.

“This draconian closure of public access to the Tahoe National Forest is the result of an unlawful process and illegal decision-making, and that is why we are seeking relief in federal court,” Middleton said.

Jacquelyne Theisen of Auburn, with Friends of Greenhorn:
“Off-road vehicle enthusiasts have been undeservedly attacked by environmental groups who paint a picture to their members that simply doesn’t exist on the scale they assert. The truth is, the forest roads and trails we use are thousands of times more pristine than Interstate 80.

“The Forest Service came to the motorized users community in need of funds to begin the Travel Management Program. Over $12 million was paid to help map all of our roads and trails.

“But then, once they were identified, they were promptly closed by the Forest Service,” Theisen continued.

“This is a problem that extends far beyond Tahoe National Forest. Tens of thousands of Forest Service roads are being closed nationwide to every American.

“We are very grateful that Pacific Legal Foundation is taking this case, and taking a stand in court for responsible forest policies and meaningful public access to public lands.”

The legal case against the feds’ padlocking ploy

The lawsuit challenges the Forest Service’s dramatic restriction on public access to Tahoe National Forest on several grounds, including:

  1. Regulators unlawfully prejudiced the road and trail designation process at the Tahoe National Forest in favor of route closure.
  2. The Forest Service misled the public by insisting that closing over 800 miles of roads and trails to motor vehicles would have a beneficial effect on motorized recreational opportunities, in violation of the agency’s duty under the National Environmental Policy Act to provide accurate information to the public.
  3. The Forest Service misled by claiming that formerly legal motorized recreation in the Tahoe National Forest was “unauthorized,” creating the false impression that PLF’s clients and the public never had a right to access the forest through motorized recreation.
  4. The Forest Service failed to adequately detail the impacts that closing roads and trails would have on motor vehicle use. These impacts include increased risk of forest fires, as motor recreationists who previously cleared brush, trees, and other impediments from roads and trails that are used to combat forest fires will now be unable to do so.

“Our clients attempted to work with the Forest Service as it developed its Travel Management Rule blueprint,” said Brandon M. Middleton. “But the process wasn’t transparent and has resulted in the opposite of what was promised. Instead of securing access to the public, the federal government is essentially posting ‘keep out’ signs for roads and recreational opportunities that families have been enjoying for generations. The Forest Service needs to be held to account for its illegal decision-making, so that our clients as well as individuals and families throughout California can continue cherished recreational activities at the Tahoe National Forest.”

Defending public access and public recreation: the economic implications

The issues in this case extend beyond public access, firefighting, and accountability in the regulatory process. There are also important implications for the economy. A recent publication of the Western Governors’ Association, “A Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation,” included motorcycle riding in the key activities that it surveyed. The survey reported that the economic benefits of outdoor recreation in 2011 (including off-road motorized recreation) included $645.6 billion in consumer spending, nationwide.

 

 

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Tom Higgins

That is awesome! I pray that you will succeed in your lawsuit against the Forest Service. They are closing up our natural resources all over the U.S. and it is going to have to stop. I wish you well in your endeavor.

July 21, 2012 at 8:22 am

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