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Found 4 results

  1. RECREATIONAL GROUPS DECRY TELLICO CLOSURE October 15, 2009 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:*Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Coalition
************* 208-244-2112
************* Jay Bird, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
************* 757-546-7969 Conservation groups dedicated to active and sustainable management of the Upper Tellico OHV Area expressed deep disappointment with the U.S. Forest Service decision to permanently close the Tellico trails.* The decision, which follows an earlier "temporary" closure, was announced in documents published by the USFS yesterday morning. Gary Parsons, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, reacted by saying, "The Forest Service is simply wrong in this decision.* This public agency has ignored an independent study by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations of its own Trails Unlimited Team, which demonstrated effective management is attainable and offered specific suggestions to achieve that goal." The agency announcement by Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard again parroted the water quality issues long favored by preservationist special interests as the excuse for closure.* Jay Bird, Chairman of the Rescue Tellico Committee, noted, "The Tellico River is in excellent shape and complies with all legal requirements.* Only through blatant modification of proper methodology, such as measuring turbidity levels during peak runoff, can the Forest Service claim there is legal basis to take any action, let alone closure." "Sadly, we are not surprised.* It now appears the Forest Service knew it would close the Area years ago, and undertook the intervening 'public process' to justify a decision already made," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition. "We are sorely disappointed that the Forest Service has determined it cannot effectively manage the Upper Tellico OHV Area that users have supported with millions of dollars in fees and thousands of hours of volunteer labor.* With our recreational partners, we will evaluate all options that may change that determination." # # # 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. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands. 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. United Four Wheel Drive Associations Official Site - United Online - An International Organization 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 Southern 4WD Association or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
  2. The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) expressed disappointment today in the Forest Service decision to implement the emergency closure of the Upper Tellico OHV trails on April 1, pending review of the many substantive comments made by OHV enthusiasts. Gary Parsons, President of SFWDA, said, "We are very disappointed in the Forest Service decision to close the Upper Tellico OHV trails. In formal comments made to the Forest Service, the OHV community and other interested parties clearly demonstrated that such a closure has no scientific basis. Substantive comments provided to the Forest Service included findings of an independent study completed by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations from a report completed by the Forest Service's own Trails Unlimited Team. This is a bad decision and we are left with no other alternative but to pursue legal options." Carla Boucher, legal counsel for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, stated, "The Forest Service has failed to make the case with regard to adverse effects and resource damage. There is no immediate threat to public health, safety, or other requisite finding required by such an order. Water quality standards cited by the Forest Supervisor as the basis for such an order are not being exceeded." Boucher added, "In making this decision, the Forest Service must be prepared to explain why similar findings have not been made in the decades of greater environmental impact and they simply have not done that." Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, stated, "Implementing this closure order threatens the integrity of the ongoing planning process in which the interested public and our federal government have collectively invested significant time and resources." Mumm concluded, "The economic impact of this closure will be devastating to the area and comes at a time when the current administration is calling for more jobs, economic development, and healthy outdoor recreation. It makes no sense." # # # The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of recreation, 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. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands. 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. United Four Wheel Drive Associations Official Site - United Online - An International Organization 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 Southern 4WD Association or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
  3. BRC Critical Action Alert -- THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO! You MUST take action to save Tellico NOW! Today the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) met with the USDA Forest Service (USFS) and heard a presentation on what will be in their Environmental Assessment (EA). While they have 7 alternatives that they are considering, their preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and concentrate on what our task is now. STEP 1: The USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will be. This means that TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST! Please read the order here: http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/temporary_closure.pdf. and provide comments to the temporary closure. Be sure to talk about all the plans you have to use the area and all the events that are already scheduled and that you have paid to attend. We MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN! STEP 2: We must, at all costs, provide as many SUBSTANTIVE comments about the EA as humanly possible. And we are ready. SFWDA requests that you download the study that we commissioned (Recommended Trail System Repair and Maintenance Plan Upper Tellico OHV System) and that you download the USFS EA which is posted here (Upper Tellico OHV Area ) and that you compare the two side by side and start making comments. Our study will give you the data that you need to make comments about the surveys that have been done, the lack of maintenance they USFS has completed, the science, the engineering, the economics, EVERYTHING. We will work to have a letter generator up, but honestly, we need for you to take pencil to paper and think this through. Copy this announcement and send it to your friends, family, and everyone you know. STEP 3: The other thing we need, and you know what it coming, is money. In this tough economic time, it’s hard to find a few dollars to support a cause, but if you enjoy the Tellico area, or even the dying sport of OHV and 4X4 recreation, please consider a donation to Rescue Tellico so that we may continue to fight for Tellico. Rescue Tellico Fund STEP 4: In an effort to show that we will not accept these actions, Crawford’s Campground is committing to continue on with the plans for Spring Fling on April 4th. Please consider attending and showing your support and helping to raise money for Rescue Tellico. So you know, SFWDA is working very closely with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the BlueRibbon Coalition to review these documents. BE ASSURED that the lawyers will be reviewing all of these documents in detail and that we are all ready to take whatever action is warranted to further the fight to KEEP TELLICO OPEN! Thanks you for your help, SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC

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