The Bureau of land Management released a draft strategy governing how Off-Highway Vehicles can be used on BLM-controlled public lands. Although the strategy contains wording friendly to OHV recreation, the document also calls for actions that could lead to far-reaching land closures.

‘This draft strategy is aimed at recognizing the interests of OHV users while protecting environmentally-sensitive areas on the public lands,’ said Henri Bisson, assistant director of BLM renewable resources and planning. ‘It also seeks to focus on the agency’s scarce funding and staffing resources on OHV management instead of OHV-related litigation.’

The draft also seeks more consistency between agencies in regards to OHV activities and communication with the public. The plan calls for a full-time OHV coordinator in each BLM state office, a national inter-agency coordinating groups and local coordinating groups.

While this is a pleasant surprise, DIRT BIKE is very disturbed that the BLM released its plan on December 4th, 2000, and gave only a 30-day comment period, ending January 3rd. It plans to release the final draft in mid-January, BEFORE GEORGE W. BUSH TAKES OFFICE. Combine the troubling timing with threat for far-reaching land closures and the tendency for federal agencies to allow green advocacy groups to shape and even write government policies, and you can see why we’re troubled. This also reminds us of a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announcement in November that green-led lawsuits have impacted the USF&WS budget so much that it cannot list any more species under the Endangered Species Act. In other words, it seems the BLM is seeking to get in bed with greens while appearing to ‘recognize OHV interests’ on public lands.

Review the draft at www.blm.gov home page and comment electronically at [email protected], or send your written comments to: BLM OHV Strategy, U.S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, 1849 C St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240. You can bet the anti-OHVers will voice their opinions, so it’s up to a mobilized OHV community to make sure our side is heard.


Comments are closed.