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Discussion Starter #1
The USFS claims they cannot afford the $100K annual bill to maintain the Tellico area for offroading eventhough it brings in an estimated $10M in revenue to the area each year. So in all of their infinite wisdom, this is their solution... "Trail Obliteration".

https://www.fbo.gov/notices/cfd79408834a3f9953aefb06b3300338

I can't even put into words how bad this pisses me off at what is supposed to be a service meant to PROTECT our forests. Instead of United States Forestry Service, they should change their name to Usurpers of Society's Forested Sanctuaries. F***ing A$$holes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

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It was always fumbles
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Slowly we are becoming a Nation of idiots...
Im for protecting animals and forest's but Come on... The Shit head environmentalist are starting to take over.. Like all things they start with a good idea... then once that good idea is going.. they have to find a new idea to keep people interested in there cause.
Then you add the Government to this... A big part of the Forestry is run by these idiots.
There is a balance to life.. As long as we do are part to take care of our lands..
I really like how they are going to return the trails back to the natural way they were.... So we are going to take and re-grade this? Funny... And did I see this was part of the Recovery Act? HAHAHA.. Thats been a joke.. I have seen them re-pave roads in my area that a year before were paved..
Sorry I could keep going..
 

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RECREATIONAL GROUPS TAKE NEXT STEPS TO SAVE TELLICO

May 7, 2010

Organizations dedicated to active recreation management today announced their latest efforts to save access to the Upper Tellico OHV System. The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, United Four Wheel Drive Association, and BlueRibbon Coalition filed a NOI, Notice of Intent to sue, with various federal agencies outlining possible claims under the Clean Water Act. The claims target the U.S. Forest Service decision dated October 14, 2009, to close the Tellico trails to motorized travel. The organizations filed administrative appeals from the decision, which were denied on January 15, 2010.

“The agency’s actions do not surprise us, but are cause for deep concern,” said Roger Theurer, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association. “It is apparent the Forest Service has disavowed any interest in continuing historical, or any vehicle access to the System. We hope that our organizations have been equally clear that we will fight for reasonable and sustainable access. This is but one step in that continuing effort,” Theurer concluded.

The NOI is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a citizen’s suit under the Clean Water Act.

# # #

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. www.sharetrails.org

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. www.ufwda.org

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 www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122

ABOUT GOD DAMN TIME!!!

I just might have a reason to donate money now to the legal fund. After first hearing about the "obliteration" plans I was thinking, wow i'm glad I didn't donate money to see it not be used, then I started thinking, well thats just sad that I don't have a reason to donate money and watch something get done with it. Hopefully the above groups get a decision to hold off on any of this destruction until a suit is brought to court. The offroad community needs to seriously get behind this in a unified manner if this suit goes down.
 

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THIS is why I HAVE been donating to the various off road advocacy groups...so that they CAN fight this sort of outrageous abuse of our natural resources.
 

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THIS is why I HAVE been donating to the various off road advocacy groups...so that they CAN fight this sort of outrageous abuse of our natural resources.
X2 same reason I belong to OBX associations...to help keep the beaches free so I can enjoy them. :)
 

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BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Roger Theurer, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
(931) 841-0672
Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Coalition
(208) 244-2112
Date: May 18, 2010

TELLICO LAWSUIT FILED

POCATELLO, ID (May 18)--The next chapter in the Save Tellico saga began today as suit was filed to stop agency efforts to eliminate long-existing routes at the Upper Tellico OHV System. The suit was filed by Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, and BlueRibbon Coalition in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

"This is a logical and necessary action in our effort to restore some form of meaningful OHV access to the System," said Roger Theurer, President of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association. "The entire premise behind this closure- that water quality is uniquely flawed in the Tellico River- is simply untrue. We hope through this suit for an opportunity to present the full story," Theurer concluded.

On April 19, 2010, the Forest Service posted a solicitation for bids, seeking contractors to perform various tasks to rehabilitate, obliterate, or otherwise decommission the bulk of existing roads on the OHV System. According to the complaint, routes historically used for vehicle travel may be fundamental to other forms of recreation, and possible impacts on non-motorized recreation activities have not been analyzed by the Forest.

"We prefer to work collaboratively with the Forest to provide appropriate vehicle-based recreation opportunities in the area," observed Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Executive Director. "We remain committed to such prospects, but faced little option short of filing suit to preserve reasonable alternatives involving the System. These roads are literally on the verge of being removed from the landscape," Mumm concluded.

A copy of the complaint may be viewed at: http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/C...D_05-18-10.pdf

# # #

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. www.sharetrails.org

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. www.ufwda.org

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 www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
Joined BRC and earmarked a donation to the Tellico lawsuit
 

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TELLICO… OUR ALAMO
by Greg Mumm, Executive Director BlueRibbon Coalition

From the outset, we have had three primary goals at Tellico-

1) Turning the corner on advocacy, encouraging the Forest Service to manage FOR off highway vehicle recreation rather than FROM it.
2) Establish meaningful and well managed trails in Tellico and beyond.
3) Ensure confidence in the validity of the public process and agency partnerships.

Sadly, we now face little choice but to draw a line in the sand at Tellico. And we fear it isn’t just about Tellico. At a broader scale, the Forest Service seems to view the OHV community as the “path of least resistance.” We thought this day had passed, and hoped that we could take to heart the agency’s acclamations of support and encouragement to the OHV community. For whatever reason, they didn’t get the memo at Tellico. In that respect, Tellico is our Alamo. Sadly, again we have seen recreational access pay a price to the agency’s fear of litigation from deep-pocketed extremist groups bent on the removal of OHV recreation from all public lands. If we don’t fight this fight here—win, lose, or draw—one cannot help but ask the question of, “What’s next? What is going to happen in the Uwharrie planning process? Or, Beasley Knob?”

At Tellico we diligently participated during the administrative planning process to present workable, science-based, management solutions to all of the challenges that were posed. This effort fell on deaf ears and the decision left behind a devastating impact not only on trail access, but on the local economy as well.

Faced with the prospects of either quietly accepting the wrongful closure of the Tellico system or the legal process, we took legal action and now find ourselves “in the courts” trying to right the wrong. This is a difficult course of action. Federal lands cases like this are about litigating the process. It isn’t like “normal” litigation involving discovery, depositions, and trials. Nor is success measured by the “scales of justice” where one need only prevail by a “preponderance of evidence.” Here, there is a very narrow procedural box within which we must work to demonstrate an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to a single judge. Moreover, typically the courts provide broad deference to the agencies in such cases.

But, we are resolute, and in that legal effort, we pushed for and achieved the opportunity to discuss reasonable and workable solutions through mediation. In September, we met with representatives of the Forest Service, government attorneys, and the SELC intervenors (including Wild South and Trout Unlimited) in the first mediation meeting. Through a third party professional mediator, we presented potential avenues to productively and collaboratively find a workable resolution on the ground instead of in the courtroom. Unfortunately, we were again disappointed.

In a “one last effort” at offering the Forest Service a productive resolution to this legal action, we have since followed up by sending a letter presenting four potential areas where a meaningful trail system could be established or broadened as a displacement for the lost trails in Tellico. At the time of mailing this to you, we are still awaiting the response from the Forest Service on our letter.

They didn’t want the fight at the Alamo either. I have spent long hours on this issue, riding with enthusiasts around our country, attending regional and local club meetings, listening at campfires at events like the recent Dixie Run. The message I’m hearing is that the OHV community knows the long odds in the Tellico case, and is committed to standing up to the challenge. Make no mistake, contrary to what the Forest Service hoped, we are not going away. The partner groups are unwavering in their resolve to continue to take whatever steps are necessary to see that the right thing is done on behalf of recreational access and those so drastically affected by this travesty surrounding the decision to close Tellico—in or out of the courts.

You can help. We can’t do it without your help. Please make a donation today to the Rescue Tellico effort, either on the enclosed return flyer or by visiting our website at www.sfwda.org and click on the rescue Tellico link.
From what I understand they are in mediation, and getting absolutely no where. I believe they have suggested 3 alternative sites to build and maintain a trail system on and been shot down. Its going to get fully drawn out in court in a long legal battle.

What everyone needs to understand about this case, is that its outcome can and will change a lot of things for the off road community. If it goes badly, these groups will use the water quality issue to shut down all the public and private land they can, and Tellico will be the precedent for it. Even if the eco groups fudge numbers and make bogus reports like appears to be the case here, a lot might get closed down just to avoid litigation. It really is an Alamo
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah it has been a red tape nightmare trying to fight this. The head of the USFS in North Carolina is blind to the fact of what the park was contributing to the local economy and if you ask me, the USFS pockets are getting a little greased up from local logging companies and eco-nazi groups. Funny how they shut the area down to offroaders yet they open a large section of that area up for logging literally in the same week.

Mirage is right. Tellico is the Alamo and the precedent for other activists to use as ammo to begin shutting down more and more of our public lands. They only see us as a hobby and don't understand the economical impact this will have if closures continue. So many local businesses are affected directly from these closures. Murphy, NC reportedly will lose on average $10 million dollars per year in local revenue that Tellico generated solely on its own.
 
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