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GAO
Report to the Subcommittee on
National Parks, Forests and Public
Lands, Committee on Natural
Resources, House of Representatives

FEDERAL LANDS
Enhanced Planning
Could Assist Agencies
in Managing Increased
Use of Off-Highway
Vehicles

The following are excerpts from a study commissioned by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which was conducted from 2004-2008 and dated June, 2009.

The full document can be found here . . . http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09509.pdf

“Over the past 5 years, OHV use has increased on federal lands and has
emerged as a national issue. Federal land management agencies have only
recently begun to respond to this trend by revising their plans and how
they manage OHV use, but they are having to do so in an environment of
constrained budgetary and staff resources and other competing
management priorities. Although they reported taking a variety of actions
to manage OHV use in this environment, agency field unit officials
reported that they cannot sustainably manage their OHV route systems.

To help provide quality OHV recreational opportunities while protecting
natural and cultural resources on federal lands, we recommend that:

• the Secretary of Agriculture direct the Chief of the Forest Service to
identify additional strategies to achieve the agency’s goal of improving
OHV management, as well as time frames for carrying out the strategies
and performance measures for monitoring incremental progress; and

• the Secretary of the Interior direct the Director of BLM to enhance the
agency’s existing “Priorities for Recreation and Visitor Services” by
establishing performance measures and time frames for carrying out its
stated goals for OHV recreation.

Additionally, to improve communication with the public and enhance law
enforcement efforts regarding OHV use on federal lands, we recommend
that the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior direct the Forest
Service and BLM, respectively, to take the following actions:

• enhance communication with the public about OHV trails and areas
through, for example, developing user-friendly signs and maps to improve
visitors’ experiences; and

• examine fine amounts across various U.S. district courts to determine the
range of fines for OHV-related violations and petition appropriate judicial
authorities to make modifications where warranted.”

If you read the entire document you will see what we are facing and how this report could likely be directly linked to the rash of Public Land closures and restrictions, The President’s leaked secret DOI “National Monument” plan and his “America’s Great Outdoors Initiative”.

These proposed land grabs appear to be tied to a recently exposed giant “Omnibus” package of “One Size Fits All” legislation which seems designed to significantly reduce OHV access opportunities on OUR Public Lands.

Stand-by and watch it happen or STAND UP and get involved in fighting this!

And just in from the BRC’s Recreation News . . .

AGO Initiative Update:

BLM document on monument proposals made public
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20100817/NEWS01/8170308

Salazar says they aren't going to propose monuments where there isn't local support. So we can expect the administration will remove this monument from consideration?

I'm not holding my breath...

Lewistown meeting shows monument opposition mounting
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/Lewistown-meeting-shows-monument-opposition-mounting

Lawmaker: Monuments a matter for public
http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/lawmaker_monuments_a_matter_fo/
By Gary Harmon

Wilderness, resource issues discussed at public "gathering"
http://www.illinois-valley-news.com/archive/2010/08/18/gathering/

And the "Listening Sessions" continue. I hope you've logged onto the DOI website and weighed in...

It's interesting to read the different take from the Listening Sessions in other parts of the country...

Smokies doing its part to advance Great Outdoors Initiative
National parks play key role in creating nature enthusiasts
http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2010/aug/22/smokies-helping-lead-the-way/

And...as is to be expected... greenie's will be chiming in in praise of the AGO Initiative goals and encouraging more National Parks and Monuments...

National Treasures or American Wastelands, the Choice is Ours
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/philippe-cousteau/national-treasures-or-ame_b_684481.html
Philippe Cousteau
________________________________________
Forest Service Planning Rule Update:

Lame stream media doing their part to advance the USFS "all lands" approach to forest planning...

USFS Report: 'Ecosystem Services' at Risk From Suburban Development
http://www.nytimes.com/19greenwire-usfs-report-ecosystem-services-at-risk-from-sub-6173.html

Private Forests Public Benefits: Download Report
http://www.fs.fed.us/openspace/fote/benefits_download.html

The other day the US Forest Service blasted a Planning Rule update informing the public that they've dismissed the many serious concerns over this concept of planning for state and private lands within the Forest Planning process. Doing so before the Draft Rule is out is not a good sign.

More here . . . http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands/?section=BRC_Recnews&rnid=97
 
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