Don’t Let Off-Road Vehicles Run Amok in Our Forests
The halls of Congress may be quiet but our public lands won’t be if a motorized mayhem bill gets traction.
H.R. 4272, the Forest Access in Rural Communities Act, would open the floodgates to uncontrolled motorized uses of national forests. This bill ties the Forest Service’s hands—prohibiting the agency from common-sense management of motorized vehicles and reverses 9 years of public participation.
In 2005, after identifying unmanaged motorized recreation as one of the top threats to national forest lands, the Bush Administration began to rein in off-road vehicle abuse. Nine years later, and after extensive public involvement, nearly 90% of our national forests have completed management plans—outlining where motorized vehicles can and can’t go.
But Congressman Greg Walden (R-OR) is doing the work of a vocal minority (just 1.4% of forest visitors refer to off-road vehicle use as their primary activity) and introduced H.R. 4272 which would undo all that work by putting an outright ban on the plans or enforcing the rules.
Take action and sign our letter to the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee asking him to stop legislation that would throw over 9 years of planning into the trash bin.
Walden’s bill would allow counties to veto any national forest management decision related to roads or off-road vehicles. This underhanded attempt to put federal land management into the hands of local politicians would set a new precedent. No road signs will be installed, no maps showing the public where roads and trails are located will be printed, and roads that are polluting drinking water and harming fish will be not be repaired.
Essentially, this bill would reverse all progress towards a manageable and sustainable motorized road and trail system on national forests.
Wild Places Program Attorney
Over 50 million acres of public lands are currently protected from destructive cross country motorized use and 50,000 miles of routes/roads are closed because of Forest Service travel plans.
Don’t let Motorized Mayhem Return to National Forests
Poorly located motorized routes cause severe impacts on the environment.This action closes July 25 so please speak out today.
See the letter (pdf) signed by over 60 groups opposing this bill.