Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

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Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

Postby KF5ZXT » Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:56 pm

Dear OHV Voter,

Throughout the West, federal land managers are announcing OHV related closures today in response to the government shutdown.

There does not appear to be any consistency between agencies and units on what recreation facilities and trails will be open.

For example, the Cleveland National Forest in Southern California has closed the Corral Canyon OHV Area. In Northern California, it appears the BLM's Ukiah Field Office will close the entrance gates to the South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area.

On the other hand in Colorado, it looks like public land trails on the White River National Forest and the BLM's Colorado River Valley Field Office will be open.

TPAC believes that Congress is acutely aware of the shutdown's impact to recreation activities via the House's introduction of a bill today to fund the National Park Service during the shutdown.

TPAC also believes the long lasting impact of the shutdown on multiple-use recreation is logarithmically related to the length of the impasse.

This is a massive political battle between opposing ideologies and public land recreation is but a small player on the scene. TPAC urges recreationists to be advised their recreational experience may be severely impacted by the shutdown.

Best regards,

Don

Don Amador, Founder
The TrailPAC
www.thetrailpac.com
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Re: Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

Postby KF5ZXT » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:16 am

Dear OHV Voter,


The White House has validated TPAC's motto that... "All Trail Decisions are Political Decisions" by issuing a precedent setting order directing federal agencies to close all parks that are managed by private management firms including the Arizona-based Recreation Resource Management Company.

Historically, these user-pay/user-benefit privately managed federal units have stayed open during government shutdowns including the 3 week shutdown in 1995.

Included below is an October 2, 2013 letter to Congress written by Recreation Resource Management's owner, Warren Meyer.


October 2, 2013

Senator John McCain
Senator Jeff Flake
Representative David Schweikert

Help! Administration Orders Shut Down of Privately-Operated Parks in National Forest
Parks that require no Federal money, and actually pay rent to the Treasury, are being required to close

Sirs:

My company, based in North Phoenix, operates over 100 US Forest Service campgrounds and day use areas under concession contract. Yesterday, as in all past government shutdowns, the Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service confirmed we would stay open during the government shutdown. This makes total sense, since our operations are self-sufficient (we are fully funded by user fees at the gate), we get no federal funds, we employ no government workers on these sites, and we actually pay rent into the Treasury.

However, today, we have been told by senior member of the US Forest Service and Department of Agriculture that people "above the department", which I presume means the White House, plan to order the Forest Service to needlessly and illegally close all private operations. I can only assume their intention is to artificially increase the cost of the shutdown as some sort of political ploy.

The point of the shutdown is to close non-essential operations that require Federal money and manpower to stay open. So why is the White House closing private operations that require no government money to keep open and actually pay a percentage of their gate revenues back to the Treasury? We are a tenant of the US Forest Service, and a tenant does not have to close his business just because his landlord goes on a vacation.

I urge you to help stop the Administration from lawlessly taking arbitrary and illegal actions to artificially worsen the shutdown by hurting innocent hikers and campers. I am not asking you to restore any funding, because no funding is required to keep these operations open. I am asking that the Administration be required to only close government services that actually require budget resources.


Sincerely,
Warren Meyer



In addition, confusion continues to plague the public since the Antideficiency Act, passed by Congress in 1870, prohibits the government from incurring any monetary obligation for which the Congress has not appropriated funds. This precludes FS and BLM recreation staff from disseminating closure-related information to the public.

The Government Accountability Office states that employees who violate the Antideficiency Act may be subject to disciplinary action, suspension and even "fines, imprisonment, or both."

As hunters, off-roaders, fishermen, equestrians, and mountain-bikers prepare for this weekend's adventure on federal lands, they can rest assured that closure signs await their arrival at many Forest Service, NPS, and BLM campgrounds, staging areas, and trailheads.

Thanks for your review of this ongoing crisis.

Don Amador, Founder
The Trail PAC
http://www.thetrailpac.com
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Re: Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

Postby TxPlates » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:59 pm

It's messy, and the government doesn't care. It's all about the Benjamin's.
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Re: Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

Postby KF5ZXT » Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:17 pm

Dear OHV Voters,


TPAC remains concerned about the pure raw closure-oriented politics apparently being orchestrated from the White House. Historically, these shutdown battles occur without the executive branch making political decisions to try and inflict maximum pain on even their political allies.

While some Forest Service trail systems and riding areas remain open for public use, it appears there is a growing number of units that have been, or in the process of being, closed to all entry. Those motorized opportunities range from the Beasley Knob OHV Area on the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in Georgia to the Miller Jeep Trail on the Los Padres National Forest in Southern California. Fines of up to $5,000 dollars can be levied against individuals or $10,000 dollars per organization.

Oct. 3, 2013 FS National Closure Order


Again, these closures appear to cross party lines. Often, mountain bike organizations and their members champion the green agenda of the Democrat Party and support those candidates running for office including President Obama. However, that user group seems to have been targeted for "pain" along with the rest of us when the BLM cancelled the Special Recreation Permit for Colorado Mesa University's Maverick Mountain Bike Championship.

That group tried legal action to force the BLM to allow their race on October 4-7, 2013, but a federal judge denied that effort.

Court Decision to Deny Injunction

TPAC urges OHV voters to stay engaged on this issue as it appears that we will see the "closure ratchet" continue to be used as a political tool during the shutdown battle.

Hang in there folks.

Don

Don Amador, Founder
The Trail PAC
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Re: Shutdown Update - Hit or Miss Closures on FS/BLM Lands

Postby KF5ZXT » Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:02 am

Dear OHV Voter,

As Congress and the White House continue to battle over a resolution to the government shutdown, TPAC believes they will come to a short-term resolution (sometime on Wednesday). Political pressure continues to mount from a public that is disgusted with the whole mess including families who have had to cancel vacations to lands managed by the FS, BLM, or NPS.

The San Diego-based Bike Week Radio interviewed me on October 13, 2013 regarding the shutdown's impact to OHV recreation. The show is hosted by icons of the motorcycle industry and having them set aside some time to discuss off-road politics highlights just how much of an impact this closure is having on the recreation electorate.

If you have time, TPAC encourages you to listen to the show as the following topics were discussed: arbitrary nature of closures, casual users impacted, lack of closure-related information from agencies, permitted events and volunteer cleanups cancelled or postponed, impacts also to non-motorized user groups, need for Congress to reform the Anti-Deficiency Act, and importance of OHV voters to get involved in the 2014 midterm election.

Don Amador Bike Week Radio (Show # 70) interview is from 27:51 - 35:03
[url]//www.bikeweekradioshow.com/sounds/BWRSwk70.html[/url]

For those of you who are new supporters of TPAC, we will include a link from a Cycle News article about why OHV recreationists need to "Get into the Game."

Cycle News "Get into the Game" Article
[rurl]p://cyclenews.coverleaf.com/cyclenews/20111115#pg19[/url]


As we stated in the interview, the 2014 midterm elections are coming up next year and TPAC plans to continue our efforts to elect pro-trail candidates to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. If the shutdown cancelled your trip to an OHV event or impacted a family camping trip, feel free to make a "protest donation" to our 2014 midterm effort.

Here is my $25, $50, $100, $200, $500, or $1,000 "Protest" Donation
[url]//www.thetrailpac.com/donate.html[/url]

Thanks again for being engaged in the political process.

Don

Don Amador, Founder
The Trail PAC
www.thetrailpac.com
KF5ZXT
Blue Ribbon Coalition Lifetime Member

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