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BlueRibbon Coalition


Anti-recreation activists in California have long pushed State and Federal agencies to manage Inventoried Roadless Areas as "non-motorized." At recent meetings where BRC members and staff were in attendance, several of these activists have suggested that the 2001 Clinton Roadless Rule actually precludes all active management, such as trail maintenance, of OHV use in Roadless Areas.

We have come to expect this sort of thing from California's brand of anti-recreation extremist groups. However, BRC is much more concerned about reports of U.S. Forest Service personnel in opposition to proposed route maintenance in certain Roadless Areas. While we have not been able to verify or confirm the accuracy of these reports, we thought it important to issue a Land Use Advisory to all of our members in California and other states.

The 2001 Roadless Rule (a.k.a. Clinton Roadless Rule) DOES NOT prohibit or even discourage Off Highway Vehicle use, or prohibit the management, maintenance, mapping or marking of OHV systems in Inventoried Roadless Areas in any way whatsoever. The text of the "Clinton Roadless Rule" clearly allows for vehicle travel along classified roads and trails designated for vehicle use. 36 C.F.R. 294.11 & 12 (2001) (repealed).

Indeed, some of the very same anti-recreation groups who are pushing to close Roadless Areas to motors have actually made the correct interpretation of the Clinton Rule in legal papers they have filed, stating:

"the [2001 or Clinton] Roadless Rule, even if reinstated, would pose no threat to these groups' [specifically, Cal4WD, UFWDA, ACSA and BlueRibbon] interests in off-road vehicle recreation. The rule does not prohibit off-road motorized travel in inventoried roadless areas of the National Forest System, nor does it close a single trail used by off-road vehicle enthusiasts."

This reference was made in a brief opposing OHV groups' intervention into one of the many ongoing roadless cases. These same papers further clarify that;

"even if the [2001 or Clinton] Roadless Rule is reinstated by this [ND Cal] Court as plaintiffs request, it will not prohibit a single person's off-road vehicle use or close a single off-road vehicle trail as alleged by the Off-Road Vehicle Groups' declarants." Id. at 5 (emphasis added).

BRC has made this document (Brief in Opposition to Intervention by The Wilderness Society et al (Doc. No. 79, filed March 7, 2006) in Case No CV-05-3508 (ND Cal)) available for your use and reference: 3-7-06.pdf

If you are participating in Travel Management planning and any Forest Service staff, contractor, employee or representative of any State agency suggests that the Clinton Roadless rule would preclude management or designation of OHV use in Roadless Areas, please immediately contact BRC at the number below.

If you are attending any of the public meetings scheduled in the next few months, and any staff or volunteer of any anti-recreation group suggests the Clinton Roadless Rule prohibits managing OHV use in Roadless Areas, please feel free to refer them to the above-cited papers filed by the Wilderness Society and dozens of other groups in the Roadless litigation.

To learn more about the ongoing Travel Management process in California or other states, visit BRC's public lands webpage at: To receive updates and notices of public meetings, subscribe to BRC's Action Alert list:

Need additional information, contact the BlueRibbon Office if you would like to receive a PDF file containing the entire copy of these papers, which include further amplification and additional citations to authority on these points and correct interpretation of the 2001 Roadless Rule.

About BlueRibbon Coalition
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 -

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