BRC CRITICAL ACTION ALERT
THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO!
You MUST take action to Rescue Tellico NOW! The
Forest Service has told us what they want to do
and it is incumbent on the OHV community to
change their mind.
On Friday, February 27, the USDA Forest Service
rolled out the draft Environmental Assessment
for the Upper Tellico OHV trail system.
The OHV community has been extremely dismayed to
learn that while there are six alternatives the
Forest Service is considering, the Forest
Supervisor, Marisue Hilliard, made it very clear
that her preferred alternative is to CLOSE
TELLICO. While we know that this is
completely unacceptable and will cause immediate
and intense emotional reaction, we are asking
that everyone maintain a level head and
concentrate on what our task is now.
In addition, the USFS Forest Supervisor issued a
TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that will keep Tellico
closed until they decide what the fate of the
area will be. This means that if the
temporary closure order stands, TELLICO WILL NOT
REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST!
What we are doing about it:
The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), Southern Four
Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), and the United
Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) have
teamed up to fight this and we are working as
aggressively as we can to get you the right
information. We have spent the last week
"scrubbing" through the draft EA and developing
a plan and now WE NEED YOUR HELP AND HERE IS HOW
YOU CAN BE MOST HELPFUL:
STEP 1: The week of March 9th, THIS WEEK,
we need you to call, write or, even better,
visit your congressman, senator, state and local
representatives. They need to know you
feel angry, hurt and betrayed by the Forest
Service. They need to know that the Forest
Service is going to affect jobs and the economy
in this difficult time. They need to know
the real science and that the water is not bad.
See the sample letter below for talking points.
Feel free to copy and paste the letter, but be
sure to personalize it with a short paragraph on
why Tellico is important-what it represents to
the OHV community and to you. Help your
representatives understand how important Tellico
Please forward any positive or negative
reactions you get to Jay Bird at
email@example.com. We want to know
who our friends are and follow through with
STEP 2: Beginning the week of March 16th,
BRC, SFWDA, and UFWDA will have a letter
generator up with comments you can make to the
Forest Service about the EA. If you have
already made comments, make some more.
Each time you find out some new information,
send it to the Forest Service. We need
letters. We are currently refining our
comment bullet points and will send out and post
more information to help with your letters as we
complete that process. But don't let that
stop you from doing background preparation and
comments yourself. WE NEED to have as much
enthusiast involvement as we possibly can muster
from the OHV community.
BRC and UFWDA will be following through for us
in Washington DC, working from the top down.
They will meet with the Forest Service as well
as other national organizations and some of
those friendly representatives.
Please read the Forest Service documents on
their website at:
Then take the time to review the independent
scientific study SFWDA had commissioned at:
If you see anything in the EA or Caliper report,
or you have information that you want to make
sure we don't overlook, please notify Heather
We each need to do our part to RESCUE TELLICO
and YOUR INVOLVEMENT IS CRITICAL!
Thank you for your help!
SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC
A SAMPLE LETTER TO SEND TO YOUR REPRESENTATIVE
CAN BE FOUND
FOR COPY AND PASTE. OR THERE ARE
GENERAL TALKING POINTS TO USE BELOW... You
can find out your representatives' contact
information and where to send your letter or
email to by visiting the BRC Rapid Response
simply typing in your zip code.
Upper Tellico OHV Area
Proposed Closure Order
- Congressional attention to this problem
- The USFS has issued a proposed temporary closure
notice prohibiting all use of the Upper Tellico
OHV system effective April 1, 2009.
- REPAIRING THE AREA IS THE BEST SOLUTION:
- OHV enthusiasts spend 4 times more money on lodging, food, and gas than
other outdoor sportsmen
- $4.8 million annually in tourism revenues by OHV users
- Repairing contributes $1.5 - $2.6 million in OHV revenue annually
- Repairing would create more than $1.4 million in local jobs
- Nearby streams are currently healthy
- Nearby streams have excellent water quality per North Carolina
- Nearby streams are capable of sustaining viable, reproducing native
- Nearby stream channels are very stable
- Nearby stream channels convey stream flows without streambed erosion
- The trails are repairable and very much maintainable/sustainable after
- CLOSURE IS A BAD SOLUTION:
- Closure creates ZERO OHV tourism revenue
- Degradation of water quality and degradation of aquatic habitat in
Upper Tellico is non-existent
- Historic clear-cutting of land in Upper Tellico has contributed more to
the off-site sediment transport than the trail
- Closure of trails is neither warranted nor recommended by USFS trails
About BlueRibbon Coalition
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national
recreation group that champions responsible
recreation, 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.