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BlueRibbon Coalition

National OHV Group Supports GAO Recommendations on OHV Use

POCATELLO, ID (August 3) - The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national OHV advocacy group, today said it generally supports the recommendations made in a report released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) regarding the increased use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on federally-managed lands. The report was requested by Arizona Representative Raúl M. Grijalva, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands.

The purpose of the report was to examine the status of OHV use on federal lands managed by the
Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and the Park Service and focused on fiscal year 2004 through fiscal year 2008. The report also examined the environmental, social, and safety impacts, strategic planning, actions taken by the agencies' field units in managing OHV use and current OHV management challenges.

"The report itself leaves much to be desired, but, by and large, we support its recommendations," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of BRC. Mumm said BRC was one of several OHV groups involved as part of GAO's review. Mumm noted certain parts of the report are inconsistent and some parts are not accurate.  "This is an imperfect analysis, but it is far from the manifesto for closure anticipated by the anti-access lobby," Mumm observed.

The report makes four recommendations generally addressing identification of additional strategies, time frames for monitoring progress of OHV plan implementation, establishing performance measures and time frames for meeting goals, enhancing communication with the public about OHV trails and areas, and reviewing fine amounts across various U.S. district courts to establish consistency.

Brian Hawthorne, BRC's Public Lands Policy Director, also agreed with the recommendations, but said the study is an "unfortunate example of government agencies doing too much evaluating and not nearly enough actual management.  The conclusions and action items of this GAO report are remarkably similar to reviews completed by the Forest Service in 1985 and in 1996," noted Hawthorne.

The GAO report is available online at: http://www.gao.gov/Products/GAO-09-509

About The 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. 1-800-258-3742.
http://www.sharetrails.org


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