Author Topic: Tellico Law Suit  (Read 6097 times)

billiejf

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Tellico Law Suit
« on: June 02, 2008, 01:57:20 pm »
I know PA Jeeps is aware of this issue, but I didn't see anything that went to the general membership, so I thought it would be helpful to hijack this post from United's website:
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Rescue Tellico

Save Tellico Now
Before There Is Nothing Left To Save

SFWDA, UFWDA, BRC files Law Suit

On Thursday, May 22, 2008, The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) along with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) filed suit in US District Court Western District of North Carolina against the US Forest Service to restore access to improperly closed off-highway recreation trails located in the Upper Tellico Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in North Carolina. 

A Little Background
On June 28, 2007, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed a "notice of intent to sue" the USFS on behalf of the North Carolina and Tennessee Councils of Trout Unlimited, as well as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project.  SELC’s threat demanded that the Forest Service permanently close trails, and seasonally close the entire system.

Caving under the pressure of SELC and TU, the Forest Service announced on December 18, 2007 there would be a seasonal closure of the entire trail system and Trails Lower 2, 7, and 9 would be closed for a year to assess the condition of the trails to see what needs to be done. 

Closing trails does not address the issues and SFWDA feels that the Forest Service took steps that are not correct.  This lawsuit is intended to reopen the trails that were improperly closed.

SFWDA has worked with the US Forest Service in the Tellico OHV area for over 20 years, providing free maintenance and restoration work to address the agency-wide maintenance backlog estimated nationwide at over $100 billion.  The trail maintance, clean up, and volunteer work we have donated to the area is well over $100,000 just in the past few years.  SFWDA values the relationship we have with the US Forest Service and plan to continue the work, volunteering and cleaning up as we’ve done in the past. 

What are the effects of the closures?
The impact of closing the trails has greatly wounded the economy in the area.  Not only are there fewer places to ride in the Upper Tellico area, but local businesses have felt the impact.  Cabin Rentals, Campgrounds, parts stores have all seen a decrease in business.  Outside of the impact to the economy, this act sets a precedent for large special interest groups to bully our government to preferentially close access to public land to one user group.

What you can do
Frankly,   law suits are not cheap.  We need your donations.  You can donate online at www.SFWDA.org or Tax deductable at www.sharetrails.org/rescue-tellico or donate tax deductable through the United Land Action Fund at P.O. Box 15696, Chesapeake, VA  23328.  You can purchase Rescue Tellico Items at www.cafepress.com/rescuetellico.  All proceeds are donated to the Rescue Tellico Fund.

At the very least we need your membership.  If you are not a member of any or all the below mentioned groups we need you.  Please join us so that you can have your voice counted in unison with ours.  If you have always wondered, what does my membership get me, here is your answer.  SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC are fighting to keep trails open so we have places to ride.

Please spread the word.  This is not only a 4x4 problem but ATV, Motorcycle and UTV’s are affected as well. 

Who’s Who
The Blue Ribbon 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.  www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932.  www.ufwda.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open for motorized recreation.  For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122


Billie Jeanne Fish
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billiejf

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Re: Tellico Law Suit
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2008, 02:54:11 pm »
GOOD NEWS!!

TELLICO LAWSUIT DISMISSED - FOREST SERVICE TO RELEASE NEW PLAN

October 30, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:  Greg Mumm 208-244-2112
                   Carla Boucher 757-546-7969
 
Court papers filed today indicate that the lawsuit brought by motorized recreation advocates against the US Forest Service over the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle Area will be voluntarily dismissed.  The case was filed by the BlueRibbon Coalition, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, and Southern Four Wheel Drive Association and challenged temporary closure orders issued by the Forest Service in December 2007.  According to a stipulation entered by all parties to the case, it is the Forest Service's "stated intention to complete a public planning process and announce a new decision in the near future which will likely substantially impact or change the interim orders referenced in the complaint..."  The Forest has provided proposed management alternatives and received comments through July 2008, on the new plan from the recreation organizations and many others interested in Tellico management.

"We are pleased that the Forest Service has made active management of Tellico a high priority, and that this planning process seems to have avoided some of the diversions that have delayed similar decisions in other areas," observed Jay Bird, immediate Past President of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association.  "Under these circumstances, and mindful of the desire for both Forest Service personnel and recreational enthusiasts to focus on the new decision and future management, we agreed that dismissing this action was the right thing to do," Bird concluded.

The dismissal is without prejudice, meaning that these same organizations or other interested parties could file administrative appeals or lawsuits challenging the ultimate outcome of the new planning process.  Further information about the plaintiff organizations, including information about the ongoing planning process at Tellico and developments in other matters, can be found as indicated below.

# # #

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. www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932.  www.ufwda.org <http://www.ufwda.org>

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open for motorized recreation.  For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org <http://www.sfwda.org> or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
 
 
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Graduate of Del Albrights Volunteer Leadership and Land Stewardship (VLLS) workshop in Nov 2006, at Robb's Resort.
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Member of Cal4Wheel
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Billie Jeanne Fish
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Death Wobble

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Re: Tellico Law Suit
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2008, 07:25:19 pm »
This is great news for ALL outdoor enthusiasts!  Hopefully, the landowners in other areas can be as flexible.
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Rick_Bear

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Re: Tellico Law Suit
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2008, 09:21:20 pm »
See what happens when MANY pull together and VOICE their concerns.......SUCCESS
This is GREAT news, now to get back down there. It's been a long time for me.
Do Your Duty And History Will Do You Justice...!
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