PEER to take action against Ocotillo Wells

California

Sorry for text formatting, This site does not take them well

Wayne

http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2013/05/21/suit-to-end-era-of-ruinous-orv-open-riding-at-ocotillo-wells/#.UZvE1veuM2p.facebook

For Immediate Release: May 21, 2013

Contact: Kirsten Stade (202) 265-7337

SUIT TO END ERA OF RUINOUS ORV OPEN-RIDING AT OCOTILLO WELLS

State Parks Abdicated Duty to Protect Fragile Desert and Archaeological Resources

Posted on May 21, 2013 | Tags: California

Sacramento — The California Department of Parks & Recreation has let off-road vehicles run amok in its largest off-road park, in violation of state resource protection laws, according to a lawsuit filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC). If successful, the suit would end ORV “open-riding” beyond designated trails and require the park to implement strategies to protect the park’s rich archaeological resources and desert environment.

5_21_13_Ocotillo_joined.jpg

These photos were taken in a park area where drivers are supposed to stay on designated trails (March 2011)

Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA), located in southeast San Diego County adjacent to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, allows off-road driving on all 85,000 acres except for a few areas fenced for protection of archaeological sites and rare plant communities. Its open-riding policy means that off-road riders may drive anywhere they want whether a trail exists there or not. Even in the 20,000 acres of the SVRA where State Parks has a decades-old agreement with the BLM to limit riding to designated routes, rangers have never issued a citation for an ORV-rider leaving established trails. To make matters worse, the park unit does little trail maintenance on the hundreds of miles of park and user-made trails carving up the easily damaged desert.

California PEER Director Karen Schambach noted that her organization has repeatedly alerted the new departmental leadership of the problems at the park, including a formal notice of intent to sue, to no avail. “Internal audits going back to the mid-90s found widespread illegal degradation but the Department has just shrugged, deferring any changes until a new General Plan is completed. That General Plan update, promised since 2007, never seems to get done. We will not sit back and wait until the park is totally bereft of plants, wildlife and cultural resources.” Under California natural resource statutes, the park has an ongoing duty to protect the desert resources regardless of the general planning process.

The suit, filed by attorney Michael Lozeau of the firm Lozeau Drury LLP on behalf of the groups, maintains that the open-riding at Ocotillo Wells violates statutory mandates to protect desert soils, plants, wildlife and archaeological sites. The complaint, filed in Sacramento Superior Court, cites internal documents detailing how the open riding policy is wreaking resource havoc:

  • Unrestricted ORV traffic has caused widespread erosion and other damage to desert soils;
  • Plant life in Ocotillo Wells is completely unprotected; environmental scientists at the park have been calling for a designated route system for years as they documented the park’s ongoing loss of vegetation;
  • Ocotillo Wells is home to more than 1,200 archeological and historic sites, very few of which have restricted access, leaving these important cultural resources to the mercy of off-roaders.

“Compounding the damage, what little trail ‘maintenance’ occurring on Ocotillo Wells trails consists of grading, which actually accelerates soil erosion. This undermines the very purpose of the state statutory requirement for trail maintenance: mitigating soil erosion.” stated Terry Weiner, of the Desert Protective Council.

The Ocotillo Wells lawsuit, in essence, contends that core park management policies are illegal. Historically, California courts have been willing to intervene to curb poor management and excessive resource damages at State Vehicular Recreational Areas, the eight-unit system operated by the Department’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

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Once again, thanks for the downer Wayne....

Public employees suing the government. Gotta love that. We pay them to sue us.

Ride while you still can.

This is ridiculous!! Its frigging dirt!! Take that same picture after ONE windy day and its clear, they act like people are bulldozing down clay hills.

And once again they are trying to kill our fun by making crap up and blowing everything completely out of proportion as always.

I have been riding there forever and place hasnt changed much at all and after a big storm and some wind it wipes damn near all evidence of OHV use away...

And of course its a female tree hugger thats probably never even been to Ocotillo..

I am not gonna stop riding out there, I dont cause any "extra" damage, not killing turtles, I clean up trash when I see it, etc

Once again trying to make me a criminal for riding my dirtbike, whats new...

So what will happen is they will officially close areas and put up huge unsightly WINDMILLS or GEOTHERMAL WELLS, however if I make a 3" bike track thats a problem...and eventually its going to be a shopping mall anyway, its only protected because somebody wants to use it for something else besides OHV use.

I hope that woman goes "missing", or just has a myocardial infarction in her sleep. Trying to take my fun away from me, not cool.

She works as a dog Groomer and is from Washington DC, she should worry more about her own area and quit meddling in crap she knows NOTHING about, those pictures showing no vegitation are in a dry lake bed area, never was any plants there in the first place, LIES!!!!!!!!! Once again, just making things up that the tree huggers will get passionate about because they have nothing better in life to do, morons!!!!

Edited by Speed-Freek

Can't reason with these people.

Can't reason with these people.

OMG, those are the people trying to "Save the world" huh? They seem totally sane and reasonable, WOW. And I am the nut job for riding my dirtbike, lol

Those people should be holding a pinless live grenade, all of them are totally insane and need to be immediately euthanized!

Not good when the crazies are passionate about the most ridiculous things ever! And spend every waking moment fighting for nonsense, just great.

We gotta start suing these people personally....for anything. Just sue them, force them to spend personal money defending themselves for smelling bad and making me sick. That's where we fail, we take it personally, but don't act in such manner. I'm guilty as well.

Can't reason with these people.

LMAO!

Laughed so hard it hurt, dude you crack me up.

OMG, those are the people trying to "Save the world" huh? They seem totally sane and reasonable, WOW. And I am the nut job for riding my dirtbike, lol

Those people should be holding a pinless live grenade, all of them are totally insane and need to be immediately euthanized!

Not good when the crazies are passionate about the most ridiculous things ever! And spend every waking moment fighting for nonsense, just great.

Just laughed so hard tears came out.

Just laughed so hard tears came out.

Frigging Pschyc patients escaped from the nut farm and saw a tree fall and had a freak out about it. Shortly thereafter they were wrangled back into their cages after being shot with tranquilizer darts.

Frigging Pschyc patients escaped from the nut farm and saw a tree fall and had a freak out about it. Shortly thereafter they were wrangled back into their cages after being shot with tranquilizer darts.

"bring me to this rock, which had incredible life."

Hahahahahhahahahah rocks are

Alive!

That's an oldie but goodie for sure. That and the comments that followed has me laughing.

Thats the only thing I see and hear when some tree hugger starts talking now... :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah: :blah:

Started watching this as it was related

:foul::banghead::rant::censored: :censored:

Change the subject to dirt bike trails and they sound just like Bill P :lol:

Is it any wonder that these anti-FUN people all look like they haven't had any in a long time. How about that Terry Weiner . . . She looks about as dried up as the desert she's trying to "save".

Change the subject to dirt bike trails and they sound just like Bill P :lol:

Not EVEN dude. If we had a thumbs DOWN button, you'd get it for sure. Those people make the patients at the local funny farm seem sane.

They don't talk about the fact that they closed off 100s of thousands of acres of State Park land to Green sticker in the past 10 years... limiting us to the Ocotillo SVRA area. That too causes more vehicles in a smaller area... further impacting resources and them blame us for it.

it's a sham. And they are winning.

Those people make the patients at the local funny farm seem sane.

Your point ? :excuseme:

:lol:

all these jokes and great and all, but maybe the OP or someone else has info on what WE can do to help fight this?

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