Fom Don Amador
Something Does Not Smell Right
Over the years, HQ has seen a number of faux OHV groups started by anti-access groups as a way to sucker motorized recreationists into unwittingly join their efforts to have Congress create more non-motorized land classifications such as designated Wilderness, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Algore’s version of Roadless, and closure oriented travel management plans.
Many of you remember my blog in 2009 about one such group called Responsible Trails America. It turned out they were in fact a skunk at the party.
2009 Blog on OHV Skunk at the Party (a good history lesson)
The General's Recreation HQ: RTA - Trojan Horse or Skunk at the Party
Well it looks like might have a new Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing or Skunk at the Party after getting a tip from a dirt-biker about Trout Unlimited’s new OHV group called Sportsmen Ride Right.
TU's Sportsmen Ride Right Website
Sportsmen Ride Right - Working to protect access and habitat through responsible OHV use
Just as with some of RTA’s tenets regarding responsible use, I agree with SRR policies promoting a responsible riding ethic for hunters and fishermen. Just as I also agree with the land ethics regarding sporting access that are promoted by legitimate OHV groups such as BRC and Tread Lightly!
TL’s Hunting Ethics
Tread Lightly - Responsible Hunting with ATV Guidelines
BRC’s Policy on Hunting with OHVs
Policies and Positions - BlueRibbon Coalition
BRC’s Land Use Ethics
BlueRibbon Coalition - Code of Ethics
However, as I dug through SRR’s website I was struck by the fact that is sponsored by Trout Unlimited, a group that often files lawsuits or comments to close OHV use on federal lands. Remember that RTA officials often advocated for OHV closures as well.
TU on the Tellico NF
Forest Service Proposes Closing Tellico
TU on the Nantahala NF
Trout Unlimited Applauds U.S. Forest Service Proposal to Close Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Trails in the Nantahala National Forest | Trout Unlimited - Conserving coldwater fisheries
TU on the Tahoe NF
Trout Unlimited California - Little Trucke Sample Letter
TU assault on access in Colorado
Conflict Inside the Environmental Movement
In addition, SRR has buried deep within its website a red herring. That deal killer is the “big license plate” mandate for OHVs that groups such as PEER have been pushing hard for since 2003.
The most damage caused by SRR to legitimate national and local OHV groups is they confuse the largely disengaged motorized recreation community by trying to get them to join and therefore legitimize their group. Users that might join a legitimate OHV group have now just joined (for free) an OHV group that often promotes the closure of historic and important OHV trails.
If HQ could give advice to TU and other green groups it would be to drop the old and tired “hey, lets start a new faux OHV group” from their playbook and instead try and work with legitimate OHV groups to promote a responsible land use agenda that appreciates and supports a holistic approach to management of motorized recreation on public lands.