Thursday, April 08, 2010
County to feds: They're our roads!
According to a report from the Blueribbon Coalition, which advocates for public use of public property in the region, the vote came yesterday at a meeting of the San Benito County board of supervisors. By a 4-0 vote, the board ordered reopened about 25 miles of county roads that are within an area closed off to the public by the BLM in a 2008 decision. Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said the board "earned a place in the history books for taking a stand against a federal bureaucracy that has proposed a closure of historic proportions in their county." He said the county officials made clear that they "take seriously their constitutional role as a champion of the people." "When the federal government ignores the will of the people, local voters and users that visit the area have little choice but to look elsewhere for relief. Up and down the state, I see a growing number of counties who are joining with the people in defense of historic access to federal lands," Amador said. "Today's vote to reopen the roads for street-legal vehicles should be a clear signal to the BLM that their effort to make the Hollister Field Office a 'Human Free Zone' is going to be challenged." George Hill, a spokesman for the Hollister office of the BLM, told WND that federal bureaucrats were a little surprised by the county's move. They have now asked the county to clarify how it intends to proceed since while the county roads in the region can be opened, the BLM land remains off-limits. Hill said a draft long-term plan for the area is being worked on now, and he blamed the off-road vehicle fans in the area for putting "pressure" on the county to reopen the roads...more