Friday, July 22, 2011

BlueRibbon Coalition Calls for Legislation to Amend Recreation Permitting Process

The BlueRibbon Coalition, a national trail based recreation advocacy group, issues a call for legislation to amend the recreation permitting process on Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service managed lands. The Coalition cites numerous examples of an overly bureaucratic process and arbitrary application of fees and other requirements that unfairly harm non-profit recreational clubs. The Coalition’s Executive Director, Greg Mumm, said, “the current implementation of the recreation permit regulations no longer serves the public interest or support the goals and objectives of land use planning. The recreation permit process must be revised. We believe that legislation is necessary to fix the problem.” Brian Hawthorne, the Coalition’s Public Lands Policy Director, is concerned that the permit process is endangering the existence of not-for-profit recreation clubs. He says the clubs often partner with land managers, providing assistance in management, maintenance and enforcement. “Federal land managers need healthy and growing clubs that can help manage recreation, especially in light of declining budgets. Sadly, some land managers require expensive permits for a simple club ride of only a few persons.” Don Amador noted that historic and popular competitive events that have been occurring without problems have been recently subjected to arbitrary fees. He also observed that in some areas, the application process to obtain an SRP is being used to prohibit and/or severely restrict otherwise allowable activities...more

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