Friday, December 30, 2011

Interior Department Proposal Could Block Motorcycle, ATV Riding on Public Land

Access to certain public land in nine states could be lost to motorcyclists, bicyclists and others under a massive land-use designation proposal submitted to Congress on Nov. 10, the American Motorcyclist Association reports. The proposal, submitted by the U.S. Interior Department, has been identified as the “Preliminary Report on BLM Lands Deserving Protection as National Conservation Areas, Wilderness or Other Conservation Designation.” The report identifies 18 back-country areas in nine states that Interior Secretary Ken Salazar highlighted as deserving protection by Congress as national conservation areas or wilderness areas. The states are California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington. Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations, said association staff members are still analyzing the proposal, “but initial indications are that the report identifies more areas that should be designated as wilderness or national conservation areas than areas that promote responsible motorized recreation.” Allard continued, “The AMA and many other groups have battled wilderness proposals in the past that didn’t meet the strict criteria for earning a wilderness designation under federal law, and the U.S. Interior Department’s new plan may include a lot of acreage that simply isn’t appropriate for wilderness designation.”...more

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