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Salinas Ramblers Spearhead Grassroots Fundraising Effort to Save Clear Creek 

SALINAS, CA (January 17) - A Monterey Bay-Area recreation group has been spearheading a grassroots effort to raise funds for the legal battle to save the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA), a popular off-highway vehicle (OHV) destination near Coalinga, California. The Salinas Ramblers Motorcycle Club (SRMC) is leading the charge to generate donations for the Blue Ribbon Coalition's (BRC) Save Clear Creek Legal Defense Fund.

BRC, along with several OHV advocacy groups, is closely monitoring a lawsuit filed by anti-access groups designed to severely restrict OHV recreation at the CCMA. The CCMA is home to many events including the SRMC-sponsored and American Motorcyclist Association-sanctioned Quicksilver National Enduro, as well as the Molina Ghost Run sponsored by the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs.

The Center for Biological Diversity and the California Native Plant Society filed suit on November 9, 2004 based on claims the BLM has failed to fully comply with the Endangered Species Act in protecting the San Benito Evening Primrose.

Ed Tobin, spokesman for the Salinas Ramblers, said, "One key element of the fund raising effort is the sale of 'Save Clear Creek' bumper stickers, an idea originated by AMA District 36 member Justin Hensley. To date, these sales have generated close to $5,000 dollars.

"We also have about 20 motorcycle industry retailers selling bumper stickers now, from Salinas to San Jose to Fresno, and we are excited to announce that Cycle Gear has recently agreed to sell the stickers through their Northern California stores. The sticker sales complement independent donations made by hundreds of individuals and organizations, like Honda Peninsula (Sunnyvale) that recently donated over $1,000 dollars."

"A key partner in the fund raising effort has been the Timekeepers Motorcycle Club. They sold bumper stickers at their fall hare scrambles event, helped finance a fund raising letter mailing, helped with a fencing project to protect then endangered plant and regularly help greet riders visiting Clear Creek "

"Outreach to riders not affiliated with a club is also an important component of the fund raising effort. We have off-roaders at the Clear Creek main entrance every weekend handing out flyers explaining the current legal situation, and educating riders how to tread lightly while in Clear Creek." Tobin states.

Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said, "Shutting down trails and riding areas hurts everybody. I commend the efforts of SRMC and others for their commitment to help raise funds for this battle."

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