Access and Potential Loss of
Opportunity are Themes at Congressional Town Hall Meeting
SAN DIEGO, CA (March
24, 2008) - Loss of off-highway vehicle access to
popular federal recreation sites in Southern California was the main
theme at a town hall meeting hosted by Congressman Duncan Hunter at
Cuyamaca College on the outskirts of San Diego. Mike Pool, the director
for the California Office of the Bureau of Land Management, also shared
the podium at the March 22 meeting.
off-roaders attended the event and many expressed concerns
about the various competing interests that are impacting recreational
opportunities in the California Desert region. The proposed expansion
of the Marine Corps base into the Johnson
Valley OHV Area, renewable
energy construction projects, the endless parade of eco-lawsuits filed
by anti-access groups against federal land agencies, and new Wilderness
plans were the main points of contention.
Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition,
states, "I think this meeting was a true 'grassroots' success. It was
not just representatives from organized groups that spoke, but many
individuals took time out of the holiday weekend to make their voices
Congressman Hunter and Director Pool assured the crowd that the
military was now acutely aware that Johnson Valley is an
internationally recognized and world-class OHV recreation area. Hunter
also made a promise to the group that he would meet with the Marine
Corps in the next two weeks to discuss this issue and see if a solution
can be found," Amador said.
"The event hosts
urged OHVers to stay engaged in the political and
land-use planning processes. The group was also reminded about
shrinking federal recreation budgets and that supporting trail
volunteer efforts and user-fee programs at selected sites will be key
factors in the public land-use equation," Amador concludes.
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