On December 18, 2007, the agency issued a closure order which UFWDA, BRC, and Southern contend is based on outdated and incomplete science. The law suit will seek to declare unlawful and set aside the closure order.
"Our organizations value their relationship with the Forest Service, however management by closure does not address the issues we need to be surmounting through collaborative and creative efforts," observed Jay Bird, of Southern Four Wheel Drive Associations. "There is no defensible scientific correlation between OHV use and water quality, erosion, and sedimentation issues in this area, and our organizations have long demonstrated their dedication to the environment and support of trout populations in the area through user education, route maintenance and improvement. Active and effective management of motorized recreation, not prohibition, is the only good answer for protecting water quality and species habitat at the Upper Tellico OHV area," Bird concluded.
Further information about the plaintiff organizations, including information about developments in this action and others, can be found as indicated below.
# # #
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org
United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. www.ufwda.org