Yet Another Lawsuit Threatens Colorado Trail Access - Recreation Groups Respond

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January 19, 2012 8:02 PM
Yet Another Lawsuit Threatens Colorado Trail Access - Recreation Groups Respond

DENVER, CO (January 19)--Recreation advocates today filed papers to join a lawsuit about motorized vehicle access to the Rico-West Dolores area in southwest Colorado managed by the San Juan National Forest.  The lawsuit, filed in December 2011 by the Colorado Chapter of the Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, seeks to have specific trails declared off limits to motorized use.  The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), Trails Preservation Alliance, San Juan Trail Riders, Public Access Preservation Association and BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) today filed a motion to intervene and attain formal party status in the case.  The Colorado groups and the BlueRibbon Coalition have previously worked together in responding to similar threats in Colorado and Utah.  Collectively, the Recreation Groups have defended recreational access in dozens of lawsuits filed by preservationists across the country.

"We have attempted to form meaningful partnerships with diverse interests, including the hunting and angling community.  Active, effective management should be our common goal, not courtroom posturing," said John Bongiovanni, a COHVCO Director.  

The lawsuit is in its initial stages.  The Forest Service's answer is due on February 7, 2012.  The schedule for presenting the merits of the case has not yet been established.

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PAPA is a regional recreation group that supports and champions access and responsible use of public lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. PAPA's Mission is to promote balanced, unbiased, responsible use of public lands in collaboration with recreational users of all interests, advocating respect, education and conservation of the environment. Learn more on the web: http://www.papatelluride.org/ 

The mission of the SJTR is to improve opportunities for off-highway vehicles and assure the best care of the land. SJTR promotes active participation in OHV trail management and other civic activities and maintains a focused and ongoing dialogue with the San Juan National Forest and other public land planners. SJTR educates OHV users about "Tread Lightly" conservation practices and other trail use issues. Learn more on the web: http://sanjuantrailriders.org/

The Trails Preservation Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the sport of motorized trail riding, educating all user groups and the public on the value of sharing public lands for multiuse recreation, while protecting public lands for future generations. Learn more on the web: www.coloradotpa.org

COHVCO is a nonprofit organization whose member enthusiasts, organizations and businesses collectively comprise over 200,000 Coloradoans and regular visitors to Colorado and other western states who contribute millions of dollars and thousands of hours annually to off-highway vehicle recreation through registration fees, retail expenditure, project participation and related support. Learn more on the web: www.cohvco.org

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. Learn more on the web: www.sharetrails.org

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