Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:15 pm

Salvatore--a guy.

Desertroad
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:50 pm

Sorry for getting so personal...

...since we're in the land of "Fair", I should ask Dan if it's Daniel or Danielle?

Desertroad

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Sun Apr 03, 2011 11:13 pm

desertroad is kind of gender neutral too.

Dan
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:48 am

Yeah, I tend to agree with you, Desertroad. Here's my perspective on a bigger picture: More regulation means less liberty. The bigger our government becomes in terms of its reach into our activities and lives, the less important the individual's rights become. There are some things in this country which are zero-sum, meaning that more of one necessarily means less of another, as a direct result. This tug-of-war over what activities may occur on public property, and who gets to decide what those activities will be, is one such topic. Public property is actually owned by the people of this country. As such, it should be subject to compromises on what can be done on public lands, based upon what the people of this country want, and in the proportion similar to the numbers of the public who seek such outcomes. I've got no problem whatsoever with that. I believe some should be managed as today's definition of Wilderness. That might surprise Sal, but I'm not simply blowing smoke. I learned to appreciate nature in my time with the Boy Scout troop, both as a scout and a scouter. I think some of our tax dollars should be directed toward managing these Wilderness lands to the extent that we can afford it. And I believe that OHVs (and all vehicles, really) should be excluded from the trails of these areas. But with some things, there are individuals who believe that because some is good, more is necessarily better. And so, they would like to extend the reach of the regulations that create such Wilderness areas to other areas. In some cases, these people would like to see these regulations even more strict, and applied to all public lands. I view this goal as being neither practical, necessary, wise, fair, nor worthwhile. Such programs run on increased regulations, at the expense of individual liberty.

I believe that wherever people go, they leave an impact. Some view that as necessarily a bad thing. I do not. Sometimes it's bad, sometimes it's good. I believe that the earth has an amazing ability to return itself to its natural state, whatever that may be at the time and place. I believe our weather patterns and the earth's own geology have a far greater impact than nearly everything that humans do. Some view trails as a bad thing. I mostly view them as a good thing. Shows most people are using the trail and not simply going their own way. Yes, there are some OHV owners who can't/won't follow the rules. Doesn't mean those who can should be punished. Same with fishermen, hunters, campers, hikers, backpackers, equestrians, and fat/bald/soft white guys who only play golf on the weekends. Make minimal rules, establish penalties for transgression of those rules, and carry out the punishment every time. I believe that if you're going to make rules, you must have the funding established to enforce those rules. If you're going to establish a National Park, Wilderness area, limited use area, or any exclusionary zone, then you must have funding to manage what you're creating and make the rules stick. Otherwise, you shouldn't be making the rules in the first place. Rules that won't be enforced are actually worse than no rules at all. They create an incentive to break rules on a regular basis. I think if some segment of the population wants unlimited funding to manage their desired rules across the board, then let them fund it. But don't obligate me to pay for management of restrictions I didn't want in the first place. That's simply wrong.

More later.

Dan
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:03 am

I don't believe the "preservation" of public lands in their pristine state trumps individual US citizen liberty. Doesn't mean it's a free-for-all. That would be an extremist perspective, and would be held, thankfully, by very few people. I believe there is plenty of open public lands for all uses and purposes. We have only occupied about 5% of the landmass of the US. That leaves 95% mostly unoccupied. I think that's enough to accommodate a mix of uses, including exclusion zones for various activities. Of California's 105 million acres, 14 million is already designated Wilderness (which, via the Wilderness Act of 1964, can never revert back to any other more intensive use via the dictate of any agency or regulation). I think that's enough for that particular use.

I believe a private property owner has the right to determine what happens on his/her own land. I believe they should be required to create minimal posting of intent as regards travel on their land, regardless of method. Under California law, at least, a landowner actually has less liability if his land is posted with instructional signs, and if the landowner notifies any possible travelers that they enter at their own risk (and if there are not significant hidden hazards and dangers, such as pipes sticking from the ground, high cliffs, chemical dangers, or explosive dangers). Based upon a number of legal opinions of land use legal experts, there is actually greater liability if the landowner posts and fences his property, denying access to the public. I believe this displays how important access and travel across backcountry areas is to our society. I believe this is reinforced within the Penal Code, where a landowner must duly post his property before trespassing laws apply.

I don't argue that signs and fences aren't destroyed by those wishing access to private lands without authorization. I challenge Sal's opinion that it is pervasive and anything but the exception to the rule. I also challenge Sal's assertion that it's OHV users who are the typical perpetrators. I believe these people should be held to account for a crime when they destroy the property of a landowner, particularly signs, fences, equipment, gates, livestock, or crops. But then, I also believe that residents who complain about annoyance from OHV use that doesn't exist should be in jail. I believe there is an organized campaign to file false police reports emanating from a handful of residents of a few rural/urban interface neighborhoods who just happen to be against any form of OHV use, regardless of where it's practiced. I believe they use these false claims to bolster their calls for bans on OHV use in the areas adjacent to their homes, which they chose with full knowledge of local OHV use. They essentially moved to what they term a nuisance, and now wish to have it abated. California caselaw supports this notion, but I find it morally repugnant that such a precedent exists. The very notion that one could move in next door to a pig farmer and subsequently have him shut down is the height of arrogance to me. Yet, it's allowed to happen over and over due to legal precedent. The concept is commonly employed against otherwise existing legal OHV use, and it's just as wrong in that case as well. It's the single largest reason that residents of other states ostracize California transplants to their hometowns. Californians are viewed as arrogant on the issue, and people in other places don't much care for their traditions being challenged by newcomers who have no idea of the history or local customs. Likewise, anti-access zealots who file false police reports in order to end activities which have existed for decades are viewed with similar disdain and animosity. And rightfully so.

I believe there is responsible OHV use as well as irresponsible OHV use. I also believe there is responsible advocacy for exclusion zones, and irresponsible advocacy. If we're going to find middle ground, it will require far more clarity, honesty, and forthright debate from the anti-access side of the equation. The rest of us are sick to death of being lied to and lied about.

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:14 pm

Public property is actually owned by the people of this country.
what do you mean by that, Dan? How can something be "owned" by 300 million people? I know I own my home--that means I can paint it, remodel it, or let the dogs live in it and work on my Harley in it...I pay taxes on it, I need permission from the Building dept to drill a well, make an addition, put in a septic tank or even move more than a few yards of dirt.

If I let my home fall below community standards, I can be cited and even forced to move out of my home.

If law officers have reason to believe I am doing something illegal, they can enter my home without my permission.

How can this be analogous to the relationship we Americans have with our public lands?

Desertroad
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:14 pm

First things first...

...the "Road" (or "Troad" as I have recently become...) is a dude. My orientation is the same its always been; slut !

For me, the ability to feel "ownership' of public lands, much as Sal feels ownership of his house, is difficult to muster. I tend to focus on the phrase "held in trust for the public". For me, this phrase invokes more of a sense of a group sharing something. The word ownership seems more personal. I do believe this is totally reflected in the selfish attitude some people display when using public land. And this cuts across all segments of society; from the people who blare their boom box next to your picnic table all the way up to the pods of road whales converging on dry lake beds on holiday weekends.

But the people who want to tell others what to do are just as guilty of a form of selfishness. Using a noble goal as justification for bullying is not good citizenship, IMHO.

Held...in...trust...could that mean that we could ever trust one another again? That sharing really means everyone gets a piece of the pie? Somewhere between "We're going to go wherever w want" and "You aren't going to go anywhere" there has got to be a place that we can all stand somewhere, acknowledge each other and do our different things.

Hey ! A Troad can dream, can't he?

Desertroad

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:43 pm

The trust you speak of, Mr.Troad, includes not just the present generation, but Americans of the future who will become heirs to these public lands.

Do we have a responsibility to preserve the lands in somewhat of a viable ecosystem?

here's Dan's perspective:
I believe that the earth has an amazing ability to return itself to its natural state
What Dan fails to acknowledge is the time frame for earth's "amazing ability". We're talking geological time frames here. No one knows the time frame for arid lands to recover from complete desertification, but it would be reasonable to assume it could be measured in centuries rather than decades. Would that be consistent with our responsibility to steward the public lands for future generations?

PS--are you familiar with the term "entropy"?

MMM
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by MMM » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:23 pm

sal as of right now about 120 million acres of wilderness in the US I believe we have fulfilled the responsibility to preserve enough lands.

Mike

Sal
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:19 pm

300,000,000 people today plus how many millions in the next 100 years? that's less than a 1/2 acre per person at present. How do you figure that's enough? Plus, as you yourself have pointed out, those wilderness areas are mainly inaccessible and used for wildlife preservation, not low-impact human access.

activities that actually consume the land, like OHV use, should be VERY strictly regulated.

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