Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

MMM
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by MMM » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:46 pm

I have always said we NEED wilderness. I also said that I believe that we have enough and unless there is a real and specific need for a new wilderness area, we should consider other less restrictive approaches to land management. Wilderness designation must be reserved for special and wonderfull places where you can re-charge the soul. Not because it is federal lands. I fully believe that responsible OHV use is possable and required for continued use on public lands. I use mine to explore the wonderfull lands that are still open to OHV use. I hope to see a lot more before I kick off this planet.

Mike

Dan
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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan » Fri Apr 08, 2011 5:17 pm

I think we need to get away from the assertion that if it's not Wilderness, it's "destroyed". There is a tendency among environmental groups to polarize all land uses into two groups: the preserved lands and the total loss lands. The narrative is that if it's not Wilderness, it's automatically not of any value to our descendants. That's just baloney, and it's intended to influence the debate by applying the so-called "precautionary principle" (also an invention of the environmental extremist political pressure groups) to all lands.

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Desertroad » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:53 pm

I will say it again: there is a finite amount of land that can be designated as Wilderness. This isn't because of policy, it's just that there are places that cannot be set aside for practical reasons.

There are the places where people already live. There are the places that we have to continue to use to grow food. Whatever your opinion about it, the human race will have to continue to extract minerals. Should the oceans be set aside? They already have MLPA's off the coast of Southern California. And the arguments about them have started as well.

So...how do we know when we've reached the limit on Wilderness? Will it be obvious? Or will it be just another ideological disagreement, sinking to the level of petty bickering like so many other issues in our society?

Which brings me to the Nolan Chart. I kind of like it, but it needs to be in three dimensions, extrapolated over time. My opinion is that the third dimension should be one of sentiment. That's probably not the right word. How do I define this? The public mood? Maybe public perception comes close. What I'm trying to say is, we do things economically and as individuals, but those actions do not always reveal what is going on in the minds of the citizens of this country. And to truly say who we are and where we are in our society, we need to be able to honestly asses the two dimensions represented on the Nolan Chart with the third component that I'm trying to quantify.

Sound weird? I hope so. Because to me, this third element is embedded in our discussion about Wilderness.There is a general agreement that Wilderness is good. But our DUSA community differs on definitions, semantics and perceptions. What we do, hike, ride dirt bikes, contemplate our navels, whatever our actions are, which may be defined as positions on the Nolan Chart, says nothing about how we really feel about wilderness and what our Government does about it.

Whoosh! Too many abstract concepts. Sorry you guys, but this is how my mind works. I don't mean to bore.

Desertroad

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:23 am

very thoughtful and provocative post, DR.

I think the third dimension on the question of Wildnerness is "amount of OHV opportunity allowed outside Wilderness".

For example, one of the main planks in my support for Wilderness is that the lands are protected from OHV's. Of course, other activities ruin the land and threaten the future of the wildlife that lives there such as oil and gas drilling, mining, coal fired power plants, etc.

Others such as Mike possibly would support Wilderness if there were some connectivity whereby for every acre of Wilderness set aside, an area of OHV access would be also added somewhere else.

I agree that there is a finite amount of land available for Wilderness--because there is a finite amount of land and lots of it is already disqualified from Wilderness designation because of the impacts already registered there.

What we do with Wilderness quality lands before they are considered for Wilderness is the 800 lb gorilla in our discussions. People have access to these lands and OHV impacts alone could remove these from legal consideration as future Wilderness areas.

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan » Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:40 am

I think our expressions of our opinion are in our actions when it comes to things like this. Passion leads to action, and disinterest leads to inaction. Those most highly invested emotionally in the topic of wilderness or Wilderness are most likely to enter and steer the debate. Those with little interest are likely to spend their time on something else. The expression of our opinion is in our activity and our votes. So, perhaps that third dimension is passion or intensity of opinion, because it determines how active we will be in any particular topic of political discourse. What that means, of course, is that our position on the Nolan chart (or any other chart of its kind, for that matter) might change from topic to topic. I may feel passionate about liberty, but Sal may feel passionate about Wilderness designations. At times, those two topics become one argument, because the designation of Wilderness has a distinct effect on liberty.

I tend to be very traditional about some things. Very conservative on some, not so conservative on others. But I think traditional is the best way to describe my general outlook. I feel that just because an idea is new, doesn't mean it's better than existing policy or older ideas. In fact, many older ideas are distinctly better than anything new-agey. The concept of personal responsibility, saving for one's own retirement instead of relying on government to send a check every two weeks, not buying more home than you can afford, etc. are old ideas that largely have been discarded in our society in favor of other new ideas which I think are not so good. I think we should have a good reason to change before we pull that trigger. I think the more people a politician represents, the more his brain must make decisions rather than his heart, as much as he/she might have compassion. I think that though some may be good, more isn't necessarily better. And I think the Golden Rule is important to keep in mind.

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Thu Apr 14, 2011 12:08 am

http://www.wmicentral.com/police/arizon ... 03286.html

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark E. Aspey recently sentenced a Fredonia man to three years probation and $7,500 in restitution for damaging the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument with his off-road vehicle. Melvin Mognett, 67, of Fredonia pleaded guilty to Off Road Travel with Resource Damage on March 29 in federal district court in Flagstaff. Judge Aspey also forbade Mognett from recreation on Bureau of Land Management public lands during his probation.

"Vermilion Cliffs National Monument is a national treasure, and inappropriate use of off-road vehicles can cause irreparable damage,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke. “This office will diligently investigate and prosecute these crimes to protect Arizona’s public lands.”

On May 29, 2010, a BLM law enforcement ranger patrolling in Vermilion Cliffs – near Lake Powell and the Utah border -- found ATV tracks which went off road for nearly three miles. When the ranger located the defendant and his ATV, the investigation matched Mognett’s tires and shoe pattern to the off-road vehicle tracks and shoe prints found on patrol. The defendant admitted that he knew that off road travel was prohibited but admitted that he had driven his ATV off road to look more closely at geologic and archeological sites of interest.
This remote, unspoiled 294,000-acre national monument includes the Paria Plateau, Coyote Buttes and Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness areas and contains many outstanding natural resources like towering cliffs, deep canyons, and spectacular sandstone formations.

A conviction for Off Road Travel with Resource Damage carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail, a $100,000 fine, or both.

The investigation in this case was conducted by Law Enforcement Officers of the Bureau of Land Management. The prosecution was handled by Camille D. Bibles, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona, Flagstaff.

probably couldn't have convicted him if he hadn't admitted it.

Gives a whole new meaning to the term "bible-thumper" doesn't it?

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by MMM » Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:20 pm

sal, we all have said a few thousand times, fine and go after any who violate the law.

Mike

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Dan » Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:18 pm

I'd say if the shoe prints and the tire prints match, and he was confronted in a place he wasn't supposed to be, that the prosecution might have had a very strong case, and the defendant might have a pretty difficult time getting through unscathed. But this one year in prison and $100k fine??? For riding off-trail? Isn't that a bit like cutting a kid's hand off because he stole a gumball?

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by Sal » Sat Apr 16, 2011 10:19 am

I have no opinion on the amount of the fine. $7500 was imposed in this instance--maybe that's what it will cost to try and restore the area he rode in--three miles of tracks is a lot of dirt moved.

I find it telling that Dan considers riding in pristine wilderness to be analogous to stealing a gumball.

Most of the fines for riding illegally in the desert are very low--around $100. Even with penalty assessments, many riders consider this just the cost of a fun ride.

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Re: Article recently released about Off-Road Vehicles

Post by MMM » Sat Apr 16, 2011 5:07 pm

sal, please tone down the retoric a bit ok? As you said the maximum fines are rarely imposed, but a $7500.00 fine is ok by me. Again, find, fine and punish anyone who violates the laws. Even the ones I do not agree with.

Mike

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