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Two of America's largest recreational access advocacy organizations, the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), have asked U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth to address serious concerns of the Off Highway Vehicle community in his new nationwide OHV policy. The new OHV policy is designed to limit OHV use to designated roads, trails and generally ban cross-country travel.

Carla Boucher, Legal Counsel for United Four Wheel Drive Associations and nationally-known land use attorney said, "Although we generally support the broad goals of the OHV initiative we have serious concerns that must be addressed." Bill Dart, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition added: "Our organizations will aggressively participate early on in this process to make certain recreational access is preserved for all."

"We have strongly cautioned the Forest Service that any change in management must be done legally, with full public involvement and not by 'special order' or 'emergency order' short cuts," stated Dart.

The Organizations also focused on the importance of a complete inventory of all roads and trails, including the public early and often in the inventory and designation process and expressed strong opposition to any attempt to implement a national Closed Unless Posted Open policy.

"BRC and UFWDA joined together to make it clear to the agency that the recreation community is united and that we're committed to making sure the new OHV policy is fair," stated Boucher.

"The Forest Service must adequately plan for both current and future OHV use," Dart said. "If the Forest Service does their job right, this initiative will provide enjoyable, sustainable and manageable OHV travel systems that will meet the current and future need of Americans who enjoy OHV use," he added.

Both groups emphasize the importance of local OHV user involvement in the new policy, noting that local involvement will be critical to protecting OHV routes so all can enjoy America's public lands.

Additional information about the new OHV policy can be found at the USFS website.

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