Fliers ask off-road riders to boycott Fox Peak Station

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Fliers ask off-road riders to boycott Fox Peak Station

Post by Crowdog » Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:55 pm

:wink:

http://www.lahontanvalleynews.com/apps/ ... e=printart

Fliers ask off-road riders to boycott Fox Peak Station

CHRISTY LATTIN, clattin@lahontanvalleynews.com
April 6, 2006

Some off-road enthusiasts are circulating fliers encouraging Sand Mountain users to boycott Fox Peak station, which is owned by the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, concerning a popular hill climb route on the mountain.

The fliers are found on the Web site http://www.DuneGuide.com under the informational section about Sand Mountain. The site is copyrighted by Crowley Offroad, LLC.

The site lists four reasons, one of which dates back to 2002, why off-road riders shouldn't patronize the tribe's gas station. It gives a link to the fliers, along with contact information for the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe.

While the organization Friends of Sand Mountain (FoSM) knows about the fliers, the president said he does not endorse the boycott of Fox Peak.

"I believe there are members within our organization that feel strongly about this," said Brett Merrick, president of Friends of Sand Mountain.

"I would tell members of FoSM, and those in the city that enjoy outdoor recreation on public lands, to support local businesses that support off-road riding," Merrick said.

The struggle to find a workable solution for Sand Mountain users includes the tribe, FoSM, the Lahontan Valley Environmental Alliance, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Biological Diversity.

Richard Hilton, a board member of the FoSM, said his group has been meeting with LVEA and other organizations at least twice a month since August of 2004 to find a way for all groups to coexist on the mountain.

The Bureau of Land Management approved routes in October 2005 for off-highway vehicle riders to limit the impact of OHVs on the mountain's habitat, which includes Kearney buckwheat, a food source for the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly.

Hilton said he was displeased with a map presented at a meeting in March which showed acceptable OHV routes. One popular route leading to Inspiration Point, the hill climb, was not included on the new map.

"Every time we meet there's a new map that's different. We were pretty much in agreement until a month ago whey they showed up with a new map which deleted Inspiration Point," Hilton said.

"If that route (to Inspiration Point) was up for discussion all along, we would have fought for other paths. After it was removed we met with Don Hicks of BLM. We agreed that one route would stay in and we'd give up another one. We even shook hands on it," he said.

"We've been compromising since day one and we have given up more," Hilton said. "There's no compensation Ð if you take, what do we get in return?"

Don Hicks, the field office manager for the BLM said he personally rode all the OHV routes at Sand Mountain, with the exception of the hill climb, in consultation with the tribe.

"We rode all 24 miles of routes. The tribe had lots of concerns about the route to Inspiration Point," Hicks said.

In a letter to the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly Working Group, which includes FoSM, Hicks listed eight reasons why the hill climb route to Inspiration Point was removed.

His list included safety issues, physical degradation of the hillside, existing alternate routes to Inspiration Point and the BLM's responsibility to address tribal issues as reasons to close the hill climb route.

"Everyone has compromised to a big extent. We should be celebrating to that extent," Hicks said.

"I'm required by law to do government-to-government consultations with the tribe. I have a higher level of responsibility to meet tribal needs. I can't get around that and don't want to. We're talking about things that are very important to the tribe Ð spiritually, culturally and emotionally," he said.

The tribe submitted a proposal asking for a one-month total closure during spring for tribal spiritual practices. The proposal was included in BLM's Area of Critical Environmental Concern document in April 2004.

The proposal also asks for a one-month closure to motorized vehicles following the spiritual closure. The mountain would be accessible by foot traffic to provide access for photographers, hikers and other groups to visit the mountain.

The tribe feels that closing the mountain for two months to motorized vehicles would give the mountain's plant and animal life a chance to rejuvenate and rest.

Rochanne Downs, cultural director at the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, said the tribe views the mountain as a living being, a serpent.

"Our church is everywhere out there," she said.

Downs said that unlike traditional Christian churches, tribal worshippers may not gather in large groups on a regular basis at one location. She said often members will go to the mountain individually to worship and enjoy the area.

She said she's seen fliers before when the Sand Mountain Blue Butterfly Working Group began meeting.

"All of this recent stuff is based on one hill climb. There are still three other ways to get to one point," she said.

"In the past, they've attacked us because of our spirituality. Now, it's on a personal level, affecting our education and welfare."

"I don't think they understand our religion," Downs said. "All that we ask for is equal respect."

The manager of Fox Peak Station was contacted by the LVN, but she referred all questions to the Tribal Chairman Alvin Moyle. Attempts to reach Moyle for comments on the boycott's effect on Fox Peak were unsuccessful.

Merrick said his group does respect the tribe's beliefs, but thinks the "cards are stacked against the off-road community."

"We're fighting to keep what we have, and we're fighting against well-funded groups. We can make it (Sand Mountain) a model for off-road riding and protect the native habitat in the area. Both can coexist."

Christy Lattin can be contacted at clattin@lahontanvalleynews.com

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Post by LoBuck » Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:17 pm

Rochanne Downs, cultural director at the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribe, said the tribe views the mountain as a living being, a serpent.

"Our church is everywhere out there," she said.

Downs said that unlike traditional Christian churches, tribal worshippers may not gather in large groups on a regular basis at one location. She said often members will go to the mountain individually to worship and enjoy the area.

<snip>

"In the past, they've attacked us because of our spirituality. Now, it's on a personal level, affecting our education and welfare."

"I don't think they understand our religion," Downs said. "All that we ask for is equal respect."
So, I guess that members of the Tribe are the only ones that can worship without being in a church?

Seems "we" could be asking for the same understanding and equal respect?
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Post by SANDUNERS » Mon Sep 11, 2006 4:44 am

Don't Buy Gas at Fox Peak Gas Station in Fallon, NV

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