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ASA and Ecologic continue working for off-roaders on many legal fronts

| Kerry M. Griggs, ASA Board Member & Legal Liaison | Latest News

The American Sand Association (ASA) and Ecologic Partners, Inc. continue to work hard for off-roaders. We are spear-heading many different projects, all of which are designed to protect your right to ride.

The ASA and Ecologic played a central role in the recent legal victory to keep Oceano Dunes/Pismo Beach open to OHV use. As most duners know, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) tried to end motorized off-road recreation at Oceano. After much hard work in the lawsuit, the Court agreed with our assessment that the CCC dramatically overstepped its legal authority. (The laws allowing recreation at the Pismo dunes existed long before the CCC was even formed.) We are now in the process of addressing various post-ruling matters related to the case. ASA/Ecologic have been pleased to be working side-by-side with other high-profile stakeholders, such as Friends of Oceano Dunes. We are also honored to be receiving financial support in this litigation from Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and California Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc. (Cal4Wheel).

ASA/Ecologic are also actively involved in spearheading and helping to finance improvement projects in the McCain Valley Lark Canyon OHV area in Southern California. Through a cooperative agreement with a local wind power generation company, Ecologic was chosen to receive and administer funds for this popular off-highway riding area. ASA/Ecologic have reached out to the BLM for possible projects to make sure these funds are used in the best way possible.

ASA/Ecologic are also working to modify certain closure boundaries in the South Dunes of the ISDRA (Gordon’s Well). We are trying to establish safety and compliance travel corridors through some of the existing closures, including a travel path from the Sand Highway to Patton Valley. As many will remember, the current boundaries are what remain following the success of ASA/Ecologic’s years-long legal battle to re-open thousands of acres that were closed due to the endangered-species designation of the Pierson’s Milk Vetch (PMV). We have been monitoring these boundaries since they were established several years ago. We have worked cooperatively with environmental groups, including the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), to obtain their perspective and expertise on the status of the PMV and other species in the area. In fact, members of the ASA and the CBD recently toured the closure areas together in our buggies. Through these efforts, we have obtained a lot of additional data on PMV plant distribution, critical habitat, riding patterns, safety, compliance and enforcement. In our view, the time has come for the stakeholders to jointly propose some changes that will be a win for everybody involved. With scientifically-based modifications to the boundaries, key riding corridors will re-open and protections to the PMV will increase at the same time. This will also increase the safety and compliance of the riders around Gordon’s Well.

ASA/Ecologic are also working to monitor air quality issues around popular off-road riding areas. Presently, the key scientific indicators show that that normal weather patterns are much more significant than off-road recreation when it comes to variations in air-borne particulates. We will continue to monitor these issues and step into any debates as they emerge.

We are confident that, with an even-handed and scientific approach to these and other issues, we will preserve off-road riding areas for many years to come.

Ecologic Partners, Inc. is a consortium of off-highway vehicle organizations that work to protect and expand meaningful recreation opportunities on public and private land. Partners include the ASA, Off Road Business Association (ORBA), and District 37 Competition American Motorcyclist Association.

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