Nevada Lawmaker Blasts Recent Closures

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Nevada Lawmaker Blasts Recent Closures

Post by Crowdog »

P R E S S R E L E A S E



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Amy Spanbauer

May 14, 2004 202-225-6155



Gibbons Champions Public Access to Public Lands

Nevada Lawmaker Blasts Recent Closures



Washington, DC - Vice-Chairman of the House Resources Committee and an ardent advocate for public access to public lands, U.S. Congressman Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.) today called on the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reverse its alarming trend of closing popular recreation areas to off-highway vehicle (OHV) use, including Pine Nuts and Sand Mountain.



"I am extremely frustrated with the ongoing trend of denying public access to public lands," said Gibbons. "This alarming trend must be reversed."



"Succumbing to pressure from radical environmental organizations, the BLM has targeted numerous OHV recreation areas and one by one, successfully shut them off to the public. Many of my fellow Nevadans ask me where the next trail will be shut off to those who enjoy recreating on our public lands," added Gibbons.



Gibbons also noted that as more areas are closed off to OHV use, riders are forced to concentrate their recreational activities in fewer places. Inevitably, the concentration of OHV use in a smaller area has an impact on that land, and that impact is then used as an excuse to close the only remaining recreation areas. "It's a vicious cycle," said Gibbons.



"This tactic to get OHV users off public lands has proved successful. As California has closed many of its recreation areas, the Pine Nuts and Sand Mountain have absorbed many of these out of state users," wrote Gibbons in his letter to Bob Abbey, Nevada State Director of the Bureau of Land Management.



Gibbons also wrote Terri Knutson, Planning and Environmental Coordinator of the Carson City BLM Field Office to express his concerns with the Field Office's recent draft report on Sand Mountain calling for its closure to OHV use. Gibbons specifically noted that the report references a 2001 scientific study by the BLM regarding Kearney buckwheat populations which indicated that a further study will need to be done; yet, the draft report made no mention of the study- if it was done or what its findings may have been.



"All decisions that affect public access to our public lands must be based on sound, peer-reviewed scientific data. Anything short of meeting this standard is unacceptable," stated Gibbons in his letter. Copies of Gibbons' letters are available upon request.

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For more information on Congressman Gibbons and his work for Nevada please visit: http://www.house.gov/gibbons

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