6/01/01 Weekly ASA Activity Update
Legal Issues
This week, the ASA Group (ASA,CORVA, AMA as co-plaintiffs and backing from SDORC) filed a 60 day Notice of Intent to Sue with the BLM for noncompliance of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

We feel the BLM should have consulted with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service per the ESA before closing any areas at the Imperial Sand Dune Recreational Area for 2 reasons:

1) The judge has said that the BLM was not relieved from any requirements of the ESA because of the lawsuit settlement.

2)The ESA requires consultation with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

This is a separate issue from the suit that has been filed by the ASA Group for noncompliance of NEPA and FLPMA.

This effort is overseen by Board Member Mark Harms of Sand Tires Unlimited.

Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) Meeting Saturday, June 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00
From: Roy Denner, SDORC Education Chairman and DAC Vice Chairman

Subject: Desert District Advisory Council (DAC) Meeting The Desert District Advisory Council will meet Saturday, June 16 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p. m. at the Kerr-McGee Center in Ridgecrest.

The meeting will be an important one for OHV interests. The agenda includes updates/briefings on BLM's off-highway vehicle program, OHV management related issues, the OHV Grant Program, and a discussion of the "Off-Road to Ruin" publication.

It should be a very interesting session. Paul Spitler, the Executive Director of the California Wilderness Coalition - the organization that published "Off-Road to Ruin" - has been invited to attend and will have an opportunity to defend that report - if he shows up. Mr. Spitler also sits on the OHMVR Commission - the people that control our green Sticker funds.

I will have a report from a San Diego environmental analysis company that is dissecting the studies referred to in that report. I am hoping to have a representative from the environmental company in attendance as well. No fireworks allowed!!

We will also be discussing the draft of the first Desert Area Management Plan - the "Northern & Eastern Colorado Desert Coordinated Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)" - also known as NECO. This is NOT a Management Plan - it is purely an EIS. It starts out by closing five OHV areas - some because they are overused and some because they are underutilized. It goes on to provide reasons and methods to close any area that might have an impact on sensitive or possibly sensitive species and/or
their habitat.

This so-called management plan is written in the shadow of the current lawsuits and attempts to satisfy the enviro-extremists to the point that they will never again have a reason to sue the BLM. What a joke!

If this plan is implemented the way it is drafted it will become the guideline document for BLM plans all over the country. I expect to have, at that meeting, a report on the NECO plan that is being prepared by a top-notch environmental attorney from San Diego. He is reviewing NECO in detail and commenting on the poor science and anecdotal information used to draw far-reaching conclusions.

We will not be caught short again like we were with the Glamis closures! So - if you can make the next DAC meeting you might find it interesting.