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Rescue Tellico - The condensed thread

AT THE REQUEST OF SOME FORUM MEMBERS, I'VE COMBINED THREADS MAKE ONE BIG MAMA JAMMA THREAD ON THE ISSUES AT TELLICO.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Greg Mumm 208-244-2112
Carla Boucher 757-546-7969

NATIONAL RECREATION ATTORNEYS TEAM UP FOR RESCUE TELLICO

BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) are teaming up with their nationally recognized attorneys in the fight for project “Rescue Tellico.” This alliance amongst the groups and their attorneys, in cooperation with Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, is an historic undertaking. The groups will consolidate their efforts, bringing together their collective expertise, resources, and other strengths derived from their grassroots memberships. Collectively BRC and UFWDA represent over half a million recreationists committed to responsible and sustainable vehicle-based recreation on public lands.

“BRC and UFWDA have worked together on other access protection lawsuits in the past, but this effort combines our attorneys and resources into a single litigation team”, stated Greg Mumm, BRC’s Executive Director. “Unlike past efforts to support each other in various endeavors, this new alliance actually unifies the work of both law offices and the organizations of BRC and UFWDA into a single presence”, stated Wayne Groom, President of UFWDA.

Rescue Tellico is a program to protect off-highway vehicle (OHV) access in the Upper Tellico OHV Area located in North Carolina, a premiere OHV destination throughout the Eastern Seaboard and Southern U.S.

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UFWDA is the world’s leading association of all-brand four wheel drive enthusiasts, protecting, promoting, and providing for 4x4 recreation opportunities across the globe. 1- 800-44-UFWDA. United Four Wheel Drive Associations Official Site - United Online - An International Organization. An International Organization, P.O. Box 15696, Chesapeake, VA 23328, (757) 546-7969

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258- 3742. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands., 4555 Burley Drive, Suite A, Pocatello, ID 83202-1921 (208) 237-1008

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open for motorized recreation. For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit Southern 4WD Association or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
 

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Tellico: Virtual Rally

OFFICIAL Upper Tellico "Virtual Rally" Thread

The Hammer's rally went well and it's getting some attention. Tellico is under the knife now and I'm sure people in the area wouldn't want to lose it. Take a look at this and do your part to for a sport that you love.

The rally will be on Wednesday May 7th from 4 to 9 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Please make sure to post your comments on that day. Until then, PLEASE spread the word!

Basic Rally Instructions:

1. Please post up your concerns on the Upper Tellico OHV area being closed. You MAY make multiple posts!

2. Tell people how you have enjoyed Tellico in the past! (Tell us stories!)

3. If you have never been to the Upper Tellico OHV area, voice your concern about this closure and tell people how you or your club recreates responsibly in your own area! If you have always wanted to go to Tellico, let us know!

4. Show them what this area means to the entire OHV community!

5. Post pictures! Trail rides, camping with your family, etc.

6. Have fun, but please remember to be professional. Many eyes will be on this thread!

7. MAKE SURE you see what number post your FIRST post in the thread is!

Please put that number somewhere in your sig-line so we know who has posted!



Thank you all!

Nick McCracken
Rally Lead

Kurt Schneider
Pirate4x4.com land-use Editor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Kurt Schneider
Tel. 925-596-0432
E-mail: [email protected]

El Dorado County: April 18th, 2008


VIRTUAL ONLINE RALLY FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV AREA
Pirate4x4.com builds on a successful rally format to protest more route closures

After an extremely successful virtual rally for Johnson Valley and the world renowned Hammers rock crawling trails in California, Pirate4x4.com members are shifting their focus to the east coast and are once again gathering for a massive virtual rally to save the Upper Tellico OHV Park in North Carolina. On Wednesday May7th, 2008, Pirate4x4.com, a leading website for the OHV community, will hold this rally from 4 to 9 pm eastern standard time.

In 2007, the Southern Environmental Law Center, in coalition with Trout Unlimited and P.E.E.R. (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) filed a notice of intent to sue the Untied Stated Forest Service, claiming it was in violation of the federal water pollution act. This coalition stated that the Upper Tellico OHV area was dumping sediment into nearby streams and destroying the habitat of local brook trout. In turn, the USFS closed a major portion of the Tellico trail system.

There are many arguments against closing this popular OHV area, and many organizations involved in keeping it open. Carla Boucher, the attorney for the United Four Wheel Drive Association states, “United Four Wheel Drive Association (UFWDA), along with its partners Blue Ribbon Coalition and Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, are committed to taking all steps necessary to save our access at Tellico, including legislative, administrative, and legal action!” This rally will bolster the efforts made by these organizations in this battle by showing a large contingent of OHV users who back and support these organizations in their efforts.

Virtual rally participants will be asked to post their experiences, photos and history recreating with their families in the Tellico area along with their feelings and beliefs as to why the trail system should not be closed. Their comments will be posted and tracked in a bulletin board format, with a goal of creating a lasting record of how important this area is to a vast number of people in the OHV community. Tellico is one of the very few public areas on the east coast for OHV recreation. Interested parties are encouraged to participate in the rally and read the thread.

On March 12th 2008, Pirate4x4.com hosted a similar virtual rally for the world renowned OHV trail system in Johnson Valley, CA. That rally had nearly 1,500 posts from OHV enthusiasts all across the world in a four hour time span. Saved in time in order to create a lasting homage to the rally, to date the Hammers rally has been viewed by over 48,000 people.

# # #
If you would like more information on this topic, or to schedule an interview with Kurt Schneider, Please call 925-596-0432 or e-mail Kurt at [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
OHV Community to sue USFS to Reopen Closed Trails at Tellico

RELEASED TODAY:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT HEATHER ROYSTON– (678) 463-7376

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), will file suit against the U.S. Forest Service to restore access to improperly closed off-highway recreation trails located in the Upper Tellico Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in North Carolina.

On December 18, 2007, the agency issued a closure order which UFWDA, BRC, and Southern contend is based on outdated and incomplete science.

The law suit will seek to declare unlawful and set aside the closure order.
“Our organizations value their relationship with the Forest Service, however management by closure does not address the issues we need to be surmounting through collaborative and creative efforts,” observed Jay Bird, of Southern Four Wheel Drive Associations. “There is no defensible scientific correlation between OHV use and water quality, erosion, and sedimentation issues in this area, and our organizations have long demonstrated their dedication to the environment and support of trout populations in the area through user education, route maintenance and improvement. Active and effective management of motorized recreation, not prohibition, is the only good answer for protecting water quality and species habitat at the Upper Tellico OHV area,” Bird concluded.

Further information about the plaintiff organizations, including information about developments in this action and others, can be found as indicated below.

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. BlueRibbon Coalition: Preserving your recreational access to public lands.
United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. United Four Wheel Drive Associations Official Site - United Online - An International Organization

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open for motorized recreation. For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit Southern 4WD Association or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
 

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Re: OHV Community to sue USFS to Reopen Closed Trails at Tellico

Let's win tis one ...I hate when they do that..Our mountain bike team spent years on Tahoe Rim trail only to see part of it get part of it taken away !!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
SFWDA, UFWDA and BRC File Suit to Reopen Trails at Tellico

Rescue Tellico
Save Tellico Now
Before There Is Nothing Left To Save

SFWDA, UFWDA, BRC files Law Suit​

On Thursday, May 22, 2008, The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) along with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) filed suit in US District Court Western District of North Carolina against the US Forest Service to restore access to improperly closed off-highway recreation trails located in the Upper Tellico Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Area in North Carolina.

A Little Background​

On June 28, 2007, Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) filed a "notice of intent to sue" the USFS on behalf of the North Carolina and Tennessee Councils of Trout Unlimited, as well as Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and the Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project. SELC’s threat demanded that the Forest Service permanently close trails, and seasonally close the entire system.

Caving under the pressure of SELC and TU, the Forest Service announced on December 18, 2007 there would be a seasonal closure of the entire trail system and Trails Lower 2, 7, and 9 would be closed for a year to assess the condition of the trails to see what needs to be done.

Closing trails does not address the issues and SFWDA feels that the Forest Service took steps that are not correct. This lawsuit is intended to reopen the trails that were improperly closed.

SFWDA has worked with the US Forest Service in the Tellico OHV area for over 20 years, providing free maintenance and restoration work to address the agency-wide maintenance backlog estimated nationwide at over $100 billion. The trail maintance, clean up, and volunteer work we have donated to the area is well over $100,000 just in the past few years. SFWDA values the relationship we have with the US Forest Service and plan to continue the work, volunteering and cleaning up as we’ve done in the past.


What are the effects of the closures?​

The impact of closing the trails has greatly wounded the economy in the area. Not only are there fewer places to ride in the Upper Tellico area, but local businesses have felt the impact. Cabin Rentals, Campgrounds, parts stores have all seen a decrease in business. Outside of the impact to the economy, this act sets a precedent for large special interest groups to bully our government to preferentially close access to public land to one user group.


What you can do​

Frankly, law suits are not cheap. We need your donations. You can donate online at www.SFWDA.org or Tax deductable at Contribute to Rescue Tellico - BlueRibbon Coalition or donate tax deductable through the United Land Action Fund at P.O. Box 15696, Chesapeake, VA 23328. You can purchase Rescue Tellico Items at Help SFWDA Keep Tellico ORV Area open! Buy Stuff! : CafePress.com. All proceeds are donated to the Rescue Tellico Fund.

At the very least we need your membership. If you are not a member of any or all the below mentioned groups we need you. Please join us so that you can have your voice counted in unison with ours. If you have always wondered, what does my membership get me, here is your answer. SFWDA, UFWDA, and BRC are fighting to keep trails open so we have places to ride.
Please spread the word. This is not only a 4x4 problem but ATV, Motorcycle and UTV’s are affected as well.


Who’s Who​

The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is an international organization comprised of four wheel drive enthusiasts, clubs, associations, and businesses dedicated to providing community services around the world, education in responsible land use and safe vehicle operation, and protection of our natural resources through conservation practices. 1-800-448-3932. United Four Wheel Drive Associations Official Site - United Online - An International Organization

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible for motorized recreation. Since the formation of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, the focus and mission is to promote responsible land use and to help keep public lands open for motorized recreation. For more information on the activities and accomplishments of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, please visit www.sfwda.org or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Save Tellico, we need your help NOW!

Yesterday, the USFS announced their plans for "managment" of the Upper Tellico UHV Area. This plan includes closing or changing 15.5 out of the 39.5 miles of trails, including closing most of the challenging areas. The summary looks like this:

1) Schoolbus GONE
2) Slickrock GONE
3) Lower 2 GONE
4) If Helicopter Pad bypass cannot be successfully bypassed... GONE
5) The Ledge at Peckerwood GONE

Now, I am BEGGING you...on my hands and knees, to please get involved in this fight. This forum can be a huge influence on the outcome of this action. But to do that, we all need to get involved. Take this back to your clubs, your friends, your regional forums, whatever and whereever you need to go to get support. We need people to comment!

Here is a LINK to all the information you need to educate yourself on what is going on: LINK TO TELLICO INFO FROM THE USFS

If you don't want to read all that, then please consider sending a letter or an email to the USFS telling them that you oppose the closing of any trails at Tellico and that you think that they should give more effort and money to trying to maintain and keep the trails open.

Here is the info for sending comments:

"Your comments may be sent to Tusquitee District Ranger, 123 Woodland Drive, Murphy, NC28906. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected]fs.fed.us. We would appreciate receiving your comments by July 9, 2008."​

Please, PLEASE...help us keep this area open!
 

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Re: Save Tellico, we need your help NOW!

Heather's right. Apathy is our biggest enemy. If we lose the classic trails in Tellico we'll be cruising the Mall.

I didn't buy my truck for show and shine events.
 

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Re: Save Tellico, we need your help NOW!

Tellico was the first place I ever off-roaded in my '84' Jeep CJ-7. I was amazed at the size of the place and really just of the fact that there was even places like this so close to my home.

Now I'm not just one of these "....hey it's my land and I'll use it however I want..." kind of people. If I must say I'm a bit of tree hugger myself, but I also like my hobby of off-roading and I think that they can coexist if we can all just find some middle ground.

Unfortunately the "enviromentalists" have stronger support. It's just the plain truth. This is where we all come in. To keep these lands open for our enjoyment we have to become a stronger voice, myself included. Sitting back and letting other people do the work for us will not work. Numbers is what we need to make a statement, so please if you are an off-roader who enjoys the trails at Tellico, or anywhere for that matter, make your voice heard so we can keep enjoying these trails and keep them open for our kids to enjoy as well.
 

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Re: Save Tellico, we need your help NOW!

I agree.

If you are not already a member of the United 4WD Associations and BlueRibbon Coalition, please join. They represent thousands of like minded 4 wheelers who are trying to save our trails.

All we're asking is to keep public lands open to the public.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Please fill out this survey for Tellico!

As part of the NEPA process, these folks have been contracted to determine what kind of an economic impact closing the trails would have on the area. THIS IS A BIG DEAL. Please fill out a survey and send it in. We tried to show the public with Spring Fling, but this is the "official" survey. Fill it out folks, it's important.

Link to Survey
http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/UT_survey_2008/UT_OHV_Survey.pdf
Link to Cover letter
http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/UT_survey_2008/UT_OHV_Survey_coverletter.pdf

Please ask everyone you know who uses Tellico OHV area to fill out the survey and MAIL it in to:

Tellico OHV Recreation Survey
Dept of Forestry, Wildlife & Fisheries
The University of Tennessee
274 Ellington Plant Sciences
Knoxville, Tn 37996

RE-EMPHASIZE: The surveyor lady SFWDA spoke with who was handing these things out at the Allen Gap pay station said that she had been accused of not doing her job properly because none of the OHVers were responding, only fishermen. She said they had nearly 100 to 1 ratio of responses from fishermen to
OHVers. LETS FIX THAT PROBLEM FOR HER!
Please post up once you have filled out the survey and sent it in so we can encourage others to do the same!

Thanks!
 

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Re: Save Tellico, we need your help NOW!

Survey filled out and mailed.
 

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Tellico update

Copied from Pirate. New proposal is almost out.

Brand New Tellico Proposal
no not yet but........


I spoke with the Ranger Station this morning and I have news to share with everyone. Here's what I have learned.

1) The new proposal/environmental assessment will be here next week or the week after. That means 2 weeks folks, max!!!!

2) The decision will be made by the end of December of this year! No more stringing this thing out or wondering what will happen when. It's this year people. We either sack up and make our presence known or... you know the rest.

3) There will be 6 alternatives proposed with 1 being the one preferred by the Forest Service

4) All comments should be funneled to the Asheville office. This is where this is being handled. Candice Wyman is the woman in charge of handling this.

5) ~500 comments were filed last period. If you think that turns heads you're in for a surprise. We're going to need double that this round.

Get your pens, keyboards and stamps ready. We have got to get on this. We have 30 days from it's release date. I hope we can count on all of you.

Ashville Office address is:


USFS
Attention: Candice Wyman or Marisue Hilliard
160 Zillicoa Street, Suite A
Asheville, NC 28801


828-257-4200
 

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Re: Tellico update

I'm sure you can email too- but it's harder to ignore a stack of mail. I would encourage you to snail mail, but an email is better than nothing. The proposals should definitely be out this week. I will post as soon as they are out. Thanks for the support and interest!
 

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Re: Tellico update- stopping Lawsuit

This is what I read this morning, and it is also explained better at the Blue Ribbon coalition's website-

"Four-wheeler group stops lawsuit
Posted: Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2008
A group representing off-road vehicle owners has withdrawn a lawsuit it filed against the U.S. Forest Service over the temporary closing of trails.

The agency barred four-wheelers from some trails in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina after concerns about erosion that washed soil into streams that feed the Tellico River.

Forest Service spokesman Terry Sidon in North Carolina said a public meeting is planned within the next few months after public comments on the issue are reviewed.

Associated Press"
 
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