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Old May 7th, 2010, 07:31 AM   #1
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Default Recreational groups take next steps to save tellico

May 7, 2010

Organizations dedicated to active recreation management today announced their latest efforts to save access to the Upper Tellico OHV System. The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, United Four Wheel Drive Association, and BlueRibbon Coalition filed a NOI, Notice of Intent to sue, with various federal agencies outlining possible claims under the Clean Water Act. The claims target the U.S. Forest Service decision dated October 14, 2009, to close the Tellico trails to motorized travel. The organizations filed administrative appeals from the decision, which were denied on January 15, 2010.

“The agency’s actions do not surprise us, but are cause for deep concern,” said Roger Theurer, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association. “It is apparent the Forest Service has disavowed any interest in continuing historical, or any vehicle access to the System. We hope that our organizations have been equally clear that we will fight for reasonable and sustainable access. This is but one step in that continuing effort,” Theurer concluded.

The NOI is a jurisdictional prerequisite to a citizen’s suit under the Clean Water Act.

# # #
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. www.ufwda.org

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. www.sharetrails.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible 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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Old May 7th, 2010, 03:18 PM   #2
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Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and well spent. http://sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html
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Old May 18th, 2010, 10:24 PM   #3
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BLUERIBBON COALITION, INC.

MEDIA RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Roger Theurer, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
(931) 841-0672
Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Coalition
(208) 244-2112
Date: May 18, 2010

TELLICO LAWSUIT FILED

POCATELLO, ID (May 18)--The next chapter in the Save Tellico saga began today as suit was filed to stop agency efforts to eliminate long-existing routes at the Upper Tellico OHV System. The suit was filed by Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, United Four Wheel Drive Associations, and BlueRibbon Coalition in U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina.

"This is a logical and necessary action in our effort to restore some form of meaningful OHV access to the System," said Roger Theurer, President of Southern Four Wheel Drive Association. "The entire premise behind this closure- that water quality is uniquely flawed in the Tellico River- is simply untrue. We hope through this suit for an opportunity to present the full story," Theurer concluded.

On April 19, 2010, the Forest Service posted a solicitation for bids, seeking contractors to perform various tasks to rehabilitate, obliterate, or otherwise decommission the bulk of existing roads on the OHV System. According to the complaint, routes historically used for vehicle travel may be fundamental to other forms of recreation, and possible impacts on non-motorized recreation activities have not been analyzed by the Forest.

"We prefer to work collaboratively with the Forest to provide appropriate vehicle-based recreation opportunities in the area," observed Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Executive Director. "We remain committed to such prospects, but faced little option short of filing suit to preserve reasonable alternatives involving the System. These roads are literally on the verge of being removed from the landscape," Mumm concluded.

A copy of the complaint may be viewed at: http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/C...D_05-18-10.pdf

# # #

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. 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. www.ufwda.org

Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) was founded in 1987 to promote responsible land use and to keep public lands accessible 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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