Another loss for us! - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 03:45 AM Thread Starter
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Another loss for us!

I just wonder what they are going to do when no one goes hunting out there anymore and all the hogs take over, tearing up the land.


A federal judge ordered trails in part of Big Cypress National Preserve closed to swamp buggies and other off-road vehicles this week, in a victory for environmentalists who argued the vehicles damaged sensitive wetlands and disturbed Florida panthers.

U.S. District Judge John E. Steele overruled a 2007 decision by the National Park Service to reopen 25 miles of trails in the preserve's Bear Island region, a forested area along the north side of Interstate 75 popular with both hunters and panthers.

"The use of ORVs will necessarily affect the soil, vegetation, wildlife, wildlife habitat and resources of a particular area," he wrote.

He said the park service made the decision without the required environmental assessment and that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service revised its earlier, critical review of the plan at the park service's request, without any new information or analysis.

"The court ruled, correctly, that resource protection was the fundamental reason for Big Cypress National Preserve," said Matthew Schwartz, of the Sierra Club of Broward County, also executive director of the South Florida Wildlands Association. "Recreation has to come second."

The decision is the latest in the long-running fight between hunters and environmentalists over the preserve, 729,000 acres of cypress swamp, wet prairie and pinelands that's home to a vast range of wildlife. Hunters say the vehicles — often homemade from tractor tires and auto parts — are essential for getting to remote camps and hauling out the deer and hogs they've killed.

Lyle McCandless, president of the Big Cypress Sportsmen's Alliance, said his organization had worked with the park service to get the trails reopened and he believes the "Park Service went through the proper process in doing so, including public input etc."

Filing the lawsuit were Defenders of Wildlife, the Sierra Club, the National Park Conservation Association and several other groups.

Big Cypress Superintendent Pedro Ramos said he would be reviewing the ruling with his lawyers.

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post #2 of 7 Old 07-13-2012, 04:17 AM
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Get involved!
This is PUBLIC land that is being ripped away from the public.
Write letters to your local reps, join The United Four Wheel Drive Association or if in the great lakes area Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association, Blue Ribbon Coalition, all of these organizations need our help. Volunteer your time to our cause. We need all the help we can get. Helping our cause can be as simple writing a letter to your local rep or collecting signatures for petitions or showing up at a few meetings a year to show our strength in numbers. This isn't just a four wheeling thing, this is a hiking, fishing, hunting, equestrian, mountain biking, atv, camping thing.
If you love any of these things get off your butt and get INVOLVED.

Why do people say "grow some balls"? Balls are weak and vulnerable, if you want to toughen up, grow a vagina. These things can take a pounding!
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-14-2012, 07:47 AM
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I know of a post on BRC's pages from May about Big Cypress and the fight to keep it open. We need to stay in the game on this one. I'll check with the home office to see where we are with this:
http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/20...-river-unit-tr

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post #4 of 7 Old 07-21-2012, 10:51 PM
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Is Bear Island Closed?

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post #5 of 7 Old 07-24-2012, 05:28 AM
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I don't have a whole lot of experience fighting these assholes so let me ask a stupid question-

Has anyone tried to fight this citing the ADA? Disabled people surely can't hike in to see the land once vehicle access has been stripped.

Lord, give me patience. I'm afraid that if you give me strength I'll need bail money too.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-02-2012, 04:44 PM
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I'm glad I got my time in at Bear Island Unit before this.

What good are public lands if the public can't enjoy them, and in this case.. even get to them.

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post #7 of 7 Old 08-22-2012, 12:12 AM
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I haven't even been to Bear Island since before Xmas last year. Went down loop road for the first time in almost 2 years. Dade county side is smooth. Collier side not so much.

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