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The feds announced today that they are closing Tellico for good -- permanent. Folks are rightfully angry over this. BRC, United and SWFWDA (southern) are figuring out the next step. It's not pretty.

Stay tuned.
Del
 

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Just got the email as well.
Those sons of *****es.
What can we do though? Thats just so much bull****.
Tellico is by far the best wheeling int he mid south, if not all of the south.
Fuc*ing bastards.
 

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Now they can be happy they saved the wilderness from those evil offf road rednecks, and preserved it for all the eco hikers who drop their Power Bar and granola wrappers, etc... all over the place.

What a crock of ****!:pissed:
 

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Yeah.. I got the email as well..

:pissed::pissed:
 

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This is just another addition to the trail closures all over the US. We just lost the Reiter Pit area in NW WA. They closed any trail system that crosses water. Try to find a trail in WA State that doesn't cross water at some point. And of course no one will flip the bill for a bridge over these areas; which is what they are calling for to re-open.

This is BULLSH**!!! :bawling:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
possible solution

This is one PRIME example why a bunch of us are forming The Access Army (posted up elsewhere here). It's time to unite us and we have to work together more; regardless of what you do or don't belong to currently.

The Access Army is free and easy to join. It does not steal members or take dues from any existing organization. It just builds a NEW unity in our ranks, all forms of motorized recreation, to have our strength show up in HUGE numbers.

There are millions of OHV/motorized recreationists, yet only a small percentage actually belong to a fighting organization; and even the biggest of those orgs that do fight for us, can claim only a fraction of us as members.

We NEED an ARMY. You are it. Read what we have to say about why we are doing this to add to the fight the existing organizations are leading.
right here: http://www.delalbright.com/Access/army.html

Del
 

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Its my opinion that until the 4wd community is willing to vote as a block and base their vote on land access like the NRA does for guns, we are going to continue to get the short end of the stick...the Feds run scared from the NRA, heck they got the Omnibus bill stopped until they took that gun provision out of it...once it was gone, they weren't afraid of us anymore...we have the power to stop this, but we don't think about it the same way that members of the NRA do...if we did, politicians would be afraid of us rather than ignoring us and/or dismissing us outright as some do...

just my two cents...

anyway, closing Tellico sucks....
 

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Damn tree hugging bastids:pissed::pissed: Don't get me wrong I love the sport too and the outdoors but this kinda crap has to stop!
 

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RECREATIONAL GROUPS DECRY TELLICO CLOSURE

October 15, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Greg Mumm, BlueRibbon Coalition
208-244-2112
Jay Bird, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
757-546-7969

Conservation groups dedicated to active and sustainable management of the Upper Tellico OHV Area expressed deep disappointment with the U.S. Forest Service decision to permanently close the Tellico trails. The decision, which follows an earlier "temporary" closure, was announced in documents published by the USFS yesterday morning.

Gary Parsons, President of the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, reacted by saying, "The Forest Service is simply wrong in this decision. This public agency has ignored an independent study by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations of its own Trails Unlimited Team, which demonstrated effective management is attainable and offered specific suggestions to achieve that goal."

The agency announcement by Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard again parroted the water quality issues long favored by preservationist special interests as the excuse for closure. Jay Bird, Chairman of the Rescue Tellico Committee, noted, "The Tellico River is in excellent shape and complies with all legal requirements. Only through blatant modification of proper methodology, such as measuring turbidity levels during peak runoff, can the Forest Service claim there is legal basis to take any action, let alone closure."

"Sadly, we are not surprised. It now appears the Forest Service knew it would close the Area years ago, and undertook the intervening 'public process' to justify a decision already made," said Greg Mumm, Executive Director of the BlueRibbon Coalition. "We are sorely disappointed that the Forest Service has determined it cannot effectively manage the Upper Tellico OHV Area that users have supported with millions of dollars in fees and thousands of hours of volunteer labor. With our recreational partners, we will evaluate all options that may change that determination."

# # #

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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This is just another addition to the trail closures all over the US. We just lost the Reiter Pit area in NW WA. They closed any trail system that crosses water. Try to find a trail in WA State that doesn't cross water at some point. And of course no one will flip the bill for a bridge over these areas; which is what they are calling for to re-open.

This is BULLSH**!!! :bawling:
wait they closed Reiter?? WTF!!! I used to wheel up there all the time..and they just made it an ORV park like 3 years ago. can you still at least go up to the top by the powerlines? or to the top of the cliff above Index?? Thats just striagh BUllspit..there's no where else to wheel up there, can't go to Reiter, Sultan Basin, all the roads of I-90, and up by Darington are closed too! :pissed::pissed:
 

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I constantly hear people complaining about the "hippie groups" or tree-huggers, etc... but no one ever names the group(s). Please name the group that is responsible here and let's make it clear to them that they are not acting the best interest of anyone, but their own misguided political agenda. :bounce:
 

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I believe the group here, or at least the chief group would be trout unlimited...
 

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I believe the group here, or at least the chief group would be trout unlimited...
Seems to be the case, though looks like the SELC (see very bottom) might be the muscle behind it:

http://www.tu.org/press_releases/2009/conservationists-back-usfs-action-to-restore-water-quality-in-nc’s-tellico-orv-a

October 14, 2009

Contact:
SELC – DJ Gerken, 828-258-2023
Representing:
Trout Unlimited, North Carolina Council – Michael “Squeak” Smith, 828 205-2355
Trout Unlimited, Tennessee Council – George Lane, 865-414-1527
PEER – Barry Sulkin, 615-313-7066
WildSouth – Ben Prater, 828-258-2667

Conservationists back USFS action to restore water quality in NC’s Tellico ORV area


Asheville – Conservation groups concerned about water quality in the Tellico River watershed in national forests in North Carolina and Tennessee from a degraded off-road vehicle (ORV) area hailed the final decision announced today by the U.S. Forest Service as a win-win approach to resolving the problem. The agency will close most trails in the Tellico area and invest substantial resources to restore those lands, and convert the remaining ORV trails to forest roads for public access for other types of recreation. ORV use will no longer be allowed anywhere in the area.

Today’s decision brings to a close a years-long process that began when the conservation groups took steps to sue the agency in 2007 for failing to meet federal law and its own standards to protect the watershed from pollution caused by excessive ORV use in the area.

“We support the agency’s decision to do what is necessary – and what is required by law – to protect this critical watershed, and will stand by them to defend this decision if necessary,” said DJ Gerken, Senior Attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Muddy runoff in the Tellico watershed has been devastating one of the last, best strongholds for brook trout, a native species in decline in North Carolina and Tennessee. The Tellico area, located in the Nantahala National Forest in the headwaters of the upper Tellico River, was one of the largest and most heavily used ORV destinations on public lands in the Southeast. The almost 40 miles of designated trails – not counting illegal trails – are double what the Nantahala forest plan allows for the Tellico.

“The results of the Forest Service’s extensive study make it clear that the agency could not maintain this trail system to acceptable standards,” said Michael “Squeak” Smith, with the North Carolina Council of Trout Unlimited. “Because the Forest Service can’t operate this ORV area without degrading this important habitat for native southern brook trout, it had no choice but to take this step. We’re grateful the Forest Service took this problem seriously and took the steps necessary to fix it permanently.”

The Forest Service’s action will improve water quality in the Tellico River which flows from north Carolina to Tennessee. “I have been fishing in the Tellico River in Tennessee since I was a boy. Closing this unsustainable ORV area will ensure that future generations will have the same opportunity,” said George Lane, Council Chair of the Tennessee Council of Trout Unlimited.

Over the years, intensive ORV use and extensive erosion turned many ORV trails into huge ditches, some more than seven feet deep. The Forest Service has estimated that more than 25,000 tons of sediment have washed off from the trails into the Tellico’s tributaries over the years. The Forest Service’s evaluation of the trail system found that many trails cut through unstable soils. “Many of the Tellico’s trails were badly designed and put in the wrong place long before the Forest Service acquired the area,” said Tennessee PEER Director Barry Sulkin. “The agency’s study confirms that these ORV trails simply cannot be maintained to protect water quality with any reasonable budget.”

The Forest Service has a legal mandate to protect water quality and wildlife habitat. “The National Forests are an important recreation resource,” said Ben Prater, Associate Director of WildSouth, “but no recreation use can be allowed to degrade wildlife habitat entrusted to the Forest Service’s stewardship. Water quality must come first.”

****************************
The Southern Environmental Law Center is the only regional nonprofit using the power of the law to protect the health and environment of the Southeast (Virginia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama). Founded in 1986, SELC's team of 40 legal experts represent more than 100 partner groups on issues of climate change and energy, air and water quality, forests, the coast and wetlands, transportation, and land use.

 
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