CORVA and Partners Sue Forest Service on
Travel Management Plan
Sacramento, CA - California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), a non-profit organization advocating for all forms of motorized access to public land by representing motorized recreation enthusiasts throughout California, filed a lawsuit in federal court today against the U.S. Forest Service's Travel Management Plan which restricts motorized travel in the Plumas National Forest located in Northern California. Joining CORVA in the lawsuit are Sierra Access Coalition (SAC), Butte County and Plumas County. Amy Granat, Managing Director of CORVA and Corky Lazzarino, Executive Director of Sierra Access Coalition, are also named as individual plaintiffs. In this lawsuit the public is fighting the federal government, which has been compared to a David vs. Goliath battle. The litigants are being represented by Pacific Legal Foundation in Sacramento.
The Plumas National Forest Travel Management Plan was signed in August of 2010 and designated forest roads and trails that will remain open to motorized use. Non-designated routes, including many that have been open to motorized travel for decades, are now off limits to the public including the disabled, firewood cutters, campers, hunters, Christmas tree cutters, hikers and other recreationists. This decision affects everyone who uses unpaved roads and trails for access to the forest using pickups, cars, 4x4s, motorhomes, quads, tow rigs for equestrian trailers, travel trailers and others. Thousands of recreationists, sportsmen, and many businesses are affected by this ill-conceived plan.
For outdoor enthusiasts who suffered the indignities of the Travel Management Process over the last several years, this lawsuit has 12 claims for relief. Claims include failure to coordinate with local governments, inadequate analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act, failure to provide the public with a scientific basis for the Record of Decision, failure to analyze affects to the human environment and socioeconomic impacts, inadequate response to public comments, and other violations to law and regulation.
Amy Granat, Managing Director of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association stated; "Accessibility for the disabled and elderly was not considered, nor their needs accommodated. What the Forest Service has done seems like an incredible overreach of what a federal agency can do. We have to bring fairness back, and we have to insist that it is part of our right to be able to access public land in an environmentally responsible way."
"SAC is taking action with this landmark lawsuit to protect the rights of local citizens and to fight against this overly restrictive plan on our National Forest lands"; said Corky Lazzarino, Executive Director of SAC. "Hundreds of citizens are outraged that the Plumas National Forest Plan failed to consider local impacts, which has affected our way of life. In summary, the final decision has closed 873 of the 1107 miles of routes that were inventoried for the study. Parking for all uses is limited to one vehicle length from a designated route which severely restricts public opportunities for camping, firewood retrieval, horseback riding, fishing, hiking, rockhounding, game retrieval and other activities. Main gravel roads, which were historically open to all vehicles, are now closed to non-street legal (green-sticker) vehicles. Accessibility for the disabled and elderly was not considered, nor their need accommodated. The Forest Service did not coordinate with the five counties within the Plumas National Forest, as required by law.
Download Press Release Here
Download Lawsuit Brief Here
Link to YouTube Video: Padlocking Our National Forest? Here
Link to Podcast Here