Facebook Twitter

Don’t fall for land-use lies

SHARE Don’t fall for land-use lies

If the courts don't work in shutting multiple-use lands down, if the environmental groups cannot get their way and remove OHVs from public lands quickly enough, then I suppose scaring people is the next best tactic.

In the article "Do off-road vehicles rev up risk of hantavirus?" Feb. 11, research on OHV use and hantavirus is being conducted by Dearing, who is admittedly "sympathetic to environmental groups." Her words mimic those of extremist environmental groups who claim they are after "balance," but the balance they seek is an uncompromising stance against multiple use and for the most restrictive form of land control — wilderness designation.

Dearing claims that when habitats get degraded, they should be "given a rest and chance to recover." But make no mistake about the ultimate intent of those words. If these groups can succeed in shutting the trails down in an open OHV area, then the trails will gradually disappear. It then becomes eligible for wilderness designation because the area will then be "roadless."

It is happening in BLM lands all over the Western states. It will happen here unless people quit turning a deaf ear to these powerful and uncompromising groups. These groups will never stop. If they succeed in shutting down 9.1 million acres to multiple use, then they will pursue 12.5; and if they get 12.5, they will go for 15. If they don't, they are out of a job.

There is an agenda; and those who seek to shut down public lands to multiple use will pursue any means available to reach those ends and continue their funding. They will play on your guilt, your fear and twist information to make you believe that without the solutions they propose, you will have a strip mall on every corner.

They will tell you that 90-plus percent of BLM lands are "open" to OHV use. That sounds so "unbalanced," doesn't it? Don't fall for it. They are playing with figures to further their agenda. These groups plan on the ignorance of the general population with respect to land-use issues.

The truth is, there are enough laws in place to protect public lands, to allow multiple use to remain and to set aside some very special areas as originally intended in the Wilderness Act of 1964 for true wilderness. Research it yourself. Talk to the BLM land managers; talk to the groups who are fighting to maintain your rights on the land; research land use policies and find out the truth. Public land is currently protected by the following policies: The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA 1970), the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA 1976) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA 1973).

We must become informed on these issues; we must speak out and not let those who are admittedly sympathetic to enemies of multiple use control the agenda.

Kim Orndorff