View Full Version : Tellico closed - we lost for now

March 31st, 2009, 07:49 PM

The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) expressed disappointment today in the Forest Service decision to implement the emergency closure of the Upper Tellico OHV trails on April 1, pending review of the many substantive comments made by OHV enthusiasts.

Gary Parsons, President of SFWDA, said, "We are very disappointed in the Forest Service decision to close the Upper Tellico OHV trails. In formal comments made to the Forest Service, the OHV community and other interested parties clearly demonstrated that such a closure has no scientific basis. Substantive comments provided to the Forest Service included findings of an independent study completed by Caliber Engineering and the recommendations from a report completed by the Forest Service's own Trails Unlimited Team. This is a bad decision and we are left with no other alternative but to pursue legal options."

Carla Boucher, legal counsel for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, stated, "The Forest Service has failed to make the case with regard to adverse effects and resource damage. There is no immediate threat to public health, safety, or other requisite finding required by such an order. Water quality standards cited by the Forest Supervisor as the basis for such an order are not being exceeded." Boucher added, "In making this decision, the Forest Service must be prepared to explain why similar findings have not been made in the decades of greater environmental impact and they simply have not done that."

Greg Mumm, BRC's Executive Director, stated, "Implementing this closure order threatens the integrity of the ongoing planning process in which the interested public and our federal government have collectively invested significant time and resources."

Mumm concluded, "The economic impact of this closure will be devastating to the area and comes at a time when the current administration is calling for more jobs, economic development, and healthy outdoor recreation. It makes no sense."

# # #

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of recreation, 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



Closed until 2011!!

Senator Richard Burr's (R-NC) office is aware of this. They actually called me this afternoon in response to one of my emails. The time is NOW to ramp up our contacts with elected officials. Pick an office and call Senator Burr...today.

Federal Building
151 Patton Avenue, Suite 204
Asheville, NC 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437
Fax: (828) 350-2439

Rocky Mount
100 Coast Line Street, Room 210
Rocky Mount, NC 27804
Phone: (252) 977-9522
Fax: (252) 977-7902

Washington, DC
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981

2000 West First Street
Suite 508
Winston-Salem, NC 27104
Phone: (800) 685-8916
Phone: (336) 631-5125
Fax: (336) 725-4493

City Hall
181 South Street, Room 222
Gastonia, NC 28052
Phone: (704) 833-0854
Fax: (704) 833-1467

201 North Front Street
Suite 809
Wilmington, NC 28401
Phone: (888) 848-1833
Phone: (910) 251-1058
Fax: (910) 251-7975

March 31st, 2009, 07:51 PM
Thought so. It sounded like they were planning on closing it but needed to go through the steps just to make it sound legit.

March 31st, 2009, 08:23 PM
It's still not over. Read the thread, and help fight to get this over turned. Only is over if we lay down and play dead.

March 31st, 2009, 09:42 PM
Only is over if we lay down and play dead.


April 1st, 2009, 08:02 AM
...Only is over if we lay down and play dead.

We have only just begun!

I believe the Carpenters sang that, well that's another story for another time.

It isn't over until it's over and it isn't over yet!

April 1st, 2009, 09:16 AM

We have only just begun!

I believe the Carpenters sang that, well that's another story for another time.

It isn't over until it's over and it isn't over yet!

Fully agree. I personally refuse to give up. There are groups right now (SFWDA for one) that are moving to plan 'B' as we speak. Hopefully they will announce what the next step is soon.

April 3rd, 2009, 04:47 PM
Little clarification

In regards to the current closure (words from John Stewart from California 4WD)

This is an "emergency closure".

For clarity: This DOES NOT stop the current EA process and can not be used as a "predetermined" outcome of a public process.

As such, the agency can issue an emergency closure at any point they believe they have reason.

The closure does not stop the EA process. They still have to read the comments and respond as appropriate.

This does allow them to extend the time to read and respond.

Basically, the area is "on hold" until they go thru the Enviromental Assessment and the NEPA process.

And since it seems NOBODY understands the NEPA process, here is a great link about what it is on Del's website. PLEASE take the time to read it (I am also going to re-read it):


April 6th, 2009, 09:03 AM
Just sent e-mails to our senators and my rep.

April 7th, 2009, 08:42 PM
Did anybody else get a packet back letting you know that Tellico is closed and if we are caught there in a non-licensed vehicle we will be ticketed/fined and could face jail time?

I wonder if they sent the letter to all sides, or just the ones that were against the closing of the area.

April 8th, 2009, 07:28 AM
not me.