Letters from the West: Owyhee coalition still standing

Rocky Barker has written about the Owyhee Initiative in the Idaho Statesman:

Letters from the West: Owyhee coalition still standing







  1. kt Avatar

    There is a simple solution to the OHV problem, that would enable immediate action to be taken. BLM could simply publish an Emergency Closure Notice in the Federal Register limiting OHV/motorized use to established roads and trails. This would allow enforcement to occur.

    BLM has the full power to do that at any time. If the Statesman, Crapo, and the envtl apologists for the Owyhee Initiative got behind that – Poof – bet it would happen overnight. Our current system of federal regs. allows agencies to act to stop harm that may be occurring.

    In fact, Jarbidge BLM just yesterday DID act to close approx. 64,000 acres to OHV use off-road in the Clover Fire area.

    Regrettably, the Statesman and the proponents of the OI would rather wring their hands and cheerlead for legislation that would result in weakening of envtl protections in the Owyhee – and also the OI giveaway of as much as 75,000 acres of public lands – our lands – to a small clique of welfare ranchers.

  2. kt Avatar

    As a follow-up to my comment on the actions a Federal Agency can take to protect BLM lands from motorized damage, here is an excerpt from the Federal Register Notice of the OHV closure in Owyhee County – and it is closing the Sailor Cap (or Saylor Cap depending on which map you look at) Fire area to off-road use. I had wrongly said it was the Clover Fire area.


    [Federal Register: April 27, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 81)]
    [Page 21045-21046]
    From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



    Bureau of Land Management


    Notice of Emergency Temporary Closure of Certain Public Lands, to
    Motorized Vehicles, in Owyhee County ID, Under Sailor Cap Emergency and
    Rehabilitation Plan

    AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Jarbidge Field Office, in
    order to protect natural resources and stabilization treatments
    conducted following the 2006 Sailor Cap Fire, is implementing an
    emergency temporary closure to all motorized vehicle traffic off
    established roads which are capable of being traveled by full size
    vehicles (e.g. all-terrain vehicles, pickups, motorcycles, sport
    utility vehicles, snowmobiles, etc.) within the fire perimeter and
    along fenced livestock allotments. The closure area follows the most
    logical boundaries according to transportation routes (please refer to
    supplementary information for description of closure area). The purpose
    of the closure is to

    [[Page 21046]]

    restrict off-road vehicle use while providing continued public access
    to and through the area. Vehicles traveling cross-country in a burned
    area may damage reemerging plants, increase erosion and spread noxious
    weeds. Motorized vehicles may continue to use established roads capable
    of being traveled by full size vehicles.

    Etc. ….

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Brian Ertz