View Full Version : Tellico Closed and may not re-open

02-27-2009, 02:32 PM
From Greg Mumm on Bodreps (TLCA e-mail list)

See below, thought you should all know about this ASAP.


Greg Mumm
Executive Director, BlueRibbon Coalition
909 Farlow Avenue
Rapid City, SD 57701

Email to: brgreg@sharetrails.org
Phone: 800-248-3742 ext. 101
Cell: 208-244-2112
Fax: 208-237-9424

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions
responsible use of public lands and waters, and encourages individual
environmental stewardship. It represents of 10,000 individual, business,
and organizational members for a combined total of over 600,000
recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742 http://www.sharetrails.org (http://www.sharetrails.org/)

BRC Critical Action Alert -- THEY WANT TO CLOSE TELLICO!

You MUST take action to save Tellico NOW!

Today the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) met with the USDA
Forest Service (USFS) and heard a presentation on what will be in their
Environmental Assessment (EA). While they have 7 alternatives that they are
considering, their preferred alternative is to CLOSE TELLICO. While we know
that this is completely unacceptable and will cause immediate and intense
emotional reaction, we are asking that everyone maintain a level head and
concentrate on what our task is now.

STEP 1: The USFS Forest Supervisor issued a TEMPORARY CLOSURE ORDER that
will keep Tellico closed until they decide what the fate of the area will
be. This means that TELLICO WILL NOT REOPEN ON APRIL 1ST! Please read the
order here:
http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/temporary_closure.pdf (http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/temporary_closure.pdf)
and provide comments to the temporary closure. Be sure to talk about all
the plans you have to use the area and all the events that are already
scheduled and that you have paid to attend. We MUST NOT LET THIS HAPPEN!

STEP 2: We must, at all costs, provide as many SUBSTANTIVE comments about
the EA as humanly possible. And we are ready. SFWDA requests that you
download the study that we commissioned
(http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09 (http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/study09) ) and that you download the
USFS EA which is posted here
(http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/tellico.htm (http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico/tellico.htm) ) and that
you compare the two side by side and start making comments. Our study will
give you the data that you need to make comments about the surveys that have
been done, the lack of maintenance they USFS has completed, the science, the
engineering, the economics, EVERYTHING.

We will work to have a letter generator up, but honestly, we need for you to
take pencil to paper and think this through. Copy this announcement and
send it to your friends, family, and everyone you know.

STEP 3: The other thing we need, and you know what it coming, is money. In
this tough economic time, it's hard to find a few dollars to support a
cause, but if you enjoy the Tellico area, or even the dying sport of OHV and
4X4 recreation, please consider a donation to Rescue Tellico so that we may
continue to fight for Tellico.
http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html (http://www.sfwda.org/trails/tellico/donate.html)

STEP 4: In an effort to show that we will not accept these actions,
Crawford's Campground is committing to continue on with the plans for Spring
Fling on April 4th. Please consider attending and showing your support and
helping to raise money for Rescue Tellico.

So you know, SFWDA is working very closely with United Four Wheel Drive
Associations (UFWDA) and the BlueRibbon Coalition to review these documents.
BE ASSURED that the lawyers will be reviewing all of these documents in
detail and that we are all ready to take whatever action is warranted to
further the fight to KEEP TELLICO OPEN!

Thanks you for your help,


04-01-2009, 09:17 AM
For those who are unaware of what the UFWDA does for us (and whether they work with BRC and others):

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 (http://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 (http://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 (http://www.sfwda.org/) or contact us at 1483 N. Mt. Juliet Road, PMB # 222, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122