National Forest Action Alert

(Note: Public comments on the proposed rule changes must be received by March 24, 2003. All contact information is provided below.)

January 22, 2003

Notice by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regarding proposed rule changes for the Forest Service was published in the Federal Register on Wednesday, January 22, 2003.

The ruling would affect National Forest land uses and will require all motorcycle dual-sport, enduro and observed trials events that involve travel on National Forest roads and trails to obtain Special Use Permits, even if they are staged to begin and end on private property.

The proposed rule changes have huge implications for the San Bernardino National Forest (SBNF). All commercial activities and recreational events will have to go through the permitting process.

That includes:

the Big Bear Trail Riders' Big Bear Run in August

and night ride in September,

the District-37 AMA LA to Barstow to Vegas ride,

the Honda Ride For Kids,

the annual Jeep Jamboree,

tour groups such as Big Bear Jeep Tours,

and numerous equestrian events.

Even if an organized event does not charge an entry fee, a special use permit will still be required.

The proposed changes will state that noncommercial group uses, outfitting and guiding, recreation events, and commercial filming conducted on National Forest System roads require a special use authorization.

Because the SBNF doesn't have the people and/or resources to process the NEPA and other permit requirements, and because Supervisor Zimmermann is not a friend of OHV recreation, it may become impossible to obtain special use permits for our events.

The proposed changes would include the authority for Regional Foresters and Forest Supervisors to issue orders and regulations to prohibit or regulate other uses of National Forest System roads, on a case-specific basis.

Furthermore, applicants will have to bear the cost of the permitting process, and those costs are likely to become prohibitive.

Public comments on the proposed rule changes must be received by March 24, 2003.

E-mail your comments to:

rhwr_rule@fs.fed.us

Snail-mail your written comments to:

Forest Service, USDA

Attn: Director, RHWR Staff (2720)

Mail Stop 1125

Washington, DC 20250-1125

For detailed information on the proposed rule changes:

http://www.bigbearbikers.com/bbtr/permits.html