Recreation Groups challenge the Forest’s recent and ongoing actions

Groups say road maintenance actions are illegal and harm the environmen

Lakeside, CA (May 12, 2010) – A coalition of recreation groups filed suit challenging actions by the Six Rivers National Forest. In recent and ongoing actions under the guise of “storm proofing”, heavy equipment was used to intentionally conduct ground-disturbing removal of culverts, installation of berms, “water bars and rolling dips”, and decommissioning of road surfaces. These activities have been performed without notice to the public or analysis of possible impacts to water quality or other resource damage.

We appreciated the opportunity to participate in the planning process and craft solutions that maintain recreation opportunity while protecting the environment.” said John Stewart, Natural Resource Consultant for California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs. “These arbitrary actions with a significant impact to the environment were done outside the planning process.”

The planning process requires the federal agencies to conduct their actions in an open and transparent manner with a full and fair discussion of environmental impacts of the proposed action.

National Environmental Policy Act requires the agencies to disclose the environmental effects of their actions. Stewart noted, “The actions of using heavy equipment to intentionally conduct ground-disturbing activities is a significant impact requiring public review. In this case, that review was not done.”

The law suit states that Six Rivers officials authorized ground-disturbing activities which caused erosion and sediment-laden runoff into the watershed. These activities occurred in the absence of legally-required analysis of potential environmental impacts connected to such actions.

The coalition filing the lawsuit includes Del Norte County, California, Del Norte Rod and Gun Club, Lake Earl Grange, North Coast Cliffhangers 4 Wheel Drive Club, California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs, and Blue Ribbon Coalition.

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