The Coalition's Executive Director, Greg Mumm, said, "the current implementation of the recreation permit regulations no longer serves the public interest or support the goals and objectives of land use planning. The recreation permit process must be revised. We believe that legislation is necessary to fix the problem."
Brian Hawthorne, the Coalition's Public Lands Policy Director, is concerned that the permit process is endangering the existence of not-for-profit recreation clubs. He says the clubs often partner with land managers, providing assistance in management, maintenance and enforcement. "Federal land managers need healthy and growing clubs that can help manage recreation, especially in light of declining budgets. Sadly, some land managers require expensive permits for a simple club ride of only a few persons."
Don Amador noted that historic and popular competitive events that have been occurring without problems have been recently subjected to arbitrary fees. He also observed that in some areas, the application process to obtain an SRP is being used to prohibit and/or severely restrict otherwise allowable activities. "We have tried for nearly a decade to encourage the land managers to streamline the permitting process. These efforts have not been effective, even when we have willing agency partners. The time has come for Congress to step in and mandate a solution."
The BlueRibbon Coalition is calling on its members to ask their U.S. Representatives to support a legislative fix to the permitting problems.
The Coalition posted a webpage detailing problems with the permitting process and outlining its suggested solutions. View the webpage here: http://www.sharetrails.org/public-lands/?section=srp
It also has asked recreational users to send in examples of arbitrary implementation of recreation permit regulations. A few examples have already been posted on the Coalition's permit webpage.
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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org