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Warning for all: Rumor of New BLM Rules


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To all,

Several friends were riding here in sunny SoCal desert last weekend and were harrassed BIG TIME in two locations by BLM Rangers.

First: at Cal City where a Ranger from the Ridgecrest office wrote citations even though they were riding on a legal, marked trail. The BLM Ranger's comment was that although he did not see them ride on illegal trails, the only way they could have gotten to that trail was via illegal closed ones. They protested that they had not been on ANY trails with red "closed" markers. He said there is a NEW RULE that designates ALL UNMARKED TRAILS AS ILLEGAL. THE ONLY ONES THAT ARE LEGAL ARE MARKED WITH BROWN BLM STAKES. In other words, all trails are now closed unless the BLM specifically designates them as open. If this is true it means they just closed roughly 90% of the EXISTING desert trails on BLM land WITHOUT PUBLIC COMMENT!

Second: at El Mirage Dry Lake where a club member of Desert Vipers was riding with his kids. He picked up the front wheel and rode a wheelie for some distance. A nearby BLM Ranger pulled him over and wrote him a FELONY RECKLESS DRIVING CITATION! This on a lakebed where land speed events are regularly run where some contestants legally top 300 MPH!

All of these riders will have to spend big bucks defending themselves in Federal Court. That is, if it's possible to do that. Especially the guy with the Felony charge.

I don't know about you, but in my opinion, this is the most egregious abuse of power I have heard of from the law enforcement folk of the BLM or any other agency in California. I can't imagine this standing up in court, but they will spend thousands to defend themselves and clear their records. This is nothing shy of outright citizen harassment by our public service agency.

Write your U.S. Representative and politely ask that they address this before it becomes the end of recreation in California.

Dan

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Dan,

I'm sorry to hear about the closing of land in CA. I don't really have any experience/appreciation for the problem (as almost all of the land in Texas is privately owned). And the problem just doesn't exist in my home province of British Columbia, Canada.

May I suggest that you make the AMA aware of the injustice via their Rapid Response Center (I beleive it's on their home page). If you want political help, the AMA comes to mind. Heck, this is real reason that I maintain my membership and pay my dues with them

Best of luck.

Dale

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Dan,

Both of these incidents seem very unfortunate and enough to make any OHV rider hopping mad, but if there is one thing that I have learned over the years is that there are 2 sides to every story. And to add to that one of them is almost always the wrong one.

But it sounds like some definate investigating is in order here. 🙂

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If the rangers wrote a ticket for every wheelie I've seen ridden on the dry lake at el mirage, our state wouldn't have a multi billion dollar deficit! Heck, our family alone would probably be in jail! :-) :-(

I've never had any problems with the rangers at el mirage, but I haven't ridden there in the last few months. I haven't ridden Cal city since the late 70's.

Sorry to hear about this. Keep us updated. We're lucky to have all the land that we have in CA, but that doesn't mean I want to have even one acre taken away!

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