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The Ruling

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Illiston Ruling

This is the document in PDF... I'll convert to HTML sometime tonite.

The ruling is quite lengthy and is being reviewed by lawyers as we speak...

But the "gist" of it is that she found fault in parts of the plantifs arguments (CBD) and parts of the defendants arguments (BLM with ASA intervenors)

The result seems to be that alas, the closures shall stay in place... (go figure)

The "chilling effect" is just now hitting the off-road community.

Reactions are diverse... from : "If you ever thought this would be the end of the fight you have alot to learn." to outright revulsion and expressions of outrage and calls for civil disobediance.

My first reaction to this is well, first, complete outrage, but then I am left with the impression that this judgement basicaly says that the entire 4 year long fight has been for naught. The actions, money, time and work put into getting OUR dunes back are all nullified and we must begin the fight anew.

This, to me, is a slap in our face. A, "We can't win out right so we will simply delay and delay and delay." and they can do that. They are getting away with it.

It seems quite clear to THIS duner that the system has no real path of defense. We are merely being strung along, played with. There was never any real chance that our dunes would be given back to us. Only the pipedream that they have been holding in front of our noses to keep us from demanding what is ours by declairing the entire system to be corrupt, unfair and biased.

We never had a chance. We never will have a chance. The system will never give our dunes back no matter how much money we spend or how many lawyers we throw at the problem.

It is their system. We are the outsiders.

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If there was ever a time for the off roading community to stick together NOW is that time. As Plato said when speaking of laws...

"Nothing can be more absurd than the practice that prevails in our country of men and women not following the same pursuits with all their strengths and with one mind, for thus, the state instead of being whole is reduced to half."

I say rip the judgment apart word by word and use it as a tool to win an appeal, and do what ever it takes to make the appeal happen.

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funk that ho bag angryfire.gif

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The lawyers get rich, the peole get screwed, and the system feeds upon itself. Wonderful frickin world WE have created...Sad thing is I don't think any of us are truly suprised by this. We knew how it would end up. The blm/fws/cbd/judge had this all figured out a long time ago...string us along, waste our time and money and change nothing. Welcome to the real world.

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Motions for Summary Judgements are rarely granted.

This doesn't mean we loose, it just means it has to go to trial.

Edited by tron

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No, it means this is going to be tied up for YEARS TO COME. The blm will make their continued mistakes...oops we're sorry...and the closures will never be lifted. Then they will all laugh at our expense...

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No, it means this is going to be tied up for YEARS TO COME. The blm will make their continued mistakes...oops we're sorry...and the closures will never be lifted. Then they will all laugh at our expense...

1484057[/snapback]

I think they would laugh quicker if we just gave up.

"You loose 100% of the battles you don't fight."

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I believe it was April, 1775, a group of anti-government radicals, with no real resources, except, perhaps their own personal “Honor, fortunes and sacred trusts”, began a war with what at the time was the worlds biggest empire. Washington’s army was under paid, underfed, under supplied, poorly trained and often out gunned and out numbered. Yet he prevailed anyway. Why? It wasn’t because the American Colonists were ‘Right’. It wasn’t because he used superior tactics. So why? It was because Washington kept what he had in the field. All the time. He didn’t give up. He wore the British out. That’s how the Socialists (i.e. Environmentalists) do business. They have studied history and learned from it. We have to do it better. We have to become Washington’s Army.

"You loose 100% of the battles you don't fight."

No truer words have been spoken.

When compromises are reached it’s because someone is done fighting.

I’m not done yet. Are you?

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Well i'd sudgest someone get out there and re-stake the small closure soon! Or the'll be holding that against us also!

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From the LA Times this morning:

Actions Renew Tensions Over Use of Desert Land

Release of the west Mojave plan and a judge's rejection of a proposal for the Algodones Dunes reignite debate.

By Janet Wilson, Times Staff Writer

March 15, 2006

A pair of decisions in the last two days governing recreation, conservation and development across several million acres of California desert are reigniting tensions over endangered species and motorized access in the fast-growing region.

Late Tuesday, U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials signed the west Mojave management plan, designed to streamline construction and map areas for motorized recreation and wildlife protection on 9.3 million acres of public land in five counties and 11 cities. Parts of Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside, Kern and Inyo counties are included in the plan, which took 12 years to craft.

"You have tremendous, growing populations in … the west Mojave, and then you try to balance that with conservation of species, and it becomes a very, very delicate balancing act, and that's what we think this plan achieved," said Jan Bedrosian, spokeswoman for the bureau's California office. The plan identifies vital areas for the threatened desert tortoise, Mohave squirrel and 98 other species, pinpoints off-road trails, and lays out areas that could be developed.

But the plan was promptly lambasted by environmentalists and off-road vehicle groups, who said that thousands of miles of riding trails had been improperly mapped, that there were no funds for enforcement or implementation, and that lawsuits were inevitable.

"They don't have a nickel — not a nickel — to implement any of it," said Roy Denner, president of the Off-Road Business Assn., who was appointed by Interior Secretary Gale Norton to serve on the BLM's Desert District Advisory Council and who has monitored the plan closely.

"It wasn't done well," he said. "What they were trying to do — and it's pretty naive — is they were trying to provide for every kind of environmental concern they could with the idea that it would prevent lawsuits, and it's just the other way around. They're going to get sued by the environmental extremists … and off-road access is going to be cut off. It's a joke."

Tom Egan, a former bureau biologist who worked on the early stages of the plan before leaving the agency, called the final version "egregious," and said it would lead to the disappearance of the tortoise in many areas and leave other species "on hospital beds." He noted that the plan included measures for placing signs indicating trails were open to off-roading, but none to say which areas were closed.

A spokesman for the Center for Biological Diversity — an environmental group that has long opposed the expansion of off-road driving in the desert — said that the plan would harm the desert tortoise in particular, and that the organization probably would sue to stop it.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston threw out another bureau plan and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biological report for the Algodones Dunes to the south that would have greatly expanded off-roading, saying that the plan would harm the federally protected Pierson's milk vetch wildflower and the desert tortoise, and that the agencies had wrongly interpreted the Endangered Species Act.

The judge "basically shredded their plan," said Daniel Patterson, an ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. Noting that about half of the most popular parts of the dunes remain open to riders, he said: "It's time for them to compromise and recognize that 50% is enough."

Bedrosian said bureau officials had not seen the decision and could not comment immediately. She said officials thought they had adequately protected species by calling for tightly controlled riding on designated routes with heavy monitoring.

Vince Brunasso of the American Sand Assn., which intervened on the side of the government to have 49,000 acres of the popular dunes reopened to riding, said: "I agree. Let's compromise. Let's have 50% of the dunes in North America reopened then, because if you do the math and add up all the acres we have access to, it falls far short of 50%."

Brunasso said the Algodones Dunes "are different, and they're beautiful, and we can't go to the deep center section. The American people are being robbed of the ability to enjoy that beauty … we're not done fighting."

He said his group would try to have the Pierson's milk vetch delisted as an endangered species.

"The BLM counted 1.8 million milk vetch last year. I don't know how many you have to have before an official person would say its not endangered or threatened" and off-highway vehicle use can coexist with it, he said.

Patterson and others have said the wildflower is doing better for now because of good rains last year and because off-roading has been banned in key areas.

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Since when has the judge become a biological expert? Just a breif query of the ruling screams out the judges subjective knowlegde of biodiversity and rather than trusting the bio experts (if such a thing) at USFW, comes up with her own conclusions.

I would like to believe that the expert attorneys fightng for our sport's cause would have certainly scrutinized the BO so this could not of been an issue.

Very frustrating....

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Thanks to Vince for the wonderful rebuttal to Dannyboy's abuse of the 50% party line. I also have a real problem with the reporter's use of the word "expansion" in relation to what the RAMP was about. I have written a letter to her in regards to this.

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On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston threw out another bureau plan and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biological report for the Algodones Dunes to the south that would have greatly expanded off-roading, saying that the plan would harm the federally protected Pierson's milk vetch wildflower and the desert tortoise, and that the agencies had wrongly interpreted the Endangered Species Act.

This right here is a perfect example of why we have virtually no chance here. (No, I'm not saying quit... just being critical)

I'm willing to bet that even most of YOU read that and saw nothing really wrong there. At least on the part of the Judge.

Not me... I see a very big problem. You see, this section of the article, which is the Judges words and supposidly unbiased very clearly shows that it is a forgone conclusion that the closure is theirs and that we are attempting to take it from them!!!

When, of course, the opposite is true. Those dunes are OURS and we are trying to get them BACK!!!

This would not have "Greatly expanded Off-roading"...

This would have "returned off-roading to it's previous area"

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The judge "basically shredded their plan," said Daniel Patterson, an ecologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. Noting that about half of the most popular parts of the dunes remain open to riders, he said: "It's time for them to compromise and recognize that 50% is enough."

This kind of rhetoric needs a thoughtful response and we need to hammer it home every time one of us gets in the public's eye.

Not that Vince's reply wasn't good... But I know we can do better.

We need to point out how greedy Daniels words actually are.

We need to emphasize the fact that 50% is already proteceted with a PERMANANT closure and that this TEMPORARY closure is, in fact Off-roading dunes that have already been taken away. We are simply trying to get back what was agreed in the 70's would be for off-roading.

They are using laungage against us and we're not doing the same.

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Here's the letter I wrote. I agree Brian, that we have an uphill PR battle on our hands as long as reporters can willingly distort the facts.

Ms Wilson,

I read your article "Actions Renew Tensions Over Use of Desert Land

Release of the west Mojave plan and a judge's rejection of a proposal for the Algodones Dunes reignite debate" and found a glaring factual error.  In the article, you state the following "On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston threw out another bureau plan and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biological report for the Algodones Dunes to the south that would have greatly expanded off-roading..." when in fact there will be no expansion of OHV access.  The management plan, as written, would have RESTORED most vehicle access to the dunes, and restricted access to the deep core of the dune area by using a permit based system.  Please retract your error, as it is very misleading to the average reader who is unfamiliar with the issues at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

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I think I'm going crazy... First I saw the "expanded" comment and attributed it to the reporter... so I crafted my post as such but when I did so I then attributed the "expanded" comment to the judge so I re-wrote the thing...

Then I saw your post at the ASA and thought... "Oh, they both did it"... and was preparing another post stating that... only to realize that I was right the first time ... it was the reporters words, not the judges...

Now, if you figured that out I've got a cookie for ya!

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When compromises are reached it’s because someone is done fighting.

I’m not done yet. Are you?

1484387[/snapback]

I hope that is true of your compatriots, too.

Vince Brunasso of the American Sand Assn., which intervened on the side of the government to have 49,000 acres of the popular dunes reopened to riding, said: "I agree. Let's compromise. Let's have 50% of the dunes in North America reopened then, because if you do the math and add up all the acres we have access to, it falls far short of 50%."

1484639[/snapback]

That would be the offensive that should be brought about. A compromise I could live with. 50% of ALL dunes opened up for riding.

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I think that argument has more meaning when it's not so grand...

Arguing that 40% of the dunes at Glamis are already protected and closed to off-roading probably hits the target better.

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icon_sad.gif I'm so frustrated by this.

Would somebody please point me to a list of names and addresses of key people involved that I can write or e-mail. There has to be one on here somewhere. I'm still new here and being short on time today, not sure where to look.

Thanks so much!

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Here's the letter I wrote.  I agree Brian, that we have an uphill PR battle on our hands as long as reporters can willingly distort the facts.

Ms Wilson,

I read your article "Actions Renew Tensions Over Use of Desert Land

Release of the west Mojave plan and a judge's rejection of a proposal for the Algodones Dunes reignite debate" and found a glaring factual error.  In the article, you state the following "On Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston threw out another bureau plan and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biological report for the Algodones Dunes to the south that would have greatly expanded off-roading..." when in fact there will be no expansion of OHV access.  The management plan, as written, would have RESTORED most vehicle access to the dunes, and restricted access to the deep core of the dune area by using a permit based system.  Please retract your error, as it is very misleading to the average reader who is unfamiliar with the issues at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area.

1484816[/snapback]

thanks for taking the time to write the letter thumb.gif

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I am makeing a vow to all the duners . I WILL NOT STAND BY AND DO NOTHING

my goal for the off season is to get the ASA as much money from corporate sponsors to fight and win this battle.just look at what has been acomplished with the Dunes Out Reach Team and the trash issue.

everyone need to pony up and get the dollers up to fight this battle.

the war is not over yet just mid battle....Tim the trash guy

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So this means the "temporary" closers continue? Why I'm not suprised? The CBD sure seems happy so this can't be good news.

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The time limit for responding to the court has been extended on this, by mutual agreement of the parties.

Here's the stipulated order.

The third "WHEREAS" points out the extension isn't just for making sure they do their research on how to resubmit the biological opinion... it's also so the parties can work out an "agreement on the appropriate form of relief".

Vicki

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Can't view the pdf.

work out an agreement? O boy.

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Can't view the pdf.

1506793[/snapback]

Sometimes it takes a while to upload. I can email it to you if you want.

Vicki

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