A couple of months ago, we were sent the photos at the top of this entry. That is a USFS truck with a collection of clothes pined ribbon.
For those of us who are out in the desert often we all know what these are – course markers for a race, rally, poker run or another event.
A wise person could bet some serious coin, that this is a pirate race, a bootleg event something that is off the radar of your Public Lands managers, because more often than not these ‘events’ are being put together by riders who have not fulfilled the requirement for obtaining a permit.
Before you stop reading this assuming it is going to be a ‘hey you broke the rules” post please read on. Nothing in here is directed at any individual. This is simply a post to let everyone know what happens when we don’t apply for the proper permits.
This is not a discussion about outfitters or those who are running a business without the proper authorization, on your Public Lands, because those groups are stealing from >YOU< and that is on the list for a future article.
Pirate events have a significant negative impact on the rest of the OHV community –
Yes, it is that simple, and here is why,
1. Historical Precedence. – When a club wants to run an event the 1st thing the Land managers will do is check to see if the area has hosted a similar or complementary event. If it has it makes the application less cumbersome which we should all read as – less expensive. If the area has hosted dozens of unpermitted events and there is no record – the new group better break out the checkbook if they want to hold the event.
2. Impeding improvement. – in both the BLM and USFS, all of the funds for any recreational permit are allocated to support the recreational activity/area they were collected from, it is not put in an envelope and sent to Washinton. This is the ultimate in user investing in their hobby. And as Nevada is slowly moving to a better managed higher quality offroad system statewide, reducing the funds that assist in that process, is self-defeating. Many people are embracing the improvements that are being championed by the private sector – the clubs and associations who are working every day to make sure all improvements meet the needs of the offroad community.
3. Protecting Access. – The historical precedence also plays into the constant battle to protect your access to your Public Lands. We are in the ideal position in Nevada right now as the Bureau of Land Management has announced they will be starting the Statewide Resource Management Plan in the next 3-5 years. Yes – We know – We have had these promises before… for the last 30 years… but maybe this time it won’t be Lucy pulling away from the football… So, let’s assume that it actually does happen. With permitted events all over Nevada – those areas will be in the inventory by default. This allows the advocates like the Nevada Offroad Association, and the boots on the ground clubs, to channel their energy to protect the other less-traveled areas. Because to be blunt our adversaries do their best to stifle motorized off offroad enjoyment every day. They are well organized, driven, and continue to strategically pick away at your ability to ride on your Public Lands. Participating in or permitting your own event helps to add that spot to the inventory and pushes back to the groups who want to limit your access.
It is not too late: The usual response from the federal land managers is to work with those who have been operating without a permit to get them on the radar and in compliance, so they are contributing to using your land. When a group is stubborn and refuses to work with them the process tends to go badly for that user. Everything from cease and desist orders, all the way up to violations, fines, and a hefty legal bill to the group’s defense attorney are on the table.
Some say you can’t fight City Hall, they are wrong, the best way to fight City Hall is to make them do their job and manage Your Public Lands, after all, they work for you.