Once again one of our most beloved off-road areas, Ocotillo Wells SVRA, is being threatened with closure to all off-road recreation activity by anti-access groups and if we don’t speak up now and let our state representatives know what a great disservice this would be to our community, we might never see another Tierra Del Sol Desert Safari or have a nice clean place to take the family out to during the holidays. We can’t just lay down and let them take away our right to enjoy this land, a land which was set aside specifically for off-highway vehicle recreation.
Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) as well as the Desert Protective Council (DPC) have filed a lawsuit to stop open riding at Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. The lawsuit alleges that the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) is not enforcing various Public Resources Codes with respect to trail maintenance and environmental protection.
The Ocotillo Wells SVRA is currently in the process of updating its general plan. The general plan process allows for all users involved to have a say in how the park is managed. Our friends over at the Tierra Del Sol 4-Wheel Drive Club have recently contacted State Parks to restart the stalled planning process and are fighting to make sure our voices are heard.
State Parks has thirty days to respond to the lawsuit. One of the accusations that the plaintiffs have alleged is that there is a significant lack of vegetation growth, specifically at trail crossings but they have not presented any scientific evidence to prove their allegations. Last time we checked, there was still an abundance of majestic desert plants, including the Fouquieria Splendens (Ocotillo Plant), flourishing at Ocotillo Wells SVRA.
We hope that the State Parks defends its open riding policy and we hope you’ll join us in spreading the word because we can’t afford to lose any more land. If you want to help keep Ocotillo Wells SVRA open for future generations, please contact your state representative and ask them to encourage State Parks to defend against the lawsuit.
You can locate who your representatives are with this link: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
For more information on what you can do to help, please visit: http://www.tds4x4.com/lawsuit-filed-against-state-parks/