September 21 2008
Re: Monticello PRMP/FEIS
This protest is being filed by:
Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA)
Our interest in filing this protest:
Issues Being Protested:
Parts of Plan Being Protested:
THE RESOLUTION WE SEEK:
We seek a higher review all of our comments. We seek the appropriate and necessary corrections to the PRMP where we have asked to have true information directly related to the analysis added, and where we have asked to have inaccurate information corrected or deleted.
After making the corrections we ask for, we seek a reconsideration of the proposed decision, where our comments clearly mandate a change in the outcome of the analysis.
Concise Statement of Why the Director’s Decision Is Wrong:
The comments we submitted during the comment period for this plan are attached, and will speak for themselves. Please review our comments, and withdraw this PRMP in order to make the appropriate revisions.
We contend that BLM’s failure to address any of our concerns during the comment period is clear evidence that BLM had already selected the outcomes BLM wanted. Our comments took issue with several of BLM’s proposals, and BLM could not properly and legally address our comments without substantially changing the (previously selected) Decision, and so BLM declined to publish our comments or to respond to them.
We have provided substantial evidence supporting our contention that BLM is using the RMP as an instrument to manufacture Wilderness.
We contend that resolving user conflict is not an RMP decision and is a serious, substantive issue arising in this and other BLM proposed plans. Publishing and lawfully addressing our concern will require a change in the BLM outcome and in the BLM policies set by this RMP, and thus BLM had no choice but to disregard our concerns. This is a serious breach of trust and a serious disregard for the lawful NEPA process as set forth by the CEQ.
We contend that basing any land use allocation decision upon resolving user conflict is arbitrary and capricious. Why? Because “conflict,” as manifested by individual differences of philosophy, values, or cultural attributes, is an ephemeral event. The evidence of a “user conflict” is hearsay, causing every incident of “conflict” to be supported only by hearsay. “User conflict” is neither defined nor quantifiable; and there is never any physical evidence. We strongly contend that, because of the diversity of publics who recreate on public lands and the diversity of the American population, resolving philosophical/cultural/values differences between public lands visitors engaged in different lawful activities could never have been a duty assigned to BLM by Congress.
We contend that the “policy conflict” between BLM and NHPA (in the matter of OHV) was manufactured by the BLM to enable itself to arbitrarily expand its authority over public lands visitors who use “OHV’s” for access and recreation.
After review of our comments, the reason BLM Monticello disregarded them will be obvious.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
* Endnote referenced on page one of this protest, under Our Interest in Filing This Protest
We are not attempting to deny that the are physical effects upon the natural environment from OHV recreation. We are attempting to help the BLM produce an accurate analysis. We all know there will be some effects. But the purpose of the NEPA is not to find that place where there are no effects. The purpose is to find the balance between the benefits of the human activity and the effects upon the natural environment. NEPA, Section 2 “prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man”, and Section 101 under Title I, “recognizing the critical importance of restoring and maintaining environmental quality to the overall welfare and development of man.”
There is a large body of literature, developed over the last 30 years by sociologists in the leisure/recreation field that describes the emotional and social benefits of what is called “serious leisure.” If you review some of the literature, you will find that:
BLM may wish to deny that these qualities define motor recreation. That is clear evidence that BLM needs recreation specialists who know motor recreation, the same as BLM has recreation specialists for most other recreation activities pursued on BLM lands.
|See attached PDF for letters to the
Monticello Field Office RMP Comments
Bureau of Land Management
Monticello Field Office
sent in January 2008