Vehicle Riders Move to Join Ochoco Lawsuit


         Contact: Paul Turcke
           Phone: 208-331-1800
              Date:  September 28, 2017

Vehicle Riders Move to Join Ochoco Lawsuit

PORTLAND, OR (September 28, 2017) – Off-highway vehicle groups have filed to become parties in a lawsuit involving vehicle access to central Oregon’s Ochoco National Forest. The groups seek to defend the Forest Service’s Summit Trail Project decision, which designates routes for vehicle travel. The case was filed by WildEarth Guardians, Oregon Wild, the Sierra Club, and Great Old Broads for Wilderness, and is assigned to Judge Patricia Sullivan, in the Pendleton Division of the U.S. District of Oregon.

A response to the motion is due in mid-October. It is likely that the merits of the case will be presented to the Court in early 2018.

“This project reflects excruciating analysis and patience by the agency and affected user groups,” said Larry Ulrich, President of the Ochoco Trail Riders. “This decision does not imperil wildlife or threaten new motorized access. It reduces historical trail mileage and the approved trails are carefully designated to minimize impacts to resources and provide a spectrum of visitor opportunities. This is a state of the art effort by the Forest Service which should be applauded, not overturned,” Ulrich concluded.  

The Trail Riders are joined in the motion by the Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association, the Deschutes County 4 Wheelers, the Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, and the BlueRibbon Coalition. The vehicle groups are seeking to defend the decision in court alongside the U.S. Forest Service. They are represented by Paul Turcke of Boise, Idaho.

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Ochoco Trail Riders (OTR) are a volunteer OHV User Group dedicated to building and maintaining approximately 500 miles of Single Track and ATV Trails in the Ochoco National Forest in accordance with the new Travel Management Plan. The goal is achieved in the process and a trail system is the reward.

The Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association (OMRA) has been around since 1972 and is the statewide sanctioning body for off-road motorcycle events for the state of Oregon. It is a member-run club, whose main purpose is to unite responsible trail riders, racers and dualsport riders who wish to promote, preserve and protect enjoyable off-road recreation while, at the same time, emphasizing FUN!

Deschutes County 4 Wheelers’ club was formed in 1976 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, promotion and expansion of four-wheeling opportunities in Central Oregon and beyond.

The Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA) is a non-profit organization comprised of member clubs and individuals united in a common objective – the betterment of vehicle oriented outdoor recreation while preserving the environment.

The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.Org is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists.