BlueRibbon Coalition BRC: Hearing on IDF&G Motorized Hunting Rule Monday

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Date: 02/04/2011

Idaho Legislative Action Alert
Hearing on Idaho Department of Fish and Game Motorized Hunting Rule Monday
BRC encourages members to attend

Dear BRC members and supporters,
Rusty Faircloth from the Mountain Home ATV Club and Sandra Mitchell from the Idaho Recreation Council sent word that an important hearing is scheduled for next Monday, February 7, 2011, 1:30 pm regarding the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDF&G) Motorized Vehicle Hunting Rule (MVR).
BRC attempted to confirm that the hearing is indeed scheduled. That process has piqued our concern. The west wing auditorium is reserved for a meeting, but the meeting is not on the official schedule. Causing further concern is that IDF&G employees are apparently lobbying in support of the MVR.
See: Should motorized hunting be regulated?
By Mark Gamblin, Southeast Regional Supervisor, Idaho Fish and Game
In light of all this, we are encouraging our members and supporters to attend this important meeting.
We have some information below that I strongly encourage you to read. This issue affects OHV users even if you do not hunt. The information will help you if you choose to attend.
As always, please call or email if you have any questions.
Brian Hawthorne
Public Lands Policy Director
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102
Idaho Legislative Action Alert
Hearing on Idaho Department of Fish and Game Motorized Hunting Rule Monday
BRC encourages members to attend

The Idaho Legislature is taking public testimony on the Idaho Department of Fish and Game "Motorized Vehicle Hunting Rule."
A hearing is (apparently) scheduled for Monday, February 7, 2011, 1:30 pm in the auditorium located on the west end, lower level, of the Idaho State Capitol building.
Attend the meeting and let the legislature know how you feel.
The IDF&G Motorized Vehicle Hunting Rule attempts to close motorized trails on public lands to citizens who are hunting. The Rule does not apply to anyone who is not hunting. The Rule does not apply to roads. The Rule has become been extremely controversial as the US Forest Service has closed thousands of miles of roads and trails partly to provide for non-motorized hunting. The IDF&G has attempted to expand the Rule to nearly every region of the State.
Recently, Mark Gamblin, an employee of the IDF&G, openly lobbied against making changes to the IDF&G MVR in an article printed in the Idaho State Journal. The article is reprinted on the IDF&G website and on other websites as well:
See: Should motorized hunting be regulated?
Gamblin makes this rather odd statement:
The Idaho back-country is different today than only 25 years ago. Today, road and motorized trail systems reach into the most remote areas of that era, making the use of motorized vehicles (especially OHVs) a hunting tool commonly used or encountered, except where off-road motorized travel is restricted by land managers.
Gamblin has not been paying attention. Travel management plans have closed thousands of miles of roads and trails in the past 25 years. Compared to 25 years ago, motorized trail systems have been drastically reduced. Cross country travel has been all but eliminated. Motorized Vehicles may only travel on officially designated roads and trails. Motorized assisted game retrieval has been banned in almost all areas as well.
The IDF&G justifies the MVR by claiming there is a tremendous demand for hunting without ATVs and in areas without roads. In fact, there are tens of millions of acres that have been made available for "non-motorized" hunting across the state and more created every year.
There is an important point to make about who has jurisdiction over motorized recreation on public lands. Except for County roads, it is the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management that have jurisdiction over motorized roads and trails. F&G is asserting its jurisdiction here by classifying an ATV as a "method of take." But they don't classify a horse or a mule as a "method of take."
BRC acknowledges the popularity of, and need to provide, a "non motorized hunting experience." However, such decisions are properly made via the land managing agency's planning process. In our view, IDF&G's motorized rule is an attempt to bypass that process.
The public land planning process, which allows public review and input from all interested and affected stakeholders, is the proper venue for such decisions.
By bypassing the public process, IDF&G's rule has, predictably, led to controversy. The Rule has actually created more of the conflict it sought to address. IDF&G's rule does not, and can not, ban any motorized uses by public lands visitors who are not hunting. Ergo, the "non motorized hunting experience" is not provided.

The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group 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. 1-800-BlueRib -
As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit to help fund our efforts to protect your trails!

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