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About Fight For Ocotillo Wells

 

There are constantly issues effecting Ocotillo Wells and the majority of the time the general public has no idea these issues even exist. After taking part in the Geo Thermal Drilling issue of 2007, FFOW founder Desiree Bates and friends drove campsite to campsite informing the public of the possibility of geo thermal drills occupying parts of Ocotillo Wells. With this lawsuit Desiree took to Social Media to get word out and the Fight For Ocotillo Wells Facebook group is 6,100+ people strong.
Access the FFOW Facebook group HERE!

and make sure that you follow the FFOW fan page here!

May 21st, 2013 self proclaimed "environmental" groups called PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Protection) and the DPC (Desert Protective Council) filed a lawsuit against the California State Department of Parks and Recreation claiming that trails are not being maintained, archaeological sites are not being fully protected, excessive dust is blowing in the air, vegetation is being destroyed and the park is suffering erosion damage due to off road vehicles. They are claimining "their observation and experience of these incidents diminishes their recreational use and enjoyment of the Ocotillo Wells SVRA, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and other nearby lands."  They are asking for open riding to be discon

tinued and for off road vehicles to be allowed only on designated trails.

 

Documents:

Official Press release to end open riding at Ocotillo WElls

Official Petition for Writ of Mandate

 


August 6, 2013 - California State Parks filed a response to the lawsuit that wants to limit open riding in the Ocotillo Wells SVRA (OWSVRA). The State has a filed what is called a demurrer. The basic thrust of the demurrer is that Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and The Desert Protective Council (DPC) have improperly invited the court to intervene and tell State Parks how to run the OWSVRA, something the law does not allow. In order to pursue this lawsuit, PEER/DPC must identify a particular ministerial (non-discretionary) task, required by law, that State Parks has failed to perform; and PEER/DPC has not done so.

The hearing regarding the demurrer is scheduled for December 13, 2013. If the demurrer is granted, the entire case would be dismissed. Tierra Del Sol’s attorney has decided to wait until the results of the hearing are known before moving forward. Keep in mind that we lose nothing by waiting. If the court denies the demurrer and allows the case to move forward we are still able to intervene. This is simply a matter of a couple anti-public access groups wanting to tell State Parks how to do its job.


More info at www.tds4x4.com

 

 

Timeline of information provided By S&S Off Road Magazine

 

 

May 2014 - CORVA, TDS, and Ecologic Team Up to Oppose Ocotillo Wells Lawsuit
The California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), Tierra Del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club (TDS), and Ecologic Partners are pleased to announce they have joined forces to oppose the lawsuit seeking to end open riding at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (OWSVRA). Last year, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protection Council (DPC) filed suit against State Parks, claiming the open riding policy at Ocotillo Wells SVRA was damaging natural and cultural resources. Jesse Barton of Sacramento has represented CORVA since they filed for intervener status last year, and will continue representing the organization. Joining him will be David Hubbard of Gatzke Dillon & Ballance (Carlsbad), attorney for TDS and Ecologic.
PEER and DPC filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging that State Parks is violating the Public Resources Code in their management of Ocotillo Wells. The Attorney General has aggressively defended State Parks’ management of the OWSVRA.
Now CORVA, TDS and Ecologic will be partnering to make sure every possible argument in favor of OHV recreation is developed and argued in this effort to keep OWSVRA open. “The more legal advice we have to help litigate this matter the better” agreed Harry Baker, CORVA President. “TDS has members whose families have recreated in this area for generations” said Tim Augustine, President of TDS, “we felt the more pairs of legal eyes reviewing this, the more likely we are to come out with a win”. Jesse Barton and David Hubbard will collaborate on developing the legal briefs necessary to convince the judge that State Parks has not abused its discretion in the management of the Park and that the natural and cultural resources continue to be protected effectively according to the law.

--9/13 Update on the lawsuit between State Parks and PEER/DPC-- Per the last hearing, PEER has received information from State Parks in regard to how the park has been managed. This means that the park has been required to submit maintenance records spanning over the last 30 years. PEER lawyers are now going to scrutinize that material as well as the behavior of off-roaders and try to show every instance of misuse over that 30 year time period. California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA)'s lawyers maintain that State Parks has done everything possible to maintain these resources and protect them to the best of their ability, but please know that your behavior at our park makes a huge impact. Keep that in mind as desert season approaches and have a fun and safe desert season!

 

--9/13 Update on the lawsuit between State Parks and PEER/DPC--

 

Per the last hearing, PEER has received information from State Parks in regard to how the park has been managed. This means that the park has been required to submit maintenance records spanning over the last 30 years. PEER lawyers are now going to scrutinize that material as well as the behavior of off-roaders and try to show every instance of misuse over that 30 year time period. California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA)'s lawyers maintain that State Parks has done everything possible to maintain these resources and protect them to the best of their ability, but please know that your behavior at our park makes a huge impact. Keep that in mind as desert season approaches and have a fun and safe desert season!

 


Donate to CORVA Here
Donate to Tierra Del Sol Here

 



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