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For Immediate Release, March 12, 2008

Contact: Chris Kassar, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 609-7685

Congress to Hold Hearing on the Impacts of Unmanaged Off-Road Vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC— The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, chaired by Rep. Raúl Grijalva, Dem., Ariz., will hold an oversight hearing on “The Impacts of Unmanaged Off-Road Vehicles on Federal Lands” Thursday, March 13 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

“Special places throughout the country that shelter endangered species, house rare stream corridors, and run through inventoried roadless areas continue to be damaged by off-road vehicles,” said Chris Kassar, a wildlife biologist with the Center for Biological Diversity. “These hearings will bring to light the reasons that agencies tasked with protecting our public lands are continuing to allow this to happen.”

The committee will hear testimony about the impacts that all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes, and other off-road vehicles have on communities, tribes, and private property owners, among others. The committee will explore how the federal government’s failure to manage off-road vehicles is causing hardship to communities across the nation and is contributing to growing enforcement problems.

In the past few years, federal agencies have increased off-road vehicle planning efforts in a move to rein in abuse. “We had high hopes this would bring real protections to our public lands; however, the fact that federal agencies are, in many instances, ignoring issues of highest national importance implies to us that the process is broken and needs repair,” continued Kassar. “This is an opportunity for Congress to push agencies to address the highest-priority issues and ensure compliance with existing laws so that we can take a positive step forward in limiting off-road vehicle excess.” Read the Center’s written testimony here.

House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Oversight Hearing on "The Impacts of Unmanaged Off-Road Vehicles on Federal Land"

Thursday, March 13, 2008, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time, 12 noon Mountain Time, 11 a.m. Pacific Time

Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building. Available on live Web cast at:

The witnesses scheduled to testify are:

Panel 1
Henri Bisson, Deputy Director, Bureau of Land Management
Joel Holtrop, Deputy Chief, National Forest System, U. S. Forest Service

Panel 2
Dr. Denise Dowd MD, MPH, FAAP, American Academy of Pediatrics, Kansas City, MO
Alan Franzoy, Deputy Sheriff, Dona Ana County's Sheriff's Department, Radium Springs, NM
Jack Gregory, Rangers for Responsible Recreation, U.S. Forest Service Special Agent in Charge (Retired), Marietta, GA
Ross Ehnes, Executive Director, National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, Great Falls, MT

Panel 3
Ted Howard, Cultural Resources Director, Shoshone-Paiute Tribes, Owyhee, NV
Victoria Fuller, Private Property Owner, Joshua Tree, CA
Bob Vahle, Retired Forest Planner, Pinetop, AZ
Ken Rosevear, American Sand Association, Inc., Yuma, AZ

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