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Updates on threats to the Klamath-Siskyou region, and what you can do to help.

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User-created ORV trails can harm soil and water resources and further fragment wildlife habitat. Pictured here is a recently thinned
Medford BLM timber sale.

In addition to the hearing held last month by the House Resources Committee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), recently announced that an oversight hearing on “Off-highway Vehicle Management on Public Lands” will be held June 5 in Washington DC. This is great news, and there are two things that would be helpful for you to do with regard to this hearing.

1. Contact Senator Ron Wyden. Oregon's senior Senator Ron Wyden sits on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee and therefore is an important player to communicate with prior to the hearing. I encourage you to contact Senator Wyden’s office to: (1) encourage his active participation in this hearing and (2) to convey your thoughts about what must be done to minimize the negative consequences of ORV use on public lands.

Senator Ron Wyden
Federal Courthouse
310 West 6th St, Room 118
Medford, OR 97501
(541) 858-5122

2. Write a letter to Committee Chairman Bingaman before the hearing. Include your concerns with ORV use, the damage they cause and the reality of ineffective enforcement. Personal stories, photo documentation and proposed solutions are all helpful.

Chairman Jeff Bingaman
Energy and Natural Resources Committee Office
Re: OHV Oversight Hearing
304 Dirksen Senate Building
Washington, DC 20510

More info:

Off-road vehicle use on public lands has increased dramatically over the past several decades. This increase, combined with a lack of law enforcement, has resulted in significant damage to public lands, causing erosion, air and noise pollution, and habitat destruction, and contributes significantly to global warming. Trails designed for hikers suffer considerable damage when used by motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. Hikers and others seeking the quiet solitude of the forest are often confronted with the noise and pollution of off-road vehicles. As gas prices continue to rise, the use of off-road vehicles will become an increasingly expensive recreational choice.

What: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Oversight Hearing Regarding Off-Highway Vehicle Management on Public Lands.

When: Thursday, June 5, 2008, at 9:30 am, Eastern Time, 7:30am Mountain Time, 6:30am Pacific Time

Where: Washington, D.C.

Who: Full Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; witnesses will be announced.

For more information, visit http://energy.senate.gov