Statement Regarding Intervention in National Park Service LawsuitIRVINE, Calif.--Jan. 13, 2006--The Motorcycle Industry Council, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, and BlueRibbon Coalition took action last week to protect traditional off-highway vehicle use currently allowed in approximately three dozen units of the National Park System. The three groups, representing the off-highway vehicle industry and enthusiasts, have filed to intervene in pending litigation aimed at barring this use.
In November, plaintiffs led by the Bluewater Network filed suit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging that National Park Service actions to allow these uses are illegal. The suit named the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service as defendants. The MIC, SVIA, and BRC sought to intervene on the side of the federal agencies and defend OHV use on these public lands. Allegations by the plaintiffs disregard the law, history, and the facts about regulated OHV use.
Currently established laws, rules, and management plans allow carefully regulated off-highway vehicle use in a variety of National Park System units, and allow park visitors from Florida to Massachusetts to Alaska to enjoy these traditional uses. The MIC, SVIA and BRC believe it is important that public lands are managed in a way that both preserves and protects the land, while taking into account the growing popularity of OHV recreation and the opportunity for OHV enthusiasts to enjoy the outdoors in an environmentally responsible manner. For these reasons, it was necessary to come to the table in support of the National Park Service and OHV enthusiasts nationwide.
There is a long history of recreational OHV use in many areas under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. In many cases, OHV use in these areas predated the designation of the area as a unit of the National Park Service and the designations were made with the understanding that OHV use would continue to be allowed.
In Massachusetts, OHV enthusiasts who frequent the beaches primarily to go surf fishing helped lead the effort to designate the Cape Cod National Seashore and were assured that these traditional uses would continue. In Alaska, native villagers were given the right by law to continue to use OHVs in many areas for subsistence hunting and fishing. Overall, the National Park Service carefully regulates these uses to assure that natural resources including fish and wildlife are conserved.
The MIC, SVIA and BRC support the National Park Service, OHV enthusiasts, and the continuation of carefully regulated use in areas with a long-standing history of OHV recreation.
The Motorcycle Industry Council is a not-for-profit, national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV parts and accessories and members of allied trades, located in Irvine, California.
Since 1983, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America(R) has promoted the safe and responsible use of All-Terrain Vehicles through rider training programs, public awareness campaigns, and state legislation. The SVIA also serves as a resource for ATV research, statistics, and vehicle standards. The SVIA, based in Irvine, California, is a not-for-profit trade association sponsored by Arctic Cat, Bombardier, Bush Hog, Honda, John Deere, Kawasaki, Patriot, Polaris, Suzuki, Tomberlin, and Yamaha. For membership information, call 949.727.3727; for safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourse(SM) nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org and click on "Online Enrollment," or call 800.887.2887.