Settlement conference for Adventure Trail lawsuit

On Friday, Inyo County lawyers and attorneys that represent environmental groups will conduct a phone conference to see where things stand with the Adventure Trails pilot program for Off-Highway Vehicles. In June, The Center for Biological Diversity and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility sued Inyo County. The lawsuit alleges that Inyo failed to adequately consider the environment in approval of going forward with the project.

The program, spear-headed by Dick Noles of Bishop and others, would allow licensed drivers of Off-Highway Vehicles to travel ten miles onto county roads to get to goods and services in Inyo communities. The pilot program was spelled out in Assembly Bill 628.

Inyo County’s handling of this project did go through an environmental review, and then the two environmental groups filed suit. They claim Inyo County failed to address environmental concerns.

Inyo County Counsel Randy Keller said that the County had decided to compile a list of steps to process proposed roads for the Adventure Trail program. He called them steps to analyze the proposed roads. The environmental groups are generally objecting on the grounds of potential environmental harm to plants and wildlife. They also point to noise and impacts on people by riders and vehicles that are not street legal.

In the past, Dick Noles has pointed to approval of the project by the Inyo County Sheriff, California Highway Patrol and Inyo County government. He also said that there are no new roads involved. The roads would be existing county roads that lead to commercial areas. Arizona and Utah operate similar programs.

Noles and others continue to work with communities to list roads that would become a part of this project. More will be known of the legal fight after Friday’s settlement conference.

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34 Responses to Settlement conference for Adventure Trail lawsuit

  1. George November 19, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    You can see the proposed routes here:

  2. Blutarsky April 30, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    I have always suspected this is a ruse to let local residents ride out their driveways to rut up more country side. The Earth isn’t here to be an amusement park thrill ride. I lived for many years in the OV and it hurts to return and see the damage. Seen the Alabama’s lately?


  3. salblaster July 29, 2012 at 12:35 am #

    the atv trails project is funded by off road regestration fees. the same fund that gave the friends of inyo their 600,000 $ but i dont think they have anything to do with this lawsuit. i’m not sure who’s funding the center for biological diversity or public employees for enviromental responsibility. the roads the atv trail project wants to use are mainly county maintained roads that have been in use for decades. thats like someone suing you for driving down the road to your house. a complete waste of money and court time. but since the trails project has the backing of connie conway and the off highway vehicle fund, and the sherriffs dept,and highway patrol,and county officials, i say bring it on, the atv trails project is gonna win this one. by the way enviromentalists are not the reason we have great fishing,all the trout in the sierra’s with the exception of golden trout were transplanted here . not native,and enviromentalists want them gone as intrusive species. as for the valley not being paved over with strip malls and bussinesses you can thank not enviromentalists but the dwp who owns an absurd amout of land in the owens valley and their not giving it up for anybody. and yes i like clean water and clean air, what i dont like is an organization going overboard and suing just because they can,seems like such a waste, unless your a lawyer.

    • Big AL July 29, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      Good post salblaster.

  4. Big AL July 28, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Without a few of the law suits, not a lot of them, to me … a lot of them are BS. There is just cause for some.

  5. John Barton July 27, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

    Without a lot of the lawsuits by the enviros, a lot of open space and ranch land would now be covered in strip malls and housing developments. The political/social pendulum swings to the extremes every now and then but common sense, science and attorneys from both sides end up bringing it back to the middle. I love to fish and hunt and the enviros have helped preserve a lot of areas that I have harvested fish and game from but then there are those that think fishing and hunting should be outlawed… Can’t make all the people happy all the time…

  6. Big AL July 26, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

    They do not include Science, just emotion… Yep!

  7. fish dude July 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm #

    Hey Warner…Stay away from the Kool-Aid!!!! The CFBD and other enviro’s sue everyone and everything…. They attack all ways of economic existence around the West… Ranching, Fishing, Packing and Off-Roading just to name a few….They do not include Science, just emotion… You go to China..

  8. Jerry C. July 26, 2012 at 8:07 am #

    I wonder if our “friends” of the Inyo is involved in this… They love clogging up our court system. How many times have they sued the FS now??
    What is it 10?

    • Mark July 27, 2012 at 11:23 am #

      FOI and the Center for Biological Diversity are responsible for costing us tax payers millions of dollars with all their lawsuits.

      and we’re paying them $19.50 an hour to do it!

  9. steve July 25, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

    These enviornmental groups won’t be happy until we all live like the year 5000 BC.

    • Ken Warner July 26, 2012 at 8:28 am #

      That is just plain stupid.

      Thank environmentalists every time you drink water out of your tap that doesn’t threaten to burst info flames and every time you take a breath that isn’t chunky.

      If you want to live free of environmentalists, move to China and enjoy wearing a face mask on your way to work so you don’t get sick.

      • Big AL July 26, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

        Ken, it’s one thing to environmentally sensitive, and care for it .. but it is another to to go overboard. As is the case with a lot of the nonsense that runs rampant now days with some environmental terrorists and freaks ..

        But before people go getting their undies in a bunch over that statement, know that I do not believe everyone who is an environmentalist is that way, but as I say about everything in life, the ones who will jack it up for everyone are out there.

      • Trouble July 26, 2012 at 7:45 pm #

        Ken- I think you are correct about the good side of environmentalist, but does that mean you don’t think we should be able to ride our quads on existing roads?

        • Ken Warner July 27, 2012 at 4:03 am #

          I’m not well informed on the details of which roads were closed and why. So my opinion can only be very general. I don’t think one can make a blanket statement about all roads in the Owen’s Valley and on the East Side in general.

          I think that each road deserves study. That said, if the riders of quads and other OHV’s just stayed on existing roads without going off the roads, then unless there is some other factor like migration patterns of the ever diminishing wildlife or fire dangers or erosion or any one of a thousand different issues and problems, then a road should probably stay open for OHV’s.

          But it’s not the vehicles themselves — it’s the riders. If the riders treat the road and the area around the road with the respect and care that a wilderness area has to have to remain a wilderness area, then I don’t see a problem keeping a road open. It has to be a road by road decision though and the use pattern of the riders who use that road.

          It is not a one size fits all problem. And sometimes the riders are going to have to support a road closure and sometimes environmentalists and other groups are going to have to yield to predominant and historical use patterns.

          Nobody is going to get everything they want. As I said before, there’s just too many people.

          • Trouble July 27, 2012 at 11:37 am #

            thxs ken

          • Mark July 27, 2012 at 11:52 am #

            to many people is right. The tax credits should go to people that don’t have kids.

            People that have kids should pay higher taxes then those that don’t

          • Big AL July 27, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

            I agree Ken, it is what I have said before .. sort of .. people .. the few who can’t act responsibly, screw it up for everyone. And yes it should have been, and should be taken on a road by road study. they did not close all of the roads as some say, but they closed more than they should have … in my opinion I do support valid road closures, I have never been apposed to that, but some do feel that way, and that is their point of view. not saying it is right.

      • Mark July 27, 2012 at 11:28 am #

        China is making money hand over fist because they’re not limited by invironment concerns. They even by much of our coal to make cheap power.

        Then they take the profits they made and buy land and businesses here in the U.S.

        At some point they will own the good ol’ USA.

        Our invironmental efforts here in the U.S. will only make us an under dog in a World economy unless the rest of the World follows along with our invironmental efforts.


        • Benett Kessler July 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

          Dear Mark,

          You might consider this from MIT Political Science Professor Stephen M. Meyer:

          “When we turn away from anecdotes and special interest (i.e., industry
          and environmental lobbies’) “studies” the results from rigorous, independent,
          economic analyses strongly suggest that no lasting macro-economic gains will be forthcoming.

          “Focusing on a number of different industries, using a variety of
          economic indicators, and covering different time periods these studies find that
          neither national nor state economic performance have been significantly or
          systematically affected by environmental regulation.”

          There are many other sources on the topic of environmental regulation and economic growth.
          You can just Google that for more.

          Benett Kessler

          • Mark July 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

            I considered it. Sounds like complete bs to me.

            China’s gains into this country can hardly be called macro. If they were the professor might be correct.

          • Benett Kessler July 28, 2012 at 12:28 am #

            You need to investigate all the facts and find out if you want to breath bad air, eat dangerous food, take poisonous pharmaceuticals, live in dangerous buildings, buy toys coated with lead paint, buy milk for babies tainted with toxins, brush your teeth with poisonous toothpaste, buy dog food tainted with chemicals. That’s part of what happens in China. Yes, it pays to watch what people are doing to make sure they are really protecting the environment and not their egos.
            Benett Kessler

        • Ken Warner July 27, 2012 at 3:15 pm #

          In a weird, twisted way, you are right. China does need our environmentalists.

        • Trouble July 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

          mark- I would bet you still believe in the trickle down theory.

        • hisierragal July 28, 2012 at 8:22 am #

          Mark, might I recommend the spell check feature?

  10. Happy rider July 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

    I SO hope this adventure trail system goes through in bishop cause then I’ll be able to ride my quad to town. i can ride to Vons, to the gas station, to my job downtown cause it’s supqsed to open roads to golden state cycles and i work down the road frim there. We can ride out to dinner cause its gonna open roads for riders to restaurants. i can ride to manor and buye beer and haul it home onthe back of my quad. Woo hoo! i might just sell the old car, ha ha.

    • Big AL July 26, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

      LOL sounds wonderful eh happy? Well while it might be nice .. and it does work in the smaller towns, it will not work in Bishop .. Bishop is way too busy and there will be big truck wrecks … just a matter of time if they allow ATV’s in the city of Bishop.

      I own an ATV, but I would not ride one in the city .. someone would run me over.

      It does work well for routes like the Paiute trail . in other states .. where you can ride the trail .. equivalent to the pacific Crest Trail, get off and go into town, get fuel or supplies and such.

      They usually have designated routes like you are referring too. But these are way smaller towns usually and not a busy bee hive like Bishop.

      • Trouble July 26, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

        Big Al- I have to say I totally disagree with you on this one. I don’t think they will be driving down Main St. at all. I wish they would come out and show us their route plans so we can really argue this issue more.

        • Big AL July 27, 2012 at 6:34 pm #

          Trouble I am not really against it .. I’m just saying .. for the reason OHV people would come into town .. fuel, groceries, or services of some sort, such as how other established trails like this in other states do this, it would not be feasible for a town like Bishop, as there are none of those services in close proximity to the routes they would use to access them.

          The exception might be Wye road? .. maybe W. Line St for Manor market, but then .. W Line st is a state highway. There might be access from the south.

          LOL I know they won’t be going on main St. that is a given, as the state would not allow them there.

          I would like to see it too Trouble, if they could make it work in Bishop I am for it, but the law would have a field day with it. hehe

          • Trouble July 28, 2012 at 8:27 am #

            I believe they would go mostly down the road north of K-mart . I’m guessing, but that almost has to be the main entrance. No traffic behind it.

  11. John H. July 25, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    I think the trail system would bring all types of tourist to our towns.I live next to one of the roads I assume will be used and hope to see people enjoying themselves soon. Anybody know what plants and animals the Biological Diversity folks are worried about?


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