Pin It
Favorite

Local Briefs 

& & by Pia K. Hansen & & & &


& & Shared trails? & & & &





BOZEMAN, Mont. -- The Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages 264 million acres across the nation, has released its Draft National Off-Highway Vehicle Strategy, and at the same time opened a public commentary period through Jan. 3.


This draft strategy is now being criticized by some conservation groups for being too lenient on off-road vehicle (ORV) users.


"The BLM's strategy acknowledges that the increase in ORV use has outpaced its management capabilities," says Shawn Regnerus of the Predator Conservation Alliance (PCA) in Bozeman, "but it fails to put any limits on ORV use. This strategy is not an effort to limit the damage done by ORVs."


Currently, 99 percent of BLM land is open to ORV-use, and conservationists say wildlife habitat is destroyed by the noise and other damage done by motorcycles, four-wheelers and cars.


But the BLM maintains in its draft strategy that ORV and off-highway vehicle use is a legitimate activity on public lands, and that the Bureau must take into consideration the interests of the ORV users. The draft strategy seeks to streamline signs and maps in ORV areas, as well as to implement the same rules for ORVs on all BLM land.


Conservation groups still hope the public will back their demands for restrictions. "The only solution is for the BLM to limit ORVs to designated routes," says Regnerus. "That would ensure that wildlife and wildlife habitat and traditional non-motorized trail users are not harmed by ORVs."





& & & lt;i & The Draft National Off-Highway Vehicle Strategy can be viewed at www.blm.gov. & lt;/i & & lt;/center &





& & Better air & & & &





SPOKANE -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been watching air quality in Spokane very closely since the city was put on a non-attainment list nearly four years ago because of carbon monoxide (CO) violations. The CO mostly stems from car exhaust, but high levels of particulate matter such as dust and smoke from wood stoves have also been a problem.


"We are so close to meeting the EPA standard by now that we are just crossing our fingers and hoping we'll have no more violations before the end of the year," says Ron Edgar, chief of technical services at the Spokane County Air Control Authority (SCAPCA). "We had to stay clean for three years with the particulate matter and clean for two years with CO, and we're almost there."


But almost being there is not enough. Just a few days after launching this winter's AirWatch campaign, SCAPCA issued a CO watch and limited the use of wood stoves to only EPA approved models.


"Fortunately, pollution levels didn't get as bad as we feared," says Edgar. "This was just a 'watch,' saying people need to be careful and limit their driving and the wood stove use. AirWatch is going into its fourth year, but we've never had to call an 'alert.' "


During an alert, motorists would be urged to use public transportation because carbon monoxide levels are reaching an unhealthy level. More commuters should still use public transportation or carpool, says Edgar, and that's why AirWatch is sponsoring a free bus ride day on Wednesday, Dec. 13.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In the Spotlight
  • In the Spotlight

    Do you have the right to project your slogan on someone else's wall?
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • Idaho's Oil Country
  • Idaho's Oil Country

    Idaho is poised to tap its fossil fuels; plus, Inslee signs pot reforms into law
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • This Old House
  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon
The Human Library

The Human Library @ Kendall Yards

Wed., May 6, 6-7 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Pia K. Hansen

  • Spokane, We Have Liftoff...

    When the first LaunchPad event was held at the Holley Mason Building back in February 2001, Spokane got quite a wake-up call. Not only was the place decked out with red carpet runners and lights illuminating the fa & ccedil;ade of the newly renova
    • May 14, 2004
  • Third Time's a Charm?

    There are 234 miles of arterials and 612 miles of residential streets in Spokane, and, yes, most of them are slowly crumbling away under cars, buses and trucks every day. By the latest estimate, the city needs about $200 million to fix th
    • May 14, 2004
  • Time to Pay the Fare

    On Sunday, thousands of runners took the bus to get to the start of Bloomsday. A $1 sticker guaranteed a ride to and from outlying parking areas and a chance to mingle with fellow Bloomies. Yet taking the bus downtown may not be an option
    • May 6, 2004
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation