On May 21, 2013 Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC) filed a lawsuit to stop open riding in the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). The suit alleges that California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) is not enforcing various Public Resources Codes with respect to trail maintenance and environmental protection.
Tierra Del Sol 4 Wheel Drive Club is currently consulting with our attorney on the best way to respond to this lawsuit. The Ocotillo Wells SVRA is a very special place to our members. Not only has it been the location of our Desert Safari, but many of us have raised our families there. This park was set aside specifically for open OHV recreation.
The Ocotillo Wells SVRA is currently in the process of updating its general plan. The general plan process allows for all users involved to have a say in how the park is managed. TDS has participated in the general plan process by providing comments. We have recently contacted State Parks to restart the stalled planning process. By filing this lawsuit both PEER and DPC have hijacked this process. They have attempted to silence all other voices except for their own.
State Parks has thirty days to respond the lawsuit. It is our hope that State Parks will defend its management policy at Ocotillo Wells and force the plaintiffs to come up with scientific data to prove their allegations.
To that end, Tierra Del Sol has already contacted our state representatives to help ensure that State Parks defends its open riding policy. We urge you to contact your state representative and ask them to encourage State Parks to defend against the lawsuit.
You can locate who your representatives are with this link https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
Or you can use the CapWiz Letter Generator at https://cal4wheel.com/access-issues/action-center and click on Take Action.
Stay tuned for updates in the near future. We hope to have news regarding Tierra Del Sol and this lawsuit very soon.