By Dennis Porter, Cal4Wheel Legal Counsel
We received a favorable decision last August from a three (3) Judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the trial court's earlier decision to uphold the BLM Record of Decision to reopen most of the area that had been closed to OHV activity by an earlier lawsuit brought by the Center For Biological Diversity (CBD).
The CBD then filed a Petition for Certiorari (review) of that decision. I have now received a notice that denied that petition for a rehearing, en banc, and no judge has requested a vote on whether to rehear the matter en banc. That ends that matter as far as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is concerned.
The only hope the CBD now has to prevail is to file Petition for Certiorari) with the US Supreme Court. About 8,000 petitions for review are filed with the US Supreme Court each year, but less than 100 are accepted each year. That amounts to only slightly more than 1%. Not very good odds if the CBD decides to try for a Supreme Court review. Keep in mind though that this case has been going on for 17 years in one form or another so I would not be overly surprised if the CBD does file for certiorari. They have nothing to lose at this point.
BOTTOM LINE -- The area that BLM reopened to OHV activity at Glamis a few years ago in their Record of Decision will stay open to OHV usage pursuant to the terms and conditions of that Record of Decision. This has been a long, hard, expensive fight but it appears to be over for now. California Four Wheel Drive Association and its partners, the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the American Sand Association (ASA), and EcoLogic have prevailed (BIG TIME) in this battle to protect your rights to engage in OHV activity at the Imperial Sand Dunes.. They were great partners to work with in this joint effort to maintain responsible multiuse OHV activities on our public lands.
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