Tim Cacy: Clarifying facts of closures at Greenhorn
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the Union published a story related to BLM closures at Greenhorn. This story could benefit from some important clarifications.
The majority of OHV use occurs on private, not BLM or USFS controlled public lands. These are old mining areas that present adequate riding challenges with little or no environmental impacts. The soils have been long washed away as depicted in the story’s lead photo. Access to this area is by county roads. Most other access points are from private land created by the land’s owners for their personal use.
A reference was made to the use of Greenhorn for the Winter Fun Fest. Each year, WFF brings between 450 and 650 participants – some from out of state – to Nevada County for a weekend of playing in the snow. A drive past the campground at the fairgrounds on WFF weekend reveals a nearly full house, with many other participants staying in local motels. This event includes runs on Friday night and Saturday. Many years ago, event organizers held driving games, such as a teeter-totter balance, at Greenhorn on Sunday mornings to complete the weekend. This portion of the event was eliminated several years ago. The vast majority of folks who traditionally show up today are not WFF participants.
Greenhorn is not the hellhole that recent Union articles have tried to portray. A check of the Nevada County sheriff’s logs will substantiate that this is not a high-crime area. Young people who want to party will always find a place. Greenhorn is that place today.
To suggest that the OHV community be restricted to OHV parks such as Prairie City is ludicrous. It is the equivalent of telling backpackers they are limited to city parks, or backcountry fishermen to only fish in lakes with paved access, and of course, mountain bikers would be confined to closed-course MX type tracks.
Responsible OHVers love and respect the forest. Many donate hundreds of hours each year to help maintain the trails and protect the forest. We have children, too, and will fight to preserve motorized access to our public lands for their responsible use in the future.
Tim Cacy lives in Grass Valley.
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