Government / Politics

Farr bill would reopen Clear Creek to off-roaders

Congressman hopes to move bill to the House floor for debate

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, released the following statement after the House Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulations held a hearing recently on his bill, H.R. 1776, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act. Farr was unable to testify at the hearing because of a previously scheduled markup of the Agriculture Appropriations Bill. His written testimony for H.R. 1776 was included into the hearing record and can be read by clicking here:

“This bill stands for the simple idea that Americans should have the freedom to decide what risks they are willing to accept when using our public lands. Yes, there is an inherent risk in riding an off-road vehicle in Clear Creek. But there are also risks in climbing El Capitan in Yosemite or rafting the Grand Canyon portion of the Colorado River. Yet, individuals are free to pursue those activities every day. My bill directs the BLM to develop a plan to manage Clear Creek in a way that allows off-road enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy the area once again while mitigating the exposure and risk associated with riding there.

“The bill also creates the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness Area and designates five streams and creeks as National Wild and Scenic Rivers keeping these areas pristine for future generations to enjoy. The formation of Joaquin Rocks Wilderness preserves needed habitat for many species of wildlife, including the endangered California condor which was just reintroduced into the wild at the nearby Gavilan Range.

“It is not often you see off-road enthusiasts and wilderness advocates standing together to promote a common cause. This bill brings them together to push for the expansion all different kinds of recreation opportunities on our public lands. If those two groups can come together in support of reopening Clear Creek, then I am hopeful that Congress can follow their lead and pass this legislation. I look forward to working with the committee to move this bill to the House floor.” 

BenitoLink Staff