Riding area remains closed three months later
by Alan Reed
Aug 06, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Since being closed to riders at the end of April 2008, the Linton Off-Road Vehicle area has remained locked. Cicadas have replaced the roar of engines while the smell of honeysuckle replaced gasoline. While the land sits silent, former users of the land have organized to comply with US Army Corps of Engineers demands about the property’s use.

The Cadiz Record’s attempts to contact C. Michael Looney, Natural Resource Program Manager for the Corps at Lake Barkley went unanswered as of press time, though Jesse Thomas, Vice President of the Dry Creek Off-Road Riders Club, the group formed to organize riders and comply with the Corps requirements for the land, shared a letter from Looney with this newspaper.

The letter, dated July 24, 2008 and signed by Looney, compiled comments, complaints and suggestions from attendees of an April 26 meeting at the Linton Volunteer Firehouse, responding to each one.

Looney said in the letter, “Riders must organize and develop a sustainable management plan to operate the area in a way that will protect the area and ensure respect for adjacent landowners. The Corps can help you to do that, but the riders must take on a significant role in the maintenance of the area. The Corps will not be able to help you much with that.”

The Corps letter focused on concerns of destruction of wetlands, illegal riding on highways and trespassing on private property as reasons for closure, calling littering a secondary concern.

Responding to a question of when the area might re-open, if demands were met, the Corps letter said, “It is difficult to say. Normally, processing requests that involve this type of review can take six months to a year. This will depend on whether or not the Corps planning documents will require updating and whether or not an environmental assessment has to be completed.”

President of the Dry Creek Off-Road Riders Club Tony Britt said, “Our problem now is organization. When the area closed, we had 240 people sign up for the club at our first meeting. We’ve met twice since then, and at the last meeting, I think seven people attended.”

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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