By Miriam Raftery
June 16, 2013 (Ocotillo Wells)-- Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) has sent a letter to the State Parks Department encouraging open riding in Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) in response to legal action filed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC). Plaintiffs contend that riding off trails has caused extensive environmental damage in the park, which has over 1,200 historic and archaeological sites, as ECM previously reported.
“Many of my constituents enjoy recreating in the Ocotillo Wells SVRA, which is why this lawsuit is very troubling," said Jones. "This area has been used for OHV recreation for over 50 years and has always been designated as an open riding area, meaning that users in the park are not required to stay on designated trails."
He added, “I strongly encourage the Department to carefully and scientifically investigate the veracity of allegations with respect to trail maintenance and environmental protection.”
A copy of the letter Assemblyman Jones sent to the State Parks Department may be found here.
The State Parks Department has since forwarded this matter to the California Attorney General’s office where further action will be taken.