A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Anchorage, Alaska by the National Parks Conservation Association, the Alaska Center for the Environment and the Wilderness Society earlier this year against the National Park Service seeks to ban recreational use of ATVs in the Park. On November 10, 2006, MIC and SVIA filed a motion to intervene on the side of the National Park Service to defend existing ATV use. MIC and SVIA are pleased that the Alaska Outdoor Council and the BlueRibbon Coalition have joined them as co-intervenors.
The industry intervention in the lawsuit will ensure that industry and OHV riders have input into any resolution of the dispute. This action, in addition to an earlier intervention in another lawsuit against the National Park Service aimed at barring off-highway vehicle use in National Parks (Friends of the Earth, Bluewater Network Division v. National Park Service, Case No. 1:05cv2302 (RCL), in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia) sends a message to anti-access groups that industry is willing and prepared to fight for appropriate OHV access on public lands.
Kathy Van Kleeck, senior vice president of Government Relations said, "The MIC and the SVIA believe it is important that public lands are managed in a way that both protects our natural resources and preserves them for future generations, while taking into consideration the growing popularity of OHV recreation and the opportunity for OHV enthusiasts to enjoy the outdoors in an environmentally responsible manner." The Alaska Outdoor Council and the BlueRibbon Coalition share these goals. There is a long history of recreational OHV use in many areas under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service, including in Wrangell-St. Elias where ATV use in the Park pre-dated its establishment as a unit of the National Park Service. The MIC and SVIA support the National Park Service, OHV enthusiasts, and the continuation of responsible use in areas with a long-standing history of OHV recreation.