California Off-Road Vehicle Association
  • Home
  • Ocotillo Wells

August 1, 2017 

Most of you are aware of the lawsuit pending regarding open riding at Ocotillo Wells. This lawsuit started in May of 2013 when PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Protection) and the DPC (Desert Protective Council) filed a lawsuit against the California State Department of Parks and Recreation claiming that trails are not being maintained, archaeological sites are not being fully protected, excessive dust is blowing in the air, vegetation is being destroyed and the park is suffering erosion damage due to off road vehicles. They are claimining "their observation and experience of these incidents diminishes their recreational use and enjoyment of the Ocotillo Wells SVRA, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and other nearby lands."  They are asking for open riding to be discontinued and for off road vehicles to be allowed only on designated trails.

-----fast forward to 2017----

We're almost at the finish line, but we have an important hurdle to overcome to defend Ocotillo Wells! The judge allowed expert witnesses, with each side able to interview opposition experts. These interviews, or depositions, have taken days to complete, and now we need the transcripts to prepare the best brief to present to the judge to defend OW. Each transcript may cost $1000 or more, and we need a number of transcripts, plus allow the attorney the hours needed to review the information and prepare the best defense for Ocotillo Wells. 

We need the community to help with this final push. We'll need at least $15,000 to do this right. We have to bury our opponents, and keep our park open! 

Fight For Ocotillo Wells has already donated $1,000 from funds collected selling stickers and the Fight For Ocotillo Wells Grand Prix races and now we're asking you to help us help CORVA. We're all in this together!

Donate to CORVA and specify Defend Ocotillo Wells in the comments. 

We are proud to have two of the best pro-OHV attorneys representing the off-road community

We are currently waiting for a date to be set by the court for the next hearing. A conference with all the parties will be the next step, and rest assured CORVA, TDS and Ecologic Partners will be well represented.


CORVA Press Release:   June 2014

CORVA, TDS, and Ecologic Team Up to Oppose Ocotillo Wells Lawsuit

The California Off-Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), Tierra Del Sol Four Wheel Drive Club (TDS), and Ecologic Partners are pleased to announce they have joined forces to oppose the lawsuit seeking to end open riding at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (OWSVRA). Last year, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protection Council (DPC) filed suit against State Parks, claiming the open riding policy at Ocotillo Wells SVRA was damaging natural and cultural resources. Jesse Barton of Sacramento has represented CORVA since they filed for intervener status last year, and will continue representing the organization. Joining him will be David Hubbard of Gatzke Dillon & Ballance (Carlsbad), attorney for TDS and Ecologic.

PEER and DPC filed suit in Sacramento Superior Court alleging that State Parks is violating the Public Resources Code in their management of Ocotillo Wells. The Attorney General has aggressively defended State Parks’ management of the OWSVRA.

Now CORVA, TDS and Ecologic will be partnering to make sure every possible argument in favor of OHV recreation is developed and argued in this effort to keep OWSVRA open. “The more legal advice we have to help litigate this matter the better” agreed Harry Baker, CORVA President. “TDS has members whose families have recreated in this area for generations” said Tim Augustine, President of TDS, “we felt the more pairs of legal eyes reviewing this, the more likely we are to come out with a win”. Jesse Barton and David Hubbard will collaborate on developing the legal briefs necessary to convince the judge that State Parks has not abused its discretion in the management of the Park and that the natural and cultural resources continue to be protected effectively according to the law.

CORVA Press Release: January 2014

On January 21st CORVA filed our Demurrer with the Clerk of the Court in round two of the lawsuit against the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area. To help clarify the legal mumbo-jumbo, this “Demurrer” is essentially our answer to the allegations raised in the second filing by environmental groups who are trying to close the Ocotillo Wells SVRA. Because this lawsuit could have serious detrimental implications to the entire SVRA system, your CORVA Board of Directors agreed early on that we have to defend this case. We must ensure that our members retain the ability to enjoy recreating off-road at Ocotillo Wells and every other SVRA.

Starting with the first case some months ago, CORVA’s attorney Jesse Barton worked closely with the Attorney General’s office. When we were asked to intervene earlier than we had originally intended and to argue points the state wanted brought to the attention of the court, we were happy to comply. That case worked out well, and was dismissed by the judge. When round two was filed by the environmental groups, CORVA worked in collaboration with the Attorney General’s office to develop the points presented in the Demurrer recently filed with the court.

A date has been set for May 9th, 2014 in Sacramento Superior Court to hear arguments on this case. Now that the Attorney General has filed the state's Demurrer, our opponents must now respond to the court. This will give CORVA and the Attorney General another opportunity afterward to respond to the court. It is possible that the judge will read the Demurrers and responses filed by the Attorney General and CORVA and simply decide that the environmentalist’s case and dismiss it entirely, or the case could proceed to hearing, causing the case to drag on longer.

Powered by Wild Apricot | Designed by