SEMA reports that the U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that requires the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to re-open the 75,000-acre Clear Creek National Recreation Area (NRA) in California’s San Benito and Fresno Counties for recreational use.
The “Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act” (H.R. 1838) would provide for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to more than 240 miles of public trails. The bill now goes to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
Clear Creek NRA was closed in 2008 due to concerns about exposure to asbestiform minerals that occur naturally in the area’s rock and soil.
However, an independent asbestos risk assessment study requested by the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission concluded that strategies could be effectively employed to allow OHV use while shielding the public from unacceptable exposure risks.
The bill ensures that the Clear Creek NRA will be managed in a way that permits responsible recreation, while also providing for the safety of all of the area’s visitors.