In the News


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

BURNED?!! Off-Road professional riders may have been 2010 private land trespassers on Pacific Crest Trail

Tehachapi, CA – A group of rogue off-roaders, observed and photographed trespassing during 2010, may have been professional OHV racers of national prominence, based upon a re-examination of digital images.

The riders were seen and photographed on private property in the Tehachapi Mountains on January 17, 2010 after having ridden on the Pacific Crest Trail. No areas in the Tehachapi Mountains, including the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), are lawful for motorized vehicle recreation, and the entire area has sustained continuing damage from off-road trespassers. The only access to the PCT in that area is gained through a patchwork of adjacent private properties. The illegal off-roaders in question, whose images have appeared on the ORV Watch Kern County website for over 18 months, were observed and photographed by a volunteer for the non-profit advocacy group. ORV Watch Kern County opposes illegal off-roading on behalf of private landowners, businesses, and public agencies.

Photographs of the trespassing riders were uploaded, soon after the incident, on the group’s website (www.cowkerncounty.com) section titled “Hall of Shame.” Links and images from the site were then sent out to law enforcement agencies, news media, and to OHV clubs and corporate sponsors nationwide. According to ORV Watch spokesperson Mesonika Piecuch, no one contacted her organization offering any tips on identifying the rogue riders. Furthermore, the group uploaded a video of the incident on YouTube. That video, within days, was removed by YouTube due to an anonymous request regarding “a privacy concern.” “What we have always been told,”Piecuch said, “by people in the OHV community is that it’s only a small bunch of rotten apples breaking the law. If what we are seeing in these photographs is accurate, the apples in question are polished, ripe, and top-shelf. We thought for sure that, by sending these photographs out to members in the OHV camp, we’d get some help from those who want to clean up their own ranks. Instead, we got absolute silence. Crickets chirping in the still air.”

According to Piecuch, the group received an anonymous tip by telephone regarding the high-profile identities of the rogue bikers. Later forensic examination of the digital photographs, undertaken recently in preparation for a video production, led to previously undisclosed data regarding each of the riders.

The owner of the property on which the riders were observed has stated an intention to proceed with prosecution of the five riders; however, local law enforcement advised that too much time has passed for further action to be taken.

ORV Watch Kern County declines to identify the riders until and unless additional confirmation is forthcoming. Piecuch said that three of the five trespassers “are household names in the professional bike racing community.”

Contact:  Mesonika Piecuch                    Telephone:  (661) 878-7838
Email:  cowkerncounty@yahoo.com    Website:  www.orvwatchkerncounty.com

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