Tuesday, June 23, 2015

CARNEGIE SVRA - Post Alameda County BOS Meeting Update - You Get Who You Vote For

Don Getting Ready to Enter the Political Arena

The Recreation HQ wants to thank all of you who sent in letters and/or attended the Alameda County Board of Supervisor’s meeting today in Oakland.

The proceedings today reminded me of an old political adage… “You get what/who you vote for.”   It was clear from the outset that the board had already made up its mind to support the staff letter. 

Dad and Kids Speak in Favor of Carnegie

What was different about today’s board meeting is that both sides of the debate showed up in force.  There was a great turnout by OHV groups and regular folks who spoke in favor of the Carnegie SVRA General Plan.

Dave Pickett, AMA D36, Speaks to Board

Besides the OHV group representatives, there was a family of Carnegie riders that supported the plan.  There were also two female environmental activists who were also dirt bike riders who said they reviewed the plan and felt it was a good general plan.  A rider in his leather jacket made a special trip just to speak in favor of the general plan.

Interested Rider Speaks in Favor of Carnegie General Plan

Both the board and board staff made it perfectly clear to the audience that the state is the lead agency and that all they can do is basically comment on what they feel are the plan’s deficiencies and where it appears to be in conflict with the county’s regulations and open space policy.

Board President, Scott Haggerty, told the audience that he used to ride dirt bikes in the old days and that his current stance on OHV can be a source of trouble during the holiday season when pro-OHVers in the family take him to task on his anti-access political views.

Haggerty also lamented that the former state legislators (Mark DeSaulnier and Joan Buchanan) failed to kill the Carnegie plan when they were in office.  Nice!

AMA's Nick Haris Speaks to the Board 
  
At the end of the day, this is all political.  I don’t think anybody expected the board to burn political capital by voting in favor of the general plan even though it was pointed out to them that the East Bay Regional Park District provides NO OHV recreation.

HQ looks forward to this fall when the Final General Plan (once reviewed by Division) is submitted to the OHV Commission for an up or down vote.  It is that political body that has the statutory authority to decide the fate of the expansion area and the future of OHV at Carnegie.

*Groups at the Meeting: AMA Dist. 36, AMA, BRC, CAL4WD, CORVA, and QWR.

Friday, June 19, 2015

CODE RED ACTION ALERT - Send Carnegie SVRA Support Letter to Alameda County Board of Supervisors


CODE RED ACTION ALERT

Letters Needed by June 22

Many of you have been sending in a comment letters to the Carnegie SVRA planning team in support of the Draft EIR for the proposed Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) General Plan Revision (GPR).  THANK YOU.

However, while you were sending in comment letters - the Alameda County Board of Supervisors placed the Carnegie SVRA General Plan on the agenda for their June 23, 2015 board meeting.   The board will be taking public comment on the draft comment letter (see link below) prepared for them by county planning staff.   This item is expected to be heard at 11 a.m. at the following address:

Alameda County Board of Supervisors
Board Chambers, 5th Floor
1221 Oak Street, Oakland
Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Please attend if you can.  A large turnout is needed to show the voter/political support for Carnegie SVRA.  If you cannot attend, please send in a comment letter stating your support for Carnegie.  Please include your name, address, and email or phone number.

Agenda


Draft Letter Prepared by County Staff

The HQ has crafted up a short letter that you may use as a template and please include personal information about how your family enjoys Carnegie SVRA.  If you are a SxS or 4WD owner, you may want to voice your support for the new opportunities being afforded you on the 3,100 acre expansion area.

_____________________________________________________________________ 

Scott Haggerty, President, Board of Supervisors
c/o Alameda County Planning Department
224 West Winton Avenue, Room 111
Hayward, CA 94544

RE: Draft EIR for the proposed Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA) General Plan Revision (GPR), State Clearinghouse Number 2012052027

Dear President Haggerty and Fellow Board Members:

After reviewing the draft letter on the Carnegie SVRA General Plan Revision prepared by Alameda County Planning staff for the board at its June 23, 2015 board meeting, I am concerned about its biased nature and lack of objectivity.

I don’t believe county staff included important information related to how State Parks used legislatively appropriated OHV Trust Funds to acquire an additional 3,100 acres of neighboring lands to provide expanded OHV recreation opportunities.

I don’t believe county staff informed the board about how this plan will help meet the regional demand for managed OHV recreation and how the expansion area will provide new and important touring and backcountry type experiences for 4WDs and SxSs on sustainable trails.

I don’t believe county staff informed the board about how this project complies with existing statutes (SB 742) and subsequent revisions which authorizes and directs California State Parks to implement and administer a program to manage and enhance off-highway motor vehicle recreational uses, and motorized off-highway access to non-motorized recreation (Public Resources Code, Sections 5090.01 et seq.)

I don’t believe county staff informed the board regarding OHMVR’s ongoing cultural resource protection program at Carnegie SVRA and how those efforts might reduce or mitigate impacts to cultural and historic resources

I don’t believe county staff informed the board regarding OHMVR’s ongoing resource protection program at Carnegie SVRA and how those wildlife monitoring and restoration programs might actually help the county maintain or enhance biological diversity in East County. 

Based on the lack of important information, I urge the Board to table a vote on this issue until county staff addresses our concerns and reissues a more objective report and/or recommendation.  I also ask for the Board’s support for this plan when it is taken up for a vote.


Thanks in advance for your review of my concerns.

Respectfully submitted,

John Doe
123  Lane
Any town, USA

__________________________________________________________________________


I hope to see many of you there and, once again, thanks for your efforts on behalf of responsible OHV recreation at Carnegie SVRA!






Wednesday, May 6, 2015

CODE RED CARNEGIE ACTION ALERT UPDATE - Important New Items

View of Expansion Property

CODE RED CARNEGIE ACTION ALERT UPDATETWO IMPORTANT ITEMS

Livermore City Council Meeting on May 11 changed to May 18, 2015

Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission Meeting May 7, 2015


Dear Carnegie Fans,

YOU made a difference last week by sending in your comment letters.  The council has moved the May 11 date to May 18 so they can better study the issue.

Also, the Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission has Carnegie SVRA is on the docket for their May 7 meeting.  Sorry for the late notice but this stuff is popping up like crazy. 

As you know, we are getting very close to being able to use the new property!  Your letter writing and attendance at this meeting is critical to show local decision-makers that OHVers (and voters) support the Carnegie General Plan.

I am asking you to do two things:

ACTION ITEM ONE – Continue to ask your rider network (with a focus on Livermore residents) to send in a pro-Carnegie email to ALL of the Livermore City Council members (each member as an email box where you can cut n paste an email).  I have crafted a sample letter that you may use to send or better yet… craft your own email.  Your letters continue to make a difference!!!  *Again, they need to hear from Livermore residents.  If your family rides at Carnegie… have each member of the family send in a letter.

LINK to LIVERMORE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS

YOU MAY ALSO SEND EACH ONE OF THEM AN EMAIL USING THEIR BUSINESS EMAIL

Mayor John Marchand -- Email:  mayormarchand@cityoflivermore.net
Vice Mayor Laureen Turner -- Email:  leturner@cityoflivermore.net
Stewart Gary -- Email:  Swgary@cityoflivermore.net
Steven Spedowfski  --  Email:  SSpedowfski@cityoflivermore.net
Bob Woerner -- Email  BWoerner@cityoflivermore.net

SAMPLE LETTER BELOW

___________________________________________________________________________

I strongly support the Preliminary General Plan, Draft EIR, and Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR for Carnegie SVRA.

Carnegie SVRA became a unit of the State Park system in July 1980. The original 1,575-acre site, which had been used by off-highway vehicles (OHVs) since the 1940s, was operated as a private motorcycle park from 1970 to 1979 before being purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) using dedicated OHV Trust Funds. Legislative action (California Public Resources Code, Section 5006.48) authorized State Parks to plan, acquire, and develop the site for OHV use. From 1996 to 1998, State Parks used legislatively appropriated OHV Trust Funds to acquire an additional 3,100 acres of neighboring lands to provide expanded OHV recreation opportunities. The additional acreage was classified as SVRA lands and added to Carnegie SVRA. The additional acreage is referred to as the expansion area.

This plan will help meet the regional demand for managed OHV recreation that includes dirt-bikes, ATVs, SxSs, 4WDs, and SUVs.  The original 1,575-acre SVRA has long been enjoyed by the off-road motorcycle community.  However, there were few opportunities for the larger OHVs.  The expansion area will provide important touring and backcountry type experiences for 4WDs and SxSs on sustainable trails.

I urge the council to support this plan.



ACTION ITEM TWO – Attend the May 18, 2015 Livermore City Council Meeting

REGULAR MEETING - 7:00 PM

*COUNCIL CHAMBERS
3575 PACIFIC AVENUE
LIVERMORE, CA 94550

*Watch for updates on meeting place because the council meeting may be moved to a larger location


ACTION ITEM THREE – Send pro-Carnegie letters to the Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission.  HQ knows that many of you will not be able to attend the May 7 daytime meeting, but your voice should be heard by the commission.  Feel free to use the same sample letter that we are using for the Livermore City Council or craft your own.  There will be another commission meeting on June 4 so you have plenty of time to email or FAX in a letter.

 Send letter to:

Alameda County Parks, Recreation and Historical Commission
224 West Winton Avenue
Hayward, CA 94544
FAX: 510.785.8793
Email: Angela.Robinson-Pinon@acgov.org


ACTION ITEM FOUR – Attend the May 7, 2015 Alameda Parks and Recreation Commission Meeting

The commission serves as an advisory board to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and has been following the Carnegie SVRA project.  The meeting will be an opportunity for members of the public and the commission to express their views of the draft General Plan and DEIR.  I plan to be at this meeting as do several other OHV leaders.  We understand this is a late notice and that the meeting is during the day so we have your six if you cannot attendThere will be another meeting on June 4 so maybe you can attend that meeting.

Link to Meeting Agenda (Carnegie is on Item #5)


MEETING - 3:30 PM – May 7, 2015

Alameda County Building
224 West Winton Avenue
Public Hearing Room (Room 160)
Hayward, CA 94544

Stay tuned for further updates on this important issue.  

Thanks,

Don



Tuesday, April 28, 2015

CARNEGIE ACTION ALERT - Send Letters to Livermore City Council and Attend May 11 Council Meeting



CARNEGIE ACTION ALERT

Dear Carnegie Fans,

We are getting very close to being able to use the new property!  However, the NO crowd continues to stir the pot with the Livermore City Council.  Council members are getting anti-Carnegie emails from the usual folks as a way to gin up opposition from the Council at their May 11, 2015 meeting.

Once again, we are going to have to show up in large numbers (local riders from Livermore and nearby are important because they are voters!).  I am asking you to do two things:

ACTION ITEM ONE – Send in a pro-Carnegie email to ALL of the Livermore City Council members (each member as an email box where you can cut n paste an email).  I have crafted a sample letter that you may use to send or better yet… craft your own email.  Either way – send an email today and ask your rider network to do the same.

LINK to LIVERMORE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS


SAMPLE LETTER BELOW

___________________________________________________________________________

I strongly support the Preliminary General Plan, Draft EIR, and Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR for Carnegie SVRA.

Carnegie SVRA became a unit of the State Park system in July 1980. The original 1,575-acre site, which had been used by off-highway vehicles (OHVs) since the 1940s, was operated as a private motorcycle park from 1970 to 1979 before being purchased by the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks) using dedicated OHV Trust Funds. Legislative action (California Public Resources Code, Section 5006.48) authorized State Parks to plan, acquire, and develop the site for OHV use. From 1996 to 1998, State Parks used legislatively appropriated OHV Trust Funds to acquire an additional 3,100 acres of neighboring lands to provide expanded OHV recreation opportunities. The additional acreage was classified as SVRA lands and added to Carnegie SVRA. The additional acreage is referred to as the expansion area.

This plan will help meet the regional demand for managed OHV recreation that includes dirt-bikes, ATVs, SxSs, 4WDs, and SUVs.  The original 1,575-acre SVRA has long been enjoyed by the off-road motorcycle community.  However, there were few opportunities for the larger OHVs.  The expansion area will provide important touring and backcountry type experiences for 4WDs and SxSs on sustainable trails.

This project complies with existing statutes (SB 742) and subsequent revisions which authorizes and directs California State Parks to implement and administer a program to manage and enhance off-highway motor vehicle recreational uses, and motorized off-highway access to non-motorized recreation (Public Resources Code, Sections 5090.01 et seq.)

I believe the environmental analysis was substantive and thorough and will help ensure that planned actions such as trail construction will not cause significant environmental impacts.

I urge you and the council to support this plan.

________________________________________________________________________

ACTION ITEM TWO – Attend the May 11, 2015 Livermore City Council Meeting

REGULAR MEETING - 7:00 PM

COUNCIL CHAMBERS
3575 PACIFIC AVENUE
LIVERMORE, CA 94550

Monday, April 27, 2015

THE FIRE NEXT TIME - Stunning Film/Case Study of 2013 Rim Fire - A Must Watch Video


Post Rim Fire View of FS System OHV Trail on Stanislaus NF


One of the topics covered at the recent Central CA BLM RAC meeting was an update on the impacts of intense wildfires on the resource and local communities.

Forest Health Presentation at BLM RAC Meeting


The Yosemite Collaborative Working Group created an excellent 13 minute video as a case study of the 2013 Rim Fire.  The Fire Next Time has excellent footage and narratives from FS, timber, and conservation representatives.

THE FIRE NEXT TIME (about 13 min)


As the 2015 Fire season arrives early this year, the HQ believes it is critically important that recreationists, environmentalists, government officials, agency staff, and other stakeholders craft a way to work together to support important forest health/fuel reduction efforts as a tool to help stem the size and scope of severe/intense wildfires.

The Recreation HQ thanks you for taking time to review this important film.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

ACTION ALERT FOR OCOTILLO WELLS SVRA - Comments Due April 6, 2015!

Desert Safari 2014
(photo credit: John Stewart)

The Recreation HQ is issuing a special ACTION ALERT urging OHV recreationists and related businesses to send in a comment letter on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.

SVRA Plan Link

BLM NOI Link

This hybrid planning effort by State Parks and the BLM will guide management and OHV use at the SVRA for the next 10-20 years.

The HQ believes it is important for the OHV community to weigh on this planning effort in a large numbers to show support for continued OHV recreation at the park.

Please take a few minutes to utilize the some or all of the comments below in a personal letter to the agencies.  It will make a difference!!!


COMMENTS DUE ON OR BEFORE APRIL 6, 2015

SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER

____________________________________________________________________________

Date:

Tina Robinson
General Plan Project Manager
5172 Highway 78, #10
Borrego Springs, CA 92004



Carrie Simmons
BLM, El Centro Field Office,
661 S. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243

Dear Planning Team:

Please accept my comments on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.

[INSERT BUSINESS NAME, PERSONAL STORY, HOW FAMILY USES OCOTILLO WELLS SVRA, ETC]

I am concerned with the plan’s “trails-only” focus in an area that has historically offered an important mix of trails and open riding opportunities.  I urge State Parks and the BLM to include “Open” designations where appropriate in the final plan.

I believe the agencies should develop a streamlined event permitting process to expedite the approval of competitive and other permitted events that are well-known, historic, and reoccurring. This can be accomplished through known “pre-approved” routes or areas from which an event organizer can choose.

I support the SVRA’s already outstanding efforts to educate the public regarding the many important values and resources that exist in the project area. I also support efforts by State Parks and the BLM to acquire non-public lands to further enhance and consolidate recreational opportunities in the project area.

I am concerned about the focus on “primitive” camping.  Historically, the term primitive camping is limited to tent camping.  I believe the term as currently interpreted could result in a functional ban of trailer/RV camping throughout most of the project area.  I urge the planning team to review historic trailer/RV/tent camping patterns and adjust the final plan to accommodate, to the maximum extent possible, trailer and RV developed and dispersed camping.

I am concerned the proposed plan indicates areas will be identified where OHV events MAY be allowed in future planning efforts.  I believe that permitted events should be granted the same status and areas that are authorized in the plan for “California State Parks Sponsored Special Events Only”.

Thanks in advance for reviewing my comments and I look forward to working with the SVRA and BLM on this project.

Respectfully submitted,

[JOHN DOE]




Thanks for taking time to send in a letter.  Please forward to your riding network.







Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Intense Wildfire and Over Regulation Impact OHV Recreation - Letter to EPA from BRC

Closure Order - 2012 Mill Fire
Mendocino National Forest

The Recreation HQ believes it is important for recreationists to understand just how important forest health fuel projects (mechanical treatments such as logging or mastication, prescribed fire, fuel breaks) are as a management tool to help protect recreation facilities (i.e. trail catch basins, rolling dips, staging areas, etc.) from intense uncontrolled wildfires that burn mostly in the summer months. 

Many of the same regulatory agencies such as EPA and CA Air Resources Board that govern OHV engine emissions also have regulations that, for the most part,  functionally eliminate  the use of prescribed fire  to address excessive fuel loading on Forest Service, BLM, state, and private lands.

Because forest health projects are so important to both motorized and non-motorized recreation, I accepted an initiation to join FireScape Mendocino almost 3 years ago to try and find common ground with other stakeholders on fuel projects that could help reduce the threat of uncontrolled intense wildfires that often destroy OHV opportunities at areas such as Stonyford on the Mendocino National Forest (2012 Mill Fire) and Hull Creek OHV Area on the Stanislaus (2013 Rim Fire).

Mechanical Treatment
Sierra National Forest


Link to FireScape Mendocino


That interest in forest health is what prompted BRC to submit a formal comment letter to the EPA on proposed regulations that appear to only further restrict land managers from using prescribed fire as a management tool.

Link to March 16, 2015 BRC Letter to EPA (more pics etc.)

It seems that wildfire impacts to recreation and access to forest lands are often overlooked in the debate.  I believe it is time to change that dynamic. 

If you would like to see another article on fuel breaks (another management tool), you can click on the link below:

Link to QWR Fuel Break Article

Please feel free to leave a comment and share your views on this subject.

Thanks for your interest!