Thursday, January 14, 2010

CCMA Update - Harris Ranch Meeting - Join Our Quest to Reopen CCMA

Photo to left: Crowd at Harris
Ranch CCMA DEIS Meeting

Photo to right: The General giving
thumbs-down to closure

The General attended the BLM’s CCMA public meeting last night that was held at Harris Ranch near Coalinga. The ballroom was near packed to capacity with over 200 people in attendance. About ½ of the folks were OHVers and the other ½ were private property owners, gem collectors, small businesses, and ranchers. All spoke in favor of reopening CCMA to ALL users.

Friends of CCMA has an overview of the meeting and agenda

The next two meetings are as follows:

Jan. 14 – Veterans Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito St. – Hollister
Jan. 20 – Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara

For those of you attending, I believe you should come prepared at 5:30 to each of the next two meeting with specific questions regarding your concerns on issues such as the validity of the EPA study, other scientific questions, flaws in agency analysis, or why the agency ignored much if not most of the science that was submitted during the scoping period, etc. Be sure and record the BLM and EPA’s answers to your questions.

Be sure and read BRC’s FOIA information that points out how there were even concerns by BLM staff regarding the science used in the EPA survey or how the draft report was massaged. Link below has BRC attorney letter with FOIA materials.

Later on in the program, be prepared to articulate (3 minute speeches) your position on how this closure has and will impact your family, your business, and why you think the agency has made a mistake. Also, be prepared to offer a management solution like one person did at Harris Ranch.

One speaker pointed out that one of BLM’s sister agencies – the National Wildlife Refuge – uses signs (rather than a ban) warning fishermen about the danger of eating too much fish that may be contaminated with mercury and other toxins.

Survey on Signs and Fishermen

Several other speakers also noted that other warning signs regarding health risks posed to pregnant women, elderly, etc. by using items such as cigarettes, alcohol, etc. are government approved ways to communicate health concerns to the public v. an outright ban.

The General agrees with the one or two speakers that stated to the group that at the end of the day, the CCMA is a political issue. On that note, I appreciated the fact that Senator Dianne Feinstein had a staffer there taking notes on this all too important issue. The Senator was helpful in protecting existing OHV routes in the 2006 North Coast Wilderness Bill and is also working to protect OHV recreation in the Johnson Valley area. Having your congressional representatives involved in the CCMA is very important.

As the FOCCMA website stated, BRC’s Don Amador spoke about how AMA, D36, TMC, CORVA, CAL4WD, BRC, FOCCMA, and SRMC are working in a cooperative manner to reopen the area to historic OHV uses. Amador also extended the hand of partnership to the gem collectors and ranchers to join our quest to reopen CCMA.

Stay tuned for updates. The General plans to be at the Jan. 20 CCMA meeting in Santa Clara and looks forward to visiting with you there.

Also, JOIN BRC and other groups to help us fight this closure
Join at:

The General’s Contact Info:
Don Amador
Recreation HQ
555 Honey Lane
Oakley, CA 94561

Forward this blog and info to your friends.

Thanks for your service and for attending these meetings.

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