Monday, April 26, 2010

Stonyford Mixed Use Issue Cleared Up

Over the last couple of weeks, The Recreation HQ has been bombarded with a number of calls from riders who have been getting tickets by riding on the main forest road at the Stonyford OHV Area. As many of you know, this paved road has been and continues to be the main transportation corridor for families who camp at Fouts Springs and Davis Flat to access the trail system in this area.

I remember taking my two sons on their Honda 50s and 80s down this road as it provides the only safe access route for getting youngsters and beginners to the OHV roads and trails.

In his role as the Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, The General contacted the Forest Service to see if there has been some miscommunication between recreation staff and law enforcement. As some of you know, this paved level 2 road is identified on the Motor Vehicle Use Map as open to all vehicle types.

What seems to be the problem is that some local agency staff had misinterpreted Region 5’s mixed use policy as requiring a level 2 road be reclassified as a level 3 road which would require a mixed use analysis and approval by the CHP for use by green sticker vehicles.

I must commend the Forest for taking responsibility for this mix-up by pulling the tickets that were issued, removing the “open for street legal vehicle only” signs, and withholding publication of the new MVUM until this “mixed use” issue is corrected. I believe the Forest now understands what a critical role that 18N03 plays in the safe transport of non-street legal OHVs (dirt bikes, dune-buggies, jeeps, ATVs, and side-by-sides) from the developed campsites to the main trail system.

The Recreation HQ believes that good communication between the users and the Forest is important and is optimistic that this sort of miscommunication won’t happen in the future.

Thanks in advance for your support and understanding.

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