Monday, December 31, 2012

Donstradamus' Top Ten OHV Predictions for 2013




Donstradamus' Top Ten OHV Predictions for 2013

 

10 - President Obama takes family to Yellowstone and tours the area on snowmobiles.  The president enjoys it so much that he issues an executive order that codifies OSV use there in perpetuity.

 

9 - Federal land agencies official adopt “OHV recreation” as the only cost-effective management tool to eradicate non-native invasive plant species in coastal dune areas.  OHV use is prescribed and rotated in both motorized and non-motorized dune areas to address encroachment of non-native vegetation into open dune areas which are prime breeding grounds for the snowy-plover.  Snowy-plover populations skyrocket as a result.

 

8 - EPA’s resigning director, Lisa Jackson, joins a long list of retired anti-OHV federal employees at PEER’s faux OHV group called Responsible Trails America.  Jackson and RTA work to implement national speed limits, “no tire spin,” and “no jumping” travel policies (see sign below) so OHV can comply with the new EPA “OHV Dust Rule.”

 

 

7 - A pro-OHV benefactor in Germany or France donates $5M to several non-profit OHV organizations in the USA to help prevent off-road riding opportunities on public lands in America from suffering the same fate (i.e. banned) as they have in Europe.

 

6 - Kid Rock or another OHV friendly recording artist releases a new single that extols the virtues of family-oriented motorized recreation.  The song tops the charts in a few weeks and remains popular for several months. 

 

5 - At least two Indian Tribal councils in the West vote to open an OHV park.  Those new facilities will include hardened campsites; some RV hookups, designated trail systems of at least 75 miles, and a kiddie track where parents can watch their youngsters learn to ride.

 

4- Several Congressional members start a new “OHV caucus.”  This bipartisan body works hard to address excessive trail closures on public lands and to also streamline the route designation process.  The cost-recovery issue is reviewed as well.

 

3 - The 1st ever urban “all-electric” OHV park is approved in a large metropolitan area to encourage use of electric-powered OHVs.  The Department of Interior decides to help support the project by installing a large wind turbine that will provide taxpayer subsidized free charging stations for the users.

 

2 - The CA OHV local assistance grants program gets welcome boost when the attorney general’s report finds that all 35M of the hidden “OHV money” in the state parks scandal can be used to restore the grants program to 26M for the upcoming grants cycle.   The report also recommends that all OHV-related funding pots receive permanent protection from future raids by the legislature.

 

1 - Realizing that OHV use is an important partner in resource management and land access, The Nature Conservancy creates a new branch of OHV Recreation at their main headquarters.  TNC’s new endeavor identifies numerous OHV opportunities on their existing inholdings which becomes an important factor in the public/private land recreational opportunity matrix.

 

BONUS PREDICTION: Luddite movement grows in OHV community as more riders cast aside GPS units because they are too distracting.  Instead, they choose to rely on maps and traditional pathfinder skills to navigate public roads and trails.

# # # 
 
Happy New Year from Donstradamus and the Recreation HQ! 

 

 

 

 


Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas from The Recreation HQ




The Recreation HQ wants to send out very heartfelt and warm Christmas wishes to all the OHVers, conservationists, federal, state, and local land managers, legislators/staff, media, academia, aftermarket, Industry, legal experts, clubs, and fellow advocates who visit with us here on recreation and land-use issues.

2012 has been a very busy year and HQ is looking forward to taking a short break over the Holidays to recharge the batteries and enjoy this very special time of year with family and friends and we encourage you to do the same.

The Recreation HQ will be closing its entry gate from Friday December 21 (3pm) until January 2, 2013.  However, we will continue to monitor breaking news that could impact our sport and will post those important updates on an as needed basis.  So take a few days off and be assured we have your six.

Merry Christmas!

Don

PS – The Great Donstradamus will be working on his new predictions for 2013 and will post those on December 31, 2012.

Here is a link to his predictions for this past year
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2011/12/dontradamus-issues-top-ten-ohv.html

 


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Update on Mill Fire Salvage Sale

Photo from Logging Operation in Sierra NF
 
HQ wanted to give the riders and fans of Stonyford a pre-Christmas update on the proposed Mill Fire Salvage Timber Project.   First, thanks to all of you who sent in letters.  I heard from several of you that it was the 1st time you had ever written a comment letter - good on you for being part of the solution.  HQ was impressed with the number of letters submitted as well as the content.  I have heard the FS was impressed as well.
 
Based on discussions with agency staff last week, I believe the FS will utilize many of our comments in a revision of project and craft it to minimize impacts to system trails and to restore those trail segments back to trails after the project.  Also, HQ understands they will schedule the project so as to not impact the Fall enduros (i.e.  Fall enduros will happen in 2013 and beyond) and only work during the week when ridership is low.
 
HQ understands the OHV Program Manager and the Forest Recreation Officer are now official team members of the project.  Giving recreation and trails a seat at the planning table is a good thing!
 
Logging on federal lands (including post-fire salvage operations) is a very complex issue in the 21st Century.  Trails, sensitive and threatened species, storm water runoff, forest resource goals, congressional mandates, court rulings, recreation, and potential litigation are all part of the puzzle that must be pieced together by agency staff in preparation for the timber sale.  Salvage timber sales are even more complicated by time sensitivity due to insect predation on the dead and dying timber if the agency (and taxpayer) expects to sell any of the logs to help pay for the project (and create some local jobs in the process too).
 
HQ would like to encourage you to read a rather long article on various concepts related to post-fire salvage operations on federal lands – it is a good read.
 
HQ is optimistic that as we head into the Christmas and New Year Holiday season that OHVers have averted being given a lump of coal by the Mendocino NF’s original proposal and instead have the promise of being able to once again enjoy OHV recreation there including permitted events for many seasons to come.
 
Merry Christmas,
The Recreation HQ
 *Feel free to leave comments about this blog.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Merry Xmas from QWR and 2013 Sponsorship Opportunities

Very warm Merry Christmas and Happy New Year wishes to all the readers at the Recreation HQ and supporters of QWR.

Here is a Christmas Card and info on 2013 Sponsorship Opportunities for Users and Small Business Owners.

QWR Merry Christmas and Sponsorship Info
http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Merry-Christmas-and-2013-Sponsorship-Opportunites.html?soid=1109092517671&aid=wylWGU6fX7k


Merry Christmas!

Don Amador

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Counties Join OR Dune Access Battle - Pass Resolution

The Future of OHV at OR Dunes?
 
The Recreation HQ believes that the Coos County Resolution (see below) articulates a well thought out foundation for a desired future condition for the OR Dunes.   HQ believes the agency has underestimated the resolve of the counties/users/small business owners to fight back against their effort to implement the 1994 Management Plan (actually that is a misnomer since it only focused on areas to close to OHV recreation and did not address the most important issue impacting the dunes and that is the encroachment of non-native vegetation).
 
Dec 4, 2012 Coos County Resolution
 
One option for the counties is to ask  the FS to do a supplemental DEIS because they failed to properly analyze and create alternative(s) that address the real environmental crisis that is impacting the dunes nor did he vet the economic impact that the decision will have on OHV tourism. 
 
Another option is for the counties to engage the OR congressional delegation to help direct (i.e. new legislation, direct talks, etc.) the FS to develop a travel plan that fosters both a robust OHV program and a dune restoration program that deals with the encroachment of non-native vegetation that is taking over the open sand dune areas.   
 
Getting the congressional delegation involved on another Forest’s travel plan was key to having the Wallowa-Whitman NF withdrawn their proposal due to a massive closure of routes.  Their help may be needed to encourage the FS to push the “reset button” on the current dunes travel planning process.
 
Link to article on travel plan withdrawn on Wallowa-Whitman NF
 
Many of the key tenets below were stated in the Coos County Resolution.  They should be non-negotiable going forward for the long-term protection and restoration of the OR Dunes to their 1972 condition of being mostly open dunes.
 
·         Re-designate all 10C areas to 10B open riding areas – for about 11K total acres open for OHV
·         Reestablish the Resource Advisory Council
·         Aggressively attack the encroachment of non-native vegetation in the non-motorized areas and utilize OHV recreation as a veg. management tool as well.
·         Cooperate and formally consult with the counties
 
Also, here is a great TV news story that recently ran on the Dunes issue.  One of the best OHV TV stories ever done on our sport.
 
TV Video/News Story on OR Dunes
 
Thanks for your interest in the OR Dunes!
 
 
 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

GREAT NEWS - FS Extends Comment Period for OR Dunes



Great News from the Recreation HQ!  As many of you know, HQ and other riders are concerned about the current proposal by the FS to severely restrict OHV recreation (particularly in the sand trail areas) at the OR Dunes.  The public comment period for the Travel DEIS was supposed to end on Dec. 10.

 
BRC Alert with Copy of FS Letter to Counties
http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2012/12/06/comment-period-on-oregon-dunes-10c-designated-routes-project-deis-extended

 

However, because of a lot of hard work by Save the Oregon Dunes club with help and support from BRC, local businesses, and county officials the Forest Service extended the public comment period until Jan. 24, 2013 to give Coos, Douglas, and Lane counties a chance to place the DEIS for the Oregon Dunes Travel Plan on their county commission agendas as an action item.

 

HQ believes the current preferred Alternative 4 in the DEIS is simply a recipe for disaster because it does not recognize the important role that OHV recreation has in managing encroachment of non-native plant species into the open dune areas.   Over time, new portions of the open dune riding area would have to be fenced off each year to provide habitat for species such as the Snowy Plover (it needs open sand to nest).  In 15-20 years, there would be no OHV recreation because of the need to continually close off more open sand areas for the plover.  OHV recreation as we know it would go extinct at the Dunes.

 
Stay tuned as this issue continues to develop.  Let’s hope the FS, local users, and the counties can come up with a long-term strategy (modified Alt. 5?) that will protect both OHV recreation and natural resources for generations to come.

 


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

ACTION ALERT- Ask FS to Rescope Mill Fire Timber Project



ACTION ITEM – DO TODAY!

STONYFORD ALERT

As many of you know, the Mendocino National Forest is proposing to do a salvage timber sale to address various resource and safety issues that resulted from the Mill Fire this summer.  Generally, most recreationists are not arbitrarily opposed to responsible salvage timber operations that protect the resource and help in the area’s recovery so that it can be once again enjoyed by the public.   However, this proposal appears to have been created in a vacuum with basically no input from recreation professionals within the agency.

Although the public comment period for this current scoping period does not end until December 17, we feel it is important for you to immediately petition the Forest Service to withdraw the proposal and rescope it so that it analyzes potential impacts to OHV recreation and other public uses.

Your letters do not have to be long or thoroughly exhaust an issue.  Rather, each letter should address your history of use at the area, any expertise you have in recreation or resource management, issues that concern you, and suggestions on how the agency can improve the planning documents.

Here are key bullet points:
 

Ask the agency withdraw and rescope the Project due to planning deficiencies that failed to analyze or disclose the following issues.

 

             Impacts to recreation program
             Impacts to current and future OHV grants from OHMVR
             Impacts to FS system roads and trails
             Impacts to permitted OHV events such as enduros and dual-sport rides
             Site-specific NEPA is required if system trails are converted to roads
             Impacts to ongoing post-fire trail rehabilitation by FS and state park trail crews
             Is plan to “clear-cut” wide paths along roads/trails for public safety really needed
             Impacts to agency credibility with users including volunteer programs

 
Below is a sample letter that you can use as a basis to articulate your own specific concerns about the project.   There are links to the December 3, 2012 BRC comment letter and the November 28, 2012 comment letter from the Oakland Motorcycle Club that you can reference. 
 

BRC December 3 Comment Letter
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Mill_Fire_Project_BRC_Rescope_PDF_final_12.3.12.pdf

 
OMC Letter
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Mill_fire_OMC_response.pdf

 
Mill Fire Salvage Sale Scoping Letter
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/ScopingLetter_MillFireSalvageHazardTreeRmvl.pdf

 
Mill Fire Salvage Sale Proposal
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/PreliminaryProjectInformation_MillFireSalvageHazardTreeRmvl.pdf

 
Mill Fire Salvage Sale Map
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/ScopingMap_MillFireSalvageHazardTreeRmvl.pdf
 

Remember that your letters do not have to be long.  Usually one or two pages will do the trick at this point in the planning process. 

 
SAMPLE LETTER ************************************************
 

Date

 
Sherrie Tune
Forest Supervisor
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Avenue
Willows, CA 95988
FAX: 530.934.7384
Email: stune@fs.fed.us
 

Dear Supervisor Tune:
 

I am writing to you with the request that your office support the BlueRibbon Coalition’s request to rescope the proposed Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project.    My family has been riding at the Stonyford OHV Area since the 1980s.  The current proposal has many unintended negative consequences to the OHV program on the Grindstone Ranger District.  These impacts will be lasting and   devastating.
 

OHV recreation has an important impact on the area’s economy.   Thousands of people attend enduros, dual-sport rides, or camp each year to enjoy the trail systems that are threatened by the current plan.  The proposal appears to threaten that use by extending the closure another 2-3 years. 

 
Again, please rescope the plan so that OHV recreation and the sale’s impact to the trail system can be properly analyzed in creation of new scoping documents.  The Mill Fire had a severe impact on the OHV program; please don’t compound this issue by destroying our OHV program by authorizing a salvage plan that does not protect and enhance recreational opportunity on the unit.
 

Thanks for considering my comments.
 

John Doe
33 Steam Donkey Way
Trail Town, USA

cc: Phil Jenkins, OHMVR @ pjenkins@parks.ca.gov
      Don Amador, BRC @ brdon@sharetrails.org


*************************************************************************

 
PS - Thanks to the RRMC, OMC, MCMA, SCSA, Valley Trail Riders, NBMC, and VCMC (there may have been other clubs too) for hosting a great meeting last night in Napa where we and about 60 riders discussed this issue.  Great to share stage with D36's Dave Pickett. Thanks for being engaged in OHV recreation!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Makes No Cents!

Is This the Future of OHV at Stonyford for the Next 2-3 Years?
 
As some of you already know, the Mendocino NF issued a public notice on Nov. 20 for comment on the Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project.  Public comments are due by Dec. 17.
 
Mill Fire Salvage Scoping Letter (with contact info)
 
Mill Fire Salvage Project Info
 
Mill Fire Salvage Project Map
While HQ historically supports responsible timber/salvage sales, this plan hardly mentions OHV recreation. In addition, the proposal functionally closes the area until late spring/early summer 2014 for both casual riding and permitted OHV events.  I also think this proposal seriously undermines the agency’s credibility with the OHV community and other stakeholders.
 
It appears many important connector roads and trails will be closed during logging/treatment.  Again, this could mean no enduros in 2013 and possibly 2014.  The proposal gives no estimate on when the trails could be re-opened for casual use.  Again, OHV recreation is hardly mentioned.  There is no mention of what this functional closure would have on the largest FS destination OHV area north of the Grapevine. There is no mitigation for repairing the trail system.  At 20K/mile (or more), it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix obliterated trails. 
Also, there is no mention of the sale’s impact on the current and ongoing post-fire trail restoration efforts. 
 
The proposal does not address what HQ feels is a critical matter and that is dealing with the knobcone pine infestation (and the beetles/bugs that are eating them) on Sullivan Ridge and the Potato Hill area. How would this closure of the area impact the potential for grants during the closure time? 
 
All of the affected trails listed below would be most likely converted from a system trail to a road and closed during the logging operation.   At a minimum, a project like this would have to have project level NEPA to analyze the conversion of 50 inch or wider system trails to roads.
 
Initial List of Impacted (e.g. closed/obliterated routes by salvage sale)
Trails 03, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 33, 35, and 36.
4WD/OHV route/roads – 17N02, 17N14, 17N62B, 17N62C, 17N95, and 17N97 
 
Be assured that HQ and BRC will be sharing our concerns with the FS, users, and conservation groups about what appears to be an ill-advised plan.  This proposal as currently crafted is nothing more than an appeal and/or litigation magnate.  I expect the FS will get hit from both sides of the land-use spectrum unless this plan is withdrawn or rewritten.
This proposal does not make any cents!  (Yes, I mean cents as in wasted taxpayer and green sticker monies)
 
# # #

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

HQ Supports New CA State Park Director



 

The Recreation HQ believes Governor Brown made a very good choice in tapping Major General Anthony L. Jackson to be the new State Park Director.
 

SVC News Article (Nov. 14)
http://scvnews.com/2012/11/13/2-star-marine-to-head-state-parks-system/
 

The article states… “As Commanding General, Jackson has worked on a wide variety of state and federal legislative issues…  He routinely met with and briefed state and federal legislative leaders and elected officials on issues such as renewable energy generation, fire suppression, state parks and off-highway vehicle use.”

 
HQ believes Director Jackson understands and appreciates the important role that responsible OHV recreation plays in this state.   HQ also believes that his appointment will soon lead to the appointment of a Deputy Director at OHMVR.

 
Thanks for your interest in OHV recreation.

 

 

Monday, November 12, 2012

OR Dunes Update - Rally at Riley Ranch (Nov. 17)


The Recreation HQ wants to make sure all fans of the Oregon Dunes know about the Rally at Riley Ranch on Nov. 17 (1-4pm).   As many of you know, the Forest Service released their DEIS for travel management of the dunes last month.   HQ believes it ignores good science and best management practices by trying to implement the closure oriented 1994 Clinton-Gore era travel plan.

BRC Alert on DEIS Comment Period – Comment Period Ends Dec. 10
http://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2012/10/22/oregon--siuslaw-nf-releases-deis-oregon-dunes-nra-10c-designated-routes-project

 

Here is a link for directions to the Coos County OHV Park at Riley Ranch (a cool place!)
http://www.co.coos.or.us/Departments/CoosCountyParks/RileyRanch.aspx

 

Here is link to HQ blog on Oct. 22 with more info on the proposed travel plan (video of proposed trails to be closed)
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2012/10/siuslaw-nf-sticks-head-in-sand-in-odnra.html

 
SPECIAL OR DUNES DONATION INFORMATION


BRC has set up an "OR Dunes Account" at its main office where folks can donate via PayPal or snail mail.  This account will be used strictly to help fund BRC involvement with the two separate but related land use issues at the Dunes.

 
BRC Online donations
https://www.sharetrails.org/secure/join_or_contribute/?c=1

 

You are asked to click on the "General Fund" account which allows any funds collected to be used if needed in legal action.  Then you are asked to type in the blank space..."Oregon Dunes Account"

Again, these funds will be used for BRC work regarding Dune recreation.

 

Here is Facebook link to the event on Nov. 17 (1-4pm).  HQ understands that there will be special speakers including elected officials, business leaders, and other VIPs… including the most important VIPs (the riders who use the dunes!)

 

Here is link to the 2011 tour that BRC’s Don Amador took last summer of the dunes
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2011/08/keeping-ohv-recreation-alive-is-worth.html

 
Thanks for your attention to this important riding area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Update - Eldorado NF SEIS Comments Due Nov. 7




The Recreation HQ wants to remind riders that the comment period for the Eldorado NF's
SEIS -- that addresses the "42 meadow routes" that were ordered closed this last summer by a federal court -- are due on Nov. 7.  Many of those routes are popular "high country" trails used by OHVers after the winter snow melts.

BRC has issued an updated alert today on this issue.  The alert below contains some key bullet points for you to consider when making your comments.  Also, it is important for users to talk about the importance of specific routes referenced in the SEIS/Proposed Action.

Nov. 2 BRC Alert (with talking points)
www.sharetrails.org



Here is the snail mail address for your comments:

Be sure and put: Eldorado NF SEIS in the subject line.

Kathryn D. Hardy
Forest Supervisor
Eldorado National Forest
100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667

Email to: comments-pacificsouthwest-eldorado@fs.fed.us

Thanks for your efforts on this subject.

Don


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Stonyford - Mill Fire Update - Good and Bad News!

View of Trails 40, 32, and 34 from M5
 
View of Trail 33 Near Mill Valley Campground
 
The Recreation HQ got to spend a few days up at Stonyford last week touring (and working too) the burn area with FS staff.  We reviewed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mill Fire and looked at the extent of the damage and some of the challenges the agency must address before reopening it for public use.
 
The good news is that the campgrounds at Fouts and Davis Flat are open for camping.  Non-street legal OHVs can use Trail 42 that is a loop next to Davis Flat.  However at this time, there is no access to the main trail/road network (i.e.  Trails 34, 32, 40,37,39, or the shortcut to M5).  In fact, M5 remains closed at this time.
 
If you have a dual-sport you can ride up M10 and get on the trails/roads that are open (i.e.  Trail 6, 8,12,45, etc.).  If you have non-street legal OHVs, you can trailer them up and park along M10 where
it becomes a mixed-use road.   That begins just past the junction of where the Letts Lake Road intersects with M10.  Now is a good time to take the OHV corridor over to the Upper Lake OHV area and explore some of those trails.
 
The bad news is the main trail network that got burned looks like it will remain closed through the winter so that portions of the routes that have to be restored  after getting blitzed by the bulldozers cutting firebreaks can heal.
The ugly news is there are a lot of potential impacts to the roads and trails from excessive soil erosion if the area gets hit with heavy rains.  For example, a lot of tree stumps burned down to the root systems which often cross a road or a trail.  Now with the stump/root gone, there is the potential for water to carve or gully up the road/trail bed.
Stump/root burnout on road
 
There are a number of volunteer days still ahead where you can help.  Here is a link to where you can sign up.
 
HQ Blog with Vol. Dates and Sign Up Info
 
HQ believes that after these initial rains, the agency should make it a high priority to open up several corridors ASAP (i.e. Potato Hill and M5) so that riders can access the trails that are open in the non-burned areas.
 
HQ also wants to thank the agency and state trail crews that have been working very hard since the fire to help bring the impacted trails up to specs.
 
Watch for an update soon on the 1st volunteer trail day last week.  We had a great turnout!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Monday, October 22, 2012

Siuslaw NF Sticks Head in Sand in ODNRA DEIS

Historic Forest Sand Trail Closed in DEIS
 
 
The Recreation HQ is strongly disappointed in the preferred alternative (Alt. 4) selected in the Siuslaw National Forest’s DEIS.   HQ is still reviewing the document but it appears the agency is basically implementing their Clinton-Gore era 1994 Management Plan.  That plan functionally closes all historic sand trails that exist in forested or vegetated areas.   If the plan is adopted it will forever change the riding experience at the dunes.
 BRC Alert on the DEIS/ Comment Period which ends Dec. 10, 2012
 
YouTube Video of OHVers on Sand Trail Closed in DEIS
 
Please see HQ blog from 2011 on FS Closure Plan
 
As some of you know, BRC toured the area last summer with OHV enthusiasts and even had the Forest Supervisor come out for a one day tour of the area.  Unfortunately, it appears the agency has stuck its head in the sand by selecting an ill-advised plan from a bygone era.  
 
For a background of BRC’s concerns about the proposed action, please read our July 25, 2011 comment letter which was apparently ignored by the agency.
 
HQ believes it is important for OHV users and related businesses in the OR Dunes area to immediately contact their county commissioners and make sure the counties comment on the DEIS too.
 
Thanks for your time to review this issue!
 
 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

HQ Closed Oct. 17-21 - In the Field

HQ will be in the field with little if any cell.  Oct. 17-21.  Will reopen Oct. 22.

OHV and Nature Can Coexist at Carnegie/Tesla?



The Recreation HQ would like to give an update on the East Bay Regional Park District’s planning effort and how their narrative has apparently softened a bit when it comes to new OHV use on the Tesla property which is part of Carnegie SVRA.

I thought the Bay Nature article below did a pretty good job of weaving through the concept that managed OHV recreation and resource protection are not mutually exclusive and can and do co-exist on many state and federal lands.

Oct. 15 Bay Nature Article
http://baynature.org/articles/can-off-roading-and-nature-coexist/

 
What appears to be a new era of cooperation between the District, OHMVR, and user groups would not have happened without thousands of OHVers and their families showing up at various public meetings and sharing their views both verbally and in writing with District staff and board members.
 

I believe the various letters from OHV groups including BRC’s documents obtained by a public records act request had helped illustrate to the District that it was engaged in a less than robust quasi-CEQA process with unclear goals and objectives. 
 

HQ Blog with Orig. BRC CEQA Concerns and Overview
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2012/09/tesla-continues-to-be-hot-issue-at.html
 

In addition, I feel that the OHV Commission’s interest in seeing that OHMVRD and the users don’t get railroaded the District’s public-process - that left out the OHV community as legitimate stakeholders—will have an important role in new outreach by the District to OHV groups and clubs.
 

Link to Oct. 15 OHMVR Commission Letter to the District
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/East_Bay_OHV_Commission_letter_10.15.2012.pdf
 

Let’s hope the end result will be mutual cooperation and respect between the District, OHMVRD, OHV clubs, and environmental groups.  We need to be ready to review the draft policy document when it comes out in January or early February.   Mike Anderson, the District’s lead planner, told me at the Dublin meeting that the public would get a chance to review and comment on the draft policy document BEFORE it goes to the park board for approval.

 # # #


Thursday, October 4, 2012

Update on Dublin Meeting for East Bay Park's Master Plan

video

 Park Board Member, Amy Wieskamp, Gives Welcome at Dublin Meeting
 
 
The Recreation HQ attended the public meeting in Dublin last night regarding East Bay Regional Park District’s General Plan.  The ongoing issue of the District “reaching in” to the Tesla property and the fact that the District does not offer one single acre of OHV recreation to the residents of CCC and Alameda counties (over 28K + registered non-street legal OHVs owned by residents who pay prop WW taxes to support the District in those counties) were topics brought up.
HQ also talked with Mike Anderson, the District planning lead, about next steps in the planning process. Mike said it looks like they will not be able to develop a draft plan for public review and comment until January 2013.  He also said there is not deadline for the public comment period.  However, HQ believes that users should try and get comments in before October 10, 2012.
 
HQ encouraged Mike to post this information on the District website so the public can be assured that they will have an opportunity to review and comment on the draft master plan BEFORE the park board casts a final vote.   HQ also got to meet one of the board members, Amy Wieskamp, and hopes that she will consider our input regarding OHV use at Tesla and on other District properties.
 
Thanks to all who came out to the meeting and/or who have been attending the meetings.  Getting involved in the public process is how things get done.  However, I would issue one word of caution to those of you who are posting on other blogs and forums.  It does not benefit our cause or add to our credibility as a user community when a few folks post derogatory and highly inflammable personal comments about District staff or directors.  It is perfectly fine to take them to task on policy issues but keep the personal attacks off the web.  They don’t help.
 The next and final public meeting of this series is Oct. 9 at:
Richmond Memorial Auditorium
Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza
Richmond, CA 94804
7:00 – 8:30pm
 Again, it is important for OHV to show up and make pro-OHV or other policy comments at the various flip chart stations.  Thanks again to all of you who are taking time out of your busy schedules to attend.
 
# # #
 
 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

East Bay Park Meeting Tonight in Dublin - Be There


Bowser from the Save Carnegie Xmas Rally Says Be There Tonight!
 
 
There is the next to the last public meeting tonight (Oct. 3) in Dublin regarding East Bay Park District’s General Plan which includes the Tesla property which is part of Carnegie SVRA.  HQ understands that there has been a number of communications between OHMVR Division staff and District staff regarding this ongoing controversy.   I hear some progress is being made in that regard.  However, HQ remains concerned that the District still has a CEQA-deficient process in place that illegally placed the Tesla property on their 2007 General Plan Map.
The Recreation HQ will be there tonight.
Dublin Unified School Dist. Board Room
7471 Larkdale Ave.
Dublin, CA 94568
7pm to 8:30 pm
It is important for OHV to show up and make pro-OHV comments at the various flip chart stations.
Also, HQ expects the much anticipated OHV Commission letter to District Park Directors should be delivered soon.
 
See you there.
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Trout Unlimited Defends OHV Trail from Eco-Lawsuit in CO




Hell has frozen over.  OHV enthusiasts in California continue under the threat of trail closures based on our potential impacts to anadromous fish populations in the Sierra and Coastal mountains. For decades OHV recreationists have worked hard with agency staff to maintain trails so that any potential impacts will be minimized.  However at the end of the day, many of us believe that OHV recreation has coexisted with anadromous fish (even the non-existent Carnegie Hoax Fish at Carnegie SVRA) for years in our coastal waterways and mountain streams.

HQ believes our position was strengthened today by an article about the greenback cutthroat trout in Bear Creek near Colorado Springs, CA.  Here you have a coalition of user groups including Trout Unlimited, OHV groups, and others working to reroute a long existing OHV trail and voicing opposition to a recent lawsuit by CBD to close the trail before the reroute is made.

Article on Greenback Cutthroat Trout and OHV Trail Placement


 

HQ believes that coalitions of various stakeholder groups can find solutions that both protect the environment while allowing for motorized use on designated trails.  How refreshing and cost-effective that approach is compared to the legal route often selected by CBD, PEER, and other branches of the extreme environmental movement to impose their highly selective non-motorized agenda on the public.

 

EXTRA HOMEWORK:
 
Case Study of Eco-Groups Opposing OHV Efforts to protect Wild and Scenic Rivers from heavy siltation during winter months.  Local eco-groups actually got up in front of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors and defended agency road ripping during the winter rainy season.
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2010/05/historic-lawsuit-filed-in-northern.html


Bogus Eco-Lawsuit at Carnegie SVRA
http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnegie-lawsuit-win-makes-local-press.html


 

Thanks for your interest in trail management!