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!


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


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

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


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



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

OMC Letter

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Scoping Letter

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Proposal

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Map

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


Sherrie Tune
Forest Supervisor
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Avenue
Willows, CA 95988
FAX: 530.934.7384

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 @
      Don Amador, BRC @


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!