Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Help Donstradamus Decide on Issuing Predictions for 2012


This was updated (in bold) Dec. 29, 2011 to gauge the accuracy of Donstradamus' 2011
predictions made in Dec. 2010.  Please comment if you think Donstradamus should quit making
predictions or if he should continue - Thanks!

10- A pro-access Democrat congressman will switch to the GOP once House oversight hearings on Travel Management and other land closures are scheduled in mid-January 2011.  Several DEMs did vote for H.R. 242 to address the closure of level 3 roads in Region 5 - Pretty close

9 - A new OHV-oriented Luddite movement spreads across several western states. Dirt-bikers throw GPS units away and use maps instead. They leave cell phones at home when they go on trail rides with their buddies. Several guys I ride with have gone back to using maps when directions are needed - Sorta close

8 - Snowmobile sales spike due to heavy snowfall in the Winter of 2011. Environmentalists blame the high snow levels on global cooling that they claim is a byproduct of global warming. An ISMA June 2011 news release stated OSV sales were up 5% in the USA and greens still blame use global warming as main reason for any weather events - Dead on

7 - An all-electric OHV Park will be sited near a major population center in the USA. Left-wing eco-groups should applaud the facility, but complain instead.  Electric OHV parks are being talked about - Sorta Close

6 - Good News – Green mountain-bikers will finally get their long-time wish for a “Wilderness Area” that allows mountain bikes. Bad News – It is only 20 acres in size and riders must dismount when going downhill to reduce soil impacts. I believe one of the "Wilderness Bills" (maybe Testers') gave mountain bikers one or two trails as a bone (cherry-stemmed in the Wilderness proposal) - Sorta Close

5 - A new upstart political party that supports pro-trail legislators and policies will become an important factor in the 2012 elections. There is a new OHV trail polticial action committee, but effectiveness depends on OHV support - Close

4 - Federal land agencies allow OHVs to be used to treat invasive plant species such as the European Beach Grass at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and other coastal sites. The agencies rotate OHV use similar to how farmers rotate goatherds to manage unwanted vegetation.  The FS may consider allowing OHVs to "manage" some of the small pine tree "islands."  - Pretty close 

3- Diesel powered dual sport motorcycles long favored by the military are offered to the public in a civilian version as a way to help motorcyclists save on fuel costs. No info - Miss

2 - A MX superstar from the 1980s quits his unhealthy lifestyle. He adopts a vegan diet and trains for 5 months under the direction of Jillian from the Biggest Loser TV series. He places 2nd at the Hangtown MX race held near Sacramento. No info - Miss

1- A former motorcycle-racing champion wants to give back to the sport and donates $300,000 dollars to a national off-road advocacy group to help keep trails open.  No info on such a donation - Miss 
# # #

Thursday, December 23, 2010

HQ on Holiday R&R Dec. 23-Jan. 2

The General will be taking some time off to be with his family from Dec. 23 to Jan. 3.  Will reopen HQ on Jan. 3.  Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  FYI for those of you who wanted to see the FS official response back to BRC about the reinstatement of the 2" rain rule... I have posted that FS letter below:

FS Dec. 20 Letter to BRC

I hope to hear from some of you who go up and enjoy Stonyford over the Holidays.

Merry Christmas,


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thoughts from HQ on Christmas, New Years, and the OHV Struggle

The Trails You Take in Life are Important
 - Don Amador

The Recreation HQ wants to wish all its readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. The General believes that OHV may be starting to turn the corner in the land-use fight.

Sure, there have been some setbacks such as the “cost recovery” issue that effectively stopped a number of historic enduros held in the Sierra Nevada, CCMA remains closed, enviros filed new “Subpart A” lawsuits against the FS in CA, NV, and ID, and non-street legal and street-legal OHVs have been banned on many historic trails (i.e. unauthorized routes) and forest roads.

However, looking on the bright side OHV does have some good news. Here are just a few: BRC legal and partners got the court to rule against the closures in the Little Belts Travel Plan; a stipulation was signed on the Six Rivers National Forest case to help stop illegal road ripping; a potential disaster in the So Cal Roadless case was averted because of OHV legal involvement; OHV leaders encouraged the FS to hold off implementation of Subpart A in Region 5 and elsewhere, BRC legal and partners successfully intervened in the ongoing Eldorado NF lawsuit and the new Subpart A lawsuit on the Stanislaus NF; and OHMVR is working on its own asbestos study that could help in the fight to reopen CCMA. OHV/BRC legal and partners argued before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and it was captured on video -- and they did a darn good job!

There are many other good news items such as the fact that Carnegie SVRA (under threat of a court ordered closure last Christmas) is still open. Also, the Mendocino National Forest just went back to its old “2 inch rain policy” so that it would not be closed all winter by an ill-advised ad hoc “extended rain closure” policy. And, the Shasta Trinity National Forest has not yet published its MVUM, which is the implementation tool for the TMR FEIS/ROD. HQ believes that Forest wants to work with the OHV community and develop a real program with an official OHV trail coordinator that will work on post Subpart B project level trail efforts. There are other good news stories too.

Finally, a lot of you got involved in the political process this election cycle. While OHVers may not have gotten the results they wanted in CA, OR, NV, and WA, the off-road voter did help boot out anti-OHV legislators in other states on November 2 and we now have pro-OHV and pro-access chairmen in various House committees.

HQ believes that 2011 will be very busy on the land-use front and encourages the OHV community to stay engaged and be of good cheer. There are sure to be a lot of ongoing and new battles that we must fight. However, HQ believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel and looks forward to celebrating many new victories with my friends next year.

There are too many partners to thank and name in the above issues, but you know who you are and I appreciate your support, friendship, and commitment.  All of the above victories and ongoing fights are a TEAM effort.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

The General
PS – Now enjoy some time with your family… That’s an order!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Official Quiet Warrior Racing "Less dBA =s More Trails" T-Shirt Up for Auction

3 day auction on eBay for offiicial Quiet Warrior Racing "Less dBA = More Trails" T-Shirt.  You bid will help support the land-use work of The Quiet Warrior.  Thanks for bidding and Merry Christmas.  This size is XL.




Another OHV Christmas Miracle - 2" Rain Policy Reinstated on Mendocino NF

Reinstated  2" Rain Policy on 2009 MVUM

HQ believes in and celebrates Christmas as a special time where hearts are changed and miracles happen. One such miracle happened late last week when the Mendocino National Forest reinstated the time-proven 30-year old “2-inch” rain closure rule.

Beginning in late October after the new “it’s closed all the time during winter” rain closure was put into effect, HQ and BRC started to get a lot of calls from riders complaining about the OHV trail networks at Upper Lake and Stonyford being closed for extended period of time.

Nov. 29 blog with overview and link to Nov. 15 BRC letter to FS stating concerns about the new extended time-period rain closures (good overview)

HQ understood the FS had placed this issue under review but it appeared to be progressing at slow pace. Last week, HQ and BRC became concerned that the issue would not be resolved before the Holiday camping season started on the Mendocino where the “Fouts Springs OHV Camping Area” becomes the largest city in Colusa County. Often there are 3-5 thousand family campers staged in that complex with kids of all ages enjoying their new or newly purchased used OHVs.

In the meantime, HQ continued to be deluged with emails and phone calls from frustrated and angry OHVers (including motorcycle dealers, enduro riders, BRC/AMA/D36 members, riders who were not members of any club, and even former FS staff).

Based on those concerns HQ and BRC ramped up their communications with agency leadership urging  they expedite the decision-making process so the OHV community could enjoy the Forest over the holidays. On December 14, BRC sent a letter to the FS that made a formal request for the agency to reinstate the historic and NEPA compliant 2-inch rain rule so that the OHV holiday season would not be ruined for thousands of recreationists.

BRC December 14 Letter Making Formal Request to Reinstate the 2” Rain Closure Policy

HQ and BRC commend the Forest for working hard last week to wade through the red tape so that the 2-inch rule could be reinstated on December 17. BRC also commends the agency for using the site-specific Remote Automated Weather Station (RAWS) at Bartlett Springs for the Upper Lake OHV Area and Fouts/MNFO3 for Stonyford. HQ urges riders to monitor these RAWS for themselves. And, please sign up for FS email alerts for closures with Tamara (her info is below).

Bartlett Springs RAWS for Upper Lake OHV Area

MNF03/Fouts RAWS for Stonyford


Tamara Schmidt
Public Affairs Officer
Mendocino National Forest
825 N. Humboldt Ave.
Willows, CA 95988
Email: tamaraschmidt@fs.fed.us
Phone Number: 530-934-1137

It is also important to remember when FS System Trails are closed by the 2-inch rule, that FS System Roads remain open for public use by hunters, woodcutters, and OHV riders. If you have any questions about rain closures be sure and call ahead before you travel up there. In addition, the FS still has the authority to issue a temporary emergency closure order (that supercedes the 2-inch rule) should the area be hit with a catastrophic rain event, wildfire, or some other natural disaster.

HQ will remain open until Congress goes home and the holidays begin. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy OHV New Year!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

MUST SEE LEGAL OHV TV - BRC/MIC/TWS Counsel Argue Before the 9th Circuit

Stop and Watch OHV Court TV

It’s not often that riders get to see an OHV “legal football game” on TV. However, in BRC’s News Release today you will see OHV attorneys and counsel from The Wilderness Society argue before the U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in what the HQ feels is an important case.

BRC News Release on en banc review

MUST SEE OHV TV - 25 Minute Video with BRC’s Paul Turcke/Lead Counsel and MIC/SVIA’s Paul Gale/Friend of the Court, and Megan Anderson/The Wilderness Society

In the 9th Circuit it has been hard at times for “conservative” interests (i.e. OHV, timber, businesses, etc.) to intervene in environmental lawsuits. Often those conservative interests are only given “limited intervenor status" instead of full intervenor status. Instead of having a seat at the table during discussions and more importantly during the remedy phase negotiations of the suit -- those conservative groups have been told to sit at the back of the legal bus and only given minor roles.

Having been in federal court a number of times with Turcke and other attorneys (both OHV and green), I found this 25-minute video highly fascinating. The General thought Turcke did an excellent job of giving the court his perspective from the trenches on why full intervenor status is important. HQ thought Gale gave the court a good historical perspective on this issue.

On the other hand, I did not think the court was overly impressed with Anderson’s somewhat nuanced presentation.

It’s hard to predict what the court will decide. However, riders can be assured that BRC legal and friends are out there on the judicial football field engaged in timely and effective legal actions to preserve and protect continued OHV access to public lands.

Thanks for your service and support!

PS: I know BRC would appreciate a donation to help support this case. If you are able, please donate to this case which stemmed out of the original Sawtooth NF lawsuit.  Go online and in the contribution instructions type in "Sawtooth Lawsuit en banc review"


An OHV Christmas Miracle - A Case Study in Perseverance


Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another. ~Walter Elliott, The Spiritual Life

Many of us fondly remember the original “Miracle on 34th Street” movie (I did not like the remakes). The Recreation HQ believes that OHV may have its own version of that movie for this Christmas called the “Miracle on the Gasquet-Orleans Road.”

Triplicate Article on Miracle

HQ riders have been following the recent developments of the stipulation signed by the court regarding the Six Rivers NF lawsuit that addressed ad hoc road ripping without public notification and an unfair MVUM that had closed several important jeep trails.

BRC News Release on Stipulation

HQ Blog with History and Overview of Six Rivers Case

The General believes that this tactical suit was key in bringing the environmental groups to the table. I don’t think the collaborative stakeholder process would have successfully resolved the issues surrounding several important and historic jeep trails (or the ad hoc closing of routes) without the litigation.

Is this lawsuit an OHV version of the Normandy Invasion? No. However, it is a key battle in OHV Wars and one that is worth the fight.

Thanks for your service and Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Stonyford/Fouts Springs Youth Correctional Facility in Omnibus Bill - Poll Included

Correctional Facility in Middle of Family Camping Area

HQ wanted to alert riders about S. 1571 (Deafy Glady/Fouts Springs Boys Ranch Land Exchange Bill) being in the current version of the Omnibus Lands Bill for 2010. It is found in Title XXXII – Land Conveyences and Exchanges

Here is history, letters, photo of the S. 1571 Issue

The General on behalf of BRC has opposed this bill because it would transfer ownership of the 80-acre Fouts Youth Correctional Facility from the Forest Service to Solano County. While that may not seem like such a big deal, it could be devastating to the OHV program there because if the County decides to sell it (it has never been profitable) to an anti-OHV purchaser like Robert Redford… then OHV would be considered a non-compatible use and the area would be eventually closed. Remember that ALL land use decisions are political and an owner like Redford of Jane Fonda – with both financial and political power - would spell the end of OHV use there.

Let’s hope all the letters that BRC, AMA, ARRA, QWR, D36ers, CAL4, and Pirate4x4 members have sent will encourage GOP senators to block this Omnibus Bill.

Take Open Congress Poll on this Issue

PS- Yes they do have escapees – Just had one get away during the WFO Enduro.  Not cool!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

QWR Sends Congrats to Arnold for Winning 2010 AMA Award

The Recreation HQ congratulates Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger for winning the AMA’s 2010 Motorcyclist of the Year Award. Actually, if you read the following news release… this is one award he may not want.

AMA News Release on Arnold’s Award

Unlike some years where a rider wins an award for having a positive impact on motorcycling, the award this year correctly takes Arnold to task for signing SB435 – the CA “sound reduction” bill.

Just like so many of Arnold’s recent endorsements of the far-left agenda, SB435 did not make sense as written, will do little if anything to reduce loud street bikes, and brings harm to the motorcycle industry and community.

Quiet Warrior Racing opposed SB435 early on and urged the legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger to oppose this goofy bill.

QWR SB435 Blog on Arnold Signing Bill

QWR SB 435 Alert to Send Letters to Arnold

The General had high hopes for Arnold when he took office but when he started to embrace the radical environmental agenda of the left…those hopes were dashed. By signing SB435, Arnold has justly earned his place in motorcycle history. Congrats big guy!

OHV Legal Effort Takes Forward Step

Good news from HQ. Over the past several years, riders have asked why BRC does not file complaints instead of just intervening? Well, that is a complicated issue but to make it simple, it is harder than most realize to win against the federal government. Even green groups lose a lot of the time. And it is far more challenging for access interests to win OHV/access complaints against the federal government.

One reason is that current environmental law (ESA, CWA, etc) and the courts give a huge edge to suits filed by green groups. OHV does not have its version of ESA upon which to base a lawsuit. However, this case presented a rare opportunity to allege arbitrary road closures without a public process and that the MVUM was adopted without following proper procedure.

See BRC News Release on Legal Stipulation Approved by Court

As some riders know, The General (on behalf of BRC) has been working on federal access issues on the CA North Coast since the late 1990s. One of those issues was the rumored Smith River NRA's habit of closing or permanently decommissioning roads without public notification. Also, HQ heard concerns
about a number of historic jeep trails that were closed in the recent MVUM.

To the agency's credit they convened a stakeholder group that was professionally facilitated by the Center for Collaborative Policy. The Center held the group's feet to the fire to participate in a substantive
manner to resolve access issues on a number of roads including 305.125 (see video)

Youtube of Jeep on 305.125 - "Let's keep it open."


HQ believes the collaborative process also helped the agency in its decision to inform the parties before it performs "ground-disturbing activities" to permanently remove a road from public use.

In OHV Wars this is one small step forward that we all should enjoy. Even my enviro friends should feel some pride that we collectively were able to sit down and hash out some very contentious issues in a civil manner.
Donate online (and in the contribution instructions space – type in “Six Rivers Lawsuit”


If you want to support the work of Don Amador as BRC Western Representative on projects like the Six Rivers to do the foot work in preparation of the administrative record (i.e. prep. for suit/appeals) etc., please go online below and type in “western rep. expenses” (that helps support my work at BRC)

Thanks for your service!

Monday, December 6, 2010

HQ Gives Kudos to Ryan Henson for Forest Service Award

The General wants to acknowledge his counterpart, Ryan Henson, from the conservation/environmental movement for receiving a well-earned award from the USDA Forest Service. Ryan, a policy director for the California Wilderness Coalition, was presented on November 30 with R5’s Regional Forester’s Award for “Partner of the Year.”

See Dec. 6 FS News Release on Henson Award

HQ has worked with Henson on a number of legislative issues including the 2006 North Coast Wilderness Bill (HR233), the new OHV program (SB742), and the Del Norte County/FS/User OHV Stakeholder Group. The General has also met with Henson to discuss strong pro-OHV/trail protections should the potential NCA designation for the Berryessa/Snow Mountain area ever come to fruition.

It’s not often HQ recognizes a representative from the environmental community since The General has found most of them to be disingenuous and not trustworthy. Unlike numerous enviros I have worked with, Henson has proven to be a man of his word and somebody I can call friend.

Henson also has a long history of supporting managed OHV recreation at designated areas such as Stonyford, Upper Lake, Cow Mountain, and Chappie-Shasta.

This recognition should not be taken as an endorsement of his Wilderness agenda but rather a simple acknowledgment of his hard and effective work for his constituents.

Congrats Ryan… you deserve this award.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Join QWR and Send Letter to Sen. McConnell to Block Massive Lands Bill

A number of riders have asked the Recreation HQ what they should be doing to advance a pro-access agenda in Washington, DC during this Lame Duck session. As you know, this is a hectic time on The Hill and often our messages can get lost in the confusion.

However, HQ believes that we should encourage Senator Mitch McConnell to block any Omnibus Land/Water Legislation during this Lame Duck session and only allow votes on bills that lower our tax burden, reduce the deficit, and reduce the size and scope of bloated federal agencies.

Link to McConnell’s Dec. 1 Statement

Here is a link to potential land/water bills that could be included in an Omnibus Bill – A big thanks to our friends at the Western Business Roundtable for this list!

About 60 Land/Water Bills Slated for Inclusion

HQ knows a lot of recreation groups have or are sending/Faxing in letters today to support McConnell’s effort to have the Senate only vote on fiscal issues. To help support those efforts, QWR sent in a letter today and is asking you to do the same. Here is the text of that letter.

QWR LETTER (feel free to cut and paste, etc)

December 1, 2010

Senator Mitch McConnell
Republican Leader
361-A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
FAX: 202.224.2499

RE: Oppose Lame Duck Omnibus Land/Water Legislation

Dear Senator McConnell:

As an outdoor recreation advocate, I urge your office to oppose any effort by the Lame Duck Congress to pass an Omnibus Land/Water Bill. The recreation leaders I work with in the equestrian, hunting, off-road, and snowmobile communities do not support the bundling of individual land/water bills into one massive Omnibus package.

Here at Quiet Warrior Racing, we believe that each piece of legislation should be vigorously debated in the public arena. Only the land-use bills that have legitimate consensus and are thoroughly vetted with local and diverse stakeholders should merit a vote.

During this Lame Duck session, QWR urges your office to focus on those legislative items that deal with reducing our tax burden, lowering our deficit, and reducing the size and scope of bloated federal agencies. Thanks for reviewing QWR’s request.



Don Amador, Owner
Quiet Warrior Racing
555 Honey Lane
Oakley, CA 94561
Office: 925.625.5309
Email: damador@quietwarriorracing.com

You can FAX a short letter to Senator McConnell at: 202.224.2499 or use the email comment form below:

McConnell Comment Form

ARRA has a letter generator that sends a note to your own U.S Senator (do this too)

Thanks in advance for your help in stopping a massive land-use bill from being shoved down our throats by this Lame Duck Congress.