Thursday, May 30, 2013

Town of Stonyford Welcomes OHV Community Back to the Mendocino NF

Phil Ray (L), longtime resident of Stonyford and owner of Honda/Kawasaki/KTM
of Modesto, and Don Amador (R), owner of QWR and West. Rep. of BRC sit on historic
landmark bench in front of the Stonyford General Store
On behalf of the Town of Stonyford, HQ wants to extend a warm welcome to all the OHVers who have waited for almost one year to return to their favorite riding area.  I had a coffee conference this am with several of the City Fathers and business owners who are excited about having the off-road community back on the Forest.   They said it has not been the same with everybody gone.
Restored Trail Thru Impacted Area

Actually, it has been a real hardship for the local grocery store to stay in business during the closure period.  HQ is encouraging riders to stop by the store on your way up to Fouts and Davis Flats this weekend and buy some provisions.  The store has everything from fine cuts of rib-eye steaks to 120-link #520 chain.  When you are in there, be sure and say hi to the store’s owner, Trish Dearman.
Trail Marker with Vehicle Types Allowed

HQ expects the route network to be about 99% open with the exception of a couple very steep short sections off of Sullivan and Little Sullivan Ridges.

New Trail Width Restrictor

Again, riders can do their part to celebrate the reopening of Stonyford by riding only on designated and signed routes and honoring the vehicle width restrictions.  The agency has worked hard to install width restrictors to help the public identify which routes are appropriate and legal for their vehicle types.  The vertical trail markers should also have the symbol of the vehicle type allowed.

Have a fun and safe weekend at Stonyford!
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Stonyford Set to Reopen June 1 - Stay on Designated Routes

The Recreation HQ is very proud of all the trail volunteers and agency staff who have worked hard since last fall to help prepare damaged routes in preparation for the long anticipated June 1, 2013 reopening of the Stonyford OHV Area to non-street legal and street legal OHVs.

As many of you know, this area on the Mendocino National Forest was hit hard in July 2012 by the Mill Fire which burned about 82K areas in the heart of the trail system.  As it reopens, HQ wants to remind riders to stay on the designated route network. 

Much of the natural vegetation that helped delineate the trails was destroyed in the fire.  Vegetation that once obscured old skid roads and closed routes that are not part of the designated trail network is also gone and riders will have to pay careful attention to make sure they are on a legal route.

Staying on designated routes will be critically important in helping to keep the area open for OHV use through this summer and into the fall riding season.  There is still a lot of work to do but staying on the legal routes is one thing that you can do to help ensure continued OHV access to the area.

When you are on the trail, be sure and look for route markers that identify legal routes.  The FS staff and volunteers have worked hard to help get trails marked and install or rebuild erosion control measures such as rolling dips and catch basins.  Be sure and thank the FS staff when you see them on opening weekend.

HQ wishes all OHVers who have waited patiently for the area to reopen the very best and hopes to see you on the trail or at a volunteer work event.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

CA Trail Users Alert - Ask Gov. Brown to Keep CA in the RTP


The Recreation HQ is asking all of our non-motorized and motorized readers in CA to take a minute and send a short letter to Governor Brown today asking him to keep California in the National Recreational Trails Program (RTP).   If California opts-out, it could start the dominos falling in other states.

BRC and other recreation groups have issued alerts with info about this issue.

BRC Alert on RTP Alert for CA Trail Users

In many states - particularly in states with no OHV program - OHVers rely entirely on funds from RTP for their motorized projects.   HQ believes Governor Brown may take the advice from some in Sacramento and opt-out of the program UNLESS he gets a short message from you.

HQ has a link below to all of the RTP grants given in California between 1993-2012.  Many of them are related to OHV or OSV.  You can check and see what motorized or non-motorized group, county, or agency has received a RTP grant in CA.

Link to RTP Report of Grants from 1993-2012

Here is a draft letter that HQ has prepared for those of you to use if needed.  Send in a letter today and also consider writing a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.  (Yes, I have already sent in my personal letter and sent a letter-to-the-editor of my local newspaper)

Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
FAX: 916.558.3160

Re: Keep CA in the National Recreational Trails Program

Dear Governor Brown:

As a trail user in California, I urge you to continue this state’s participation in the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP).   If California opts-out of RTP is could have a devastating impact on the entire program.  The success of RTP depends in each state being an active participant in the program. 

RTP is an environmentally sound program that supports both non-motorized and motorized trail projects.   It is a program that benefits trail-based tourism in California and helps support local economies and businesses.

Again, I urge you to please continue California’s participation in RTP.



Joe Trail User
Any town, CA


HQ thanks all trail users in advance to taking time to send in a short letter that will benefit trail enthusiasts on a national basis.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Nor Cal OHV, Enduro, Dual Sport Alert - Comment on Young's Corral OHV Trail Project

The Recreation HQ is issuing an ACTION ALERT for all those OHVers and dual-sport enthusiasts from around the county and elsewhere (including Canada, Europe, etc.) who have ridden on the Mendocino National Forest to send in a short comment letter regarding a very important project (comments due May 24) on the Young’s Corral OHV Trail Project.

Link to Project Description, etc.

The Upper Lake Ranger District is proposing to construct a short ½ mile section of trail to re-connect riding opportunities between the Upper Lake and Grindstone (e.g. Stonyford) Ranger Districts.  The proposed project will provide an important connector on the Mendocino OHV Corridor.  Currently, there is no legal access on this route due to easement issues with a private property owner.  To correct the issue and respect private property rights, the agency is proposing a short bypass that will, once again, allow casual use and permitted OHV/ dual-sport events on that route. 

After you review the project (it is basically just a one pager), please send a comment to the District Ranger, Lee Johnson, at:

Lee Johnson, District Ranger
Upper Lake Ranger District
Mendocino National Forest
10025 Elk Mountain Road
Upper Lake, CA 95485
Attn: Frank Aebly, Project Leader

Re: Young’s Corral OHV Trail Project

I support this proposed project to re-establish the connectivity of the Mendocino Off-Highway Vehicle Corridor. 

It addresses private property concerns and restores legal OHV recreation travel between the Grindstone and Upper Lake Ranger Districts for family OHV recreation and for long-standing events such as the SheetIron 300 Dual Sport Ride, Jackhammer Enduro, and the Cowbell Enduro.

Thanks for allowing me to comment on this important and much needed project.


Joe Trail Rider



HQ thanks you in advance to taking a few minutes to send in a comment.  Please forward this to your riding network.



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

East Bay Regional Park Update - Agency Pokes OHV Community in the Eye

Photo from a 2012 District Public Meeting
OHV enthusiasts often complain about the arrogance of elected and unelected officials that are sent to Washington D.C. to make decisions on our behalf.  Sadly, that unbecoming character flaw appears to have been adopted by the East Bay Regional Park District’s staff and elected board members.
As many of you know, the District is updating their Master Plan.  A lot of you attended several public meetings held throughout the East Bay Area last fall.  Recently, the District issued their updated final Draft Master Plan Update.
Link to Final Draft of Updated Master Plan
At those public “listening meetings,” the OHV community often represented about 1/3rd to ½ of those in attendance.   With over 28K registered non-street legal OHVs in the District’s jurisdiction, the Park was not providing one-inch of OHV trail.  Historically, motorized recreation was recognized as a viable form of activity that the District should provide for.  In fact, they operated a small OHV park in the Oakland hills about 20 years ago.
We also submitted comments and made statements regarding the District’s effort to stop the OHMVR Division’s planning efforts on the Tesla property to site new OHV opportunity on said land purchased for that use with monies from the OHV Trust Fund.
Link to the Tesla Fight
HQ has done an initial review and it appears that all the OHV community accomplished was to further strength the resolve by District leadership to formally BAN any consideration of OHV use on current or future District park lands.   In addition, the District continues to insert itself into the OHMVR Division’s planning for future motorized recreational opportunity on the Tesla property. 
Link to Carnegie SVRA Planning Process
According the District’s Public Affairs Officer, Carol Johnson, dates for upcoming public meetings will be discussed most likely on May 23 at an executive committee meeting, though the agenda has not been formally posted as yet.  The full Board of Directors will consider adoption of the final draft document sometime in June.  Johnson urges users to check the District’s website for updates on Board agendas.
The District has proved local agencies and governing boards are more than capable of brash arrogance that rivals anything I have seen in Sacramento or Washington, D.C.  Getting poked in the eye hurts regardless of who does it. 
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