Friday, June 28, 2013

BREAKING OHV NEWS IN CA - OHV Grant Amounts Revised Up for 2012/2013 Grant Cycle Today

The Recreation HQ is very happy to announce that OHMVRD has revised the grant awards for the 2012/13 grants cycle.  The revision today will help fund many important OHV projects and programs related to Operations and Maintenance, Restoration, Education, and Law Enforcement.  If my math is correct, the grants program has been revised up from 10M to about 30M.  VERY GOOD NEWS!

Many of you remember the fierce budget fight last year with the legislature where OHV groups fought hard with politicians in an effort to challenge the 10M cap they placed on the 2012/2013 grant cycle. 

Link to 2012 Budget Fight (Dark Days Ahead blog)

HQ believes the grant revision today was made possible – in large part - to the grassroots effort to by users, advocates, local elected officials, conservationists, and others to champion our program to the legislature and Governor Brown.  HQ also thanks our OHV lobbyist, Terry McHale, for his hard work on this issue too!

HQ urges grant applicants that had not been awarded grants for this cycle to please go to the OHMVR grant website and see if your grant got funded.  Again, this is very good news for a lot of units in rural areas where grant support is crucial for resource management and to help bolster the local economy.

Link to Revised Grant Awards

Thanks again to all of you who worked hard last year in support of the OHV program!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

OHV Gavel of Justice - New 9th Circuit Memo on Minimization

The Recreation HQ has been monitoring the issue of “minimization” for the last several years as that term applies to route designation on federal lands.   Anti-access groups have tried to reinterpret that term and the impliedly necessary analysis, and have unfortunately had some success in U.S. district courts.  These victories have been predictably used in an effort to bully the agencies into dramatically reducing roads and trails available for motorized use.


The minimization issue was addressed in a recent memorandum from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in what HQ hopes marks the beginning of a positive trend for access interests on the topic.  That memorandum rejected an appeal filed by The Wilderness Society that asked the 9th to overturn a District of Arizona decision upholding route designation by BLM land management plans for the Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument.


Link to 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Memorandum on Minimization


The 9th found the minimization criteria does not require the agency to minimize impacts on a route-by-route basis.  In the addition, the 9th agreed with the district court that the BLM performed a sufficiently detailed analysis to fulfill any obligations under the minimization criteria.


HQ hopes this memorandum, when combined with other recent federal court decisions, begins to lay the legal and administrative framework for NEPA travel planning efforts to fulfill the minimization criteria without unrealistic agency burdens and inappropriate pressure for the unwarranted closure of important access and recreation motorized routes.

By including a chapter in the planning document that identifies how the agency is specifically addressing the minimization criteria, HQ believes the agency can better defend the project against closure oriented lawsuits filed by anti-access groups.
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