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The General's Recreation HQ - Don Amador

Don Amador

Op Ed - EVISCERATION OF THE CA OHV PROGRAM

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It appears that hostile political forces in Sacramento are on the verge of functionally eliminating the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) which includes OHV-related grant funding to the Forest Service, BLM, counties, local sheriffs’ departments, non-profit trail and conservation groups, and other partners.

The State Parks Transformation Team is recommending that OHMVRD, which is a separate and highly specialized department, is moved back into the offices of the CA Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

In the early 1990s when OHMVRD was located at/in DPR, the OHV program languished in obscurity and irrelevancy while trying to operate under the oppressive bureaucratic thumb of apathetic and/or anti-OHV Resource Agency and DPR leadership.

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John Stewart

ACTION ALERT FOR OCOTILLO WELLS SVRA - Comments Due April 6, 2015!


Desert Safari 2014
(photo credit: John Stewart)
 
The Recreation HQ is issuing a special ACTION ALERT urging OHV recreationists and related businesses to send in a comment letter on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.
 
SVRA Plan Link
 
BLM NOI Link
 
This hybrid planning effort by State Parks and the BLM will guide management and OHV use at the SVRA for the next 10-20 years.
 
The HQ believes it is important for the OHV community to weigh on this planning effort in a large numbers to show support for continued OHV recreation at the park.
 
Please take a few minutes to utilize the some or all of the comments below in a personal letter to the agencies.  It will make a difference!!!
 
COMMENTS DUE ON OR BEFORE APRIL 6, 2015
 
SAMPLE COMMENT LETTER
 
____________________________________________________________________________
 
Date:
 
Tina Robinson
General Plan Project Manager
5172 Highway 78, #10
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
 
 
Carrie Simmons
BLM, El Centro Field Office,
661 S. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
Dear Planning Team:
 
Please accept my comments on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.
 
[INSERT BUSINESS NAME, PERSONAL STORY, HOW FAMILY USES OCOTILLO WELLS SVRA, ETC]
 
I am concerned with the plan’s “trails-only” focus in an area that has historically offered an important mix of trails and open riding opportunities.  I urge State Parks and the BLM to include “Open” designations where appropriate in the final plan.
 
I believe the agencies should develop a streamlined event permitting process to expedite the approval of competitive and other permitted events that are well-known, historic, and reoccurring. This can be accomplished through known “pre-approved” routes or areas from which an event organizer can choose.
 
I support the SVRA’s already outstanding efforts to educate the public regarding the many important values and resources that exist in the project area. I also support efforts by State Parks and the BLM to acquire non-public lands to further enhance and consolidate recreational opportunities in the project area.
 
I am concerned about the focus on “primitive” camping.  Historically, the term primitive camping is limited to tent camping.  I believe the term as currently interpreted could result in a functional ban of trailer/RV camping throughout most of the project area.  I urge the planning team to review historic trailer/RV/tent camping patterns and adjust the final plan to accommodate, to the maximum extent possible, trailer and RV developed and dispersed camping.
 
I am concerned the proposed plan indicates areas will be identified where OHV events MAY be allowed in future planning efforts.  I believe that permitted events should be granted the same status and areas that are authorized in the plan for “California State Parks Sponsored Special Events Only”.
 
Thanks in advance for reviewing my comments and I look forward to working with the SVRA and BLM on this project.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
[JOHN DOE]
 
 
Thanks for taking time to send in a letter.  Please forward to your riding network.
 
 
Original author: Don Amador
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Don Amador

Saved By Zero - 24 Hours of Electricross


Saved By Zero - 24 Hours of Electricross

When you take the OHV sound testing program often taught by Dr. Rob Harrison (the godfather of the SAE J1287 “20-inch” sound test for OHVs) he asks the class this question, “If a tree falls in the forest does it make a sound or a noise?”

If you have taken the class you know the answer -- which is -- yes, it makes a sound since sound is a scientific measurement, but not a noise since noise is based on human values or interpretation.

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Photo to right is of Team HotChalk - hey, is that WPS's Rex Halepeska in the picture?

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Don Amador

Travel Management - Good Idea or Big Mistake?


At the recent CA State Parks OHV Commission meeting in San Jose, Commission Chairman Gary Willard asked the Forest Service representative for an accounting of the more than 12 million dollars of “OHV Green Sticker” grant funds that were spent on the CA OHV route inventory and designation process (RID) circa 2002-2007.

With more CA National Forests coming out with their DEIS’ – that are proposing to close a significant amount of historic OHV routes - there is a growing number of users asking if the CA RID process and its off-spring the National Travel Management Rule (TMR) have been “worth it” or if we are witness to a colossal mistake.

In CA, the 12 million dollars for RID essentially dried up grant funding for trail maintenance on most Forests for almost 6 years. Many users, including yours truly, were convinced that RID was simply an elaborate scheme by the anti-access majority on the OHV commission to enact the closure agenda of the extreme preservationist movement. Remember, it was just that sort of agenda-driven decision-making by the OHV commission that resulted in the new CA OHV program in SB742. Also, a number of FS staffers privately told me that those who supported the now infamous CA RID process would rue the day the MOI was signed and a “forced RID/TMR” process was imposed not only on the users, but on understaffed Forests and Ranger Districts.

Click here to read more of Travel Management - Good Idea or Big Mistake? from "The General"

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Don Amador

The General on California OHMVR Grants

California State Parks OHMVR

Often you will hear The General remind riders to undertake the difficult task of searching for - and celebrating when found - good news in the midst of these gloomy economic and land-use times.

Just such good news exists in the form of the OHMVR Division releasing their Notice of Intent to Award various trail, restoration, law enforcement, and safety grants. As some of you know, the OHV commission had been taken over by an anti-access majority (circa 2000). That body then enacted their closure agenda by developing the early route designation process (circa 2002/2003) that not only birthed the National Travel Management Rule but defunded most OHV trail projects on FS and BLM lands for 7 years.

After a lot of work in 2007 by OHV leadership and the ecologically-balanced OHMVR Division with support from the Governor’s Office, a new OHV program was authorized in SB742. One part of the bill was development of a new grants program that had the majority of “Green Sticker” funds going to support trails and trail facilities.

Read more from th General at: Celebrate OHV Green Sticker Money Going for Trails

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OutdoorWire, 4x4Wire, JeepWire, TrailTalk, MUIRNet-News, and 4x4Voice are all trademarks and publications of OutdoorWire, Inc. and MUIRNet Consulting. Copyright (c) 1999-2019 OutdoorWire, Inc and MUIRNet Consulting - All Rights Reserved, no part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without express written permission. You may link freely to this site, but no further use is allowed without the express written permission of the owner of this material. All corporate trademarks are the property of their respective owners.