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The General's Recreation HQ - Don Amador

John Stewart

ACTION ALERT - Mendocino NF Holds Subpart A "Road" Meetings May 8-14




M5 is a FS System Road that allows for Mixed-Use by
Green-Sticker OHVs

The Recreation HQ wants to alert OHV enthusiasts about the ongoing public meetings (May 6-14 at various locations) the Mendocino National Forest are holding related to Subpart A of the Travel Management Rule.    
Link to Meeting Information

  
The start/end time for each event is 3:30pm – 6:30pm and dates/location are as follows:


May 8 - Covelo Round Valley Library Community Room (23925 Howard St, Covelo)

May 13 - Ukiah BLM Field Office (2550 North State Street)

May 14 - Lake Red Bluff Recreation Area, Camp Discovery Group Camp

Shannon Pozas, the Forest’s road engineer states, “ To be clear, this is not a proposal or decision document, but a transportation study that will help inform future road management planning and can serve as an additional resource in future multiple resource projects,” said Pozas.  “Similar to the MVUM, this document will continue to evolve and change over the years, with opportunities for interested public to share their thoughts and engage in the process.”

As you may know, Forest Service System Roads are the backbone of the Mendocino National Forest’s OHV program.  Many are managed as OHV trails for dirt-bike, ATV, SxS, and 4WD use.  Some roads are designated as “Mixed Use” which allows for use by non-street legal OHVs. Other roads provide connector routes between the trail systems and Ranger Districts.  Roads also provide general public access for hunting, firewood, and driving for pleasure.

HQ urges riders and clubs to attend these meetings if at all possible.  If you can’t make it, try and have a friend or representative attend.  HQ believes it is important for users to attend these public formats to show your support for access to the Forest. 

I will be attending the May 13 meeting in Ukiah on behalf of BRC and QWR.  Thanks for your review of this alert.  

*Please fwd. to your OHV network.






Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Stakeholder Groups Support Post Rim Fire Salvage Timber Program


L to R - Chuck James, FS OHV Program Manager, Mike Damaso, Merced Dirt Riders,
Don Amador, BRC/QWR/HQ, Dave Pickett, AMAD36

The Recreation HQ wants to commend the Yosemite Stanislaus Solutions working group, a coalition of environmental groups, timber interests, federal tribes, and off-roaders, for sending a recent joint letter of support to the FS for a salvage timber sale related to the 2013 Rim Fire.

Modesto Bee Article on YSS Letter

HQ believes that collaborative stakeholder groups have an important role to play by bringing diverse interests together in an effort to find some middle ground in the land use debate.

HQ recently toured some of the Rim Fire impacts to OHV trails on the Stanislaus National Forest with agency staff and motorized stakeholders including AMA36 and the Merced Dirt Riders.  The Merced Dirt Riders should be proud of their efforts in the local collaborative.

Pre and post-fire forest health projects are an important element in the land manger’s tool box and finding ways to generate community support for those efforts will benefit our natural resources.



*Side note: HQ believes the agency should review its current mandatory post-fire “1 year closed to all user groups” directives.  Historically, the public has been allowed to use the forest once the fire has been extinguished.


Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Recent OR Court Decision Good for Both Winter and Summer Motorized Recreation



The Recreation HQ wants to congratulate the Oregon State Snowmobile Association and partners regarding a recent legal victory where a federal court issued a decision  that rejects the “user conflict” and “minimization” arguments filed by anti-access groups.  The case was regarding the Kapka Butte Sno-Park project on the Deschutes National Forest.

OSSA Legal Victory including link to Court Decision

HQ believes there is a growing body of legal cases that are building support for the concept the FS and other federal land agencies can designate roads, trails, and areas for both summer and winter motorized recreation.

HQ Overview of the Minimization Issue

Anti-OHV groups in OR were also rebuked by the court in 2010 when a federal judge rejected their petition to block construction/designation of a short OHV connector trail from Riley Ranch (a county OHV park) to the OR Dunes National Recreation Area.

Riley Ranch Decision

“Minimization” is a ploy anti-access groups have been trying use as a legal tool to force the agency to restrict or even ban OHV/OSV use during travel planning efforts.

OHV users in Idaho won a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Decision which also nuked the concept of minimizing OHV/OSV out of existence on public lands.

9th Circuit Court Decision in Idaho

There also was another case in the 9th Circuit regarding an AZ BLM travel planning process.

9th Circuit Court Decision in AZ

There are two other recent cases in NV and CO where the court ruled against the concept that minimization means closure. 

NV and CO legal cases

These and other legal cases should help bolster the spirits of users and those agency planners who want to treat all recreation groups in a fair manner.  Minimization and user conflicts are important concepts to remember and address in planning efforts but there are ways to mitigate those concerns other than closure.

Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Editorial Response - No Room for Trail Bigots in the 21st Century


Failed Sediment Basin in Non-Motorized Recreation Area

Trail bigotry is ugly and counterproductive to ongoing collaborative efforts between OHV, conservation groups, local government, and land agencies to manage motorized recreational opportunities in a sustainable manner.

I was prompted to write this response after reading Jan Ziman’s Editorial: “We're being taken for a costly ride” in the Wyoming Trib.Com.

Link to Ziman’s Editorial

Cherry-picking anecdotal stories about trail impacts to the resource, user conflicts, and planning challenges is an old literary trick that is outdated and ineffective.

I could cite a recent incidence in the San Gabriel Mountains where an equestrian jumped off his mule and sliced the rear tire on a kid’s bike when the small group of mountain bikers pulled off the trail to let him pass.

Or, I could include a picture (which I am going to do at the top of this story) of a failed soil catchment basin along a “Hiking only” trail in a large non-motorized recreation area in East Contra Costa County, California.

As I work with various land agencies and user groups of all persuasions in California and elsewhere, I have found such illustrations – when used to try and impugn other user groups – to be nothing more than a cheap shot that makes the presenter look small and mean-spirited.

Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group.  In my view, there is not a lot of room left in the land use debate for trail bigots who seem stuck in a 1960s-era mindset.


Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Public Comments for CA OHV Grants Ends on April 7, 2014 - Send in a Comment Now




The Recreation HQ wants to send out a simple reminder about the public comment period for the CA OHV Preliminary Applications for the 2013/14 Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program that ends on April 7, 2014.

This is your chance to submit a comment letter. HQ believes it is important for local users to review the preliminary grant applications and offer your views.   It is a great time for your club to weigh in with a support letter for those land agencies that are trying to offer the OHV community some high quality managed motorized use on roads, trails, and areas.

Please go to the CA OHV Grant website below and follow the directions.  You will see that many units have not yet received a single comment letter.

CA OHV Grant Website

You don’t have to comment on every single grant, but please try and comment on the riding areas that you like to frequent.  Agency recreation staff and leadership read each one of these letters and I believe it is important for us to let them know that we appreciate their effort.

Thanks for your review of this request.

Original author: Don Amador
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