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The General's Recreation HQ - Don Amador

John Stewart

Travel Management for MTB and Equestrians at CA State Parks



The Recreation HQ has long supported the concept of land agencies designating roads, trails, and areas for OHV use.   Although we disagreed with a number of tenets in the 2005 FS Travel Management Rule, TMR is here to stay.  HQ believes public involvement, a genuine collaborative process, sound management tools, and line-officers that are committed to have a quality trail program are key elements to sustainable OHV recreation for years to come.

TMR also includes wet-weather or seasonal closures to help prevent trail damage during wet conditions and that is why it looks like the CA State Park proposal to designate routes and times of use to better manage MTB and other trail users is appropriate and needed.

CA State Park Rule Proposals (Comments due April 4)

Some units of the Forest Service open and close designated routes and areas to OHV, MTB, and equestrians to avoid severe impacts to the trail system during wet conditions and HQ believes those Best Management Practices should be used at state parks (SVRAs already use wet weather closures and trail designations to manage OHV) to manage MTB and equestrian use.

OHV, MTB, and Equestrian Trails Opened or Closed Due to Wet Weather

I don’t think the MTB community does itself any favor when they oppose the use of modern trail management tools at regular state parks.  


Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

BLM Presents Clear Creek Decision to San Benito County - Routes, Fees, and Gates



The Recreation HQ continues to be concerned about the national precedent being set by the BLM’s Record of Decision (ROD) to severely limit public access – including the functional elimination of historic OHV use - on the Clear Creek Management Area.

HQ believes the ROD could set a potentially dangerous administrative and/or legal precedent which could be cited by anti-multiple use (ranching, mining, agriculture, OHV, etc.) interests as the model by which to restrict or ban public uses on federal or state lands if even a non-proven hint of a dangerous substance (remember that CO2 has been classified as a pollutant) is found on said lands.

BLM's, Rick Cooper, Presents Plan to the Board


The Hollister Field Office Manager, Rick Cooper, gave a PowerPoint presentation to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors today detailing a rather complex fee/permit structure, limited route network, and plans to install gates on the main county roads.  He did state that his office has been working with the OHMVR Division on potential solutions.

The BOS and most stakeholders were most taken back by the proposal to install gates on the county roads.  After much discussion, Mr. Cooper, agreed to meet with county counsel to discuss options such as the county filing a formal RS2477 assertion to help address the gate/road issue.

At the OHMVR commission meeting last week, the BLM representative stated that the agency would not object to the county filing a RS2477 claim.

BRC and the county vowed to continue to remain engaged in the administrative process by filing an appeal by the March 14 deadline.

At the close of the Clear Creek agenda item, BOS chairman, Jerry Muenzer, told the public that in his view the most viable option to restore historic public access and OHV recreation to the area was for the passage of H.R. 1776.  He urged the public to send in letters of support to their Congressional representatives.

Link to BRC alert on ROD and HR 1776

HQ wants to thank all of the users who showed up today to voice or show their support for the ongoing efforts to restore historic OHV recreation and other uses to the Clear Creek area.



Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Sierra Club Smear Campaign Against Carnegie and the Entire SVRA System



Dishonesty and disingenuousness are not admirable traits in either our personal or professional lives.  Over the years you have seen the Recreation HQ chronicle such behaviors by faux recreation groups and some hard-core anti-access groups.

The most recent example of this is where Kathryn Phillips, Director of the CA Sierra Club, has embraced the aforementioned undesirable traits via their ongoing campaign to attack the CA SVRA system with a disinformation blitz of unequaled proportion.

Sierra Club Attack on SVRAs

Link to History of Eco Campaign to Ban OHV Use at Carnegie/Telsa


As many of you know, I often work with environmental groups in various stakeholder processes.  Some of those efforts to find common ground have been productive.  The key to any collaborative process is based on the personal and professional integrity of the participants.

I would have refrained from this missive if the Sierra Club had acknowledged the hard work by SVRA staff and volunteers to manage those units in a sustainable manner.  Phillips’ disingenuousness is highlighted by the fact she never mentioned the new engineered contour trails that have been constructed and the many historic hillclimbs that have been closed and restored to a natural condition over the last 35 years. 

A Hillside Restoration Project Ignored by Sierra Club

Also, she failed to cite the many trail delineators, signing efforts, and water quality structures installed to protect natural and cultural resources.

Resource Protection Project Ignored by Sierra Club


It is my hope that some of the mainstream leaders in the environmental community will urge their colleagues to abandon their outdated and tired attack strategies and work with the SVRAs and OHV user groups on effective on-the-ground projects that protect resources and provide quality motorized and non-motorized recreational opportunities throughout the state.


Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

BREAKING NEWS - OHV Challenges FS Planning Rule

Dear OHV Enthusiast,

Effective OHV advocacy requires us to be substantively engaged in stakeholder groups, on-site projects, volunteerism, trail ethics, politics, legal, and the administrative process.

As you know, I am a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition and have served as their Western Representative for over 19 years. In that capacity, I have had lead roles on behalf of the organization on critical access issues such as the Clinton-Gore Roadless Initiative, the Sierra Nevada Framework, and their related legal and administrative challenges.

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Don Amador

Crossing the OHV Divide with Silver Creek Bridge

Environmental responsibility is a key element of OHV recreation on state and federal lands. It is important to know that many units are working hard in a collaborative manner with various stakeholder groups to address conservation issues associated with motorized recreation so that those OHV opportunities are preserved for future generations.

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