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The General's Recreation HQ - Don Amador

Don Amador

Helmet Law in California for Side X Sides

b2ap3_thumbnail_sxs-no-helmet.jpgAs owners of Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) get ready to hit many popular OHV riding areas in California, it is important to remember that helmets are required to be worn by the operators and passengers when traveling on public roads, trails, and areas designated for such use.

Effective January 1, 2013, the California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 38601 requires all passengers and the operator to wear a safety helmet while operating an ROV which are also known as Side by Sides, Recreational Utility Vehicles, or Utility Terrain Vehicles.

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John Stewart

Eldorado NF SEIS - Water Quality, Conditional Designations, and OHV

Rock Armor on Rubicon Trail

As OHV and other access stakeholder groups prepare comments for the Eldorado SEIS, HQ wants to remind readers that water quality-based travel management decisions – particularly in high elevation alpine-like settings – are here to stay.
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John Stewart

Donstradamus' Top Ten OHV Predictions for 2013


Please enjoy this just-for-fun annual posting from Donstradamus on his top ten OHV predictions for 2013.   As usual, these predictions spare nobody or issue
from being exposed by his crystallized ball (actually a well-used ball bearing - from an OHV - that is highly polished so as to more accurately reflect on the future of OHV).

 

 

 

 

Donstradamus' Top Ten OHV Predictions for 2013

10 - President Obama takes family to Yellowstone and tours the area on snowmobiles. The president enjoys it so much that he issues an executive order that codifies OSV use there in perpetuity.

9 - Federal land agencies official adopt “OHV recreation” as the only cost-effective management tool to eradicate non-native invasive plant species in coastal dune areas. OHV use is prescribed and rotated in both motorized and non-motorized dune areas to address encroachment of non-native vegetation into open dune areas which are prime breeding grounds for the snowy-plover. Snowy-plover populations skyrocket as a result.

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Don Amador

Mill Fire Salvage Sale Makes No Cents!


Is This the Future of OHV at Stonyford for the Next 2-3 Years?
As some of you already know, the Mendocino NF issued a public notice on Nov. 20 for comment on the Mill Fire Salvage and Hazard Tree Removal Project. Public comments are due by Dec. 17.
Mill Fire Salvage Scoping Letter (with contact info)
Mill Fire Salvage Project Info
Mill Fire Salvage Project Map
While HQ historically supports responsible timber/salvage sales, this plan hardly mentions OHV recreation. In addition, the proposal functionally closes the area until late spring/early summer 2014 for both casual riding and permitted OHV events. I also think this proposal seriously undermines the agency’s credibility with the OHV community and other stakeholders.
It appears many important connector roads and trails will be closed during logging/treatment. Again, this could mean no enduros in 2013 and possibly 2014. The proposal gives no estimate on when the trails could be re-opened for casual use. Again, OHV recreation is hardly mentioned. There is no mention of what this functional closure would have on the largest FS destination OHV area north of the Grapevine. There is no mitigation for repairing the trail system. At 20K/mile (or more), it could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to fix obliterated trails.
Also, there is no mention of the sale’s impact on the current and ongoing post-fire trail restoration efforts.
The proposal does not address what HQ feels is a critical matter and that is dealing with the knobcone pine infestation (and the beetles/bugs that are eating them) on Sullivan Ridge and the Potato Hill area. How would this closure of the area impact the potential for grants during the closure time?
All of the affected trails listed below would be most likely converted from a system trail to a road and closed during the logging operation. At a minimum, a project like this would have to have project level NEPA to analyze the conversion of 50 inch or wider system trails to roads.
Initial List of Impacted (e.g. closed/obliterated routes by salvage sale)
Trails 03, 11, 13, 14, 15, 20, 22, 33, 35, and 36.
4WD/OHV route/roads – 17N02, 17N14, 17N62B, 17N62C, 17N95, and 17N97
Be assured that HQ and BRC will be sharing our concerns with the FS, users, and conservation groups about what appears to be an ill-advised plan. This proposal as currently crafted is nothing more than an appeal and/or litigation magnate. I expect the FS will get hit from both sides of the land-use spectrum unless this plan is withdrawn or rewritten.
This proposal does not make any cents! (Yes, I mean cents as in wasted taxpayer and green sticker monies)
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Original author: Don Amador
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John Stewart

Welcome to Don

4x4Wire is proud to welcome Don Amador, Quite Warrior and Western State Representative for BlueRibbon Coalition as a contributing ... Read More
Friday, 30 November 2012 00:36
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Don Amador

Stonyford - Mill Fire Update - Good and Bad News!


View of Trails 40, 32, and 34 from M5
View of Trail 33 Near Mill Valley Campground
The Recreation HQ got to spend a few days up at Stonyford last week touring (and working too) the burn area with FS staff. We reviewed the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Mill Fire and looked at the extent of the damage and some of the challenges the agency must address before reopening it for public use.
The good news is that the campgrounds at Fouts and Davis Flat are open for camping. Non-street legal OHVs can use Trail 42 that is a loop next to Davis Flat. However at this time, there is no access to the main trail/road network (i.e. Trails 34, 32, 40,37,39, or the shortcut to M5). In fact, M5 remains closed at this time.
If you have a dual-sport you can ride up M10 and get on the trails/roads that are open (i.e. Trail 6, 8, 12, 45, etc.). If you have non-street legal OHVs, you can trailer them up and park along M10 where it becomes a mixed-use road. That begins just past the junction of where the Letts Lake Road intersects with M10. Now is a good time to take the OHV corridor over to the Upper Lake OHV area and explore some of those trails.
The bad news is the main trail network that got burned looks like it will remain closed through the winter so that portions of the routes that have to be restored after getting blitzed by the bulldozers cutting firebreaks can heal.

The ugly news is there are a lot of potential impacts to the roads and trails from excessive soil erosion if the area gets hit with heavy rains. For example, a lot of tree stumps burned down to the root systems which often cross a road or a trail. Now with the stump/root gone, there is the potential for water to carve or gully up the road/trail bed.
Stump/root burnout on road
There are a number of volunteer days still ahead where you can help. Here is a link to where you can sign up.
HQ Blog with Vol. Dates and Sign Up Info
HQ believes that after these initial rains, the agency should make it a high priority to open up several corridors ASAP (i.e. Potato Hill and M5) so that riders can access the trails that are open in the non-burned areas.
HQ also wants to thank the agency and state trail crews that have been working very hard since the fire to help bring the impacted trails up to specs.
Watch for an update soon on the 1st volunteer trail day last week. We had a great turnout!
Original author: Don Amador
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