California Natural Resources Agency
This past month I attended one of the 30x30 Virtual Expo Series meetings held to promote engagement and participation with the State 30x30 Initiative. The direction that the state is heading indicates that promoting voluntary conservation easements and enhanced conservation designations are the primary goals. They are also mentioning elevating existing management directions for both federal and state public land. This could be problematic for off-road opportunities, and we need to stay in close contact with our federal partners to see how this might manifest. It will certainly lead to more pressure from anti-access (quasi-environmental) groups to pressure federal agencies and state parks for more designated wilderness or natural preserves, in the case of the state.
While I had been previously informed that all state parks were included in the 30x30 Initiative as protected areas, besides natural preserves, the rest of the parks in California are not included in the calculation of 'conserved' land. Even though our SVRA's have soil conservation plans and habitat management plans, they are considered Tier 4, or the lowest tier for conservation calculations. That said, all state parks are not included as targets or lands open to additional conservation measures. But the percentage of protected land has not changed since the initial calculation, the state still measures conserved lands as 23.78%. In the FAQ section: https://www.californianature.ca.gov/pages/resources#publicengagement , it does state that the state has received a lot of areas that seem to comply with conservation criteria but may be included in the future percentage. With the amount of attention and the work the state has dedicated to 30x30, they may not update the percentage of protected land as they continue to engage with local land trusts.
The next meeting of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force has been rescheduled to February 2 & 3, 2023, in Calabasas, CA. I plan to attend in person and encourage CORVA members of BOD and all members of the enthusiast community to attend: https://wildfiretaskforce.org/meetings/
The OHMVR Commission met for a workshop on Thursday, November 3rd in Ontario followed by the meeting on Friday, November 4th. I flew to attend the workshop, which was the first time the state has actually addressed the changes that SB 155 brought to the table. "When considering acquisition and development of properties to expand off-highway vehicle recreation opportunities, the department may prioritize properties that have potential to serve large urban areas such as the Bay Area and Central Valley, offer potential recreational opportunities for off highway vehicle recreation, and potential opportunities for motorized access to non-motorized recreation. Properties for consideration may include areas within existing State Parks and State Recreation Areas, including, but not limited to, Henry Coe State Park. The department shall not consider the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area in this process."
The workshop was led by Alex Stehl in her role as Deputy Director of Strategic Planning for State Parks, and Katie Metraux, State Parks planner. While there were some positive ideas that were proposed in the workshop, the loss of the Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area of Carnegie SVRA which directly led to the development of SB 155, was largely ignored. My comments were geared towards reminding both State Parks planners and the OHMVR Commission, and the loss of opportunity the expansion area represented, have been largely ignored. In a subsequent meeting with Chief Deputy Director of State Parks, Liz McGuirk, Past President of CORVA Diana Mead and me, Liz acknowledged the loss to the local Carnegie community and promised that Parks would hold a meeting in the greater Bay Area so local enthusiasts could meet and discuss opportunities. This doesn't lessen the need that exists in the entire state for more OHV and 4WD recreation opportunities, but the need for the Central Valley and greater Bay Area for more SxS roads and trails must be considered seriously. All OHV and 4WD enthusiasts are encouraged to look at State Parks and State Recreation Areas in their local neighborhoods and propose new opportunities for the community. Discussions will be continuing with State Parks and planning will start for the Bay Area meeting after the first of the year.
Thanks to all who attended the Comments Project Workshop on December 1 held in conjunction with the California 4 Wheel Drive Association. A recording of the meeting along with the slides and the Q & A information were sent to the participants. If anyone else wants the information from the workshop, please email: email@example.com. The comment period for the Red Rock Canyon State Parks Preliminary General Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report closes on December 16th: https://www.redrockcanyongp.com/resources. We had 25 participants attending the workshop, which is an excellent turnout considering the difficulty. I was very pleased to have participants also from the Nevada Offroad Association. The Comments Project Workshop is a unique opportunity to educate off-roaders. Thanks to all the presenters and the participants!
Side by Side education policy continues to be debated through State Parks. The state will hold another OHV Safety Summit in July of 2023 in a location TBA. In the meantime, Utah has created a comprehensive OHV and 4WD Safety course: Utah OHV Safety Requirements as has Arizona: https://www.azgfd.com/education/ohv/. California is looking to both these programs as inspiration. Additionally, SxS safety issues have become elevated throughout the country, which may prompt attention from the Consumer Products Safety Commission.
Prairie City SVRA, Carnegie SVRA and Hollister Hills SVRA all have some type of weather closure policy during the winter months. Please go to the website for each SVRA before traveling. The intent of the closure is to protect the trails, but the state promises to close only those trails necessary and leave the rest of the parks areas open.
The California State Parks Grants and Cooperative Agreements program will be holding a workshop on January 9th and 10th, 2023. The flyer for the workshop is attached.
During the past couple of months, the facilitation efforts for the Inyo National Forest, Subpart C Over Snow Management analysis have ended. The meetings are always contentious, but there was great participation from local over-snow enthusiasts. But after the culmination of the 4 meetings, Advocates of the West held a Zoom workshop co-sponsored by Winter Wildlands Alliance, that clearly stated the intent of both organizations to eliminate motorized and mechanized recreation from public land. These organizations and others of the same ilk have no interest in compromise, making it impossible to work with them in collaborative efforts. The OHV and 4WD communities must be aware that these organizations hold uncompromising beliefs that motorized and mechanized efforts are not a legitimate use of public land.
I also attended the Sequoia and Sierra Forest Plan Revision Objection Meetings by Zoom, representing CORVA. CORVA had submitted substantive objections noting that since the vast majority of the information the proposed forest revisions are based on were gathered before the pandemic, in a post-pandemic world that has seen a phenomenal increase in motorized recreation, these conclusions are no longer valid.
Seasonal winter closures have begun for many of the Northern and Central California forests. Lake Tahoe Basin and Eldorado National Forests have started their winter native surface road closure early due to weather conditions. The Rock Creek system in the Eldorado has a different closure mechanism. The Tahoe National Forest has also instituted their winter weather closure. Go to the Forest Service website and click on your favorite forest to find out what rules are in force: https://www.fs.usda.gov/, go to the drop-down menu to choose your forest.
The US Marines are asking for comments on the Shared Use Area of Johnson Valley OHV Area: https://www.29palms.marines.mil/Staff-Offices/Government-and-External-Affairs/Johnson-Valley/. The Marines are requesting comments from OHV and 4WD Enthusiasts pertaining to the management of the Shared Use Area due on Friday, December 9th. Please go to the above website or email: SMBPLMSJOHNSONVALLEY@usmc.mil, Subject line: RMG Annual Comments and submit your assessment on how the Marines have done managing the shared use area. Also sign up for text alerts from the Marines for closure schedules and public meetings.
I attended the Central California Resource Advisory Council workshop. The RAC does not yet have a quorum, but presentations were given including updates on OHV areas. The BLM is looking to increase signage for OHV areas, to prevent trespass and give more information on local conditions. VP of Land Use Bruce Whithcer and I have plans to meet with the Central California District Manager Chris Heppe to look at maps to discover possible additions for OHV opportunities in the new year.
I also attended the BLM/NOHVCC listening session in Sacramento. Together the BLM and NOHVCC really want to hear back from enthusiasts around the state. The major topic of conversation for Northern California was the reopening of the Clear Creek Management Area. Enthusiasts all over the state are calling for the reopening of that world class riding area. The Southern California meetings will be held in Spring 2023 in locatations TBD. The BLM and NOHVCC really want OHV and 4WD enthusiasts to report back on areas that are important to them. The form is attached, please send it in to: Marc Hildesheim firstname.lastname@example.org
Download: NOHVCC CA Action Plan Workshop
Date TBD: Ongoing meeting with State Parks re: SB 155
December 5: Eastern Sierra Recreation Partnership
December 9: Johnson Valley Shared Use Comments due
December 16: Red Rock Comments due
December 28: Sierra Nevada Sustainable Recreation Partnership meeting
January 9, 2023: Grants and Cooperative Agreements workshop
January 10, 2023: Grants and Cooperative Agreements workshop
Just a reminder that our Nov. and Dec. meetings will be combined and presented on Dec. 5th.
El Dorado County, Rubicon Trail
Some may remember the extensive involvement CORVA had during the easement designation process for the Rubicon Trail many years ago. As opposed to most motorized trails in the state, the Rubicon Trail is designated as an unimproved El Dorado county road, as the county asserted their RS2477 rights to the road and can document travel on the Rubicon Trail to the 1840's https://www.edcgov.us/Government/Rubicon/Pages/rubicon_trail_history.aspx. The county has the sole authority to open and close the trail, which they do in response to weather conditions and public emergencies. However, a portion of the Rubicon does travel through Placer County, which has not asserted the same rights as El Dorado County. This is a problem I am working on as well.
Rubicon Trail was closed by order of the Fire Marshal to El Dorado County in response to the Mosquito Fire that started September 6th. At one point, Georgetown was evacuated as well as neighboring communities https://www.fire.ca.gov/incidents/2022/9/6/mosquito-fire/. As a result of rain and cooler weather this week, firefighters have been able to get a handle on the fire and containment stands at about 60% https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/8398/. The Rubicon Trail was closed immediately, however hiking trails and other roads particularly in the east side of the trail were not closed! But guards were posted by the Tahoma Staging Area precluding travel into that area of the trail, as reported by Doug Barr, life member of CORVA. This entrance ,which is the eastern entrance to the Rubicon Trail, is located in the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, relatively far away from the fire zone. I was able to speak extensively to the Forest Service about this example of how differently motorized recreation trails are treated than other non-motorized recreation trails. The reason I was given by Region 5, US Forest Service, was that people take many days to travel the Rubicon, and authorities didn't want people in danger. However no one in authority at Region 5 considered that people hiking Wilderness trails also may travel many days, but do not have the mobility that riders and drivers have to quickly vacate an area. We are hoping that the Fire Marshal will lift the closure order on Monday, but the problem of recreational bias has been laid bare.
California Natural Resources Agency
The California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force meeting is on Tuesday, September 27th in Grass Valley to discuss the draft 'Joint Strategy for Sustainable Outdoor REcreation in California' https://www.calrecvision.org/. I am looking forward to using the example above of 'Recreational Bias' to point out the hypocritical ways that the Forest Service is treating different forms of recreation. I have informal meetings set up for the evening before with agency-affiliated personnel, and I'm looking forward to networking. Registration is still open should others want to attend.
On Wednesday, September 28th is the 30x30 Partnership Kick Off meeting in Sacramento at the California Natural Resources Agency https://www.californianature.ca.gov/. I am attending that meeting in person, but the in-person attendance registration has now been closed. It is possible to register for the online Zoom meeting virtual event at the link above. I do know a couple of the individuals on the current Partnership Committee, but there is no one representing active forms of recreation. We must as a community pay more attention to these issues and rise to the point where we can represent enthusiasts on partnership committees such as these. The amount of land considered 'conserved' has not changed since the start of this initiative, even with numerous entities, including CORVA, have submitted comments advocating for additional areas to be considered conserved. It still stands at roughly 24%, but I truly believe that if federal wilderness study areas were included California would easily top 30%. Anyone who has additional lands to report as conserved can do so at the following link: https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/8397283d95a34a4fad138b752ca0f7ba
This past month saw the OHMVR Commission meeting change from an in-person hybrid meeting to a strictly hybrid meeting. A number of CORVA board members also participated in the meeting which started at 9:00am and did not finish until after 6:00pm. But there were a number of important issues that were under discussion. Please look at the September 16th meeting on the following page: https://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27160 to review the reports that were sent out, admittedly late, for the meeting. To address the concerns about the health of the OHV Trust Fund, there is a report entitled; "FIscal Year 2022/2023 Budget". This report highlights the instability of the OHV Trust Fund which is not currently bringing in enough money to sustain the OHV Trust Fund grants, maintenance of the SVRA's plus capital outlay projects for major upgrades and repairs for SVRA's. In a previous report for the OHMVR Commission, it is reported that compliance with the Stipulated Order of Abatement for the SLO County Air Pollution Control District at Oceano Dunes is costing around $2,000,000 a year. That cost doesn't help the OHV Trust Fund bottom line!
In response to the problems with the OHV Trust Fund, the division will reduce the amount available for the OHV Trust Fund Grants next year by $5 million. This year, the OHV Trust Funds grants only funded just north of $29 million in projects out of $35 million available, so perhaps the reduced amount of grant money available won't be too harmful. But as the state moves towards increased electric vehicle integration, the money coming from the gas tax, which is the greatest contributor to the OHV Trust Fund, will see significant reductions. It is time to start thinking seriously about ways to increase monies coming into the funds. One of the ideas that has been considered in the past is a sort of 'OHV sticker' for 4WD vehicles. There is definitely room to review the Tacking, Accountability and Compliance procedures that have been put in place for mixed districts where equipment purchased with OHV Trust Fund money and manpower billed as part of the OHMVR Division are now part of mixed districts. CORVA had reported on the misuse of these procedures in February of 2020, right before the pandemic began. Unfortunately, there has been no resolution or response from CORVA's report.
One of the important issues discussed at the OHMVR Commission meeting concerned a draft letter written by 2 commissioners and proposed to be sent to the APCD Hearing Board meeting to be held October 14th https://www.slocleanair.org/who/board/hearing-board.php. This will be a virtual meeting. At this meeting State Parks will request a change in the Stipulated Order of Abatement to reduce the dust reduction target for the SOA from 5-% to 40.7%, the amount that had been previously determined by the Science Advisory Group as being derived from ff-road recreation occurring in ODSVRA. It is unknown how the APCD Hearing Board will respond to this request. At a previous meeting the board reviewed the possibility of reducing the air pollution target unfavorably, and the State of California officially requested the APCD Hearing Board not consider any reduction to the target amount of the SOA.
Right after the August CORVA Board of Directors Zoom meeting the state held the OHV Safety Summit outside of Sacramento. A number of CORVA Board of Directors participated in the summit and I served as one of the co-hosts with the state. The Priority List and Summit meeting notes are attached, and represent an excellent example of 'groupthink' , with the state actively soliciting solutions to issues with OHV recreation, largely with SxS vehicles. Please review both the notes from the summit, which are transferable to issues facing OHV recreation around the state. Personally, I was impressed with the depth of dedication shown from the participants, and the contributions from law enforcement personnel who attended. Almost every SVRA sent law enforcement personnel to report on the issues in their specific parks. Not all the parks have the same issues, so it was very helpful.
Hollister Hills SVRA has been included as part of the 4th Grade Adventure Program: https://www.parks.ca.gov/adventurepass , the first time an SVRA has been chosen as one of the target parks. This year, there are a total of 19 parks participating. Part of the problem, is that no one told the OHMVR Division or Hollister Hills that they've been chosen! It is up to the community to make this program a success, so I will be meeting soon with State Parks Interpretation staff for more direction.
I've attached 2 documents that have been distributed to law enforcement throughout California regarding red sticker use in California. This information was released to law enforcement a number of months ago, but it has not been widely distributed to the public. Since the provisions of SB 894 will not go into effect until January 2027, these regulations will be in force until that point, for a number of years to come. -please note attachements!
Equally interesting was the California State Parks Rangers Association Rendezvous in Truckee. I was privileged to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the OHMVR DIvision with a number of retired ranges who served at SVRA's, and to see Paul Slavik be the first OHV Enthusiast to receive the Honorary Ranger Award and his own California State Parks Ranger hat! There was a great retrospective of Pauls's career, which included snippets of videos that he had done with Ed Waldheim and Bob Ham talking about the beginning of the OHMVR program in California. I also met Lisa Beutler at the event, who had worked alongside many of us as a facilitator for the old Stakeholders Group. Many of us remember Lisa's work fondly.
AB 2152 became law after it was signed by the Governor, and SB 894 was presented to the Governor on September 9th for his signature. The Governor VETOED SB 894 on September 25th. This is a link to his veto letter: https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/SB-894-VETO.pdf?emrc=ff7580
The Lassen National Forest has taken a stab at recognizing how Maintenance Level 3 roads are hindering greensticker travel in the forest and proposed a minor change in designation, including downgrading some roads to ML2 to allow legal greensticker travel, and are proposing to study other roads for official mixed use designation. This involves CHP analysis, and is limited to 3 miles.
I have been asked by the Regional Forester to provide feedback on what the Region is doing well, and perhaps less well, in California. I asked groups and individuals involved in different forests throughout California for feedback that I can include to the Regional Forester, so I will be presenting a broad range of experiences and opinions. I am honored to be included in this personal request by the Regional Forester, as far as I can ascertain, I do not know of other OHV advocates who received the same request.
The Inyo National Forest started the scoping for the Travel Management, Subpart C plan with in-person meetings in Mammoth. Thanks to board member Kevin Bazar for attending the meeting along with CORVA member Michael Lueders. Michael is the head of the volunteer based Search and Rescue organization for Inyo County, and has a lot of on-the-ground knowledge of the area.
Please review the attached report and request from Scott Stacy, CORVA member. Scott would like CORVA's help with maintenance for both the Husky Memorial and the Wagon Wheel Memorial in Ridgecrest. I've organized the photos into a brochure along with some of the ideas submitted by Scott. He is eagerly anticipating the board's response.
September 26/27: California Wildfire and Forest Resiliency Task Force, Grass Valley
September 28: 30x30 Partnership Meeting, Sacramento
October 1/2: Off Road Expo, Pomona
October 4: Inyo National Forest OSV meeting
October 12-14: Nevada Offroad Association meeting, Reno
October 14: APCD Hearing Board meeting
October 15: Prairie City Visitor Appreciation Day
October 23: Northern Jamboree, Frank Raines OHV Park
CORVA Off Road In Action Fall publication is out and ready to view online. The print version is on hold for the moment. Our printer is no longer printing magazines, so we're looking for a new one at the moment.
Thank you for your understanding,
Click here to view the Latest ORIA
California Natural Resources
This month has finally seen the release of the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force proposed Joint Strategy for Sustainable Outdoor Recreation. To review the document, click here:https://www.calrecvision.org/_files/ugd/51d842_70b5c495fa064d1185cd72f9fad1167d.pdf
As I previously reported to the BOD, I was finally granted an opportunity to talk with the drafters of the document before its release to the public and share my concerns. The draft was primarily composed by the Forest Service along with John Wentworth from Mammoth Lake Trails and Public Access Partnership:https://www.mltpa.org/. After extensively reviewing the document I have concerns about terminology along with many comments about each of the proposed actions. I have attached my comments to this email which are still a work-in-progress. The comments are still evolving and I will work with the VP of Land Use and Public Policy to submit comments for CORVA. I attended the public meeting on August 18th, and was very pleased to also see Michael Leuders, CORVA member, participating and providing excellent comments.
John Wentworth holds monthly meetings for the Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership that I have now been invited to, and participate in, as well. The meetings are reminiscent of the quarterly meetings Ed Waldheim would hold in various areas around the state. John's meetings involves all government agencies including BLM and Forest Service, and Parks departments from Inyo and Mono counties.
I participated in the meeting on August 18th to review the document, there is still more meetings on August 22nd and 24th should anyone want to participate. This is the link to register for the meetings:https://info.mltpa.org/rescheduled-feedback-on-the-draft-joint-strategy-for-sustainable-outdoor-recreation-in-california-1?ecid=
One of the key problems with the document is the lack of a glossary with terms such a 'sustainable' are defined. For those that have been involved with land use planning, we all know how verbiage can be used as weapons. The term 'sustainable' has been one of the terms previously used to condemn motorized recreation. We cannot allow terms like this to be weaponized against motorized access and opportunities. And the document is replete with such words or terms including 'climate smart practices', that seem to be more political rather than practical proposals. There are some good proposals as well in the document, such as calling for roads and areas to be reopened more quickly after fire, which would be a welcome change. Also, another proposal endorses working more closely with rural communities and fire-safe practices and working on community support for recreation. For those that have been on the board for some time, you may recall the lawsuit CORVA filed with Butte and Plumas Counties, and Sierra Access Coalition, where I served as lead plaintiff. One of the key issues in the lawsuit concerned working more closely with rural communities on recreation issues and access. The proposals in this document do validate key issues in our lawsuit.
I will be attending the 2-day meeting in Grass Valley September 26 & 27th when the recreation proposal will be reviewed by the entire task force and potentially be adopted.
There have been no updates to the California 30x30 plan, but there also have not been updates to the percentage of land already considered conserved under the 30x30 criteria. If anyone has an area that they believe should be included in 30x30 as already conserved land, it can be submitted for review here:https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/8397283d95a34a4fad138b752ca0f7ba
The upcoming month will be very busy for State Parks, but the past month has been very interesting as well. The state is still working on supporting the chapters of the former "NYPUM" program that are still active in California and include El Centro based at Heber Dunes and Ocotillo Wells SVRAs, and LAPD based at Hungry Valley SVRA. Both of these programs have adopted a new name "OHV4ME" which stands for OHV for Mentoring and Education. The goal of these programs remains teaching and mentoring children from underserved areas of the communities using dirt bikes. I participated in a meeting on August
The OHV Safety Summit will be held on Tuesday, August 23rd in Sacramento and virtually on Microsoft Teams. A number of members of the CORVA BOD are participating. It is very exciting to be at the forefront of determining future actions for UTV recreation. One of the criteria that must be considered is additional areas and trails available solely to UTV recreation. Lack of planning by all agencies have contributed to the lack of trails specific to the needs of UTV enthusiasts. SB 155 (2021) was passed specifically with this concern in mind, it is up to us to insist that more opportunities be available for UTV travel. Another fatal accident involving a UTV was reported at Hungry Valley yesterday (Saturday) and while the details have not yet been released to the public, it is believed to be a sole vehicle accident, possibly a rollover.
There will be an upcoming OHMVR Commission meeting on September 16th, with the tour the previous day, September 15th. This will again be a hybrid meeting. I have heard the meeting may be held in North Lake Tahoe, at Kings Beach at the facility right on the lake that had previously held a commission meeting pre-pandemic.
After the Safety Summit on August 23rd, I was invited to join an ad hoc meeting of the OHMVR Commission meeting on August 24th dedicated to exploring ongoing issues at Oceano Dunes SVRA. I asked that Mike McGarity and Bruce Whitcher also be included in that meeting.
Both bills that our legislative coalition, the Off Road Vehicle Legislative Coalition, has supported this session have a high likelihood of passing.SB 894passed through the Appropriations Committee and was directed to a 3rd reading on the floor of the Senate. The Senate analysis for the 3rd reading contains the following paragraph:In any case, the bill directs DMV's reasonable costs to implement this bill to be reimbursed from the OHVTF, upon appropriation by the Legislature. This means DMV's costs to modifyits vehicle registration programming – whatever those costs turn out to be – will eventually be covered from funds dedicated to the benefit of OHVs. According to budget documents on the Department of Finance website, the OHVTF has a rapidly diminishing balance, starting atover $61 million in fiscal year 2020-21 and projected to drop to just under $15 million infiscal year 2022-23. Parks, which administers the OHVTF, indicates those numbers are outdated. While Parks could not provide more up-to-date numbers at the time this analysis.
The issue with the health of the OHV Trust Fund has to be brought up in a substantive manner at the next OHMVR Commission meeting. The last analysis the public had been given about the health of the fund was in 2020, and it is time for another review. The public deserves to know the state of the OHV Trust Fund.
AB 2152has been enrolled and presented for the Governor's signature on August 16th. The Governor has 12 days to either sign the bill or allow it to become law without signing, or veto the bill. The bill passed without issue, there is no indication the Governor will veto the bill. This is the bill that allows for a pilot trails program to begin in and around Needles, California allowing for mixed OHV road use following CHP guidelines.
As I've previously reported to the BOD, I have been working with a new group based around the Riverside County/Temescal Valley area called the Cleveland Caretakers. One of the primary goals of this group is to reopen Indian Truck Trail, the only OHV road access from Riverside County into the northeast portion of the Cleveland National Forest. The forest is refusing to consider reopening the trail after a fire roughly 4 years ago. Perhaps the recommendations in the Task Force document can help!
The Forest Service is convening a group to be involved with the Subpart C over-snow analysis meetings for the Inyo National Forest. Both Kevin Bazar and I have been contacted to participate, but more importantly, Kevin has recommended many local snowmobile enthusiasts who can participate.
The objection period has started for the SIerra National Forest Motorized Recreation Project. Both Mike McGarity and Ed Stovin wrote excellent comments, and are eligible to participate in the objection process.
The Lassen National Forest has released a Draft Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact to update the Motor Vehicle Use Map and add roads to the system:https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=55457&exp=overview
The BLM has announced the upcoming Desert Advisory Council Meeting on Saturday, August 27th:https://www.blm.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2022-08/August_2022_DAC_AGENDA_508.pdf
At 9:45am, there will be a presentation on the Mojave Trails National Monument Planning efforts A number of BOD had expressed interest in this planning effort. There will also be an update on participation in the individual subgroups for the DAC:https://www.blm.gov/site-page/get-involved-resource-advisory-council-california-california-desert-district-rac-members. There is also the nomination link on this page for all those interested in serving on a subcommittee, with Dumont Dunes, Imperial Sand Dunes or Mojave Trails National Monument.
I was interviewed by the Desert Sun newspaper about the appointment of Shelley Lynch as the new Desrt District Manager where I was able to note the increases in popularity in off-road recreation since the pandemic and the need for more opportunities for OHV recreation:https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2022/08/08/blms-new-california-desert-director-shelly-lynch-ready-face-heat/10166420002/
National Park Service
Death Valley National Park has reopened after flash flooding washed out many of the roads through the park. Although most off-roaders do not travel through Death Valley during the heat of the summer, it is a popular destination other times of the year for street legal off-road travel. Many of the roads may be washed out throughout the winter months, and backcountry travel is not advised:https://www.nps.gov/deva/planyourvisit/conditions.htm
August 23rd: OHV Safety Summit
August 24th: Ad Hoc Committee Meeting for Oceano Dunes.
August 31st: Sierra Nevada SustainableRecreation Partnership
September 12th: Eastern Sierra Sustainable Recreation Partnership meeting
September 13/14: California State Parks Rangers Association meeting, Truckee
September 15/16: OHMVR Commission Meeting
September 26/27: California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force, Grass Valley
October 12-14: Nevada Offroad Summit, MInden Nevada. I have been asked to do a presentation! All are welcome.
California Off-Road Vehicle Association
During the July, CORVA ZOOM meeting, President Mike McGarity appointed 3 committees. One of which is the bylaws committee. The task of the committee is to give our bylaws a much needed review and submit suggested changes to to them. The committee is asking our members for suggested changes to the current bylaws. If there is a section of the bylaws that you think that the committee should consider changes, additions, or removal, please let us know by Sept. 10, 2022. bylaws@CORVA.org
CORVA Bylaws Committee
CORVA represented all off-road enthusiasts in California on the stakeholder committee during the years of negotiations. The Managing Director of CORVA, Amy Granat, has continued monitoring and particpating with the ongoing amendments in the ensuing years.
The DRECP overlaps with WEMO and covers almost 11 million acres of land with a lot of off-road opportunities. "Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan | Bureau of Land Management" https://www.blm.gov/programs/planning-and-nepa/plans-in-development/california/desert-renewable-energy-conservation-plan
Archeology affects access to off-road opportunities more than we generally recognize. There have been calls to create incentives for heavy users of land within the DRECP area to be subject to mitigation and additional fees for preservation measures. Most of this is geared towards development, especially solar development, but off-road recreation is considered a use with significant impacts to the land, and we have to be aware and comment when necessary as representatives of the greater off-road community in California.
A Bipartisan group of congressional representatives are working with the House Natural Resources Committee to save the iconic Giant Sequoias in California.
Off-roaders take the condition of roads and trails in public land so seriously, that we have the highest percentage of volunteerism with the Forest Service as a recreation group!
The following link: https://nifc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/1c4565c092da44478befc12722cf0486 tgoes to a link with a map to check on fire conditions for all public land in California, both Forest Service and BLM.
The Managing Director of CORVA, Amy Granat, reminds all off-roaders to "know before you go"! This is a theme of this year's OHV Safety Week sponsored by the OHMVR Division of State Parks in SVRA's throughout California on October 15 through October 23rd. Free classes will be offered for UTV, ATV and Dirt Bike Training. Call your favorite SVRA force more information, or check their website.
It is fire season in California, and more than most visitors, off-roaders are more intimately aware of on-the-ground conditions on public land. Many of us volunteer with the Forest Service throughout the state to maintain our trails, and understand the danger fire causes to our recreation opportunities. The Forest Service is on a mission to protect the icnoic Giant Sequoias, but the Managing Director of CORVA, Amy Granat, wants to remind the agency that OHV roads and trails also deserve protection. She states, "recreation enthusiasts who visit public land place a very high value on their opportunities, and urge the agency to protect high value off-road trails in the forests throughout California.