Tuesday, August 4, 2020

50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CA OHV PROGRAM ON COMMISSION AGENDA


ATTEND VIRTUAL OHV COMMISSION MEETING ON AUGUST 6

QWR would like to post an alert on the upcoming CA OHV Commission meeting that is being held on August 6, 2020 - via the internet.   If you are able to attend, the meeting starts at 8:30am on Thursday and you are encouraged to observe and/or share comments on the following agenda topics related to Oceano Dunes, OHV Safety Week, and a proposal for the commission to adopt a resolution in support of the OHMVR Program’s 50th Anniversary in 2021.

 PROPOSED DRAFT COMMISSION RESOLUTION TO RECOGNIZE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OHV PROGRAM

https://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/files/04-C-Resolution-OHMVR_50_Anniversary-080620.pdf

 There will be reports from the Forest Service and BLM on federal recreation issues.  Also, OHMVR staff will make presentations on law enforcement, Mammoth Bar OHV Area Project Update, status of OHV Trust Fund, and Oceano Dunes.

 The Agenda and meeting login info can be found on the OHMVR website at the link below.

 LINK TO AUGUST 6, 2020 OHMVR COMMISSION MEETING INFO

https://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=27160

 I hope that you are able to attend some of the commission meeting which I expect to last all day.  Thanks for your interest in managed OHV recreation.

 


Tuesday, July 28, 2020

BREAKING NEWS - Governor Newsom Appoints New Deputy Director to the CA OHV Program

New Deputy Director of CA OHMVR Program, Sarah Miggins, at 2019 OHV 
Commission Tour of the Famous Rubicon Trail

Governor Newsom Appoints New Deputy Directory of the OHV Program

QWR would like to be among the first to congratulate Sarah Miggins on her appointment today by Governor Gavin Newsom to be the new deputy director of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division at the Department of Parks and Recreation.

LINK TO GOVERNOR NEWSOM’S NEWS RELEASE ON MIGGINS APPOINTMENT

Don Amador, former chairman of the CA OHV Commission and spokesman for sustainable OHV recreation, states, “I have known and worked with Sarah for a number of years during her tenure on the CA OHV Commission.  Her strong commitment to sustainable recreation management, volunteer programs, and conservation efforts will serve the OHMVR Division well as it seeks to provide continued public access to high-quality and environmentally responsible motorized recreation or motorized access to non-motorized opportunities.”

“I also think her significant experience in managing conservation-oriented non-profit volunteer organizations will add an important element to the CA OHV program.  In addition, I believe her appointment will help bring stability, transparency, and accountability to the OHMVR Division and Program,” Amador continues.

“QWR thanks the Governor’s office for this critical appointment and looks forward to working with deputy director Miggins in her new role as the lead for the OHMVR Division,” Amador concludes.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

OHV SALES SPIKE HIGHLIGHTS NEED FOR DIRT BIKE TRAINING

New Rider Taking MSF Dirt Bike School Class
OHV Workshop on the Tahoe NF

It’s no secret that families are spending more time recreating on public lands where they can escape for a few days from the COVID-19 chaos.  Data from the Motorcycle Industry Council supports that observation by showing off-highway motorcycle sales shot up 18.9 percent in the first quarter of the year.  Those sales figures and related training information are contained in the NOHVCC news release below.

LINK TO DIRT BIKE SALES FIGURES AND SAFETY TRAINING INFORMATION

Land agencies are also noticing a spike in the demand by the public for access to high quality outdoor trail-based recreation and camping both at developed and dispersed sites.

Rider in Youth Class Competition Event Learns about OHV Policies
Shasta Dam GP Tech Station at BLM's Chappie-Shasta OHV Area


QWR believes safety training for youth and new riders is critically important and recommends they should take training classes offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation through its DirtBike School program.

Rider on Youth Model Dirt Bike at Competition Event
Shasta Dam GP at BLM's Chappie Shasta OHV Area


Don Amador, QWR president and CA NOHVCC partner, states, “I believe that safety training for beginning riders of all ages is important.  We always try and incorporate OHV safety training at our annual interagency workshops so that new dirt-bikers can learn proper riding techniques.”

“It appears that COVID-19 has inspired outdoor enthusiasts to purchase dirt-bikes and other OHVs as part of their family strategy to recreate close to home at local or regional recreation sites. I think this new local-based recreation paradigm will be with us for the foreseeable future so it is important for OHV to retain and/or increase its capacity to train beginning riders,” Amador concludes.

LINK TO MSF DIRT BIKE TRAINING BROCHURE

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Monday, June 8, 2020

NEWS RELEASE - Congrats to New Forest Supervisor on the Eldorado NF

Jeff Marsolais Giving Presentation to Region 5 Recreation Resource
 Advisory Council in 2010 - Inyo National Forest

Quiet Warrior Racing (QWR) would like to extend our congratulations to Jeff Marsolais on his recent appointment to be the new Forest Supervisor on the Eldorado National Forest.   Jeff will start his leadership role on June 22, 2020.

Don Amador, President of QWR, states, “Over the last several decades, I have had the privilege of working with Jeff in support of sustainable recreation opportunities on several National Forests in California.  Jeff is committed to working with diverse interest groups in a collaborative manner.”

LINK TO ELDORADO NF NEWS RELEASE ABOUT JEFF TAKING LEAD POSITION

“Jeff will be busy since the Eldorado NF is home to a lot of high-quality motorized and non-motorized trail-based recreational opportunities.   Some of those uses include single-track motorcycle trails, ATV routes, and challenging alpine-type backcounty touring for SxSs and 4WDs.  The Forest is also home to permitted motorized skill events and club outings,” Amador concludes.

Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE - Respect Reopening Process


RESPECT REOPENING PROTOLS

According to a Region 5 news release on May 14, 2020, many Forests will be reopening this weekend in California.  Also, other federal recreation sites throughout the West, including portions of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, will also be reopening.  

QWR believes it is important for OHVers to honor the agency’s request to follow various COVID-19 mitigation measures – including the call to recreate locally - as highlighted in the R5 news release below:

LINK TO REGION 5 REOPENING NEWS RELEAS

VALLEJO,CA  - May 14, 2020—National Forests in California are increasing access to the public by providing additional developed recreational opportunities. National Forest websites and social media pages will have the most up-to-date information on re-openings. Whenever possible, please recreate locally.

Visitors should practice self-sufficiency when visiting national forests and come prepared with all the essentials needed for a day trip, including food, emergency supplies, and the ability to pack-out trash. Remember to recreate responsibly by keeping the following in mind:

  • Maintaining at least six feet distancing from others
  •  
  • Do not gather in groups and follow the latest guidance from health officials
  •  
  • Communicate with others as you pass. Alert trail users of your presence and step aside to let others pass
  •  
  • Pack out your trash and leave with everything you bring in and use


Recreating responsibly will help ensure that expanded access to recreational facilities, services, and opportunities continue. Certain services may still be unavailable, please plan accordingly.

Since many units are operating at a reduced capacity due to furloughed or sick staff, cleaning or PPE shortages, etc., QWR believes it is important for OHVers to come with their own hand sanitizers and toilet paper per chance toilets are still closed or have not been cleaned or stocked.

The loss of recreational opportunity due to COVID-19 closures has been hard on both the user community and agency staff. The crisis has also interrupted those dynamic on-the-ground partnerships that help keep our riding areas managed and open.

Respecting the various COVID-19 mitigation measure recommended by land agencies in coordination with local and state officials will help them remain open though the summer and expedite additional reopening of state and federal OHV recreation areas.

*Make sure you call or check the website of any unit you plan to ride or camp at BEFORE  you leave.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

COVID-19 - Reopening Protocols for Recreation Organizations


Covid-19 Mitigation Tools
Cloth Mask, Hand Sanitizer, No-Touch Thermometer

COVID-19 – Reopening Protocols for Recreation Organizations


As many states and local jurisdictions begin their reopening process, QWR believes it is important for recreation groups to be proactive and develop Covid-19 protocols for future in-person meetings and volunteer trail events.

The White House has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again.  This is a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.

LINK TO WH PHASED REOPENING STRATEGY

That strategy encourages the public to continue the practice of good hygiene as highlighted below:

·         Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces

·         Avoid touching your face

·         Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow

·         Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible

·         Strongly consider using face coverings while in public, and particularly when using mass transit


QWR believes that recreation groups and non-profit conservation organizations may want to add a No-Touch Infrared Thermometer to their list of suggested mitigation tools and PPEs such as cloth masks and hand sanitizers with alcohol content greater than 60%.

LINK TO NIH INFORMATION ON NO TOUCH THERMOMETERS

In some areas of the country where spread of Covid-19 continues having that screening capacity to identify members who are running an elevated temperature makes sense and might help decision-makers lift restrictions on in-person meetings and volunteer events.   

Bo Hui Model T-168 No Touch Thermometer 

QWR suggests that recreation stakeholder groups develop in-person/event meeting protocols that adhere to required social distancing and other Covid-19 health guidelines and obtain cloths masks, hand sanitizer, and possibly a no-touch infrared thermometer that can be included in your post-reopening Covid-19 mitigation strategy.

LINK TO ARTICLE ON DEVELOPING WORKPLACE TEMPERATURE SCREENING

It also important to remember that post-reopening mitigation requirements for in-person meetings and volunteer events may vary widely depending on local, state and federal jurisdictions such as the Forest Service, BLM, State Parks, and County Government.  Be sure and contact them for more specific guidelines or requirements.

# # # 

Don Amador worked in the healthcare field for 20 years and served as Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer and Registered Radiologic Technologist



Sunday, May 3, 2020

COVID-19 OPINION - Government Overreach and the U.S. Constitution

U.S. Supreme Court

OPINION
By Don Amador
May 3, 2020

Government Overreach and the Constitution

I am not an attorney nor do I play one on TV.  However, I do have 30 years of experience working on land-use legislation, litigation, politics, and policy at the local, state, and national level.   Based on those experiences, I want to share my opinion with you.

In March, all Americans including recreationists were asked to comply with temporary Covid-19 shelter-in-place (SIP) orders and mitigation measures to “Flatten the Curve” to avoid overcrowding our hospitals and reduce the number of projected deaths.

The American public responded to the government mandates by largely complying with those plans and mitigations.   Recreation leaders in the grassroots and industry sectors also responded with outreach and education programs to encourage compliance with those temporary orders.

Today, many in the general public are now questioning some states and local jurisdictions that appear to have politicized Covid-19 restrictions by extending hard SIP orders – without a strong rationale - that apply to residents and businesses.

Considering the above reality in some states, it should come as no surprise for the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) to weigh in on the matter when potential violations of the U.S. Constitution appear to be taking place.

On such case is in Pennsylvania where according to the article linked to below: "A group of Pennsylvania businesses petitioned the US Supreme Court Monday in their lawsuit seeking to overturn Governor Tom Wolf’s March 19 executive order closing “non-life-sustaining” business in response to the COVID-19 pandemic."

SCOTUS has now weighed in by giving the PA Governor until May 4 to respond to a petition that accuses the commonwealth of violating the constitutional rights of its citizens.

LINK TO SCOTUS ORDER TO PA

Folks in other states are also challenging extended SIP orders that appear to violate our constitutional rights.  The purpose of this opinion is not to start a debate about the veracity or effectiveness of Covid-19 mitigation measures but to simply highlight the growing concern about government overreach and potential violation of our constitutional rights. 

Having SCOTUS step in on this issue may be the biggest news item in recent weeks.

# # # 

Don Amador has been in the trail advocacy and recreation management profession for over 30 years. Don is President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting. Don served as a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition from 1996 until June, 2018. Don served as Chairman and member on the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission from 1994-2000. He has won numerous awards including being a 2016 Inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and the 2018 Friend of
the AMA Award. Don currently serves as the government affairs lead for AMA District 36 in Northern California and also serves as the OHV representative on the BLM’s Central California Resource Advisory Committee.  Don is also a contributor to Dealernews Magazine.