Tuesday, November 8, 2016

BLM Focused on High Quality OHV Experience at Nor Cal Recreation Area

By Don Amador
Date: 11/8/16

Bright Future for BLM OHV Area in CA Coastal Mountain Range

In 2006, the NORTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL WILD HERITAGE WILDERNESS ACT established the Cow Mountain Recreation Area.  This was the first congressional designation of lands that codified OHV use by stating: Motorized recreation shall be a prescribed use within the South Cow Mountain OHV Management Area.

I give a lot of credit to Congressmen Mike Thompson and Richard Pombo for crafting up a bill that continues to be a great example of bipartisan land use “win-win” legislation that serves both the motorized and non-motorized recreation communities.

According to the BLM, the South Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area (CMRA) emphasizes off-highway vehicle use.  Over 120 miles of vehicle trails interweave 23,000 acres, and offer challenges to motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, and four-wheel drive enthusiasts alike.

BLM Recreation Lead, Sarah Mathews, Checks Spark Arrestor at Event

The North Bay Motorcycle Club also holds several permitted motorcycle events on that unit.

BLM State Director, Jerry Perez (L), and Don Amador on SxS Tour

Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a field trip-based 10th year anniversary celebration of that designation with the CA BLM State Director, Jerry Perez, BLM Deputy State Director, Joe Stout, Ukiah Field Office Manager, Amanda James, Ukiah Field Office Recreation Planner, Sarah Mathews, Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument Manager, Rebecca Carr Wong, BLM State Office Public Affairs Officer, Dave Christy, and the Mendocino 4x4 Club.

We discussed the various partnerships that have developed over the years which help support the agency’s effort to provide high-quality OHV recreation.  I believe it is because of those partnerships and collaborative efforts that created momentum for the BLM to acquire the 1,391 acre Blue Oak Ranch along the Highway 175 corridor to provide much needed high quality public access to the area.

Mendocino 4x4 Club Explains Volunteer Efforts

This new land acquisition will provide substantive parking for RVs and trailers.  Currently, there is very limited camping and staging to the CMRA.   The acquisition will help the area realize its full potential as a world-class destination recreation site.

BLM Deputy State Director, Joe Stout (L), and Don Amador Enjoy SxS Tour

It was great to spend time on the trail with BLM leadership and local users.  I continue to believe that relationships and partnerships will continue to be the cornerstone upon which quality OHV programs are built.

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Don Amador writes on recreation and land-use issues from his office in Oakley, CA.  Don is a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org and serves as their Western Representative.  Don is also president of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting.   Don may be reached via email at: damador@cwo.com

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