Thursday, March 21, 2019

BREAKING NEWS - Interior Orders BLM to Review Disposal Lands for Recreation Access



"Disposal Site" near BLM Moonrocks OHV Area
Carson City BLM Field Office

QWR strongly supports the decision made today by Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to issue a  secretarial order requiring BLM to consider public access for outdoor recreational activities before deciding whether a federal parcel should be sold or exchanged.

INTERIOR ORDER 3373

This order should help the agency strengthen its ongoing commitment to preserving OHV recreation opportunities when disposal areas – previously identified by the BLM or Congress – overlap, or are adjacent to, existing Special Recreation Management Areas or other recreation or general use designations.

In California and other Western States, checkerboard or matrix lands can impede the BLM’s effort to provide connectivity for federally maintained roads and trails.  Consolidation can improve both motorized and non-motorized recreational opportunities particularly where the public was prohibited from legal egress and ingress by non-federal land owners.

Don Amador, President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting, states, “I have long supported the concept of consolidation of BLM administered lands for public benefit and careful review of proposed disposal lands to ensure they are not currently being used for recreational activities or have the potential to provide access to new trails or other forms of recreation.”

“As a newly appointed ‘OHV Recreation’ representative to the Central CA BLM RAC, I look forward to discussions with other RAC members and the agency about looking for opportunities to purchase or exchange non-federal lands to enhance public access and recreational opportunity at existing BLM units or create new recreation sites in underserved areas,” Amador concludes.


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Thursday, March 7, 2019

NEWS RELEASE - CA OHV LEAD APPOINTED TO BLM RESOURCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

BLM's Knoxville OHV Area
Ukiah Field Office

NEWS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Don Amador
Phone: 925.783.1834
Date: March 7, 2019

OHV RECREATION LEAD APPOINTED TO BLM RESOURCE ADVISORY COUNCIL

OAKLEY, CA (March 7) –  Acting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, has appointed a nationally recognized OHV recreation professional to serve on the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Central California Resource Advisory Council (RAC).  Don Amador, a former chairman of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, will be representing the interests of OHV enthusiasts who enjoy casual use or participate in permitted motorized events.

BLM Map of  Northern, Central, and Desert CA Districts


This particular RAC advises the BLM on public land issues within the boundaries of the Bakersfield, Bishop, Central Coast, Mother Lode and Ukiah field offices, which comprise the Central California District.

According to the agency website, the BLM maintains 37 chartered advisory committees located in the West. These include 30 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils; 5 advisory committees affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands; and two others, including the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and the North Slope Science Initiative Science Technical Advisory Panel. 

RACs are sounding boards for BLM initiatives, regulatory proposals and policy changes. Each citizen-based council consists of 10 to 15 members from diverse interests in local communities, including ranchers, environmental groups, tribes, state and local government officials, academics, and other public land users.

BLM Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
Ukiah Field Office


The Department of the Interior (DOI) established the RACs in 1995. RAC members vote on recommendations related to public land management and provide those recommendations to the designated Federal official who serves as liaison to the RAC. The Designated Federal Officer is usually a BLM line manager, such as the state director or district manager. 

BLM Poleta OHV Area
Bishop Field Office

Although RACs are solely advisory in nature, the contributions of RAC members are of great value to the BLM and have aided in the development of balanced decisions that serve the interests of all public land users.

Upon the request of the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) the RAC may develop recommendations for BLM with respect to the land use planning, classification, retention, management, and disposal of the public lands within the area for which the advisory council is established and such other matters as may be referred to it by the DFO.  

The RAC can also make recommendations on programs and policies to increase outdoor recreation opportunities for all Americans, expand access for hunting and fishing on BLM land in a manner that
respects the rights and privacy of inholders, and implementation of the agency’s regulatory reform initiatives.

Don Amador, a trail recreation and forest health advocate, states, “It’s an honor to be selected to serve on this RAC since most of my 29 years of recreation and resource management career has been spent on public lands within the RAC boundary.”

“Managed OHV recreation in the 21st Century is a sophisticated activity and has many moving parts which include construction of engineered trails, restoration of lands damaged by unauthorized use, law enforcement, maintenance of existing trail networks, protection of cultural resources, planning for new OHV areas, and education/safety programs,” Amador continues.  

“OHV is a significant contributor to the economy and an important part of the California state-wide recreation opportunity matrix. OHV recreation is also an important partner when it comes to addressing the growing threat of intense wildfires on both public and private lands.  I look forward to working with other user groups on the RAC in support of access to, and resource management of, lands within the RAC’s project area,” Amador concludes.

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Don is president of Quiet Warrior Racing, a recreation consulting company.  Don also serves as the Government Affairs lead for AMA District 36. He served on the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission from 1994-2000. He is president and board member of the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance, a national non-profit organization, and since 2013 has served as Core-Team Lead for FireScape Mendocino, a forest-health collaborative.  Don is a member of the Governor’s Forest Management Task Force Northern Regional Prioritization Group. He is a 2016 Inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and recipient of the 2018 Friend of the AMA Award. 




Friday, February 22, 2019

YOLO OHV UPDATE - Packed House at Yolo County OHV Park Public Meeting

County Park Staff Present OHV Park Info 

***ACTION REQUIRED – Take Surveys***

Because of the many alerts and flyers posted by OHV organizations and local government, over 40 people from the OHV and conservation communities attended the Yolo County OHV Park Informational Session on February 21, 2019 in Woodland, CA.

Besides the large number of attendees from local and state OHV organizations, it was impressive to see the high level of commitment by Yolo County Parks and Recreation staff to locate a new OHV recreation facility (or facilities) in their jurisdiction.

Several important factors were cited by local government staff or noted by the audience as the reason for this renewed effort to site a new OHV recreation area in Yolo County and those tenets include:

  • Direction from Yolo County Board of Supervisors to find new OHV recreation opportunities
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  • Permanent reauthorization of the CA OHV Program in 2017 via SB249
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  • Support from the Yolo County Sheriff
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  • Stable CA OHV Grant Program
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  • 2018 County OHV Survey has most participation of any public survey in county history
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  • Support from local/regional conservation organizations
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  • Support from diverse OHV recreation interests
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  • OHV Recreation is important to rural economies


Again, Yolo County is applying to the CA OHV grant program to fund a market analysis to ascertain if there is enough community and stakeholder support for new OHV opportunities. 

Yolo County OHV Park as Gateway to Federal OHV Recreation
Pic: BLM's Knoxville OHV Area


Two options for new county OHV facilities surfaced at the meeting and those are:

One - Locate a large “destination-type” OHV area in the western rural part of the county that could serve as a gateway park to federal riding opportunities such as the BLM's Knoxville OHV Area.   The county park amenities could include camping for small and large RVs, water, restrooms, youth track, MX track, 4x4 obstacle course, and trail opportunities for both small and large OHVs.  The site could also host a sheriff or 1st responder substation.

Two - Locate a small (less than 150 acres) OHV park nearer to town for day-use riding.  The site could also be used by the county sheriff to hold OHV training classes for the public.

There are two surveys that OHVers should take (if you have not done so already) to provide more input into the decision-making process and those are the Yolo County OHV Planning Survey and the Yolo County Strategic Plan Survey.

YOLO COUNTY OHV SURVEY – This is where you can provide OHV specific comments about the new park - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ohvyolo

YOLO COUNTY STRATEGIC PLAN SURVEY – This will guide county planning for the next 3-5 years - https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/yolostrategicplan

Both of these surveys are important and they only take a few minutes each to fill out online.  I took them and they are easy to navigate. 

Take these surveys now as they will help the county in the decision-making process. 

Also, watch for additional opportunities to comment after the Yolo County OHV grant application is submitted on March 4, 2019.


Friday, February 15, 2019

OPINION - CA STREET SOUND LAW IS HOT TOPIC


QWR believes that “Quiet is Cool” when it comes to the use of sound compliant exhaust systems for both street and off-road vehicles. 

Passage of AB 1824 in 2018 basically amended California’s existing 2003 sound law by replacing the “fix-it” ticket aspect of the old law with the option of getting a certificate of compliance from the CA Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR).

AB 1824 retained the existing sound level of 95dBA using the SAE J1492 sound test format.  SAE J1492 is similar to the SAE J1287 sound test for OHVs which has a 96dBA limit.

LINK TO BAR SOUND CERTIFICATION

QWR will be reviewing this issue with SEMA and other stakeholders over the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you wonder if your automobile or light truck (under 6K lb. GVW) is too loud then ask yourself these simple questions?

One- Does my motor vehicle sound too loud?

Two- Has a neighbor or friend told me that my motor vehicle is too loud?

Three – When I start my motor vehicle early in the morning do the neighbor’s dogs start barking or do I set off the car alarms of nearby motor vehicles?

If the answer to any of those questions is YES – then your motor vehicle IS too loud and will most likely test above the 95dBA limit.

For more information on this subject, please visit the SEMA fact sheet in the link below.  SEMA has done an excellent job in getting good, useful, and correct information out to the public.

SEMA INFO ON AB 1834

This is a HOT topic based on the phone calls I have received and the number of forums where this issue is discussed.  

QWR would like to get feedback from readers on this subject.  Feel free to post a comment if you are an automotive enthusiast, mechanic, or member of law enforcement.     

Quiet Warrior Racing promotes a responsible trail and road ethic for both non-street legal and street legal motorized vehicles by offering quality recreation-oriented consulting services to its clients for the benefit of their customers, stakeholders, and the public good.






Tuesday, February 12, 2019

FEB. 21 - YOLO COUNTY OHV PARK IN OUR FUTURE?




Over the last 5-6 years, Yolo County has been holding meetings and soliciting input on the concept of establishing a new County OHV Park.  Many of you attended those public meetings and because of your support, the county has continued its efforts to site a new OHV facility that could provide motorized recreation for SxS, 4WDs, dirt-bikes, and ATVs.

OHVers at 2013 Yolo County OHV Park Meeting


According to Yolo County, they seek grant funding to prepare a market analysis to ascertain if there is enough community and stakeholder support for OHV opportunities in Yolo County. Second, assuming there is demand and support for OHV opportunities, we will prepare a feasibility study to examine two different scenarios: (1) improving access to existing OHV trail riding opportunities within the unincorporated County; and (2) creating a small-medium sized OHV park in the unincorporated County.

In 2018, the County had OHVers participate in an online survey and the results are linked below:

LINK TO YOLO COUNTY OHV SURVEY

QWR encourages OHV recreation interests in Yolo County or riders who might like to have a county OHV park in that area to attend a public meeting on February 21.  (see meeting info below)

County staff will provide an overview of our proposed OHV planning grant application and let the public know how they can stay involved in the process moving forward.

Public Meeting- OHV Planning Grant Information Session

Thursday, February 21, 2019 @ 6:00pm

County Administration Building
Atrium Training Room (Basement)
625 Court Street
Woodland, CA 95695

If you have questions about this effort or would like more information, please contact the Yolo County Parks Division at (530) 406-5038 or email yoloOHV@yolocounty.org





Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Climate Change Favors Single-Track Motorcycle Trail Revival



The "Climate" is Right for Single Track Motorcycle Trail Revival

It’s been 14 years since the Forest Service launched the 2005 Travel Management Rule that directed all National Forests to designate roads, trails, and areas for motorized vehicle use.  Unfortunately, thousands of miles of historic recreation roads and single-track motorcycle trails were eliminated from consideration and subsequently closed once those initial planning processes were completed.

Single Track Trail
Tahoe National Forest


QWR believes a number of relatively new factors are in play that may help bolster a National Single-Track Revival in both the agency and user community.  Those 4 significant developments include the Forest Service National Trails Strategy, agency commitment to collaboration/partnerships, creative trail design/construction concepts, and an empowered local user community.

ONE - The agency must continue to use its National Trails Strategy as a motivational tool to encourage a “can-do” culture on units that are (or should be) in the process of creating and managing a sustainable high-quality trail network. 

NATIONAL TRAILS STRATEGY

In recent years, some units are building new, or reconstructing old, single-track motorcycle trails as part of their promise to the OHV community to review those early travel management decisions.  Again, support for trails is coming from Washington D.C. and should be cited by OHV recreation groups as an onus for local units to enhance trail opportunities.

Single Track Trail
BLM Pocatello Field Office



TWO- The collaborative process can bring land agency staff, conservation groups, local government, other diverse stakeholders, and the trail-based recreation community together with a common goal of both protecting resources and providing a high-quality outdoor experience.  This stakeholder process is centered on attending meetings and field trips where information is shared, values are appreciated, and relationships are formed.

Single Track Trail
Carnegie SVRA


Federal land agencies have made a long-term commitment to a substantive stakeholder process on the front-end of the NEPA process.   This is a welcome and significant change from historic NEPA planning efforts where the agency had already made the decision and was simply going through the required public process as more or less of a formality.

THREE - Concepts such as the construction of new “companion-trails” along existing road-based ATV, SxS, and 4WD routes to separate vehicle types for safety and an enhanced trail experience should be embraced by the agency and trail groups. 

As appropriate, the agency’s vegetation management and forest-health NEPA planning efforts could or should address important trail-based recreation needs as part of a holistic and cost-effective approach to forest planning. 

FOUR - The agency’s shift to investing more time up front in collaborative efforts also requires the recreation community to make a similar commitment to getting some skin-in-the-game by attending meetings, hosting a field trip, and substantively engaging with agency recreation staff and decision-makers.

Club’s should appoint a designated representative(s) to attend local land use planning meetings and make that long-term commitment to help ensure that new single-track motorcycle trails will be included in future planning efforts.

At the end-of-the-day, QWR believes you will find that the quality of your local FS/BLM trail recreation program is, or will be, directly proportional to the quality of your engagement with agency staff and other users.

JOIN the Single-Track Revival today!



Tuesday, January 15, 2019

RED CROSS ADULT FIRST AID TRAINING for OHV

Red Cross Training Site
Concord, CA

OPINION – RED CROSS ADULT FIRST AID TRAINING
By Don Amador

As a recreation professional that participates in - or lends support to - motorized events, trail stewardship projects, and post wildfire recovery efforts, I want to encourage heads of households, club officers, trail bosses, vehicle safety course instructors, and others in leadership roles to get Adult First Aid, CPR, and AED training from the American Red Cross.  This training will help you stabilize an injured rider or trail volunteer in the field until the emergency responders arrive on scene.

Keeping your Red Cross 1st Aid certification up-to-date is required if you are Forest Service Chainsaw certified.  Also, it is an important prerequisite if you plan to take the Forest Service Chainsaw class.

Red Cross Certification Card

Having just taken the Red Cross 1st Aid course yesterday, I agree with the Red Cross statement (on their website) that whether you take an in-person class, an online course, or take advantage of their Simulation Learning experience, which combines online coursework with in-person training, you'll learn from some of the best in the industry. Knowledgeable, understanding and able to deliver information suited to a wide range of learning styles, American Red Cross first aid instructors will help ensure that you not only understand the steps for performing first aid, but that you have the confidence and skills necessary to perform them correctly.

QWR's Post Wildfire Recovery Program

To learn more about the American Red Cross training programs, please visit:

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