Friday, July 26, 2019


 "Logging-type" FS Road Designated for Non-Street Legal OHVs
Mendocino National Forest

QWR wants to commend the agency for their current effort to increase the efficiency of environmental analysis to help with implementation of its core mission to enhance forest health and encourage access to sustainable outdoor activities including casual use and permitted events for OHV recreation.

Current Revisions to NEPA Procedures (36 CFR 220) – Comments Due Aug, 12, 2019

QWR has long believed in, and advocated for, the increased use of categorical exclusions (CEs) for various OHV related projects and events especially at destination OHV areas where motorized use is well established and managed.  

Increasing the use of CEs for trail reroutes, designating new OHV trails/roads, authorizing permitted events such as enduros in areas where the agency has a designated route network is a smart way to reduce red-tape, cost, and increase public access to high quality outdoor recreation.

These proposals could also help create new opportunities for SxS recreation by streamlining the agency decision-making process so they could designate more of their street legal-only “logging-type” roads to routes that can be used by non-street legal SxSs.

# # # 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019


Designated "jeep-type" Route for Street Legal Vehicles Only
Eldorado National Forest

Backcountry exploration on Adventure (ADV) motorcycles continues to be a popular recreation activity on public lands that also creates a significant economic benefit.  Recent studies by the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Outdoor Industry Association highlight that fact.  In addition, those reports are being supported by other research such as an economic study by the Backcountry Discovery Routes organization.

BDR Adventure Bike Study

QWR believes it is important for new ADV riders - who are not familiar with “OHV” travel management programs on Forest Service lands – to be sure and download a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) before planning a big ride on your favorite National Forest.

Link to MVUM Maps

According to agency information, the MVUM is a product of the Forest Service 2005 Final Travel Management Rule.  Those maps detail what routes have been designated for use by both street-legal and non-street legal motorized vehicles.

Travel Management Sign - Eldorado National Forest

The MVUM also displays allowed uses by vehicle class (street-legal vs. non-street legal, roads managed as trails for larger OHVs such as SxSs, vehicles less than 50 inches wide such as dirt-bikes/ATVs, and motorcycles), seasonal allowances, distance allowances, and provides information on other travel rules and regulations.

Backcountry Adventure Awaits - Eldorado National Forest

The MVUM is a black and white map with no topographic features and can be hard to read. QWR recommends that you have other information handy such as GPS tracks or a Forest Visitor Map that is more detailed.

ADV or dual-sport riding is a lot of fun and having good information on what routes are open or closed is an important key to a successful and safe backcountry experience.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

ENJOY WITH CAUTION - Mendocino Reopens Some Key OHV Routes

Post 2015 Route Complex Wildfire Hazard Sign on Trail
Mad River Ranger District - Six Rivers National Forest

QWR commends the Mendocino National Forest for its decision on July 12, 2019 to reopen a number of important designated roads and trails on the Forest including many popular OHV routes that loop out from, and back to, the main camping area at Fouts Springs near Stonyford, CA.

Post 2018 Ranch Fire Hazard Sign at Forest Entrance
Mendocino National Forest

Although the Forest and volunteers have already done a lot of post wildfire recovery work,  the Forest Supervisor, Ann Carlson, correctly points out in the reopening news release that , “There is still a vast amount of restoration work to do, but we are very pleased to be able to reopen much of the Ranch Fire closure area for summer visitors. We hope that visitors pay close attention to warning signs when entering the area and maintain awareness of their surroundings.”


Having spent a couple of weeks helping with those recovery efforts at Stonyford, QWR wants to join with Supervisor Carlson in advising OHV enthusiasts who visit the burn area to be aware that hazards may persist in the fire area for several years.  Some of the most common hazards out on the trail include downed trees across trails, washouts, burned out stumps or their root systems that are in or near the designated route.

July 12, 2019 Reopening Map on Mendocino NF

The Forest has a good list with illustration of those potential hazards cited in the link below:

An additional “hazard” that was not mentioned in the list is there may be a lot of burned carsonite route markers that help visitors understand where they are.  Getting disoriented could be an issue for riders who are unfamiliar to the area or only ride there during a permitted enduro or dual-sport ride.  Be sure and get a map and don’t venture on routes that you are not familiar with.

QWR/s Post Wildfire Strike Team Trail Clearing Project
Grindstone Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

Riders should also remember to avoid riding on non-restored or restored “cross-country” dozer lines that were cut in to attack and manage the 450,000 acre Ranch Fire.  These are not legal OHV routes.

Also, respect private property in the area.  There are many inholders on the Forest and the wildfire severely impacted their property as well.  

Dirt-Bike Trail Crews are an Important Post Wildfire Recovery Partner

QWR encourages OHVers of all vehicle types to get out and enjoy/celebrate the reopening of key recreation assets on the Forest.  Also consider volunteering for wildfire recovery efforts or support organizations that are engaged in those projects.

If you would like to find out more about volunteer work opportunities on the Forest or how support ongoing recovery efforts, please contact QWR/Don Amador at –

Friday, July 12, 2019


Packed Main Hearing Room
CA Coastal Commission Hearing, July 11, 2019

By Don Amador
July 12, 2019  
Historic OHV Turnout Stems Closure Tide at Oceano Dunes  

A huge crowd of 850-1,000 OHV enthusiasts, related businesses, elected officials, and partners made access history yesterday at the Coastal Commission hearing held in San Luis Obispo, California where the long-term future of motorized recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA was hanging in the balance.  They packed the main hearing room and a number of overflow rooms.

CA State Park Director, Lisa Mangat, Talks About Need
for Coastal Commission to Allow PWP Process to Move Forward

The 8-2 vote to defer the Coastal Commission’s staff recommendations - so as to allow the California State Park Public Works Plan (PWP) public process for Oceano Dunes SVRA to play out - was also the result of State Parks taking a strong position against the Coastal Commission report and a lot of hard work by various parties before the hearing as highlighted in the LA Times article below:


It’s not often the Coastal Commission is forced to look affected citizens in the eye about how their closure proposals will devastate local businesses and communities where shop owners will be forced to close and lay-off staff and the newly unemployed will not be able to pay their mortgages or put food on the table.

San Luis Obispo County District 4 Supervisor, Lynn Compton
Speaks in Strong Support of Oceano Dunes SVRA 

The Coastal Commission was also confronted with the fact their staff did not consult with local government agencies that were also blindsided by the staff report.

Proud Duner Stands in Support of OHV Recreation

While the vote result was significant, the key element in the Coastal Commission decision was to direct staff to work with State Parks to create a collaborative stakeholder group that would include representatives from the Coastal Commission, CA OHV Commission, State Parks, local government, OHV groups, businesses, and conservation interests.  That venue would allow for more robust and meaningful discussions between the Coastal Commission and other members of the group.

Rugged Radio Shows Up to Defend Local Business

I don’t view the Coastal Commission decision as a major “OHV Victory” but rather an event that earned its place as a seminal moment on the land access timeline alongside other significant issues such as the S21/CA Desert Protection Act, Clinton/Gore Roadless Initiative, 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule, and the 2007-2017 fight to restructure and permanently reauthorize the CA OHV Program.

Coastal Commission Staff Continue to Front OHV "Dust Plume" Hoax

While OHV lives on to fight another day in the battle for Oceano Dunes SVRA, we have some immediate action items and those are:

Encourage OHV Stakeholders to Be Active in the PWP Process

Challenge False APCD/Coastal Commission OHV Generated “Dust Plume” Assertion

Challenge Stipulated Order of Abatement

Continue to Build OHV Political Force  

Be Prepared for Future Legal Challenge

The greater OHV community should be proud of what they accomplished at the hearing.  Your attendance and testimony made more of an impact than you can ever know.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedules to attend what will go down as a major milestone in OHV political history.

# # #

Don Amador has almost 30 years in the field of land use management, policy, and politics.  Don writes on recreation and environmental issues from his office in Oakley, CA.  He may be reached via email at:

Sunday, July 7, 2019

TAKE THE PLUNGE - U.S. Forest Service Seeking OHV Representatives to Service on Recreation Advisory Council

2010 R5 RRAC Site Visit to Campsite Armor Project
Inyo National Forest

According to a Forest Service news release, The United States Department of Agriculture’s Pacific Southwest Region of the Forest Service is seeking nominations to fill the eleven-member Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) in California.  Recreation RAC members provide recommendations to the Agency on recreation fee changes at national forest sites throughout the state of California. This includes making recreation fee program recommendations on implementing or eliminating standard amenity fees; expanded amenity fees; and noncommercial, individual special recreation permit fees; expanding or limiting the recreation fee program; and fee-level changes. Nominations are now being accepted through August 1, 2019.


As a former member of the R5 RRAC (2009 - 2014), I urge those of you in an OHV leadership position - or if you are working to enhance your leadership skills - to consider applying for an appointment to the RRAC.  You have until August 1 to submit your application.

Inyo National Forest Supervisor, Jeff Marsolais, Gives Recreation Overview
to RRAC Members - Inyo National Forest

QWR has an axiom 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.”

Don Amador, QWR President and Former Member of the R5 RRAC, states, “The future of OHV depends on folks like you devoting some of your time to engaging with other land-use stakeholders in collaborative processes like the RRAC.   Opportunities like this can be a great learning experience and will help you develop your leadership skills.”

QWR has an axiom 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.”

Now is the time for you to consider making that long-term commitment to help ensure that you and your family/friends continue to have access to high quality trail-based recreational opportunities.  Fill out that application today!