Friday, May 15, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE - Respect Reopening Process


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:


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.


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%.


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.


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.

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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

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.


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.

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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.