Tuesday, September 7, 2021

OHV JOB OPEN TO PUBLIC - GS- 8/9 OHV RECREATION POSITION ON MENDOCINO NF

 

Popular OHV Trail on Upper Lake Ranger District


PSA - JOB OPPORTUNITY 


GS- 8/9 OHV RECREATION POSITION OPEN ON MENDOCINO NF

 

The Recreation HQ is proud to share info with you about an OHV Recreation position (OPEN TO THE PUBLIC) that is currently open on the Upper Lake Ranger District on the Mendocino National Forest in Northern California.  Posting expires on September 15.


Please forward this job opportunity to anyone in your trail network who wants to work in one of the most popular OHV programs in the country.   Over the last 30 years, I have had the privilege to work with some of the best Forest Service line-officers, foresters,  and recreation staff that I know of on various OHV recreation and resource management projects.  The Upper Lake Ranger District is home to a high quality network of designated roads, trails, and areas that also connects up to the Grindstone Ranger District and their trail network.

 

This is a permanent full-time position at the GS-8/9 level that is OPEN to the public.  If you or you know of somebody who is interested in this recreation position, please click on the link below.

 

LINK TO OHV RECREATION POSITION ON THE UPPER LAKE RD

https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/609119700

 

Thanks for your interest in managed OHV recreation!

Friday, July 23, 2021

JENNIFER EBERLIEN APPOINTED TO LEAD ROLE IN USFS REGION 5

 


NEWS RELEASE

July 23, 2021

By Don Amador


          JENNIFER EBERLIEN TAKES OVER LEAD ROLE IN USFS REGION 5


QWR would like to extend a warm welcome to Jennifer Eberlien as the new Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region (R5).   She is replacing Randy Moore who was recently selected to be the new Chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

 

Don Amador, President of QWR and Government Affairs lead for AMA District 36, states, “I am glad to see Jennifer get the nod to replace Randy Moore as the new R5 Regional Forester.   Over the years, I have had the privilege to work with Jennifer on numerous recreation, access, and resource management issues.  We wish her all the best and look forward to working with her on future projects and collaborative efforts.”

 

LINK TO FS NEWS RELEASE

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r5/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD933882

 

Washington, D.C., July 22, 2021— Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen today announced Jennifer Eberlien as regional forester for the Pacific Southwest Region. Eberlien replaces incoming Chief Randy Moore who has served as regional forester in the Pacific Southwest Region since 2007.

 

Eberlien will oversee 18 national forests in California, which include 20 million acres covering the North Coast, Cascade and Sierra Nevada ranges and from Big Sur to the Mexican border in the South Coast range. Additionally, she will oversee state and private forestry programs in Hawaii and the U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands.

 

An agency veteran with nearly 30 years of land management experience, Eberlien is currently stationed in Washington, D.C., where she has served as associate deputy chief for the national forest system since October 2020.

 

“Jennifer’s experience and proven leadership throughout the agency, particularly in the Pacific Southwest Region, makes her the perfect choice to become the next Regional Forester”, said Chief Christiansen, “She will bring care and strength to this critical position on the frontlines of the nation’s wildfire crisis.”

 

Incoming Chief of the Forest Service Randy Moore, who assumes the title of Chief on 26 July, is leaving the Pacific Southwest Region Regional Forester position that Eberlien will start immediately. “Jennifer Eberlien knows this region and is ideally suited for it, having served as Deputy Regional Forester here during her sterling career. She will be the first female Regional Forester in the Pacific Southwest Region and I look forward to continuing to serve with her.”

 

Eberlien started her career with the Forest Service in 1992 on the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in Park Falls, Wisconsin. She has since served as Deputy Forest Supervisor for the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in southwest Oregon, Forest Supervisor of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Everett, Washington, and Deputy Regional Forester for the Pacific Southwest Region in Vallejo, California. Prior to her current post in Washington, D.C., Eberlien served a year as acting regional forester for the Rocky Mountain Region headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

 

Eberlien is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology. She also holds a master’s degree in anthropology from Northern Arizona University.

Eberlien assumes her new duties immediately.

# # #  

Monday, July 19, 2021

BLM LAUNCHES OFFICIAL 30-DAY COMMENT PERIOD FOR BERRYESSA MONUMENT TRAVEL PLAN

BLM Knoxville OHV Area
Included in this Monument Travel Planning Process


                      BLM LAUNCHES OFFICIAL COMMENT PERIOD FOR BERRYESSA MONUMENT TRAVEL PLAN

OVERVIEW – Earlier this year, many of you participated in several  pre-scoping “listening” meetings with the Monument planning team where you offered ideas on how to improve legal riding opportunities for OHVs in popular areas such as Knoxville and Indian Valley where historic motorized use has occurred for decades. 


 LINK TO MAP OF OPEN AND CLOSED OHV ROUTES

https://eplanning.blm.gov/public_projects/2014711/200490393/20042361/250048554/BSMNM%20Route%20Inventory.pdf

 

As you can see, the current route inventory map does not show many routes open for OHV use even in historic riding areas.  Now it is time for you to resubmit your previous or updated comments about what routes should be open and other ways to enhance sustainable OHV recreation in the planning area.  It is also important to register to attend the BLM’s virtual meeting on July 21 (see news release below) and submit comments before this scoping period ends on August 16.

 

It is critically important for you to weigh in on this project with both general and specific comments.  I hope to see many of you at the meeting on July 21.  Thanks for your time and efforts on this planning process!  The BLM News Release below has more details.

 

 

          SUBMIT YOUR PUBLIC SCOPING COMMENTS ON TRAILS AND TRAVEL

       MANAGEMENT FOR BERRYESSA SNOW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT

 

UKIAH, Calif. — The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ukiah Field Office invites public comment on travel management planning for trails and roads within the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument on BLM-managed public lands. BLM will host a virtual public meeting, via Zoom, on Wednesday, July 21, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., part of a 30-day public scoping period, which ends Aug. 16.

 

This scoping period provides an open process for determining the scope of issues to be addressed and builds upon public input received during two previous workshops held to identify existing trails and roads, determine appropriate uses and ways to improve the trail network. Public input helps the BLM develop a range of alternatives to improve the recreational experience, while protecting natural and cultural resources.

 

Participants must register for the Zoom meeting at https://blm.zoomgov.com/meeting/register/vJIscOGqpzwsHkfbosVpMGLSMSGVV5nigc0

 

 After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email with instructions, a link to join the meeting and phone numbers for those unable to join online. Zoom virtual meeting tutorials can be viewed at https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/206618765-Zoom-video-tutorials

 

 Please contact us as soon as possible for reasonable accommodations to participate.

 

designated off-road vehicle trails, sight-seeing, remote backcountry travel and white-water rafting. The area also contains one of the greatest concentrations of biodiversity in California, and is home to threatened and endangered plant and wildlife species. To learn more about the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, visit www.blm.gov/berryessa-snow-mountain

.

 More information about this planning effort can be found on the project website at https://go.usa.gov/xFq8W

 

Written comments may be submitted electronically to the project ePlanning website; via email to BLM_CA_BSM_NM@blm.gov

 or by mail:  BLM Ukiah Field Office, Attn: BSMNM Travel Management Planning EA, 2550 North State Street, Suite 2, Ukiah, CA  95482. For specific questions, contact Monument Manager Rebecca Carr Wong at 707-468-4023 or BLM_CA_BSM_NM@blm.gov

.

 Before including mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses or other personal identifying information in a comment, commenters should be aware that the entire comment, including personal identifying information, could be made publicly available at any time. While the public may ask the BLM to withhold personal identifying information from public review, the BLM cannot guarantee that it will be able to do so.

 

This year, we invite everyone to reimagine your public lands as we celebrate 75 years of the BLM’s stewardship and service to the American people. The BLM manages approximately 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The agency’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. 

Monday, June 28, 2021

R5 REGIONAL FORESTER APPOINTED AS NEW CHIEF OF THE FOREST SERVICE

 

Randy Moore (L) with Don Amador and other FS Leads
Grindstone Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

R5 REGIONAL FORESTER APPOINTED AS NEW FOREST SERVICE CHIEF

QWR wants to send our most sincere congratulations to Randy Moore on his appointment by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to serve as the 20th Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service.

 

LINK TO FULL AGENCY NEWS RELEASE

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2021/06/28/agriculture-secretary-tom-vilsack-announces-randy-moore-new-forest

 

 

According to a statement from Secretary Vilsack, “Randy Moore has been a catalyst for change and creativity in carrying out the Forest Service’s mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations,” said Secretary Vilsack. “In his role as Regional Forester, Randy has been a conservation leader on the forefront of climate change, most notably leading the Region’s response to the dramatic increase in catastrophic wildfires in California over the last decade. His proven track record of supporting and developing employees and putting communities at the center of the Forest Service’s work positions him well to lead the agency into the future at this critical time in our country.”

Kathy Mick (L), Mike Burmann (CL), Randy Moore (CR), Don Amador (R)
Upper Lake Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

 

Upon swearing in, Moore will serve as the first African American to hold the role of Chief of the Forest Service.

 

Don Amador, President of QWR and Government Affairs lead for AMA District 36,  states, “I have ridden OHVs with Randy on several field trips to the Grindstone and Upper Lake Ranger Districts to review their sustainable trail management programs that provide world-class OHV opportunity on the Mendocino National Forest and on other National Forests in Region 5.”

Randy Moore (L) - On ATV Field Trip
Grindstone Ranger District - Mendocino National Forest

“As  core-team lead for FireScape Mendocino, a forest health collaborative, it has also been a privilege to work with Randy  in his role as Regional Forester where he helped guide the agency  through a number of severe and precedent setting wildfire seasons.   I believe he is the right person at the right time to fill this critically important position,” Amador concludes.

 

# # #

 

Thursday, June 17, 2021

NIMBY WARS - Become a More Effective Land-Use Warrior

 


OPINION

By Don Amador

June 17, 2021


EFFECTIVE OHV ADVOCACY

Back in 2009, I read what maybe one of the best books ever written on the subject of effective grassroots political activism and how groups use the fine art of “political-craft” to achieve their land-use goals.  Given the current number of fierce political campaigns to shut down OHV-related legislation and recreation at Oceano Dunes SVRA and other state and federal riding areas, I want to encourage the new crop of OHV advocates to spend a few bucks to purchase online their own personal copy of NIMBY Wars.


 NIMBY Wars is a must read for all who are involved in land use advocacy. Regardless of your station in the battle for recreational access to public lands, you will benefit from the insights of this book as it succinctly explains the complex world of land use politics and articulates strategies for success.

 

It was early in my career of OHV land use advocacy (circa 1991) that I had this epiphany, “All land use decisions are political decisions.” Many club leaders, riders, new activists, and seasoned veterans have heard me talk about how important it is for all of us involved in land use advocacy to understand that at the end of the day - ALL land use decisions are political decisions.

 

Sure, scientific studies, reports, biological opinions, and other criteria are certainly factors in the land use decision-making process. However, the politics of the issue will be the last filter through which any decision must pass.

 

I have tried to explain (often times unsuccessfully) to those new to the field of land use politics the aforementioned thesis. To the normal person just sitting down with the decision-maker and explaining the facts, pointing out good science, offering a common sense solution, or supporting best management practices should be enough to encourage the decision-maker to make the right call. Unfortunately, those factors have little, if anything, to do with the final decision because the final decision is a political decision.

 

NIMBY Wars is a literary masterpiece that diagrams the bottom-up approach to grassroots activism and the importance of that local citizen (e.g. voter) or citizen’s group in achieving your objective.

 

Again, you must order this book if you are involved OHV advocacy, the OHV industry, or want to be involved in or lead, successful political campaigns to champion OHV recreational activities on public and private lands. If you are an experienced land use political professional, it will confirm various concepts and strategies you have employed and teach you new tactics.

 

If you are a new advocate, it will explain the politics of land use decision-making. If you are in the OHV business, it will explain and highlight the important roles of the professional land use consultant and the local user/leader. If you are a politician, lobbyist, or bureaucrat it will explain the history of land use politics and illustrate why and how you make your decisions.

 

Read this book! It will make you a more effective OHV champion.

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

BLM PLANNING EFFORT TO ENHANCE OHV RECREATION IN SOUTHERN MONTEREY COUNTY - COMMENTS DUE JULY 6

 


QWR commends the BLM’s Central Coast Field Office for starting this planning process to enhance sustainable OHV recreation opportunities on federal lands in an effort to address the increased demand – in our post-COVID world – for managed motorized and non-motorized recreation. 

 

Many land agencies have reported an unprecedented rise in visitor days which creates a huge capacity challenge for line-officers, recreation staff, and law enforcement.  For example, large numbers of SxS enthusiasts are traveling from the LA area to northern CA recreation sites such as the BLM’s Chappie-Shasta OHV Area near Redding and the FS’s Stonyford OHV Area.

 

OHV Routes at Williams Hill

Recently, the BLM was awarded a planning grant from the CA State Parks OHV Grant Program to improve the trail network and facilities at the Williams Hill OHV Area that is about 55 miles south of Salinas off of Highway 101.  QWR believes it is critical for OHVers who use - or might want to use - the Williams Hill site to weigh in with scoping comments that are due on July 6.

 

It is important to make specific comments on how to improve the current OHV program there.  For example, you may want them to plan for new connector trails, 4x4 challenge course, increase single-track opportunities, or develop new camping/staging areas.  You might also comment about this planning effort being important due to the increased demand throughout the state for recreation opportunity and to relieve overcrowding at other OHV areas due to COVID and past, current, or proposed land closures.

 

LINK TO BLM SCOPING DOCUCMENT AND INFO LINKS

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-seeking-public-input-williams-hill-ohv-trails-recreation-improvements

 

Please share with your riding networks to help land agencies address public demand for motorized access and other forms of recreation.

Friday, May 21, 2021

PSA - Attend Recreation Focused Virtual Meeting for North Zone National Forests on June 10

 

Smith River NRA HQ - Six Rivers NF


SORC RECREATION MEETING ON NOR CAL NATIONAL FORESTS

JUNE 10, 2021 – 10AM TO 12PM

 

 The virtual meeting slated for May 26 to discuss recreation a number of Nor Cal National Forests has been rescheduled to June 10, 2021 from 10am to noon.  The June 10 meeting is hosted by the Sustainable Outdoor Recreation Collaborative (SORC).  Stakeholders from both the motorized and non-motorized communities are encouraged to attend and share their views on recreation opportunities and issues on the following Forests – Mendocino, Six Rivers, Klamath, Modoc, Lassen, and Shasta-Trinity National Forests.

 

MEETING INFO

Date: Thursday, June 10, 2021

Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm (PDT)

https://csus.zoom.us/j/83534099167

Meeting ID: 835 3409 9167 Dial-in: +1 669 900 6833

 

PLEASE ADD YOUR NAME AND AFFILIATION IF YOU ARE PLANNING TO ATTEND

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1NSjv2PsJK4aLwJgJK9akJe-ogVR_KTwCTtW2-SsvIbY/edit#gid=0

 


 

QWR believes is it important to recreation group leaders to attend.  This is a great opportunity to hear from and visit with agency recreation and management leaders from individual Forests and the Regional Office and to share ideas with, or learn from,  attendees from other recreation interests at the meeting.

 

I look forward to seeing many of my Nor Cal recreation family at this meeting.

 

 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

ATTEND BLM TRAVEL PLANNING MEETING - April 21, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Entrance Sign at the Knoxville OHV Area


ATTEND BLM TRAVEL PLANNING MEETING – April 21, 2021

 

 If you or your organization enjoys OHV and other trail-based recreation on federal lands – such as Knoxville OHV Area, Walker Ridge/Indian Valley, and Mendocino NF – within the boundaries of the

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument, please attend the ZOOM meeting on April 21 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

 

Many of you attended the previous travel planning meeting and provided important information that will help inform the planning process.  Your additional input is needed at the April 21 meeting as the agency is expected to provide an updated presentation based on your previous comments. 

 

Please use the link in the BLM announcement below to register for the April 21 meeting. 

 

LINK TO MEETING AND REGISTRATION

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-seeking-input-berryessa-snow-mountain-national-monument-trails

  

Thanks for your participation in this planning process.  It will also provide you with some additional experience in federal travel and land-use planning as both the BLM and FS will be updating their current management plans over the next year or two.

 

See you at the meeting tomorrow night!

Thursday, April 8, 2021

SENATE RULES COMMITTEE CONFIRMS ARMANDO QUINTERO AS STATE PARK DIRECTOR



NEWS RELEASE

April 8, 2021

      SENATE CONFIRMS ARMANDO QUINTERO AS CA STATE PARK DIRECTOR

On April 7, the CA Senate Rules Committee voted to confirm Armando Quintero as the CA State Park Director.   Quintero was questioned about management prescriptions at Oceano Dunes SVRA and if Parks would be mounting a legal challenge to the Coastal Commission’s recent vote to close the unit to OHVs in three years? Director Quintero said he has been meeting with CCC leadership on a weekly basis and that Parks will be consulting with the Administration on any legal actions or administrative decisions they may or may not take or enact.

Director Quintero stated that Parks is hiring a number of new non-badge park managers (for example Parks just hired Peter Jones to be the District Manager at Prairie City SVRA).  I believe this is in response, in part, to a loud cry by many in OHV leadership who have repeatedly stated the import of having decision-makers at the local level that will provide on-the-ground oversight of unit management activities/staff and also provide more accountability to park users and partners.   

Quintero also stated the important role that State Park grant programs (including the OHV grant program) has in providing access and management support for sustainable recreation on public lands throughout the state. 

Don Amador, QWR President and former Chairman of the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, states, "While this confirmation is an important step, it remains to be seen just how Quintero implements his vision for enhanced access to sustainable recreation while balancing that goal with protecting natural and cultural resources."

# # #     


Monday, March 15, 2021

WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH - Celebrate our Land Managers

 

Marlene Finley, Director of Recreation, Land, Wilderness, and Heritage Resources (Retired)
Region 5, USFS

Those of us who are part of the greater OHV community - enthusiasts, agency staff, professionals, and volunteers - understand the important and historic role that women have played to ensure the public has access to high-quality OHV recreation for current and future generations.

Jane Arteaga, OHV/Recreation Lead, CA BLM State Office


For over 100 years, women have embraced driving or riding motorized vehicles on native surfaced routes that in many sections resembled Forest Service “jeep” roads or BLM desert two-tracks .

Marissa Williams, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Fort Sage OHV Area
BLM, Susanville Field Office

 

They were “OHV” adventurers and pioneers that inspired the nation and piqued the interest of other women (and men) to get out and enjoy the great outdoors or consider becoming a land manager, an advocate, or founder of a non-profit.

Daphne Greene, Deputy Director, CA OHV Program (2004-2011)
California State Parks, Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division

Here at the QWR HQ, we believe it is important to celebrate Women’s History Month and honor those women who have made a difference in the sport we love, our lives, or career.

Region 5 Field Trip - Kathy Mick (Front L), Mike Burmann (Back L), Randy Moore (Back R), Don Amador (Front R) - Upper Lake Ranger District, Mendocino National Forest

QWR is proud of the women that we have worked with on recreation and land management issues for the last 30 years.  Our supporters and readers know that our gratitude to the modern pioneer woman is genuine and is why they are often featured in photographs, endorsements, stories, and illustrations on our website and blog.

Sarah Ridenour, OHV Program Lead
Grindstone Ranger District, Mendocino National Forest

As we pay homage to our women heroes who serve in recreation, fire, natural resources, and administration, let’s remember their service and commitment by taking time to send them a warm THANK YOU as a reminder they are appreciated and not forgotten.

 

*Feel free to post a comment about important women in your land-use experience

 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

PSA - Hone Skills/Learn about CA OHV Program - Attend Feb. 26 OHV Commission Meeting

 




CHALLENGE, CHAMPION, HONE SKILLS - ATTEND FEB. 26, 2021 

OHV COMMISSION MEETING

 

For OHVers and others who want to learn more about the CA OHV Program, you may want to attend the virtual meeting of the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission on February 26, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.

 

LINK AND SCROLL TO FEB.  26 OHMVR COMMISSION MEETING, AGENDA, AND SIGN UP

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

 

These public hearings are also a great opportunity for OHV club representatives to hone their political skills, enhance their understanding of key issues, meet/see Park leadership, observe actions taken by the OHV commissioners, hear federal land agency reports, budgets, and share their concerns about important recreation challenges – such as Park Transformation/Pathforward 2026, Permitted Events, and Oceano Dunes - during the public comment periods.

 

Members of the public and organizational representatives are encouraged to give testimony during the comment period for each agenda item.   These comments should be related to the specific agenda item.

 

There will also be a general public comment period where attendees are encouraged to offer testimony on subjects not on the agenda.

 

OHV continues to face challenges on many fronts and your participation can make a difference.  However, there are also opportunities that enhance managed OHV recreation.  Get engaged and join with fellow recreation advocates to challenge poor agency decisions and champion good decisions and policy.

                                                                                   # # # 

 

 

Friday, February 19, 2021

NEWS RELEASE - BIDEN ADMINSTRATION RESTARTS BLM RESOURCE ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Amador at BLM's Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
Ukiah Field Office, California



Contact: Don Amador

Phone: 925.783.1834

Email: Damador@quietwarriorracing.com

Date: February 19, 2021

 

BIDEN ADMINSTRATION RESTARTS BLM RESOURCE 

ADVISORY COUNCIL MEETINGS

 

OAKLEY, CA (Feb. 19) –  Quiet Warrior Racing’s, Don Amador, commends the Biden Administration’s  relaunch of BLM Resource Advisory Council  (RAC) meetings in California.  In 2019, Acting Secretary of the Interior, David Bernhardt, appointed Amador to serve on the BLM’s Central California RAC.  The first meeting of the BLM Central California RAC is February 24, 2021 and is administrative only for RAC members.  Regular RAC meetings are open to the public.

 

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.

BLM RAC Districts in CA

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.

 

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.

 

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 thatrespects 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 great to get to see the Administration restart RAC meetings.  It is an honor to serve on this RAC since most of my 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.

 

Don Amador, a former chairman of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission,  represents the interests of OHV enthusiasts who enjoy casual use or participate in permitted motorized events.

 

# # #

 

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.  Don is also a contributor to Dealernews Magazine.

 


Sunday, January 31, 2021

2021 MARKS 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CA OHV PROGRAM


NON-PROFIT CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF CA OHV PROGRAM

 

Despite numerous shutdown orders, efforts to champion responsible OHV recreation continued during the COVID crisis of 2020.  Some of those activities by government and non-government OHV stakeholders include carrying legislation in Sacramento, securing cooperative agreements with land agencies, applying for OHV grants, field recon of restoration or trail stewardship projects, hosting or attending endless zoom meetings, educating the public about COVID mitigation prescriptions, getting permitted events authorized by county health officials, planning for volunteer events once COVID restrictions abate, and launching a new non-profit organization to support the 50th Anniversary of the CA OHV Program.


 

As a board member of the California Outdoor Recreation Foundation (CORF), I want to share some of the work that CORF has done over the last 6 months during our weekly board meetings.   Of course there was a lot of paperwork that needed to get filed with state and federal agencies.  Logos, organizational narratives, and website also had to be created. 

 

CORF WEBSITE

https://outdoorrecreationfoundation.org/

 

Our new website has gone live and states that CORF was established to partner with the California Department of Parks and Recreation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Off Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation Program. CORF will provide promotional materials for this historic milestone, as well as assist in the planning of OHV Safety Week, a new annual program with a goal of educating thousands of recreation enthusiasts throughout California. 



Despite numerous ongoing challenges that face OHV recreation, I think the CA OHV Program and its supporters have a lot to be proud of.   We have a holistic program that is focused on providing access to sustainable high-quality motorized recreation on public lands in CA.  OHV is also working in a collaborative manner with conservation groups, non-motorized recreation organizations, natural/cultural resource interests, and wildfire practitioners to protect and preserve our recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

 

Be sure and check back into the CORF website for future announcements about upcoming activities and events.  Also, feel free to send in a donation to help support the CORF mission as we celebrate 50 years of OHV recreation in California.

 

DONATE TO CORF

https://outdoorrecreationfoundation.org/index.php/donate

 

 

  

Monday, January 18, 2021

JAN. 28 - TRAVEL MANAGEMENT FOR BERRYESSA-SNOW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT

 

National Monument Sign on West Portion of Stonyford OHV Area
Mendocino National Forest

On March 19, 2016, a stakeholder collaborative gathered at the BLM’s Cowboy Camp to participate in the official dedication ceremony for the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.  Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell was joined by Members of Congress, local elected officials, state dignitaries, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, BLM National Director Neil Kornze, other FS/BLM officials, and diverse user groups that represented hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers, adventure riders, overlanders, and OHV enthusiasts.

Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell, on OHV Tour of Monument

What made the event unique is that OHV recreation was featured as a key partner in development of the plan to bring additional resources to enhance both conservation efforts and existing/ future non-motorized and motorized recreational opportunities within the Monument boundary.

 

Map of National Monument

LINK TO BERRYESSA SNOW MOUNTAIN NATIONAL MONUMENT

https://www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/california/berryessa-snow-mountain-national-monument

 

As an important part of the BLM’s commitment to improve existing and future recreation opportunities, the agency issued a news release on January 15, 2021 that invites the public to the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument’s BLM Trails and Travel Management Workshop on January 28, from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. This virtual workshop will provide an overview of the BLM travel management process, which is scheduled to begin later in 2021, and invite participants to provide comment.

 

REGISTER HERE FOR WORKSHOP ON JANUARY 28, 2021 – 5:30 to 8:00 pm

https://www.blm.gov/press-release/blm-hold-berryessa-snow-mountain-national-monument-public-workshop

 

Many of the OHV organizations that worked with conservation groups on development of the national monument understand that federal lands in or adjacent to the national monument are home to a number of destination and dispersed high quality OHV trail recreation opportunities that exist on designated roads, trails, and areas.

Monument Sign at Entrance to Knoxville OHV Area
BLM Ukiah Field Office


However, there are some areas in the Walker Ridge/Indian Valley Reservoir part of the monument that do not have a designated route network.  Your participation in the travel planning process will help identify trails that are important and those that may be causing resource damage or trespass onto private property.

 

If you use or want to use this area for motorized or non-motorized recreation, be sure and sign up to be part of this travel planning effort.  It will also be good practice for other federal planning efforts that are being developed.

 

Monday, January 4, 2021

OPINION - PARK DUNE PLAN KICKS SAND IN FACE OF OHV


 

OPINION

By Don Amador

January 4, 2021

 

PARK DUNE PLAN KICKS SAND IN FACE OF OHV

 

On December 31, 2020, California State Parks (PARKS) released its much anticipated Draft Public Works Plan (PWP) and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for Pismo State Beach and Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA).

 

LINK TO DRAFT PWP (comments due March 2, 2021)

https://www.oceanodunespwp.com/en/documents/draft-eir

 

After attending – and speaking at - the December 3, 2020 OHV Commission meeting, many in OHV leadership and other stakeholders had hoped the draft PWP would address our concerns about the planning effort having nothing to do with enhancing OHV recreation but rather was adding momentum to ongoing political efforts that seek to permanently ban OHV recreation at the SVRA.    

 

My comments at the commission meeting also centered on the PWP potentially supplanting the 1982 Coastal Development Permit (CDP) that authorized current levels of OHV activities including beach camping.

 

Unfortunately after doing a speed read of the Executive Summary and the Plan, it appears our comments fell on tone deaf ears based on some of my initial takeaways from the draft Plan.

 

KEY POINTS OF CONCERN IN THE DRAFT PWP

 

Addresses failure in the initial PWP process to include any meaningful benefits to OHV recreation by creating a “future” OHV enhancement concept that might be considered AFTER the Oso Flaco Improvement Non-Motorized Project is completed.

 

RESPONSE: OHV representatives have stated all along the Oso Flaco Improvement Project must include motorized access and camping immediately and not at some uncertain future date.

 

Addresses failure in the initial PWP process to include any meaningful benefits to OHV recreation by stating they might purchase a hazardous waste site - where OHV families can play and camp - from Phillips 66 if the property becomes available for acquisition.

 

RESPONSE:  Placing OHV facilities at hazardous or toxic waste sites is insulting to the OHV community.  It would place an exorbitant cleanup fiscal burden on the OHV program and nobody wants their children to play on an old toxic waste site.  This OHV option also places OHV recreation and camping that much closer to the Mesa residents.

 

Addresses concerns in the initial PWP process about it supplanting the CDP by stating it does not affect or remove State Parks’ vested rights as a State agency that were codified in CDP 4-82-300 relating to park use, or other State laws and codes.

RESPONSE:  Why worry now about grandfathered OHV use in the CDP when the draft PWP proposes to enact their own draconian OHV use and camping bans that are far more restrictive than allowed in the CDP?  Here are those proposed capacity limits.

 

Interim street-legal day-use limit of 1,000 will be implemented and retained until an updated carry capacity study is completed. This limit is a 62% reduction from the current use limits.

 

An interim day-use limit for OHVs of 1,000 will be implemented and retained until an updated carry capacity study is completed. This limit is a 42% reduction from the current use limits.

 

Interim Beach Camping (Oceano Dunes SVRA): 1,000

  

Phase-out OHV/ATV rental concessions as current contracts expire. All existing agreements are set to term out in April 2022 and would not be renewed with the current scope of services. Phasing out of concessions is anticipated to limit the number of inexperienced OHV riders in the riding area, as visitors would have to bring in their own OHVs.

 

RESPONSE:  Tourists from around the world visit Oceano Dunes SVRA to experience riding an OHV at this bucket-list destination.  This feat is usually accomplished by renting an OHV from a concessionaire.  Also, people from all demographics and locations often rent an OHV because they cannot afford to purchase one or they want to try out an OHV to see if they want to take up the sport.  This phase out of rentals would disenfranchise a lot of stakeholders.

 

The draft PWP continues to avoid offering any meaningful enhancements to motorized recreation at the SVRA while trying to console the OHV community with promises of potential “future” opportunities at a hazardous waste site or next to the new non-motorized facilities at Oso Flaco.  

 

Nobody likes getting sand kicked in their face and that includes the OHV community.