Access Issues

Trespass laws to be enforced at popular OHV site

The Red Bluff Police Department announced Wednesday it would begin enforcing trespassing laws on a piece of property located at Walnut Street and Baker Road that is frequently used by all-terrain vehicles.

In a press release the department said it had been contacted by several residents in the area in regards to the constant off road traffic of dirt bikes, quads and four-wheel drive vehicles that recreate in the hills of the area.

The Tehama County Air Pollution Control District has also investigated complaints regarding the amount of dust in the air.

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Bramham writes his last report

jim-bramham copyIt is with a wide range of emotion that I write what will be my last report as your NRC. It is been both a pleasure and an honor to serve the association and the interests of OHV in this capacity. I especially appreciate the Board of Directors and our Presidents Mark Cave and Steve Egbert for their leadership. The BOD is an ever-changing group with a broad range of responsibilities. They absolutely cannot do all the things that need to be done for this association by themselves. We as members need to support them and show them our appreciation. The association needs your help in many ways, the foremost of which is to increase our membership. This association means something to you, or you wouldn't belong! Share that with your friends and fellow four-wheelers and add them to our membership. Simple math says if we each get one person to join we would double the size of the association. It is easier than you think!

Our association has a rich history and an even brighter future. The recent BOD meeting was a clear example of that future. The positive tone and cooperation have returned to all our recent meetings but was especially good to see at the BOD level. I have seen great progress in healing our relationships both internally and externally over the past several years. We are poised once again to take the leadership roles within the OHV community that will benefit our association and OHV in general.

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Nightmare at Nightmare Gulch

nightmare-gulch-trespass-1While on patrol on June 11th, State Parks Law Enforcement discovered a significant amount of 4X4 off-road damage at the north end of Nightmare Gulch in Red Rock Canyon State Park. It appears that a group of unknown off-roaders blazed their own path to follow the boundary fence line and find its weak spots. They were successful, and entered Nightmare Gulch during the birds of prey nesting closure.

This was a large group of people in 4X4’s who collectively decided to violate state law. It is estimated this happened within the last two weeks, and there were at least eight vehicles in the group. See attached pictures showing the damage. 

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GOP bill would delay grouse listing for 10 years

A Colorado House Republican today will introduce a bill to delay the Interior Department's listing decisions for two Western sage grouse species by a decade and give states the lead in conserving the birds' habitat.

The bill by Rep. Cory Gardner is the latest effort by Western Republicans to forestall Endangered Species Act protections for the greater sage grouse and Gunnison sage grouse, two charismatic, ground-dwelling birds that roam millions of acres of Western rangelands.

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Marines detail plan for Johnson Valley

Reprinted from The Desert Sun, May 8, 2014

YUCCA VALLEY – Off-road enthusiasts, conservationists and local residents got their first look Wednesday night at the new configuration of Johnson Valley after Congress handed over 132,000 acres of the off-road recreation area to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

About 25 people attended a joint presentation by the Bureau of Land Management and the Marine Corps during a meeting at the Yucca Valley Community Center.

On Dec. 26, President Barrack Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014, appropriating 79,000 acres to the combat center for exclusive military use, 53,000 acres for shared use by the public and the combat center, and designated the balance of the area — 43,000 acres — as the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area.

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Frogs & toads to be listed as endangered

CA4WDC issues position statement on ESA Listing of Yellow-legged Frog and Yosemite Toad

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the Final Rule for listing of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Northern Distinct Population Segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog as Endangered Species and the Yosemite toad as a Threatened Species is pending publication in the April 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register.

Background:  The current listing effort is the result of a lawsuit settlement between the USFWS and Center for Biological Diversity.

The frogs and toads have been on U.S. Forest Service "species of concern" list for more than 14 years.  As such, they were addressed in the 2000 Sierra Nevada Framework (SNF) with defined management prescriptions as if they were formally listed species.  As such, grazing, logging and recreation activities have lived under the SNF prescriptions which treated the species as listed on the Threatened and Endangered Species List.

This means that when U.S. Forest Service travel management was conducted, the SNF was one of the tiered documents reviewed to determine impact of designating the route.  As such, USFS routes can be (or should be) considered to be in compliance with ESA listing.

Note, I said "should be" considered in compliance.

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Epic decision portends new balance for reopening dunes in Glamis

Jeep on dune in GlamisSAN FRANCISCO, CA - Recreational visitors observing a fine flaky substance this morning at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) will be pleased to hear it is not snow but judicial manna. Barely a month following argument, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. Northern District Court of California yesterday issued a long-awaited decision on the 2013 ISDRA management plan, ruling almost entirely on the side of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and sand-rider organizations, and against the latest challenge led by the Center for Biological Diversity. The ruling sets the stage for implementation of the 2013 plan, which would allow resumption of access to areas placed off-limits to riders through “interim” closures imposed over a decade ago.

The litigation over riding at the ISDRA began in 2000, and has resulted in multiple trips to Judge Illston’s courtroom where BLM, USFWS, and recreation enthusiasts have suffered multiple setbacks. The 2013 plan followed lengthy public input and was designed in response to the Court’s 2006 ruling and new critical habitat designation by the USFWS for the Peirson’s milk-vetch (PMV), the plant species of primary concern at the Dunes. Preservationist plaintiffs raised an array of challenges under the Endangered Species Act and other laws to the new plan, but yesterday’s decision rejected those claims and upheld BLM’s plan, with the limited exception of finding that a recovery plan for the PMV is overdue and must be issued by 2019 unless the USFWS makes a specific finding that a recovery plan will not promote conservation of the species.

A copy of yesterday’s decision can be viewed at this link.

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Senate committee to mark up wilderness/OHV bills

Reprinted from E&E, June 17, 2013

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee tomorrow will seek to advance a dozen bills involving public lands from a North Carolina seashore to an Alaskan rainforest.

Measures include bills to designate new wilderness in western Nevada, Colorado's San Juan Mountains and eastern Oregon's high desert, each of which is strongly backed by conservation groups.

Members will also vote on bills to convey timber in the Tongass National Forest to an Alaska Native corporation and allow more off-highway vehicle access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore -- measures that have attracted considerable controversy.

"We're pleased to see the wilderness bills go forward," said Tim Mahoney of the Pew Campaign for America's Wilderness.

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State releases report on OHV fund investigation

An investigation that began in July 2012 regarding the under-reporting of OHV and State Parks funds was concluded recently. California Deputy Attorney General Thomas M. Patton writes in his report that, "This investigation has yielded no evidence that any OHV monies were ever intentionally hidden."

CA4WDC is formulating a response to this issue. Visit this link to view the full reports and other information regarding the investigation:
http://resources.ca.gov/attorney_generals_investigation_into_discrepancies_in_financial_reporting_by_california_state_parks/

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