Access Issues

Cal4Wheel braces for predicted storm over Sage Grouse

The California Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal4Wheel) today responded to the just-announced Department of Interior decision that endangered species listing for the greater sage grouse is "not warranted." 

“We believe this decision of listing is 'not warranted' is appropriate," announced John Stewart, Natural Resources Consultant for Cal4Wheel.  “However, while agency leadership is proclaiming a great victory and collaborative success story, the 'devil is in the details' and we expect to become mired in avoidable litigation.” 

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Upper Richardson Lake Road now open

The upper part of the Richardson Lake Road (14N39) on the Pacific Ranger District in the Eldorado National Forest is now open for motorized vehicle use, completing the final phase of corrective work on this route.   

Richardson Lake Road is on the far northeastern end of the forest, and must be accessed through roads leading from the Lake Tahoe area. This 2.65 mile road is used to access Richardson Lake for camping and fishing, and travel to the top of Sourdough Hill to enjoy the scenic vistas, including a good view towards the Rubicon Trail. The route also provides access to the Pacific Crest Trail.  A 4WD vehicle must be used to reach this road.

The first phase of work allowed the Richardson Lake Road to be re-opened up to the Pacific Crest Trail beginning in July 2014.  Recently, improvements to the upper part of the road were completed in which a rolling dip was installed; an existing sediment basin was emptied and enlarged; and rock was placed over areas of bare ground. "These measures will help prevent erosion and protect delicate meadow ecosystems while allowing recreationists to enjoy one of the most popular motorized trails in the forest," said District Ranger Richard Thornburgh.  

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Barrett Lake trail reopened July 23

Volunteers from the Hi-Landers 4WD Club transported gravel to the Barrett 4WD Trail project site this summer for construction of rolling dips.

The Barrett 4-wheel drive (4WD) Trail, a rugged six-mile off-highway route from Wright's Lake to Barrett Lake, just west of Desolation Wilderness, was re-opened today (July 23, 2015), now that reconstruction has been completed on three segments of the trail to protect sensitive meadows. The Barrett 4WD Trail has been used by recreationists since the 1960s and offers one of the most challenging off-highway vehicle (OHV) experiences in the Sierra Nevada. The trail has a high rating for difficulty and is only recommended for very experienced OHV users prepared for remote travel over large rocks. Motorized travel on this trail is typically at a rate of approximately 1- 2 miles per hour. 

The Barrett 4WD Trail was identified as one of 18 routes in the Eldorado National Forest travel system which needed corrections to comply with the environmental protection guidelines in the Sierra Nevada Plan. These routes were closed in 2012 to complete further analysis and make corrections to ensure the hydrologic connectivity of meadows would not be significantly impacted by motorized vehicle use.

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Friends of Oceano Dunes win Air Pollution Control District lawsuit

Entrance signs at Oceano SVRA

Court rules against Oceano SVRA dust rule

After three years of litigation challenging the Oceano Dunes “dust rule,” the 2nd Appellate Court in Ventura ruled Monday that the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) does not have the power to regulate air emissions at state parks through the permit process.

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Coastal Commission wants habitat conservation plan for Oceano Dunes

The Coastal Commission wants to see a habitat conservation plan for the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area completed sooner than later.

“All this goes to show we haven’t accomplished anything,” Commissioner Mary Shallenberger said about the numerous issues surrounding the operation and maintenance of the Oceano Dunes SVRA.

Shallenberger’s comments came during a lengthy permit review hearing in Shell Beach on Wednesday for the popular off-road vehicle park that hadn’t been reviewed by the commission since 2007.

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McClintock appointed chair of House Subcommittee on Federal Lands

Congress spent much of January getting itself organized. This means appointing committee members and subcommittee members as well as adopting procedural rules for each committee. This process also involves hiring new staff for the various committees.

Of particular interest to us is the fact that Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) is the new chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, formerly known the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. (We prefer the new name.) We have worked with Rep. McClintock and his staff on a number of issues over the years and believe he has a very good understanding of our issues. He replaces Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as subcommittee chair since Rep. Bishop has moved up to become the Chairman of the full committee. With Chairman Bishop and Subcommittee Chair McClintock, the House Resources Committee has a strong team of leaders in place and we look forward to active engagement with them over the course of the next two years.

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