I try to avoid preaching to the choir but I feel that I need to bring this to your attention. As some of you may know, I am also a member of the "Friends of the Inyo," our local green organization. Their motto is "Preservation, Exploration, Stewardship." I agree with all three, but basically disagree with how they generally go about "preservation." Their recent newsletter highlights the Forest Planning process that is underway and encourages their members to get involved. In fact, they received a grant from the Conservation Alliance, and with it they state "we will engage in the Inyo National Forest planning process in ways that ensure the protection of the wild and incredible places of the Eastern Sierra." Again, I think we all have a lot in common but often disagree on how you "ensure the protection."
This new Forest Plan is a complete overhaul of the current plan and something that we will have to live with for many years. Inyo is one of the first National Forests to do this and it will be a precedent for all other Forests. I can understand that people are reluctant to get involved with a federal bureaucracy so I recommend the following: if you do not want to participate in the process, then support those that represent your position in the planning process. In the past I have recommended CORVA, Blue Ribbon Coalition and Calif. Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs (aka Cal 4 Wheel or CA4WDC). Now, I strongly recommend the CA4WDC. They specifically represent our sport, four-wheeling, and their Natural Resources Consultant, John Stewart, has attended many of the local meetings regarding the Inyo National Forest. John is involved in our local issues and is very knowledgeable about the Forest Planning process. You can get more information at Cal4wheel.com.
Mike Johnston, Eastern Sierra 4WD Club