Our natural resources consultants are working full-time to preserve access to our public lands. Here they report on what they are currently working on.
California State Parks held a special Off-highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Commission meeting in Sacramento to discuss State Parks transformation process. The OHV community has always been very skeptical of the transformation process and many have asked why it was needed. State Parks says they had to fold the OHMVR Division back into State Parks because they felt it was more efficient and it would save money. But the OHV community fears that they just want to tap into our gas tax trust fund (green sticker fund) money. State Parks has always operated in the red and is always looking for more money from the general fund, while the OHMVR Division uses no general fund money and is always in the black.
On its current trajectory, the BLM headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be liquidated, decentralized, and relocated by the end of March in 2020.
As I sit here in the dark finishing up my November In-Gear article, with the distant hum of generators buzzing throughout the neighborhood, it’s easy to want to blame PG&E.
Fall in southern California signals the beginning to the desert off-road season. This time of year is also accompanied by Santa Anna winds and wildfires. Added to the offerings this year are strong winds, wildfires, and rolling blackouts throughout the state. As experienced the past couple of years, wildfires take a toll on human lives, homes, and trails. As the winds, fires and smoke subsides, help your friends and neighbors rebuild their lives. And, help the land managers rebuild your trails.
The Cal4Wheel website is now hosting a fairly comprehensive Glossary of Landuse and Environmental Terms. (https://cal4wheel.com/access-advocacy/glossary). I have been working on this glossary for the past 15 years by compiling terms and definitions from a variety of landuse documents. It is now in a format that is relatively easy to update with new terms and is a good fit for the Cal4Wheel Access Advocacy section of the website. If you encounter any terms you do not understand, send me a note and I will get it added to the glossary.
“In short, the status quo at ODSVRA is clearly not sustainable and it is time to more fully understand and evaluate other public access and recreation options that are consistent with coastal resource protections given the current realities that affect and are affected by OHV activities at this shoreline location. Put simply, in staff’s view a Park that is fully consistent with on-the-ground realities, and with coastal resource protection requirements, does not include OHV use. Rather, it is clear to staff that the significant coastal resource issues and constraints attributable to OHV use render long-term OHV use at this location untenable.” Those were the comments made by the California Coastal Commission (CCC) staff recommending the closure of the Oceano Dunes SVRA and the main subject at the July CCC meeting in San Luis Obispo.
I arrived at the meeting hall at 7AM, a good two hours before the hearing was scheduled to start and there were already hundreds of Dune supporter inside the hotel. By 9AM they estimated nearly 1,000 supporters were lined up to sign in to the hearing and give public comment on the CCC’s staff proposed closure of the Oceano Dunes SVRA.
The Comment period has closed on the USFS request for comments on the proposed National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) rule change to update the analysis and documentation of Categorical Exclusions. This is a small but important point within NEPA. NEPA requires agencies to disclose and analyze the potential impacts their management decisions will have on the natural environment. This has led to an overly cautious administrative process that subjects most management decisions to an Environmental Assessment or a more complex Environmental Impact Statement.