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Attendance needed at critical meetings on Oceano SVRA

Cal4 President Steve Egbert and I attended the Friends of Oceano Dunes beach closure meeting last Friday. It was Thanksgiving weekend and the beach was packed with off road recreationalists enjoying the dunes. The dune closure meeting was so well attended that they had to have multiple presentations so everyone would have a chance to listen and be able comments on the presentation.

Jim Suty, president of Friends of Oceano Dunes, facilitated the presentations. The presentations covered the current issues with the California Coastal Commission (CCC) and the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) concerning dust and sand migration. The latest rulings by the CCC and APCD have spawned another lawsuit by the Friends of Oceano Dunes. Currently the Friends of Oceano Dunes has eight active lawsuits concerning Oceano Dunes SVRA and has incurred over $225,000 in legal costs over the past year to fight the dunes closures.

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Reprinted from The Tribune, October 25, 2017

A group that represents off-roading enthusiasts says a “radical” five-year plan to decrease dust pollution from the Oceano Dunes would harm endangered species and was adopted after “last-minute substantial changes” that hindered public input, according to a lawsuit the group filed this week.

Friends of the Oceano Dunes sued the California Coastal Commission in San Luis Obispo County Superior Court in response to the commission’s September decision to issue a permit to State Parks to reduce the spread of dust that creates hazardous air conditions on the Nipomo Mesa.

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Show your support for Clear Creek legislation

H.R. 1913 would establish the Clear Creek Recreation Area

Please urge your Senators to support H.R. 1913, the “Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act.” H.R. 1913 would reopen the Clear Creek Management Area in central California and protect access to trails, roads, and other areas on BLM land that were previously used for off highway vehicle recreation prior to the Clear Creek Management Area closure in 2008.

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OHMVR bill signed - program is permanent

For months, a coalition of off-highway vehicle recreation associations (Coalition) representing off-road recreation enthusiasts throughout the state of California, have worked on legislation to provide reauthorization of the highly successful Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program that is administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation.

The State Assembly recently passed amended legislation that provides permanent status for the program. The State Senate concurred and the legislation was submitted to the Governor for signature. On October 3, 2017, the Governor signed legislation making the OHMVR program permanent.

Tags: ohmvr program

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Bill to reopen Clear Creek unanimously passes House

The Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act, a bill introduced by Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-Calif.), unanimously passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

This bill directs the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reopen the 63,000-acre Clear Creek Management Area in San Benito and Fresno counties for use by off-road vehicles. The legislation would also protect 21,000 acres of BLM land adjacent to Clear Creek by designating the area the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness. California Reps. David G. Valadao (R-CA-21), Jeff Denham (R-CA-10), and Paul Cook (R-CA-08) joined Congressman Panetta as cosponsors to introduce this bill, H.R. 1913.

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What NEPA is and is not...

I recently received an email from a county supervisor outlining a situation where the county believed that the Forest Service was in violation of a county law when they closed close to 400 miles of routes in the forest that spanned two counties.

After reading the details submitted, I noted several false assumptions cited in the discussion.

First, let me address what NEPA is and is not. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to disclose and analyze the effects of their proposed action on the natural environment. NEPA is the law (passed by Congress) that requires this action. NEPA is an outline of a process with specific actions the agency is required to do. The resulting document from a NEPA process is not a "law".  The result of a NEPA analysis is a Record of Decision stating that appropriate level of environmental review has been conducted and the proposed action can be implemented.

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OHMVR Program to lose gas tax funding; registration fees to increase

The California OHMVR Program is facing a serious threat of having its funding diverted. The OHMVR Program is user funded through registration fees and gas tax funds for fuel used in OHV recreation.

The gas tax funding is targeted to be diverted away from the OHMVR Program. The result will be NO funds to support the SVRAs and many trails on BLM and Forest Service managed lands.

Tags: ohmvr program

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