Access Issues

Northern Spotted Owl listed as a Threatened Species under the California Endangered Species Act

Northern Spotted Owl

On August 25, 2016, the California Fish and Game Commission (Commission) voted unanimously to list the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act. The owl is already listed as a threatened species under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The Commission’s action increased protections for the species by allowing for state and citizen enforcement actions through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state courts. 

In California, the northern spotted owl’s range extends south along the coast from the Oregon border to Marin County, and across the Klamath Mountains to the Cascade Range near the Pit River. According to the species status review prepared by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the primary threats to the continued existence of the northern spotted owl are the rapid expansion of the barred owl into the range of the spotted owl and a rapid and accelerating decline in northern spotted owl population size and habitat from wildfire and timber harvest. Additional threats include potential increases in the frequency and severity of wildfires, widespread occurrence of marijuana cultivation on public and private lands, changes in weather patterns, effects of climate change on wildfire patterns and forest vegetation distribution, and the spread of the non-native fungus-like pathogens.

Full Article

Critical habitat designated for three Sierra amphibians

Designation helps recover threatened frogs & streamline federal land activities permit process

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) has designated critical habitat for three Sierra amphibian species – Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog, mountain yellow-legged frog, and Yosemite toad. All three were listed in 2014 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Designation of critical habitat for these species is designed to assist with their recovery. Most of the critical habitat for the frogs is on federal land, with significant overlap lands designated for each species.

The total acreage the Service identified as required to recover the three species is 1,812,164 acres. Based on more than 800 comments received during the two comment periods and numerous public meetings, the total area designated was reduced by 23,229 acres.

Read more ...

State Parks releases study on proposed Oceano Dunes dust control measures

Reprinted from The Tribune, August 16, 2016

Public meeting will be August 23 in Grover Beach

A draft environmental impact report covering those dust control activities at Oceano Dunes is available for public review and comment.

State Parks published the document Aug.1, and the public has until Sept.16 to comment on it. Additionally, there will be a public meeting to discuss and comment on the EIR at 6p.m. Aug.23 at the Ramona Garden Park Center in Grover Beach.

High particulate levels have been linked to asthma and other lung problems as well as to cardiovascular disease.

State Parks is proposing a variety of measures over five years to control the amount of dust that blows from the park onto the Nipomo Mesa, where state standards for particulate matter were exceeded 62days in 2015 as a result of blowing dust from the park’s off-highway riding area.

 

Read more ...

Major victory in ISDRA lawsuit

Willy's Jeep on dune at ISDRA

Decision allows ISDRA RAMP to remain in place

After 15 long years of near-constant litigation, we have finally won the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) case, keeping open thousands of acres of sand dunes for OHV recreation. The 9th Circuit just released its opinion affirming the District Court decision from 2014 and allowing the ISDRA RAMP to remain in place.

Download

Los Padres NF announces closures on Santa Lucia District

US Forest Service logo

Rockfront Off-Highway Vehicle Area is affected

GOLETA, CA, June 6, 2016…Los Padres National Forest officials today announced the closure of the Rockfront Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area due to concerns related to dead and dying hazardous trees that pose a safety risk to visitors. The temporary closure is effective immediately.

This temporary closure includes Baja, Buck Springs and Paradise campgrounds, Rockfront OHV Staging Area, as well as the following trails: Upper 35 Canyon, Paradise, Branch Creek, Big Rocks, Jack Springs, Twin Rocks, Shaw Ridge, Logan Ridge, and Los Machos. These areas will remain closed until the public safety risk is mitigated by cutting the hazardous trees.

Read more ...

Parks, BLM and forest planning in focus for May 2016

May 2016 NRC South Report

California State Parks/OHMVR Division: On May 23, Cal4Wheel met with California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat and OHMVR Deputy Director Maria Mowery. We wish to thank them for the opportunity to meet and listen to issues of concern to Cal4Wheel members.

Cal4Wheel provided a briefing paper outlining our points of concern that was used as the basis of the discussion. Cal4 is calling for a permanent Deputy Director and a full complement of administration and staff to manage the nationally recognized OHMVR Program.

Read more ...

Cal4Wheel meets with CA State Parks Director Lisa Mangat

Today Cal4Wheel met with California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat and Deputy Director Maria Mowery.  We wish to thank them for the opportunity to meet and listen to issues of concern to Cal4Wheel members.

Cal4Wheel provided a briefing paper outlining our points of concern that was used as the basis of the discussion.  Cal4 is calling for a permanent Deputy Director and a full complement of administration and staff to manage the nationally recognized OHMVR Program.

The discussion focused on the importance of the OHMVR Grants and Cooperative Agreements component.  Within that framework, while the 9 State Vehicle Recreation Areas are an important part, the partnership with federal partners is the main beneficiary of the OHMVR Grants program.

Read more ...

Rep. Paul Cook introduces California Minerals, Off Road Recreation and Conservation Act

Today, Rep. Paul Cook (R- Apple Valley) introduced HR 3668, the California Minerals, Off-Road Recreation, and Conservation Act. This bill presents a balanced approach to protecting, managing, and using our desert and forest areas in San Bernardino and Inyo Counties. This bill would deal with the management of existing federal land and would not result in an increase in federal landownership.

This bill establishes a Mojave Trails Special Management Area (SMA) in an area south of the existing Mojave Preserve and northeast of the Twentynine Palms Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center. This designation protects existing mining operations and allows for future mining exploration as long as mining projects never exceed ten percent of the total acreage. It would also prevent the installation of any industrial-scale renewable energy projects. Additionally, this bill would protect from development any lands within the management area donated to the federal government for conservation purposes. Over 1,200 miles of roads and off-road vehicle trails are written into law as well.

This bill establishes five new National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas in Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes, and Stoddard Valley, together creating the first system of National Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Areas in the nation. Additionally, it redesignates Johnson Valley as a National Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area and expands it by nearly 20,000 acres. This bill affords additional protections to OHV users and ensures that these areas cannot be closed administratively. In total, this legislation preserves a total of 300,000 acres for OHV recreational use.

Read more ...

Join CA4WDC
Make a donation to Cal4Wheel

Get Win-A-Jeep tickets

Subscribe to Cal4Wheel email news and alerts