Access Issues

  • Governor vetoes Carnegie bill in a win for OHV users

    Governor vetoes Carnegie bill in a win for OHV users

    From Don Amador

    GOV. NEWSOM VETOES CARNEGIE BILL – Big victory last night for everyone associated with OHV recreation. Congrats to all of the activist men and women who attended hearings, sent letters, made phone calls, or provided insight while all the time remembering that we are stewards of this generation who protect responsible OHV recreation for future generations of California families.

  • Quartzsite Solar Project EIS open for comments

    If approved, the $1-billion solar energy project would generate 870 jobs and $72 million annually during peak construction, and deliver power to 117,000 homes in Southern California upon completion. The Bureau of Land Management is seeking public input on actions that would allow the proposed development of the Desert Quartzsite Solar Project, a 450-megawatt solar development in eastern Riverside County.

    The publication of the draft Environmental Impact Statement in the Federal Register through the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday, Aug. 10 will signal the start of the 90-day public comment period, which will end on Nov. 8. In addition to the draft EIS, other documents made available for comment include the Environmental Impact Report and draft Land Use Plan Amendment.

  • Comments submitted on Sequoia-Sierra National Forest Plan Revisions

    Comments submitted on Cal4Wheel regarding the Sequoia-Sierra National Forest Plan Revision Update.

    Download copy of letter

    TEXT OF THE LETTER:

    September 25, 2019

    Plan Revision Team Lead

    323 Club Drive

    Vallejo CA 94592

    Subject: Sequoia and Sierra Forest Plan Revision Update

    Dear Planning Team:

    These comments are submitted on behalf of the California Four Wheel Drive Association (Cal4Wheel) and its membership. Cal4Wheel represents clubs and individuals within the state of California that are part of the community of four-wheel drive enthusiasts. These comments are directed to the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Revision of the Sequoia and Sierra National Forests Land Management Plans. This document shall not supplant the rights of other Cal4Wheel agents and organizational or individual members from submitting their own comments and the agency should consider and appropriately respond to all comments received to this proposed planning project.

  • What is standing?

    Many people are voicing complaints about the pending loss of their favorite trail and are threatening to file a lawsuit. Sounds simple. But, is it that simple?

    Keep in mind, to file a lawsuit, you must have “standing” and prove that you are “harmed” by the decision. So, just what is “standing” and what is “harm”?

  • Contact Governor to oppose Carnegie legislation

    Cal4Wheel Access Alert

    OPPOSE: AB 1086 Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area: Alameda-Tesla Expansion Area

    (As Amended September 6, 2019)

    Senate Bill 767 died in the Assembly Appropriations Committee last week.

    But now, SB 767 has been resurrected into AB1086, this bill is a "gut and amend" bill that is very similar to SB767. Cal4 was opposed SB767 and opposes the resurrected AB1086. But in addition to the policy objections of the bill, we object to the underhanded process that is being attempted to ram AB1086 through the legislature with only days to go in this session of the State legislature.

    If you want to watch yesterday's AB1086 hearing in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee follow this link to the hearing- https://www.senate.ca.gov/media-archive and select the September 11 hearing of the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee and click “Watch.”

  • Johnson Valley Update

    On April 6, 2019, the US Marine Corps and BLM hosted a public meeting concerning the Share Use Area of Johnson Valley OHV area. Two important news points were released at the meeting.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  •  Epic decision portends new balance for reopening dunes in Glamis

    Epic decision portends new balance for reopening dunes in Glamis

    SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Recreational visitors observing a fine flaky substance this morning at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area (ISDRA) will be pleased to hear it is not snow but judicial manna. Barely a month following argument, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. Northern District Court of California yesterday issued a long-awaited decision on the 2013 ISDRA management plan, ruling almost entirely on the side of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and sand-rider organizations, and against the latest challenge led by the Center for Biological Diversity. The ruling sets the stage for implementation of the 2013 plan, which would allow resumption of access to areas placed off-limits to riders through “interim” closures imposed over a decade ago.

    The litigation over riding at the ISDRA began in 2000, and has resulted in multiple trips to Judge Illston’s courtroom where BLM, USFWS, and recreation enthusiasts have suffered multiple setbacks. The 2013 plan followed lengthy public input and was designed in response to the Court’s 2006 ruling and new critical habitat designation by the USFWS for the Peirson’s milk-vetch (PMV), the plant species of primary concern at the Dunes. Preservationist plaintiffs raised an array of challenges under the Endangered Species Act and other laws to the new plan, but yesterday’s decision rejected those claims and upheld BLM’s plan, with the limited exception of finding that a recovery plan for the PMV is overdue and must be issued by 2019 unless the USFWS makes a specific finding that a recovery plan will not promote conservation of the species.

    A copy of yesterday’s decision can be viewed at this link.
  • Open gates

    Open gates

    All of us love an open gate. Sometimes we see them on our morning commute, or way out in the desert as we head out with our toys. What lies beyond it? Is the public allowed? We make a note to check it out someday.

    That day finally comes and you arrive at the gate. Only this time, it’s closed and a prominent sign confirms that it was closed with finality and purpose. Another opportunity lost. You wonder to yourself if there was something that you could have done.

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