It is April and with a continuation of the shelter in place order in effect through the end of April, and may be extended further, our April 18 scheduled North District meeting in Lower Lake has been canceled. The meeting will not be rescheduled. It is my feeling that the quarantine may extend beyond any date we may pick. The Cal4Wheel board meeting is scheduled for June 6 at the Cal4Wheel office. I hope many of you will attend that meeting.
The new year started out with a bang. Winter fun Festival was very successful, topping all expectations for fund raising, participants and raffle. Thank you to everyone who volunteered. Great job!
ISE (International Sportsman Exposition) was another very successful event. It also was very successful, topping the Win-A-Jeep ticket sales from the previous year and bringing in new memberships. Thank you to a great group of hard-working volunteers.
Convention has come and gone. Bylaw changes were made, some passed and some failed. Board positions were voted on. Now that the board positions are filled, it is time to look forward to what can be achieved this year.
I attended the 4 Wheel Parts San Mateo Truck Feast with Ron Delaney and Jack and Kitten Chapman, and the Esprit de Four 4x4 Club. This was a good venue to promote Cal4 Wheel (nine new members).
California OHV Commission meeting in Sacramento was well attended by OHV stakeholders. The main topic was how the OHV parks were to be integrated into the California Parks and Recreation Department. If you have seen the output of information of the OHV Department, it was not given a glowing report of success from the public or OHV Commissioners. There are great concerns that Oceano Dunes SVRA is failing to achieve its goals to maintain the park. Without a dedicated supervisor there seems to be no direction as to how the park is working on the California Air Quality Board mandates or supervision of what is being done.
The biggest question was who has the authority over what happens at Oceano Dunes SVRA. Does the Coastal Commission have the authority to override the state parks and the OHV Commission? Will State Parks stand behind what the OHV Commission and SVRA management decides?
Right now, the Cal4Wheel board’s concerns are the Molina Ghost Run on May 15-17, Hi Desert Round Up May 22-24, the June board meeting, Sierra Trek, event insurance, membership renewal, Oceano Dunes SVRA and the Win-A-Jeep program.
Molina Ghost Run is still scheduled at this time, but if the state extends the shelter in place order it may be canceled. We are checking with the park to see if there may be other dates available for the event. Hollister SVRA is very busy in the spring and most dates for the park are full.
Hi Desert Round-Up, is May 23- 24 and is still scheduled.
Sierra Trek is still scheduled.
The 2021 Win-A-Jeep is moving forward with the build and I am looking forward to seeing its progression.
California State Parks, the OHMVR Commission and the California Coastal Commission are no longer having public meetings. So being able to continue with our message to them to keep Oceano Dunes open to OHV recreation is going to be more difficult.
The OHV community had a chance to show real support for keeping Oceano Dunes opened at the Save the Dunes Rally. I feel the OHV community failed to show up. I know people must work, but people from Southern and Central California showed up to show support for the dunes.
Membership renewal for most members that have been members of clubs is here. I am concerned that some members are considering not renewing in the face of the problem with the event insurance. We the board are working with our insurance carrier to get insurance coverage for our events that are inviting side-by-Side/green sticker vehicles. I am hoping to have better news before the end of April. I know this is a huge concern of many members that have either switched to the SXS’s or new owners of SXS’s that joined Cal4 to help protect their right for open trails.
I wish I could give you a more positive view of this problem but right now you, me, and Cal4Wheel are at the mercy of the insurance companies. There is only one company that has coverage for what we do — guided trail excursions, and that insurance is only for resource damage. They have deemed, because of the numerous accidents by SXS users, that they will not insure Cal4 events if SXS’s are included. This is also extending to green sticker vehicles, even with our past exemplary history with this company. I know all the arguments for our side, but none have changed their company’s policy.
The company has given Cal4Wheel an exemption to find other insurance coverage to cover the SXS’s and green sticker vehicles, so we can maintain the base insurance, adding secondary insurance for SXS’s and green sticker vehicles that will allow us to continue to offer guided excursions at Cal4 events. We have applied to a couple of companies and are waiting for their response.
We have been working the insurance problem for many months, but trying to get it through the executive insurance board to change a policy looks impossible. We, the OHV community, are small potatoes to the overall picture of what the insurance companies insure. Writing a one- or two-million-dollar policy for the small amount of revenue coming in is not feasible for most companies.
Cal4 Wheel is about representation at the federal, state and local level of government. Without your support we will not be able to support our off-highway recreation.
Jack Chapman is the new Cal4 Wheel president and Russ Chung is the new Treasurer.
If anyone has any further concerns, feel free to contact any of the district board members.