CA4WDC NRC South - Oct 2012

Legal cases lead the headlines for October.  Action continues in the long running WEMO case.  While the below information notes a September 2009 date, legal action has been occurring with WEMO and other southern California desert plans for over a decade.  Throughout this time, Cal4Wheel has been active in the issues while partnering with the BlueRibbon Coalition for legal support.

WEMO (the continuing Saga) -  On September 28, 2009, Judge Illston entered an “Order re: Summary Judgment Motions” finding that Defendants United States Bureau of Land Management, et al., (“Federal Defendants”) had violated the National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) and the Federal Land and Policy Management Act (“FLPMA”) when they adopted the Western Mojave (“WEMO”) management plan amendment.

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Cal4Wheel Urges Targeted Law Enforcement Effort at CCMA

CA4WDC joined Friends of Clear Creek Management Area, AMA District 36 and BlueRibbon Coalition to urge BLM Hollister to begin targeted law enforcement efforts to address reported instances of illegal trespass in the Clear Creek Management Area.

A copy of the October 19, 2012 letter submitted to BLM and Sheriff of San Benito County is printed below:

Re: Targeted Law Enforcement Effort at CCMA

Dear Mr. Cooper:

The California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4Wheel) is concerned about reported instances of illegal trespass in the Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA).  These trespass claims have implicated OHV users and are the exception, not the rule.  As you know, Cal4Wheel supports responsible use of public lands and discourages trespass on private lands and public lands closed to motorized recreation. Further, Cal4Wheel supports the enforcement of laws and regulations that pertain to responsible OHV use on public and private lands.

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CA4WDC NRC South August Report

USFS Planning Rule -- The Forest Service Planning Rule has been a very contentious issue for the past decade.  Under the Organic Act of 1897, the purpose of the national forest system is conservation of water flow and assurance of a continuous supply of timber. In 1960, the Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act added a mandate for the concepts of multiple use and sustained yield. Under the 1976 National Forest Management Act, the agency is required to adopt rules (the Planning Rule) for writing land use plans. 

CA4WDC has joined with BlueRibbon Coalition American Forest Resource Council (AFRC) and a broad group of other national and regional interests in a lawsuit to overturn the new Forest Service Planning Rule adopted April 2012. According to the Complaint, the new Rule violates the statutory requirements Congress has given the agency to prepare forest plans to provide for multiple uses of outdoor recreation, range, timber, watershed, and wildlife and fish. The Rule instead elevates the vague concepts of “ecological sustainability” and “ecosystem services” such as carbon storage and spiritual values above all else which will lead to years of lawsuits over new forest plans and forest management projects.

Read more: CA4WDC NRC South August Report

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CA4WDC NRC South - Oct 2012 (for Central District Meeting)

CA4WDC NRC South - Oct 2012 (for South District Meeting)

OHMVR Funding Study
- Current project is a funding study of OHMVR Grants, OHV registration,  SVRA attendance and OHMVR operations costs.  I am waiting on response to a Public Records Act request that is expected to be delivered early November.

Dinky Landscape Restoration Project - Sierra NF project with potential impact on a number of OHV trails; Swamp Lake, Bald Mtn, and Dusey.  USFS effort is a major fuels reduction project and protection of Pacific Fisher, Great Gray Owl, and Goshawk.  One sub-project, the Bald Mountain Project, is being reviewed. Within the Cow Creek Critical Aquatic Refuge, decommissioning of NFS roads 9S402 and 9S402A is proposed. Currently, both roads are closed year round to public use

Read more: CA4WDC NRC South - Oct 2012 (for Central District Meeting)

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Cal4Wheel Urges Restoration of Grants Funding

California Association of 4 Wheel Drive ClubsThe California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs has submitted a letter to California Governor Brown requesting that OHV Local Assistance Grants be restored to their prior year levels.  Grant funding is capped at $10 million for the current year.  Cal4Wheel is requesting that funds identified within the "hidden funds" held by State Parks as OHV Trust Fund monies be released to fully fund the grants program.

The Local Assistance Grants are an important part of the state OHV program by helping maintain trails on public lands managed by US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management.

In addition to the Governor, the letter was provided to all Member of the Assembly and State Senate Budget Committees with oversight of California State Parks.  A copy of the letter is included below:

Read more: Cal4Wheel Urges Restoration of Grants Funding

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