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John Stewart

Pain at the pump -- Stop SB 350

The majority party (Democrat Party) is, at the same time,  pushing for a 12 cents per gallon increase in the gas tax we all pay at the pump to backfill the money they have diverted from infrastructure projects.   Other tax increases they have proposed include a 22 cent per gallon increase on diesel fuel, a $35 increase in vehicle registration fees, a $100 zero emission vehicle fee, and a $35 dollar per vehicle annual road usage charge. These taxes will be devastating to individuals and families who are already on a tight budget, and punish rural Californians who have to drive farther to get to work or their kids to school.   The double whammy of reducing available fuel and increasing taxes will veer California’s economy off the road.   These increased taxes and regulations will punish hardworking Californians who are trying to earn a living and take their kids to school.   The majority party has designed these tax increases to skirt Proposition 13 so they won’t need to be approved by voters.   We have to get the message to them that the taxpayers do not support these tax increases. Don’t let them tax you without hearing from you.   You can sign the online petition here from CA State Senator Joel Anderson.

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John Stewart

California Voter Registration Deadline Coming

b2ap3_thumbnail_84.jpgThe November elections are closer than you think, and the California vote registration deadline is just around the corner, including yours.

The California voter registration deadline for the upcoming general election is Oct. 20. All mailed applications must be postmarked by this date.

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John Stewart

Public Meetng Announced for DRECP

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Public meetings will be held throughout the DRECP planning area and surrounding population centers between Oct. 20 and Nov. 13. The meetings are designed to help the public understand the draft DRECP EIR/EIS and to facilitate public comments. Meetings will include a presentation, information stations and an opportunity to submit recorded verbal and written comments.

The draft DRECP is an innovative renewable energy and conservation plan covering more than 22 million acres of land in Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. The draft is the result of collaboration among the BLM, FWS, CEC, CDFW and other stakeholders.

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John Stewart

NRC South June Report

This proposed critical habitat includes 9 national forests and 14 counties within the Sierra Nevada Mountains.A copy of the comments is available from http://www.4x4voice.com/Public/ca4wdc/comments/frog-toad-comments.pdfOn June 19, I attended a meeting in Prather billed as "Stop the Land Grab" hosted by the Fresno County Sheriff and a group called Defend Rural America.  While there were several topics on the agenda, the main item was the pending EIS dealing with the yellow-legged frog and Yosemite Toad.The DRA spokesperson presented a fair assessment of the issue.  The DRA organization appears to focus on citizen rights (as opposed to private property rights).  Their organization efforts are focused on counties through getting counties involved with managing the public lands. I am on the mailing list for DRA organization and will continue to review what they distribute. Ocotillo Wells SVRA Lawsuit: A lawsuit has been filed that poses a great threat to Ocotillo Wells SVRA.  State Parks (OHMVR Division) have committed to fighting the lawsuit.  The suit was in May and official notice was served to the OHMVR Division on June 14.  The Division has 30 days to file a response.  After the initial response, others can file as intervenors.  At this time, recreation interests are organizing to join n the lawsuit.OHMVR Grants Program: The OHMVR Grants Program has been revised upward - from $10 million to $31 million.  Working through our lobbyist and countless hours of meetings, phone calls, and emails with administration officials and legislators, we have received an increase in the grants program.  This is an important development as the extra funding will qualify more grants and help preserve the state OHMVR Program. - See more at: http://www.4x4voice.com/index.php/easyblog/entry/63-ohmvr-grants-revised-with-increased-funding#sthash.mE0xX7pv.dpufForest Service: San Bernardino, Sequoia, and Inyo National Forests have moved forward with fire restrictions prohibiting campfires and most open flames effective June 28.  Other National Forests in California are considering similar actions.  Similar fire/open flame restrictions are also in effect in National Forests in Arizona.Eldorado NF: The final Record of Decision on the 42 Eldorado route status has been released - 24 designated immediately; 18 closed pending mitigation. All routes will remain closed pending appeal resolution (45 day appeal period with an additional 45 days estimated to resolve appeals).  Forest Plan Revision: The Bio-Regional Assessment covering the 9 national forests within the Sierra Nevada Mountain range has been released for comment.  In addition, Inyo and Sequoia NFs have released “topic papers” concerning their forest-specific assessment.These assessments are important because they soliciting information from people the frequent the forests to provide information about how they use the forest and what do they value about the forest or their visits to the forest.The information collected will serve as the basis for developing the follow-on scoping documents and draft Environmental Impact Statement; aka, Land and Resource Management Plan. The scoping portion of the NEPA public involvement is expected to begin in January 2014.Sierra NF: I attended a meeting with Sierra NF concerning their process to begin Travel Management Sub-Prat A review.  According to Sierra NF officials, the Sub-Part A review will focus on roads NOT reviewed under previous Travel Management actions.It is important to realize that through this process, the status of some roads could be recommended for increased, decreased, or closed after further site-specific review.  All national forests will be going through a similar process in the coming months.Get Involved: An OHV recreationist from Colorado posted a though provoking opinion post on his BLOG - http://givemeyourohvkeys.blogspot.com/ with the title of “Give Me Your OHV Keys”.  It is an interesting read that scolds the average OHVer for not being involved to save their sport.This comes at an appropriate time as July 1 is the official beginning of the next election cycle.  The TrailPAC (one of two political action committees in the nation) is reviewing races and candidates to support.In the coming months, I will be working with Don Amador (The TrailPAC) to review candidates and provide voter recommendations.Final Note: I recently encountered an abnormal situation concerning some ammunition. The moral is: Inspect your ammo; whether factory load or reload. I had finished loading an ammo clip and was storing it in a pouch when I noticed a strange mark on the top cartridge.  A section of the rim of the shell casing was folded under.  There are no marks in the bullet.  There is no possible way inserting the cartridge into the ammo clip would have caused that deformity.The bullet is a 9mm Luger with the R-P head stamp indicating point of manufacture from Remington-Peters.  What is unfortunate, I do not know when or where this particular lot of ammo was purchased.  I do know that I have not purchased Remington-Peters ammo within the past 5 years.After noting that defect, I did inspect my ammo stock looking for more R-P head stamp markings and for any sign of cartridge deformity.  That cartridge was one of four remaining live rounds with the R-P head stamp.While case inspection is necessary prior to reloading a case and final inspection of the finished cartridge is necessary after reloading, it is a good idea to do a quick visual check of all your ammo prior to use.It is likely this round would not have fed into the chamber and possibly jammed the semi-auto slide creating a potential hazard condition.

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John Stewart

CA4WDC NRC South Report - May 2013

Ocotillo Wells SVRA: The Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) and the Desert Protective Council (DPC) filed a lawsuit against Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. The lawsuit seeks severe restrictions on use of the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (Ocotillo SVRA).  If successful, the lawsuit could effectively shut down the popular desert OHV recreation site.

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John Stewart

CCMA Protest Filed

California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs has joined a growing number of organizations protesting the BLM Hollister Field Office proposed Resource Management Plan (PRMP) and Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) Decision.  The protest was submitted to the Department of Interior in Washington, DC for review.

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