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Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
MUIRNet-News covering environmental and state and federal administrative and legislative issues
John Stewart

To litigate, or not to litigate, that is the question

To be, or not to be, that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And by opposing end them. Hamlet's soliloquy poses a complex question that can be re-phrased: To litigate, or not to litigate, that is the question...

A complex question that needs some background to explain.  The California OHV program was created in 1971 as a self-funded program.  The primary funding is derived from registration of off-road vehicles, entries fees to State Vehicle Recreation Areas (SVRA), and revenue derived from a calculation of the motor vehicle fuel tax paid for fuel used in off-highway recreation.  In 2007, SB-742 was approved by a near unanimous vote and changed the motor vehicle fuel tax revenue to be derived from a calculation based on the actual number of OHV recreation-related public land visitor-use-days.

Original author: John
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Chief

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:

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Chief

CA4WDC NRC South Report - July 2012

Eldorado - The Eldorado National Forest is free from preservationist litigation attacking a Travel Management Plan that originally closed just over 900 miles of roads and trails. Today (July 31) Senior U.S. District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton issued his final order and judgment in a case originally filed in 2009.  

The Court's May 2011 decision on the merits largely upheld the Eldorado travel management decision, denying preservationist demands for even more closures. Sadly, the court required further proceedings to address Endangered Species Act procedures concerning 42 routes that cross meadows.  Today's order and final judgment, which terminates the case, determines that the Forest has fully complied with any Endangered Species Act concerns and adopts the Forest Service's proposed remedy over preservationist objections for continued travel along the meadow routes.  According to the Forest Service, the meadow routes encompass a total of about 135 miles.  Under today's order, access will be restored on about 46 miles of those routes, while about 89 miles will remain closed.

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Chief

California OHV - the next round

The ink is dry on the California budget and details are coming into focus.  So, what about the OHMVR program?  What about the future of OHV recreation in the state of California? The OHMVR budget is linked to the California State Parks budget. Now, for the rest of the story...

While news headlines claim nearly all California State Parks will remain open, the angst caused by Senator Simitian and the California State Parks Foundation ended as no benefit to the Parks and a detriment to OHMVR program.

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Chief

NRC South June 2012 Report

(June 2012) - OHMVR - The California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation program has been the big story for the second month.  On June 27, Governor Brown signed the state budget.  While news headlines claim nearly all California State Parks will remain open, the angst caused by Senator Simitian and the California Parks Foundation ended as no benefit to the Parks and a detriment to OHMVR program.

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Chief

CA4WDC NRC South Report - May 2012

On Jan. 26, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the intended course of action for the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule.

On Jan. 30, the U.S. Forest Service announced the Sierra National Forest will be one of the first forests to revise its land management plans using the new National Forest System Planning Rule, as well as the Inyo and the Sequoia National Forests.  Nation-wide, five other National Forests will be among the early adopters.

The USFS developed the Forest Planing Rule which provides a new framework for land management planning to replace outdated 1982 planning procedures with a modern rule.

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