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John Stewart

2016 OHV Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program Workshops

OHMVR LogoIt’s that time again – time to prepare for the 2015/16 Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program (Grants Program) grant cycle. Workshops for the upcoming grant cycle are scheduled for the week of January 11, 2016.
 
The two-day workshop, one held in Southern California and one held in Northern California, will be two full-day sessions. Please see the attached agenda for the information on the workshops.

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John Stewart

ALAMEDA COUNTY THROWS STATE PARKS UNDER THE BUS…….

To add insult, those of us that drove hours and hours to attend this meeting, were informed that ONLY 2 Minutes were allowed for public comment.  LAO feels this was very unprofessional, considering the seriousness of the topic at hand.

AMA District 36 was taken aback when a “motion” was presented to oppose, as it was assumed it would be a “tabled” item based on comments that appeared at the end of a 6 page letter addressed to Dan Canfield at State Parks, from Alameda County Planning Department which said – “the County believes the DEIR contains numerous inadequacies, and therefore Alameda County cannot support the project unless the stated concerns are addressed.”

Voting today, without allowing response to “stated concerns” seem very premature, and thus the county made this decision which I believe is problematic, and political. Language in some of the documents the county supplied, identified additional input from the public to be incorporated into the comments, yet, voted anyways.

Of interest, on the Agenda today, it stated this:

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John Stewart

Meetings Set for Ocotillo Wells SVRA

b2ap3_thumbnail_blmlogo.jpgBLM Announces Intent to Prepare Environmental Review for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.

The BLM will prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of resource and recreation management at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and a proposed amendment to the BLM California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan. The California State Parks, who manage the SVRA through a Memorandum of Understanding, will jointly prepare an environmental impact report for their General Plan update.

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John Stewart

Nightmare at Nightmare Gulch

Trespass damage at Red Rock Canyon SP

This was a large group of people in 4X4’s who collectively decided to violate state law. It is estimated this happened within the last two weeks, and there were at least eight vehicles in the group. See attached pictures showing the damage. This incident at Red Rock compromised a closed sensitive area and certainly does not help our efforts to maintain OHV access to the area, the north end of Nightmare where it transitions out to a gate and eventually leads out into the northwestern portion of Last Chance Canyon and Nightmare Gulch.Red Rock Canyon State Park issued an Emergency Closure of Nightmare Gulch on October 9, 2013. The Emergency Closure was issued as a result of summer storm damage which rendered the canyon impassable to vehicles. While the closure is temporary, before any trail repair can be performed an environmental assessment is required. This whole process could take many months. - See more at: Nightmare Gulch ClosedThis trespass has the unintended consequence of jeopardizing the pending acquisition of Onyx Ranch property in the adjacent Jawbone/Dove Springs area. Your help is needed to shut down the irresponsible few who are jeopardizing our recreation and resources with their illegal actions is needed.Stay on designated trails. Stay out of closed sensitive areas. You are responsible for preserving off-road recreation. Responsible recreation preserves access.

 

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John Stewart

Nightmare Gulch Closed

Nightmare Gulch - Red Rock Canyon SP

After meeting with Ranger Williams, Jerry and Mary drove to the east entrance of the canyon to view the damage. They have been running the canyon since 1970 and have seen a lot of changes over the years. Some of the obstacles are now easier and some are harder to negotiate than in years past. Overall, this does not appear to be the worst damage over time. There were tracks in the canyon showing that some vehicles successfully went through prior to the closure.Two areas where identified where attention was needed (See photos). In one area, you can see where previous visitors have driven through the plants to avoid a small rock pile. The rock pile can be seen on the left side of the photo. The problem can be easily mitigated by moving aside one of the boulders. The other photo shows a high ledge about half way up the canyon. For reference, the hiking stick is 44 inches tall. You can see on the right side of the photo where previous visitors had built a ramp. However, it is small and the approach is a little tippy. It would not be difficult to expand the size of the ramp.From the photos, there is a belief the Emergency Closure was unnecessary. However, the issuance of the Emergency Closure starts a process that may be irreversible. Ranger Williams has promised to keep stakeholders informed as the process unfolds.

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