Good News from California

Information on land access, and the groups that support keeping our trails open.

Good News from California

Postby KF5ZXT » Wed Dec 12, 2012 12:27 pm

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Good News from California
Dear BRC Member and Supporter,
Many of our members have already heard the news that, working with Shasta County, Sylvia Milligan and the folks at Recreation Outdoors Coalition (ROC) recently scored a major victory for OHV users with the addition of 100 miles added to the Travel Plan on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest.

A bit of background:
You may remember how outraged the OHV community was waaaay back in April of 2010 when the Shasta-Trinity National Forest announced its final Travel Management Plan.

I know... we were equally outraged at just about every National Forest Travel Plan in California (USFS Region 5)
Among the (many) problems in California was that the Regional office issued guidance that tied the hands of individual Forest Supervisors by not allowing little if any maintenance level 3 roads to be designated for OHV use.
BRC and other OHV advocacy groups maintain to this day that the Region 5 policy was a clear violation of specific directives contained in the USFS 2005 Travel Management Rule (TMR). The Rule, citing the wide range of landscapes and circumstances across each NF, specifically reserved such discretion to Forest Supervisors.

The Regional office in Vallejo thought it knew better, I guess.
The problem of not allowing OHVs on level 3 roads is of critical importance. A Forest's travel plan is a system of interconnected roads and trails. Without being able to use sections of level 3 roads, it cuts the OHV travel plan into pieces, hacking it up so as to make it literally unusable. The result was a travel "system" consisting of disconnected segments of roads and trails. It was completely illogical and, we believe intentionally, 'designed to fail.'
An excellent example was the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California's largest, located in northern California. In a barrel of bad apples, the Shasta-Trinity was particularly rotten. Its travel plan was nothing less than a middle finger salute to the users, residents and counties.

Sylvia Milligan, Recreation Outdoors Coalition (ROC)

One of the most active local OHV advocacy groups fighting for common sense on the Shasta-Trinity is the Recreation Outdoors Coalition (ROC). Sylvia Milligan, ROC's Chair, and others at ROC went above and beyond in efforts to defend responsible and sustainable OHV use. Sylvia, ROC and other CA based OHV groups were critical in getting the U.S. Congress to pay attention to what was happening:

Trail Access Featured At Congressional Hearing (LINK)
California Field Hearing (LINK)

A huge victory
On November 5, the Shasta Trinity NF Supervisor Sharon Heywood took a giant step forward in an attempt to fix the travel plan, which by now had become nearly unmanageable. But not because the Regional office decided to comply with the 2005 TMR. Instead, Heywood decided to change the maintenance level classification on roads that provided the necessary OHV connections. The documentation is here.

You can read about the effort here:
Shasta-Trinity Forest will open an extra hundred miles to OHVs (LINK)
Editorial: Shasta-Trinity keeps its word to off-roaders (LINK)

Help Bust the 2% Barrier
Across the state, OHV enthusiasts are working on various projects that attempt to fix the mess these Regional directives made. But all of our OHV organizations face the same problem. Despite herculean efforts, and in the face of foundation funded environmental attorneys and lobbyists, membership still hovers around less than 2%.

Let me be clear about this. Of the approximately 53 million OHV enthusiasts across the U.S., over 5 million call California home. Roughly running the numbers, less than 2% of those OHV enthusiasts are members of any OHV or snowmobile club.
My first thought is to thank the 2%. No OHV group receives big financial support from the powersports industry. The lifeblood to any OHV group is individual membership and donations. Thank you.

My second thought is to imagine. Imagine what Sylvia could do if 10% joined. Imagine if 20% joined. The impact would be huge. We're talking full time attorneys on staff and full time lobbyists in Sacramento. California's OHV groups would no longer be victimized by the demands of the radical green groups.
Now, if you're reading this, the chances are you are one of the 2%. So please know that our appreciation is sincere. But we need your help in getting more OHV enthusiasts to join. Please use this email as an opportunity to encourage your friends, family and riding buddies to join a club and get involved.
There isn't one single California OHV or snowmobile group that isn't doing good things. Each one has earned the support of enthusiasts. It doesn't matter which group they join, so don't accept any excuses about why friends and family refuse to join. Just tell them: Membership is Mandatory.

Thanks for wading through this way-too-long email. We've posted some links to some clubs below. Please forgive us if we've missed anyone.
Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Policy Director, 208-237-1008 ext 102
Ric Foster, Public Lands Department Manager, 208-237-1008 ext 107
Don Amador, BRC Western Representative, 925-625-6287
Del Albright, BRC 4x4 Ambassador, 209-304-7693
John Stewart, Member, BRC Board of Directors, jstewart@mac.com

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KF5ZXT
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