Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 
John Stewart

Is geothermal on the move?

For clarity, "hydrothermal" and "geothermal" basically hot water that is being used to produce electricity.Interestingly, there are numerous "geothermal projects" being proposed for development on public lands under the management control of the Bureau of Land Management. Test wells have been drilled. Test results have not been released.Could it be this is now the valve being opened to fund questionable projects at tax-payer expense?Note, this news release talks about "demonstration projects." Demonstration projects can consume a lot of funding without accomplishing a result. Time will tell.....

DOE To Invest US $90 Million in Advanced Geothermal EnergyJune 27, 2008 - Washington, D.C.The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for up to US $90 million over four years to advance the research, development and demonstration of next-generation geothermal energy technology.DOE said that it plans to make up to 26 awards through this competitive funding opportunity, which is open to industry and academia.Funding is available at US $10.5 million for fiscal year (FY) 2008. Subject to annual Congressional appropriations, up to an additional US $30 million is expected to be available for awards in FY 2009 and US $49.5 million in FY 2010.A minimum of 20 percent private sector cost share is required for R&D projects and funding for the awards is subject to Congressional appropriations. Recipient cost share requirements for demonstration projects will be up to 50 percent and vary by both the phase of the award and the activities within a particular phase."Geothermal energy is a clean, reliable, scalable, renewable energy source and these geothermal projects will help the U.S. tap domestic heat sources that were previously out of reach," said Andy Karsner, DOE's Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. "Increasing the use of traditional hydrothermal and geothermal base load resources is an important component of the Administration's efforts to diversify our nation's energy sources in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance our energy security."Applications for this funding opportunity are due on or before August 12, 2008.

Rate this blog entry:
0
6169 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

Bi-Partisan Political Activity - A Primer

Bi-Partisan Political Activity - A PrimerJohn StewartNatural Resource ConsultantCalifornia Association of 4 Wheel Drive ClubsWhether your club focus is social interaction or working to save your favorite wheeling area, members are what make it possible. It starts with membership in a local club centering on a shared goal. Soon, you find that others share common concerns about their area of interest and you begin sharing information. You have started "networking", the basic building block of a creating a coalition. Soon, you will find yourself in position to engage in political activity; either by contacting you elected representative to talk about an issue of concern or to endorse a bill.Wheelers are interested in recreation and have spent many hours learning how to drive and fix their rig. While the mechanical skills have been honed, the political skills have been ignored.The reality is that the quality of your recreation experience is dependent upon how articulate, active, and successful you are in bi-partisan political activity. The following is a "no nonsense" guide to bi-partisan political activity.1) ALWAYS TALK ABOUT YOUR RECREATION ISSUES AND CONCERNS. During conversations with political staffers, candidates, or elected officials, stick to the topic of your concerns; not party affiliation.2) TALK ABOUT WHAT HE (or SHE) IS FOR AND WHAT HE (or SHE) IS AGAINST THAT AFFECT YOUR RECREATION OPPORTUNITY. You may be a mechanic, teacher, web designer, or business owner. Talk about your recreation opportunity and how the proposed bill will affect it.3) DON'T TALK ABOUT OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES OF HIS POLITICAL PARTY. Your concern is a single issue, recreation. Talking about other issues will get you locked into being a party supporter of that candidate or issue.4) BE SUPPORTIVE OF A CANDIDATE ON ISSUES THAT CONCERN US, EITHER PRO OR CON.5) NEVER PUBLICLY ENDORSE A CANDIDATE, BUT PRAISE HIS OR HER SUPPORT FOR RECREATION ISSUES. If you endorse someone, you lock yourself in. You become a "Democrat" or "Republican", and the other side will tune you out.6) NEVER PUBLICLY ENDORSE AN AMENDMENT OR REFERENDUM THAT DOES NOT DIRECTLY AFFECT RECREATION, BUT LEND SUPPORT THROUGH COALITIONS ON ISSUES THAT DO AFFECT RECREATION MEMBERS. Coalitions achieve their strength through diversity. That is where we can leverage recreation positions and ideas.7) WE MUST HAVE ACCESS TO ALL ELECTED OFFICIALS (OR THEIR STAFF) WHO CAN OFFICIALLY AFFECT US - - - AND THAT MEANS WHO'S IN OFFICE IS WHO WE WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH - - - WHO WE WANT TO LISTEN TO US.8) PARTY AFFILIATION IS YOUR PERSONAL BUSINESS, AND YOU SHOULD ACT ON IT ANY WAY YOU WANT. HOWEVER, YOU SHOULD COMMUNICATE WITH ELECTED OFFICIALS AND PROMOTE RECREATION ISSUES REGARDLESS OF PARTY AFFILIATION.The above are elementary political techniques - - - things that recreationists need to learn more about --- think more about --- and do more about. Bi-partisan activity through coalitions will strengthen all of us.
Rate this blog entry:
0
3946 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

Fire Risk Increasing


The green of spring is rapidly turning into the brown of summer. And, unfortunately, many areas are being turned into fire-blackened lands.

Public land managers in the western states have begun issuing fire restrictions. Many homes are located in the "wildlands-urban interface" area and are at risk from fire. Many recreation activities are conducted in areas affected by fire danger. Please do your part in reducing the risk to our public lands and ensuring the safety of yourself and others. Check with your local Forest Service Ranger District or Bureau of Land Management Field Office for the latest information on fire precautions and restrictions in your area.

For the latest fire information:

National Interagency Fire Center - http://www.nifc.gov/fire_info/nfn.htm

IF A WILDFIRE DOES START NEAR YOU, HERE ARE SOME TIPS

Continue reading
Rate this blog entry:
0
4091 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

Trip and Trail report guidelines

Please review the following guidelines for what content we're looking for in our Trip and Trail Reports.

Our trail reports usually consist of two types of articles: Trip Reports, which describe a journey, and Trail (or area) Descriptions, which provide specific information about a specific trail or location. Both types of articles are welcome. However, every Trip Report should also be a Trail Description.

All Trail Descriptions should have at least these facts:

Your nameThe state and area (mountain range, national forest, etc)Name of the trailDirections to the starting point from the nearest cityWhere the trail goesPhone number and address of the nearest Ranger Station, BLM office, etc. as appropriate.

Your report should start with the following summary:

---TRAILNAME------------------------------

Continue reading
Tags:
FAQ
Rate this blog entry:
0
3852 Hits
0 Comments
John Stewart

COMMENT ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV TRAILS NEEDED!

Date: 06/25/2008BLUERIBBON COALITION ACTION ALERT!COMMENT ON PROPOSED CHANGES FOR UPPER TELLICO OHV TRAILS NEEDED!The Nantahala National Forest today announced proposed changes in the 39.5 mile Upper Tellico OHV Trail System. The proposal calls for maintaining approximately 24 miles of trails, upgrading five miles of Davis Creek Road for street-legal vehicle use, and closing and restoring 11 miles of other trails. The Forest Service is asking for the public comments on the proposed changes.BlueRibbon Coalition has gotten with our partners over at Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA) to come up with some comment suggestions. In addition, we have developed a system to help you submit those comments in a quick and simple manner. To view the proposed changes, go to the forest's website at http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm.This is also a reminder that the Upper Tellico Off-Highway Vehicle Trail System Open House on new Trail Management Proposal is scheduled for Saturday, June 28, 2008 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM. It will be held at the First Baptist Church, 517 Hiwassee Street, Murphy, NC. The church is located at the intersection of US 74-19 and Hiwassee Street in Murphy (across the street from McDonald's); entrance for the open house will be marked. Individuals may come anytime during the open house hours.The public is invited to come ask questions and learn more about the proposal as well as submit written comments and suggestions.Comments may be sent to the Tusquitee District Ranger, 123 Woodland Drive, Murphy, NC 28906. Comments may also be sent via email to [email protected] THE DEADLINE IS JULY 9, 2008, SO PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE AND SEND THE FOREST SERVICE YOUR COMMENTS.As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.Thanks in advance for your support,Brian HawthornePublic Lands Policy DirectorBlueRibbon Coalition208-237-1008 ext 102SITUATIONThe Nantahala NF is accepting comments on proposed changes to the Upper Tellico OHV Trail System. Comment deadline is July 9, 2008. For additional information, contact Candace Wyman at 828-837-5152 extension 113, or go to http://www.cs.unca.edu/nfsnc/nepa/tusquitee/tellico.htm. WHAT YOU NEED TO DO Please send an email to the Nantahala National Forest. Use the comment suggestions below. Be sure to add a bit of personal information.If you want, you can use BRC's letter generator (www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=14). It has an easy interface for adding additional comments and sending your letter.INSTRUCTIONS:Be polite. Be Professional. Be on time. (The comment deadline is Wednesday, July 9, 2008)EMAIL COMMENTS TO: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Acceptable formats for electronic comments are text (.txt), MSWord 6.0 or higher (.doc), Portable Document Format (.pdf), or Rich Text Format (.rtf). In the Subject Line of your email, please put: " Comments on Upper Tellico OHV System "Paste in the name and address: Tusquitee District Ranger 123 Woodland Drive Murphy, NC 28906It's always good to include a brief paragraph about how much you and your family enjoy motorized use on National Forest lands.Use the comment suggestions below in your email:MAIL WRITTEN COMMENTS TO: Upper Tellico OHV System Steve Lohr, Tusquitee District Ranger 123 Woodland Drive Murphy, NC 28906COMMENT SUGGESTION:I would like to strongly suggest that the FS consider scoping for reopening and maintaining trails at Tellico instead of closing trails. If the purpose and need for this action is to reduce sedimentation in streams, then that should be the desired outcome of this analysis, not closing trails. If the FS were to change the proposed action to reduction of sedimentation, this would allow the FS to conduct a more comprehensive analysis under NEPA and could provide recreation opportunities to OHV community and reduce sedimentation in the Tellico River watershed at the same time.I take issue with the idea that the FS is scoping to close trails at the Tellico OHV area based on inaccurate science. I feel that the FS is crumpling under the threat of a lawsuit by a sportsman-turned environmental group. The FS provided information states that Jenks Branch is the creek with the most sedimentation. I feel that it is coming from the Tipton Community rather than the OHV area. The upper portion of the "Lower 2" trail does not drain in the watershed and, even if it did, can be maintained. The area in between that was logged recently needs to be reworked as there were no BMP put in place during that logging and the result is erosion. This erosion is not due to the OHV area and therefore we as users of the area should not be punished for actions for which we are not responsible.It is inaccurate to say the FS has to close trails because of maintenance issues when they are the entity that did not perform the maintenance. SFWDA volunteers have been working for years in cooperation with the FS and now that relationship is being cast aside in an effort to pacify another less involved user group. The motorized recreating public will not accept monetary constraints as an excuse for trail closures. Ironically, it is the motorized user community that has been successful in securing substantial funds for OHV management. There are several grant and volunteer programs available, and the OHV community is committed to help provide the tools to address legitimate concerns about route maintenance. Therefore, my comment is that you address any legitimate maintenance concerns by incorporating a training protocol into your plan that would train agency staff on how to apply for grants, use the available ICE-T Money, effectively manage volunteer programs, and learn about and apply for other funding sources. In addition, you might consider MOUs or other similar agreements with recreational groups, such as the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association.I believe that the USFS has not properly evaluated the impacts of closing or restricting the Upper Tellico OHV Area. I believe that the economic impacts to the area have not been considered at all in determining the current proposed changes. I believe that the Forest Service has not considered the rapid, explosive growth of interest in motorized recreation, and has simply wilted in the face of a NOI from an extreme environment group. The FS needs to consider the interests of others besides itself and the few environmental lobbyists and lawyers who represent a small but well-financed group who wants to prevent the public's use of land that rightfully belongs to the public. The FS needs to consider where the OHV operators who currently utilize the Upper Tellico OHV Area will go, and what damage may occur from that shift to other areas. I believe that current plan for Upper Tellico OHV Area is unfair, unwise, and scientifically and economically unsound.

Posted:

Read Full Article
Rate this blog entry:
0
2348 Hits
0 Comments

OutdoorWire Websites

OutdoorWire

OutdoorWire

Portal page for OutdoorWire Access and Landuse Central Read More
4x4Voice

4x4Voice

California OHV recreation news and information Read More
MUIRNet News

MUIRNet News

News and information about outdoor recreation Read More
4x4Wire

4x4Wire

Off road recreation and news and information Read More
TrailTalk 
Forums

TrailTalk Forums

4x4Wire TrailTalk Forums for 4x4 tech information Read More
  • 1

4x4Wire Tech Section

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep 4x4 Tech

Jeep Tech from JeepWire Read More
Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota 4x4 Tech

Toyota Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi 4x4 Tech

Mitsubishi Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu 4x4 Tech

Isuzu Tech from 4x4Wire Read More
  • 1