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John Stewart

Proposed Raid on OHV Trust Fund in California

Many already know of the proposed raid by the Governor’s Office and state legislature of almost 90 million dollars from the OHV Trust Fund to help solve the budget crisis in California. This is a very disturbing prospect for me on any number of levels and it shows just how bad the economic situation is in what used to be called the Golden State.

One of my first state-oriented land-use battles in the early 1990s was fighting the Wilson Administration’s raid on the OHV program. Early in that fight, I had received a heads-up from a federal land management employee that they were being told by Region 5 to expect massive cuts in the OHV grants program. Many groups and activists held letter writing and fax campaigns, started a massive state-wide phone-in to the Capitol, and had pro-access US Senators send letters of protest to the Governor’s Office and Resource Agency.While some may argue the success of those efforts, the fact remains that the OHV Division and grants program continued. Sadly, the monies collected for the acquisition of new riding areas from that time has largely sat in a stagnate account being unspent.As an OHMVR Commissioner in the mid 1990s, I remember looking at potential sites ranging from Humboldt County, down in the Central Valley, and in So Cal.

Regardless of how rural those sites were, there was ALWAYS some local NIMBY or green citizen’s group that loudly protested to elected officials and the media.When I asked one of those groups why they were protesting a new OHV site, they would say… “I support OHV but not at this site.” Then I would ask them to ID a site. Their response was always stone cold silence.

Read more about the Proposed Raid on OHV Trust Fund in CA from Don Amador's aka "The General" Recreation HQ Blog

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John Stewart

A CAUSE WE CAN ALL RALLY AROUND

We need to start early, with toddlers. Little kids naturally love to be outdoors, to bask in the sun, crawl in the grass, play in the dirt. A world of natural exploration, away from indoor toys, opens before them. Encouraged at this age, that world of natural exploration can become a lifelong quest.Winter offers special opportunities, compromised only by the need for appropriate dress. Snow becomes the wonder of a starry flake, the canvas of a snow angel, a ball to throw, the stuff of a man, and a marvelous surface on which to slide whoosh down a hill.Later on, snow play means skiing, snowboarding, tubing or snowmobiling, all in the company of family and friends. It means learning skills and how to take care of yourself. It means working with family to maintain equipment and help fix machines. Snow can be an enduring passion.If toddlers are to be encouraged to love the outdoors, then this must start with mom and dad. Parents need to be there, enjoying themselves as much as the kids. This is where a kids-outdoors effort must begin.I'm worried that it may be too late. How many moms and dads are engrossed in cyber world role playing while the little ones are parked in front of the TV? By the time kids are 10, they can get sucked into the omnipresent Internet-cell-phone communication web that consumes all their attention right down to their very soul. There's no room for outside influences, let alone outdoor activities. They can't go anywhere without being plugged in, and thanks to satellites, they don't have to.It's a daunting task. We can each go about our efforts and make some progress, but we'll be far more successful if all groups work together in a simple, straightforward way that's pervasive and consistent. All together now, moms, dads, kids -- outside.###

Adena Cook is a consultant with the BlueRibbon Coalition. She may be contacted directly here:Phone: 208-522-7339e-mail: [email protected]The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents over 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members, for a combined total of over 600,000 recreationists nationwide. 1-800-258-3742. www.sharetrails.org

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John Stewart

Elite Internet Army Needed – Help with Land Use and Access

from Del Albright's Blog 

On behalf of the BlueRibbon Coalition and my role as an Ambassador for BRC, I offer you a chance to become part of an elite team of access soldiers. BRC Senior Staff, Stacie and I are launching an effort to build a better network of communications in the Internet/Blog world for access and land use issues.

We are determined to experiment with a variety of ways to improve Internet communications, help you better understand the recreational world, and provide you the opportunity to make a huge difference in saving our trails and our sports. We are looking to find a few select individuals to become the eyes and ears of our access efforts, in particular our BlueRibbon Kickin' Access Technology Team (KAT Team).

The job is easy – post, listen, lurk, communicate and notify. There is no cost to you; you only gain. We are hoping to take advantage of what you already do in the web world. We need to expand our army and improve communications across the board – and across the Internet world. You can help.

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John Stewart

Thoughts on Mixed Use in Region 5


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

From The General's BLOG - Thoughts on Mixed Use in Region 5

In response to a Jan. 13, 2009 “mixed-use” memo from Region 5, first let me state that I believe Region 5 has created an number of unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles when it comes to the designation of level 3 roads as mixed-use where that road is open for use by both street legal and non-street legal OHVs. I have shared those views with R5 on a number of occasions and in comment letters on travel management planning efforts.

It has been my experience that there is little – if any on some Forests – accident history on level 3 roads between OHVs and passenger vehicles. If there were accidents they were most likely OHV vs. OHV rather then OHV vs. a passenger car.If there is a silver lining in that memo - it is the direction for encouraging Forests to reclassify a level 3 road to a level 2 road. I think that is a plan of action that OHVers could and should support.The only other viable approach – and one that I hope R5 will support - would be to construct parallel (companion trails) or alternative trails that lead to the same destination or complete a loop opportunity. Many of those trails could be constructed basically in the road prism where there should be less environmental concerns or obstacles.

Read more on The General's Blog - Thoughts on Mixed Use

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Del Albright

Resolving Problems in Recreational Clubs

Resolving Problems in Recreational Clubs - Dealing with "Partners, Possibles, and Poops"

I have finally discovered the biggest problem with trying to keep clubs alive and well.  Yup, after all these years as a writer, outdoorsman, and facilitator, I have found the secret to what causes our clubs and organizations to fall apart or at least get rusty.  Oh, and if you’re saying to yourself that it’s not your club at issue, then keep reading because I predict that every recreationist in our country will face this issue sooner or later.

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