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Inyo NF Travel Management Meetings Set

The process of planning for the Motorized Travel Management decision began about eight years ago in response to tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands across the country.  The goal of motorized travel management is to develop and maintain a sustainable system of routes that provide an array of motorized recreation opportunities and access to recreation destinations, as well as provide for protection for natural and cultural resources in the area.  Through the development and maintenance of designated motorized routes, the Inyo National Forest provides over 2350 miles of motorized recreation trails and roads, and motorized access to premier non-motorized recreational activities such as hiking, biking, climbing and fishing.  Approximately 2200 miles are open to non-highway legal vehicles.

Over the last two years the Forest Service has been physically implementing a variety of actions directed by the 2009 decision.  Implementation includes signing system roads and trails, general maintenance and repairs, as well as the blocking, signing and/or disguising of unauthorized routes that were not added to the system. These efforts should reduce confusion and improve the experience for travelers on the Forest’s roads and trails.  Additionally, many routes added to the motorized system require some kind of mitigation, such as stabilization, drainage work, and seasonal gates or reroutes intended to reduce the effects of motorized use on natural or cultural resources.

This work is being accomplished by many different crews including Forest Service engineering crews, trail crews, and resource specialists.  There has also been substantial help from volunteers and local groups such as Friends of the Inyo and the Eastern Sierra Four-Wheel-Drive Club.  Much of the work has been funded by grants from the California Off -Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

At the public meetings Forest Service staff will describe and answer questions about the last two years of implementation, as well as the work that is planned for this upcoming summer season.  If you have a need for any special accommodations to be able to attend either of these meetings, or for more information, please contact Public Affairs Officer Nancy Upham at 760-873-2427.

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Mobile Workshops Scheduled for Ocotillo Wells SVRA

The mobile workshops will be held in 4 locations over 2 days. The approximate times and locations for the mobile workshop are:

  • Saturday Morning: Ocotillo Wells SVRA Discovery Center
    February 18th, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Saturday Afternoon: Truckhaven 4×4 Training Area
    February 18th, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Sunday Morning: North Marina Drive
    February 19th, 2012, 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • Sunday Afternoon: Holmes Camp
    February 19th, 2012, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

California State Parks recently kicked-off a comprehensive update of the General Plan for the Ocotillo Wells SVRA. A General Plan is a broad-based policy document that establishes a long-range vision and goals. A General Plan also provides direction on future types of improvements, services, and programs. An Environmental Impact Report (EIR) will be prepared as required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The EIR will evaluate potential environmental effects associated with adoption of the General Plan.

The current version of the General Plan was adopted in 1982. The purpose of the General Plan Update is to revise the plan to reflect changing conditions and issues, include additional land that is now part of Ocotillo Wells SVRA, and to update the vision, goals, and policies set forth in the plan. Public input will be used to help guide development of the General Plan Update.

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Public Meetings Scheduled to Address West Mojave Desert Routes of Travel Designations

Area residents and other publics interested in the public lands and the area public lands route network are encouraged to attend.  Public input relative to local area knowledge, issues and opportunities, including route access changes, are needed.

Meetings for Travel Management Areas under the jurisdiction of the Barstow Field Office will be held at the Barstow Field Office, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311.  Meetings for Travel Management Areas under the jurisdiction of the Ridgecrest Field Office will be held at the Kerr-McGee Bldg, 100 West California Ave, Ridgecrest, CA 93555.

All scoping meetings are from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m, and include a presentation and an open-house opportunity to review maps and provide route-specific and location-specific comments to the BLM.  The public is encouraged to attend the travel management plan meetings to assure that comments are accurately captured, including location, route or site identification, specific issues, and rationale.  You may also provide written comments.

  • Monday, January 9 TMA 1:  Broadwell Lake, Afton Canyon and East of Barstow Signing Subregions in the Barstow Field Office.
  • Wednesday, January 18 TMA 2:  Sierras, Darwin, and North and South Searles Signing Subregions in the Kerr-McGee Center.
  • Thursday, January 26 TMA 3:  Juniper, Rattlesnake, Morongo, Wonder Valley and Joshua Tree Signing Subregions in the Barstow Field Office and the northern most portions of PSSC in WEMO.
  • Monday, February 6 TMA 4:  Jawbone, Middle Knob and Lancaster Signing Subregions in the Kerr-McGee Center.
  • Thursday, February 9 TMA 5:  WEMO North Barstow Desert Wildlife Management Area Signing Subregions North of I-15 and SR 58 in the Barstow Field Office.
  • Tuesday, February 14 TMA 6:  Ridgecrest, El Paso, Rands and Red Mtn Signing Subregions in the Kerr-McGee Center.
  • Thursday, February 16 TMA 7:  El Mirage (including Edwards Bowl area), Fremont, and Iron Mountains Signing Subregions South of SR 58 in the Barstow Field Office.
  • Tuesday, January 21 TMA 8:  Lands adjacent to Stoddard and Johnson OHV Areas, and other Signing Subregions in the Barstow and Needles Field Offices South of I-40 and North of SR 247 including, and East of Interstate I-15.

Preliminary alternatives will be provided for review and public comment after scoping for specific areas are completed.  Additional public meetings will be held by the Desert Advisory Council Subgroup currently being formed for the West Mojave Route Network.  The public will have the opportunity to participate in these subgroup meetings.

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Subcommittee to Hold California Field Hearing on Restoring Access to Our Public Lands

Utah Representative Rob Bishop said; “Utah and other western states including California suffer each year from new and existing federal regulations and mandates that hinder multiple-use of our federal lands and resources.  Many of these policies continue to be detrimental to the creation of jobs and the generation of revenue upon which so many communities rely.  This is the wrong approach and defies the intent for which our national forests and public lands were created. This hearing will examine the effect of these policies on multiple-use and the subsequent impacts on communities and their local economies.”

California Representative Tom McClintock said;   “For generations, the U.S. Forest Service maintained a balanced approach to the management of our forests that assured both healthy forests and a healthy economy.  Now, it seems to be following a very different policy of exclusion, expulsion and benign neglect of our forests.  These actions evince an ideologically driven hostility to the public’s use of the public’s land – and a clear intention to deny the public the responsible and sustainable use of that land.  This important hearing will examine the damage caused by these policies and begin the process to restore Gifford Pinchot’s original vision for the Forest Service: ‘To provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run.”

WHO:           National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman
Rob Bishop (UT-01),
Rep. Tom McClintock (CA-04),
and other possible Members.

WHAT:          Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands
Oversight Field Hearing on:
"Restoring Public Access to the Public's Lands: Issues Impacting Multiple-use
on Our National Forests"

Witnesses to be announced.

WHEN:          Monday, September 19, 2011
10:00 A.M.. PDT

WHERE:        Jesse M. Unruh Hearing Room,
California State Capitol Building
Sacramento, California

See the Subcommittee's announcement here.


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Amador is expected to share his views regarding the ongoing closure of BLM's Clear Creek Management Area located in Central California's Coastal Mountain Range. BLM has effected the single largest public land closure of its kind in U.S. history by functionally closing 75,000 acres of public lands to all users groups in May, 2008. In 2002, Dirt Rider Magazine listed CCMA as one of the top 10 OHV recreation sites in the country. While the closure only "technically" closed 33,000 acres, it functionally closed 75,000 acres since practically all route networks originate in the closure area.

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org


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