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John Stewart

Final Supplementary Rules for Public Lands in the California Desert Issued

DATES: The interim final supplementary rules are effective June 25, 2010 and remain in effect until modified or rescinded by the publication of the final supplementary rules. We invite comments until July 26, 2010. Comments postmarked or received in person after this date may not be considered in the development of the final supplementary rules.

Supplementary Rules

The following rules apply on public lands administered by the BLM California Desert District unless explicitly authorized by a permit or other authorization document issued by the BLM:
1. Public nudity is prohibited at all developed sites and areas and all ORV open areas.
2. It is prohibited for a person to ride in or transport another person in or on a portion of an ORV or trailer that is not designed or intended for the transportation of passengers.
3. It is prohibited to use as firewood, or have in their possession, any firewood materials containing nails, screws, or other metal hardware, including, but not limited to, wood pallets and/or construction debris.
4. Possession of glass beverage containers is prohibited in all developed sites and areas and all ORV open areas.
5. It is prohibited to place into the ground any non-flexible object, such as, but not limited to, metal or wood stakes, poles, or pipes, with the exception of small tent or awning stakes, at all developed sites and areas and all ORV open areas.
6. It is prohibited to camp within the areas commonly known as Competition Hill Corridor and Competition Hill located within the Dumont Dunes ORV Area, as shown in the map at the entrance kiosk.
7. It is prohibited to reserve or save a camping space for another person at all developed sites and areas and all ORV open areas.
8. All persons must keep their sites free of trash and litter during the period of occupancy.

Click here to read the complete Federal Register Notice

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John Stewart

Review of Proposed Renewable Energy Plan Started

The DRECP will identify conservation zones and energy zones.  It will be developed in order to expedite permitting of jurisdictional renewable energy facilities.  It will provide for the conservation and management of identified species in the California desert through the establishment of conservation zones and energy zones.

The goal of the DRECP is to provide for the conservation and management of identified species.  The plan will facilitate the implementation of measures that will contribute to the recovery of these species.

BLM, as the lead agency under the National Environmental Policy Act, will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the site-specific impacts of the proposed plan and a proposed amendment to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan.

Publication of the NOI initiates a public scoping period of 30 days, ending December 21, 2009.  During the scoping period, BLM solicits public comment on issues, concerns, potential impacts, alternatives, and mitigation measures that should be considered in the analysis of the proposed action.  A joint agency public scoping meeting will be held and details will be announced shortly.  BLM will use the public scoping comments received to prepare the draft environmental documents for future public review.

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John Stewart

USFS Forest Plan Revision Update

This message received from USFS Region 5 is to update you on the status of forest plan revision efforts by the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region in California.

On June 30, 2009, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California issued a decision in Citizens for a Better Forestry v. United States Department of Agriculture ordering the Forest Service to cease the implementation and use of the 2008 planning rule. The Forest Service is complying with the Court’s decision. Use of the 2008 planning rule has been discontinued. Here is where we are currently with planning in the Pacific Southwest Region.

The 2000 planning rule, as amended, is now in effect. The rule allows the Forest Service to use the 1982 rule procedures to amend or revise plans. The Forest Service will be using procedures of the 1982 planning rule and is working on how best to transition to these procedures.

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, Giant Sequoia National Monument, and Modoc National Forest will continue work on their land management plans using the 1982 planning rule procedures.

Forest Service plan revision teams remain committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders. Planning activities such as public meetings that are independent of any specific planning rule will continue while we determine how best to transition to the 1982 rule procedures.

The forest plan revision work that we have completed to date remains valid and useful. We are evaluating how to organize and convert this work to fit the framework of the 1982 rule procedures. We will provide regular updates as we determine the process and timeline for resuming forest plan revision work. As additional information becomes available, it will be shared with stakeholders and posted on our website: www.fs.fed.us/r5/planning

Thank you for your continued interest and involvement in forest plan revision efforts.

For more information about the 2000 planning rule and 1982 rule procedures please visit: http://www.fs.fed.us/emc/nfma/2000_planning_rule.html

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John Stewart

Border to Border Thanks and Notes

Friday, June 19, 2009 Border to Border Thanks and Notes

 
While I have a good internet connection, during this awesome Reno Rocks event, I wanted to take a minute to thank a few folks who are helping make the border to border trip possible. That is where I was before I hit Reno for this event.

 

 

Of course, Jeep and Mopar are on top of the list as Chris borrowed the Jeep Overland right from the Mopar boys. ARB, Viking Off road, WARN, BFGoodrich Tires, American Expedition Vehicles, JeepCamping.com, AdventureTrak (SPOT), 4x4Wire.com (John Stewart), EQUIPT Expedition Outfitters, and Expedition One chimed in to make this trip a real adventure.

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John Stewart

Border To Border Update - Sunday

Border to Border Update - follow Chris and Del on their journey finding the dirt roads from Mexico to Canada

Life on this border to border trip is simple – drive, camp, eat, have a cold one, sleep, drive some more.  We do 12 hour driving days, switching off on the wheel as we need to.  Radar the Wonder Dog helps keep things lively as he gets excited every time we turn a new corner or see something new.  Energy drinks don’t hurt, either.

So far, we’re 6 days and over 600 miles of dirt into this trek from Mexico to Canada, with a long ways to go, but a totally amazing assortment of adventures under our belt.  We started in the Algodones sand dunes, and are now in Bishop, CA, having traveled through parts of the Mojave, Joshua Tree National Park, Death Valley and yesterday, Saline Valley.

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