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Featuring news and information about OHV recreation and environment issues within California.
  1. John Stewart
  2. Route Designation
  3. Friday, 11 December 2015

Everyone interested in the access to the Southern California deserts is encouraged to attend one or both of the recently announced meetings concerning travel management in the West Mojave area.  It is very important to ensure that your favorite routes are listed and marked on maps.  The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has scheduled two additional open house meetings on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the West Mojave Route Network Project, released earlier in 2015. The meetings provide an additional opportunity for the public to receive information and provide feedback on the plan.


Meetings will be held Tues., Dec. 15 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Road, Victorville and Thurs., Dec. 17 at the Kerr-McGee Center, 100 W. California Avenue, Ridgecrest. Both meetings will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and include a presentation and an open house format to review maps, ask questions and provide written comments to the BLM. The BLM will review input received through the public comment period, which closes Jan. 25, 2016, when making a decision on the final plan.The draft plan delivers a proposed solution for adaptive and responsible travel management planning and off-highway vehicle use within the West Mojave planning area while protecting important resources and maximizing public accessibility in the desert. The plan also outlines conservation provisions for sensitive areas including providing for threatened and endangered species such as the desert tortoise and plays an active role in recovery of their habitat..For more information about the Draft SEIS, including interactive mapping, please visit the BLM Website http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/west_mojave__wemo.html To submit a comment, or for additional questions, please contact Edy Seehafer, West Mojave Project Manager, Bureau of Land Management, 2601 Barstow Road, Barstow, CA 92311, [email protected], (760) 252-6021.

References
  1. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/west_mojave__wemo.html
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BLM LogoWest Mojave Route Network Project Update

On Tuesday, Dec. 12, I attended the WEMO meeting hosted by BLM in Victorville.  The meeting provided an overview of the project and the coming steps.

Critical dates coming are January 25, 2016 which is the close of the comment period.

Late spring 2016, BLM expects to release the proposed WEMO Plan Amendment and Travel Management Plans with a projected final release in early fall of 2016.  BLM s facing a Court Order to complete the project by November 30, 2016.

While BLM does have a current preferred alternative, a review of the maps and routes is encouraged as there are pending changes based on the recently adopted DRECP.  (Note: Cal4Wheel and other OHV recreation groups have protested the DRECP decision.)

Part of the coming discussion will revolve around “ground disturbance caps” within the DRECP conservation areas that overlay the Special Recreation Management Areas that include the bulk of the WEMO Route Network.  BLM does not expect to complete their analysis of the CURRENT ground disturbance prior to the closing of the comment period.  Those values will be used to determine if the caps apply and perhaps will limit potential designation of routes not already designated.

Another important consideration that will be factored into the route designation is historic properties and cultural sites within the planning area.  BLM has completed a National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Programmatic Agreement for the planning area.

That document and additional information and interactive maps are available at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/west_mojave__wemo.html

References
  1. http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/west_mojave__wemo.html
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