4x4Voice

Recreation, environment, access, and land use news and information for California.

I believe and advocate that the best policies and management decisions come through full public disclosure and maximum public involvement.  It is important to involve local elected officials, organizations, and individuals representing all points of view before making land management decisions that have long-term effects on local communities. ...

I believe and advocate that the best policies and management decisions come through full public disclosure and maximum public involvement.  It is important to involve local elected officials, organizations, and individuals representing all points of view before making land management decisions that have long-term effects on local communities.  I believe that the strength of individual involvement is an important element to support an active access advocacy program.  Each recreationist must be informed and educated on the issues affecting their recreation opportunities.  The success of access depends on the commitment of the whole.

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John Stewart

Forest Service shares species of conservation concern information for forest plan revisions

USFS LogoVALLEJO, California, July 29, 2015 - The U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Region is sharing our draft proposed species of conservation concern (SCC) lists as part of the land and resource management plan revision process for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests. We are asking for public input that provides additional scientific information that may affect the draft proposed SCC lists.
 
The process for plan revision includes indicating species of conservation concern for each plan area. Developing a draft proposed SCC list for each national forest is one step in that process.

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John Stewart

OHV questions Soda Mountains Solar Project decision

June 17, 2015

James Ramos, Chairman
Robert Lovingood, Vice Chairman
San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors San Bernardino County Government Center 385 N. Arrowhead Ave., Fifth Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0110

Re: Soda Mountain Solar Project

Dear Supervisors Ramos and Lovingood,

We are writing to urge you to request an extension of the protest period and additional public hearings on the BLM's Final EIS for the Soda Mountain Solar project (CA 49584).

San Bernardino County has long supported off highway vehicle recreation on BLM lands. OHV use by county residents is among the highest in the state, and OHV opportunities in the county attract millions of visits and contribute billions of dollars.

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John Stewart

ALAMEDA COUNTY THROWS STATE PARKS UNDER THE BUS…….

To add insult, those of us that drove hours and hours to attend this meeting, were informed that ONLY 2 Minutes were allowed for public comment.  LAO feels this was very unprofessional, considering the seriousness of the topic at hand.

AMA District 36 was taken aback when a “motion” was presented to oppose, as it was assumed it would be a “tabled” item based on comments that appeared at the end of a 6 page letter addressed to Dan Canfield at State Parks, from Alameda County Planning Department which said – “the County believes the DEIR contains numerous inadequacies, and therefore Alameda County cannot support the project unless the stated concerns are addressed.”

Voting today, without allowing response to “stated concerns” seem very premature, and thus the county made this decision which I believe is problematic, and political. Language in some of the documents the county supplied, identified additional input from the public to be incorporated into the comments, yet, voted anyways.

Of interest, on the Agenda today, it stated this:

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John Stewart

Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Study Available

This has impacted our operations, for example we have stopped grading. Our staff is working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to get what is called an Incidental Take Permit (ITP), which will allow for us to continue with our operations as normal. We may or may not be issued an ITP.  If we are, we are hoping to include Special Events as part of our operations, although there may be restrictions in staging locations, size, etc.  This process can take time and in the end we cannot be sure what we will end up with. This entire process is governed by the California Endangered Species Act and does not apply to federal lands.  It may be recommendable to contact other locations, such as BLM, to ensure that you can move forward with your event planning and ensure that you can secure a location.
 
I do want you to know that we are very sensitive to our stake holders and are working hard behind the scenes to reach a conclusion that maintains our off-road recreational opportunities while complying with the laws set forth in the California Environmental Quality Act.”

Now, for the rest of the story...

The Center for Biological Diversity did submit a petition to the California Fish and Game Commission requesting listing of the Flat-tailed Horned Lizard as a California State Endangered Species. This action was taken after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has declined to list the FTHL as a federal threatened or endangered species numerous times over the past decade.

This listing is a one year listing giving time to complete a final study to determine if permanent listing is warranted. In discussions with OHMVR officials, they are meeting with California Department of Fish and Wildlife to obtain the Incidental Take Permit. OHMVR Deputy Director Chris Conlin felt confident that OWSVRA staff had sufficient study data showing a stable population of the FTHL within the SVRA. A final decision on the on-going study and ITP is not expected for several months.

To put the issue in perspective, all special use permits within the SVRA are on hold for a one year period. That time clock ends in April 2016, placing Cal4Wheel/Paralized Veterans of San Diego Operation Desert Fun and Tierra del Sol Desert Safari in jeopardy of not being held due to lack of a special use permit.

2003 Flat-tailed Horned Lizard Rangewide Management Strategy has been cited by U.S. Fish and Wildlife as providing sufficient management actions that preclude listing the FTLH as a federal threatened or endangered species.

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John Stewart

Forest Service makes progress on plan revisions for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests

USFS LogoVALLEJO, California, May 5, 2015 – The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region continues to make progress revising the land and resource management plans for the Inyo, Sequoia and Sierra National Forests.

The Forest Service is revising the plans under the 2012 planning rule, which also tasks the agency with evaluating lands that may be suitable for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and addressing potential Wild and Scenic River (WSR) designations during plan revisions.

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John Stewart

Meetings Set for Ocotillo Wells SVRA

b2ap3_thumbnail_blmlogo.jpgBLM Announces Intent to Prepare Environmental Review for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has published a Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.

The BLM will prepare an environmental impact statement to analyze the efficiency and effectiveness of resource and recreation management at the Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and a proposed amendment to the BLM California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) Plan. The California State Parks, who manage the SVRA through a Memorandum of Understanding, will jointly prepare an environmental impact report for their General Plan update.

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