4x4Voice

Covering recreation and environmental issues within California
John Stewart

From the Landuse Frontlines - California Recreational Trails Act of 1974

The below is research compiled from a number of sources over the past 10 years concerning the California Recreational Trails Act of 1974.  In the 1971 Chappie-Z’berg Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Law (the Law), the Legislature addressed the growing use of motorized vehicles off-highway by adopting requirements for the registration and operation of these vehicles. In addition, it provided funding for administration of the OHMVR Program along with facilities for OHV recreation. The Law was founded on the principle that "...effectively managed areas and adequate facilities for the use of OHVs and conservation and enforcement are essential for ecologically balanced recreation...” Since then, other laws have been enacted that revised the OHMVR program to: Expand, manage, and sustain existing OHV areas and support motorized off- highway access to non-motorized recreational opportunities;  Monitor, conserve, and maintain resources;  Establish the OHMVR Division within California State Parks to administer the OHMVR Program;  Increase funding to the OHV Trust Fund; and, Establish the OHMVR Program as a permanent Division within California Department of Parks and Recreation.

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John Stewart

OHMVR Program Renewal

At a public meeting in Sacramento on July 19, 2016, State Parks Director Mangat stated: "This OHV program is the national model. It's not just the great program in the State of California, it is the national model, and we recognize that."

The current California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program (OHMVR) has been in existence since 1971 (Chappi-Z’Berg Act), is a great success, and hailed as a national model providing for a statewide system of managed OHV recreational opportunities. The OHMVR Program assures that quality recreational opportunities remain available for future generations by providing education, conservation, and enforcement efforts that balance OHV recreation impact with programs that conserve and protect cultural and natural resources.

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John Stewart

California Primary Recommendations

CJ-5 EmblemI typically don’t push candidates in the primary elections. However, this isn’t a typical primary election.  As I have been asked by some members about candidates, I have reviewed the ballots for the State Assembly, State Senate and US House of Representatives. 

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John Stewart

Balancing development and conservation

The DRECP will allow these renewable energy projects to move forward in some areas.  Other lands that are important for the long-term conservation of a variety of a declining and threatened and endangered desert species will be set aside as non-development zones.

The plan involves the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as several counties, state agencies, tribes, the military and energy-development businesses and will make available up to 350,000 acres for development of wind, solar and geothermal energy projects for an expected surge in renewable-energy development.

California has extremely aggressive renewable-energy and carbon reduction goals - an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050.

The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan will charge fees to companies that build energy projects on public lands, to help compensate for the permanent impacts to those lands. Public meetings on the plan are being held in the desert as well as in San Diego and Sacramento, through the middle of November.

The information on public meetings is on 4x4Voice.

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John Stewart

San Gabriel Mountains National Monument Designated

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The new National Monument will allow hiking, fishing, mountain biking, camping, hunting and other established recreational activities such as four-wheel driving on designated roads, and will not create new water rights or affect existing water rights.  The designation will only apply to federal lands and will not impact private, state, or local property within the boundaries of or adjacent to a national monument.

In June 2014, Representative Chu authored HR 4858, the San Gabriel National Recreation Area Act, which is sitting in the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation.

This monument designation includes almost half of the area proposed under the legislation.  The map below depicts the area of the new National Monument.

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John Stewart

California Voter Registration Deadline Coming

b2ap3_thumbnail_84.jpgThe November elections are closer than you think, and the California vote registration deadline is just around the corner, including yours.

The California voter registration deadline for the upcoming general election is Oct. 20. All mailed applications must be postmarked by this date.

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