CA4WDC BOD Meeting - Aug 21-22, 2010
A developing issue involves the fatal crash at the California 200 off-road race in Johnson Valley OHV Area. While the event was a commercial/competition event, it was a permitted event. Early word from BLM indicates there is significant pressure from Washington to closely review future permitted events. BLM has begun a review of event permit criteria with an eye towards safety. The environmental community has stepped up lobbying efforts to halt future permitted events.
CA4WDC events are subject to the same permit requirements as competitive race events. Early indications lean toward more stringent participant and spectator safety requirements. And, indications are insurance will surface as a major issue.
I am recommending the following steps for CA4WDC events:
Implement a comprehensive safety program for participants and spectators.
Implement a strict no alcohol policy as part of events.
Implement a policy of posting/publishing no pictures about “carnage” at events unless part of a safety message.
The BMPs are an important topic as the Forest Service Water Quality Management Plan begins to take shape. Of interest to recreation is how the plan will affect OHV routes.
The BMPs are of major importance as they govern activities such as road/trail maintenance, allowed activities on Forest lands, and how special events on Forest lands will be regulated. As part of this effort, the Forest is developing an inventory of high risk areas/issues and will be applying BMPs to solve related water quality issues. Roads and grazing are currently identified as high risk issues. Drafts of the BMPs were released for comment in June. More content if the plan will be reviewed at an Aug 24 meeting.
Travel management (or travel analysis) is back in a new form. By now, everyone should be familiar with Travel Management in the form of Route Designation. The up and coming effort, Sub-Part A, is referred to as travel analysis, to determine the minimum system of routes necessary to manage forest lands.
I attended a briefing provided by Inyo NF in June on the topic that generated more questions than answers. A follow-up meeting an Aug 4 did not yield any new information. The Region 5 implementation data has been pushed back to September. A Sep 1 meeting is scheduled for Inyo to discuss their plans.
The Giant Sequoia NM Plan has been released for 90 day comment period. A series of public meeting have been scheduled during September from San Francisco to Pasadena.
After close to four years, Devil’s Canyon is set to re-open on a limited basis. While final details are yet to be determined, the trail is expected to be open for one weekend a month from October to April. User limits will apply and will be controlled by a permit system. Details are expected to be final in August, 2010. Devil’s Canyon sits between two sections of Interstate 8 where it rises from the desert floor heading west to San Diego. San Diego 4 Wheelers have submitted and BLM has approved a proposal to BLM for managing the permit process.