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6 minutes reading time (1277 words)

NRC South August 2011 CA4WDC Board Meeting Report

August 2011 CA4WDC Board Meeting

Beginning with this Board report, I will be including a listing of projects and status that will be updated quarterly.  In addition, I will begin listing legislation and legal action that are of concern to California recreation interests.

The listing is not a complete, comprehensive list of activities.  It does represent the primary active actions with estimates of future milestone dates.  And, additional items will be added.

The following are select projects with a brief explanation/update:

Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative - One of 17 regional LCCs being established nation-wide.  I am on the steering committee for the DLCC which covers parts of 5 states in U.S. plus 10 states in Mexico.  The focus for this effort is water (quality and quantity) and climate change impact on the environment.  This effort is DOI and includes multiple federal agencies, state and local governments, tribal councils, and numerous non-government organizations.

Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan - Updated Recovery Plan released Aug 25.  Recovery Implementation Team stakeholders are needed to represent Natural Resource Use (ranching, mining, building, energy development, etc.) and Recreation (OHV, hunting, hiking, camping, etc.) for many of the RIT workgroups.  Reps are needed for Northeastern Mojave (CA), Colorado Mojave (CA), Arizona/Utah and Nevada SE.  I will be working with the RIT for the Western Mojave (CA) workgroup.

Desert Tortoise Information and Education Working Group - The DTIE now has desert tortoise information  brochures available for distribution.  This brochure meets BLM requirement of tortoise education in conjunction with event SRPs.  Also available is a companion brochure covering raven control.

I participated with the group (including Defenders of Wildlife, US FWS, CA DFG, National Park Service and BLM) that drafted the brochures.  The brochures were funded through OHMVR grants and are available from Kyle Pong, Desert Tortoise Conservation Outreach Coordinator, The Living Desert, PH: 760-346-5694  ex 2116

USFS Water Quality Management Plan - My July 2011 report contained an extensive description of this project.  In addition, I provided a brief on the proposed project to the CA4WDC North District meeting in July.  Extensive comments have been submitted on behalf of CA4WDC.  Forest Service is moving forward with establishing the Stakeholders group with an organizational meeting scheduled for September 10.  The WQMP is scheduled to be reviewed at the State Water Board meeting on October 18, 2011.

This topic has generated a lot of interest and a lot of mis-conceptions. This proposed project is an update of an existing plan.  And, the BMPs are, and have been in place for a number of years, the practices currently used to guide on-the-ground activities.  What is “new” is the Waiver.  However, a similar “waiver” is currently in place under the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and national forests within their jurisdiction.

Coyote Canyon - A new group (COYOTE CANYON CITIZENS ASSOCIATION) has come out of nowhere to push the Coyote Canyon issue.  For a historical review, I provided a presentation to the Board at the June 2005 meeting in Newport Beach, CA covering the core issue of Coyote Canyon; the claim that the route qualifies as an RS-2477 route.  Shortly after, Ecologic (pushed by ORBA and CORVA) filed suit citing the RS-2477 argument.  The case was dismissed with prejudice 20 minutes into the hearing.

What is presented by the new group is substantially the same as the case filed by Ecologic.

Ecologic argued that federal law still held as rights-of-way were not correctly transferred.  The resulting legal decision left little room for doubt about the legality of that argument. The issue of "road rights" is limited in scope and based on RS-2477.  RS-2477 is a federal statute and does not apply to state (Ecologic lost) or private (Barking Dog Road in Colorado lost) land.  

Much of Anza-Borrego Desert Sate Park (including the Coyote Canyon area) was pieced together with "in-lieu" land selections granted to the State at statehood and with the legislation that established the trans-continental railroad sometime in the 1830-40 timeframe.  Additional federal lands were transferred to the State under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.

Coalition for Public Access - CA4WDC is involved with a Coalition that retains Aaron Read Associates, as a lobbyist with our principle point of contact being Terry McHale.  Terry was guest speaker at the 2010 CA4WDC Convention in Sacramento.

Clients represented at that one day meeting were CA4WDC, AMA D-36, ASA, and ORBA (representing AMA D-37, CNSA, and SDORC).  Daphne Greene and Phil Jenkins (OHMVRA Division) joined for part of the meeting.  The focus of the meeting was to discuss continued reallocation of California’s OHMVR trust fund monies in the form of loans and, most recently, rationalization of a permanent 10 million dollar loss of gasoline tax investments into the fund. The goal of the meeting was education about potential solutions for permanent protection of the OHMVR Trust, and what options OHV leadership should consider to best fill a potential shortfall in the more than 85 million dollar annual operating budget required to maintain the state’s OHMVR program.

Additional meetings and conference calls will be scheduled.

China Lake Scoping - There is an open scoping period for China Lake NWS. The scoping is to cover the renewal of the previous withdrawal for expansion of China Lake NWS 20 years ago.  New land acquisition is not addressed in the Notice of Intent.

Armagosa WSR and ACEC Scoping - In March 2009, as part of the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel Wild Heritage Act, a 26-mile stretch of the river between Shoshone and Dumont Dunes was protected as a Wild and Scenic River.  BLM is now developing a management plan for that section.

US Forest Service (USFS)

Project

Status

Notes

USFS Water Quality Management Plan (WQMP)

Comments Submitted; USFS Stakeholder Mtg Sep 10; State Water Board Mtg Oct 18 in Sacramento, CA

USFS Planning Rule

Comments submitted; est Final Rule release Fall 2011

Piute Mountains Travel Management (Sequoia NF)

Comments submitted - est Draft EA Spring 2012

Giant Sequoia National Monument Plan

Comments submitted - est Record of Decision Spring 2012

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

Project

Status

Notes

Johnson Valley/29 Palms Base Expansion (EIS/LEIS)

Comments Submitted; est Final EIS spring 2012

Desert Tortoise Recovery Plan

Updated Recovery Plan Released Aug 25

China Lake EIS/LEIS

Scoping comments due Sep 9

Armagosa WSR/ACEC

Scoping comments due Sep 30

Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area Management Plan (Glamis)

Est release of Final Draft Dec 2011

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP)

Scoping comments due Sep 9

Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (DLCC)

Quarterly Steering Committee Meeting Scheduled Sep 27-28 in Albuquerque, NM

State Parks/SVRA

Project

Status

Notes

Truckhaven/Ocotillo Wells North General Plan

Scoping complete; est Draft GP early 2012

Pismo SVRA General Plan/Air Quality Study

Air Quality Study release est Fall 2011

Legislation - 112th Congress

Project

Status

Notes

Wilderness - Los Padres NF

Pending submittal to Congress (Rep. Gallegly, R-CA 24)

Wilderness - San Bernardino NF

Angeles and San Bernardino National Forests Protection Act (Rep. Dreier, R-CA 26)

1

Wilderness - Cleveland NF

Beauty Mountain and Agua Tibia Wilderness Act (Rep. Issa, R-CA 49)

1

Feinstein Bill - S 138

The California Desert Protection Act of 2011 (Sen. Feinstein, D-CA)

1

Legal Issues

Project

Status

Notes

WEMO - Western Mojave (BLM)

Settlement phase; SEIS est fall 2011

2, 5

Eldorado NF

Settlement phase; est fall 2011

2

Six Rivers NF

Settlement phase; collaborative meetings on-going

2

SoCal Roadless (ANF, LPNF, SBNF, CNF)

Settlement phase; SEIS est fall 2011

2, 5

Stanislaus NF

On-going; Court hearing June 8, 2011

3

Truckhaven/Ocotillo Wells North

On-going; filled declaration w/Ecologic

4

Notes:

(1) Originally introduced in 111th Congress

(2) BlueRibbon Coalition Lead Fundraising

(3) CA4WDC Lead Fundraising

(4) EcoLogic Lead Fundraising

(5) SEIS - Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement

NRC South Report - September 2011
NRC South Report - July 2011
 

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