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
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.
On January 31, 2013, OHV leaders met with representatives of the BLM and Soda Mountain Solar and received assurances that the project would not encroach on the adjacent Rasor Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area, and that they would keep OHV leaders abreast of developments. However, in reviewing the Final EIS dated June 2015, we find that the project will now take 52 acres away from the Rasor OHV Area.
This loss of OHV opportunity is a surprise to us because it was not suggested by any of the alternatives in the Draft EIS, nor were OHV leaders contacted by the BLM or project planners with respect to this change. We are confused by this breach of assurances and bothered by the continuing erosion of our OHV opportunities in San Bernardino County.
Therefore, due to the significant differences between the Draft and Final EIS documents and this disturbing change in the project footprint, we urge you to request that the BLM extend the protest period on the project by an additional 90 days, and that the BLM hold a new round of public meetings to explain the changes.
American Motorcyclists Association, District 37 P.O. Box 1007
Yorba Linda, CA 92885
Blue Ribbon Coalition 4555 Burley Drive, Suite A Pocatello, ID 83202
American Sand Association PO Box 24638
Tempe, AZ 85285
California Four Wheel Drive Association 8120 36th Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95824
California Off Road Vehicle Association 1500 West El Camino Ave. #352 Sacramento, CA 95833
Off Road Business Association 1701 Westwind Drive #108 Bakersfield, CA 93301
Friends of Rasor Road
15401 Chemical Lane Huntington Beach, CA 92649
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein, United States Senator
The Honorable Col. Paul Cook (Ret.), Member, United States House of Representatives
Mr. Jeffery Childers, Project Manager, BLM California Desert District