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Friends of Hope Valley

Preliminary Application Comments

 Link to comments from Jay Dobler - 4-6-09

 It is extremely important that the Friends of Hope Valley grant application be approved. Precisely because FHV wants to ensure that OHVs don't damage sensitive scenic and ecosystem values and assets, it is the perfect organization to conduct outreach on safety, health and other issues so very important to "multi-use" of the natural world around us. FHV is in fact the best possible organization to counter and balance in fair, just and legitimate ways the egregious positions of the OHV industry and its minions. Why should "outreach" be so one-sided? Please grant FHV's application. [Edward Mainland - 4/5/09]

 On behalf of CORVA and myself, I must strongly object to the Friends of Hope Valley grant request.

In researching the background of Friends of Hope Valley, I found some very distressing articles concerning OHV recreation in their newsletter dated Fall of 2008. The first quote details a trail addition the group is actively supporting. The title of the article is "Multi-Use Trails Proposal" and yet the following quote illustrates that multi-use, at least as defined by Friends of Hope Valley, does not include any kind of OHV recreation.

"A multi-use trail that parallels Hot Springs Road would connect Markleeville with Grover Hot Springs, possibly including a trail that would go from the Hot Springs to Turtle Rock County Park. This system could include the addition of a bike lane on Hot Springs Road. Multi-use, at this point, means hiking and biking, but could include horses; this, of course, is subject to change during the planning process.

Friends of Hope Valley supports this concept, aimed at separating pedestrian and vehicle use while encouraging community and environmental health, as long as these trails are for non-motorized use."

In addition to the above, Friends of Hope Valley defines itself though the following statements:
• Serves as the main spokesman for non-motorized designated areas & trails in the Winter Recreation Use Plan for Alpine County
• Fights for non-motorized trails in Hope Valley and Bagley Valley

Friends of Hope Valley is obviously a non-motorized organization that does not support OHV recreation. Nothing could be clearer reading through the information posted on their website. How can an organization that "fights for non-motorized trails" justify asking for funds from the OHV trust fund? This is the antithesis of the intention and wording of SB 742;

"This bill would require the division to develop and implement a grant and cooperative agreement program to support specified activities related to off-highway motor vehicles and programs involving off-highway motor vehicle safety or education. The bill would provide guidelines to implement this program."

There is nothing in the newsletter distributed by the Friends of Hope Valley, or on their website, that indicates any support for activities related to off-highway vehicles or programs.

They actually advocate and teach courses to the public on how to spy on snowmobiling activities, and report on members of the public enjoying our public lands with motorized recreation. This is a contemptible activity by it's very definition. Instead of teaching their supporters how to coexist with motorized recreation, they are teaching their supporters to spy on their fellow citizens and report their activities - strictly because they don't approve of this form of recreation!

Everything in the grant application submitted by the Friends of Hope Valley distorts the true intent of the organization. Even the scoring in the Evaluation criteria hide the true goal of the organization - to ban the use of OHV recreation from our public lands.

Item #A : The winter recreation guide for H-T National Forest is a duplicate of material already offered on the H-T NF website.

Also, the web sire for the H-T forest contains numerous maps and summer recreation guide as well. There is no reason for OHV funds to be used to duplicate existing information. Also, it is clear that the avalanche awareness course is intended for back-country skiers, a non-motorized activity.

Item #B: Since we have established that the Friends of Hope Valley opposes OHV recreation, a rereading of the statements under Item #B can be read as: we want to keep OHV recreation out of our public lands and discourage OHV recreation wherever possible.

Item #C: It is true that a winter recreation plan has been adopted by the H-T NF. It's on their website! A duplication of efforts is not necessary.

Evaluation Criteria

Q4 - please notice that none of the "partner" organizations include any OHV clubs, groups, or organizations. In fact, Hope Valley Outdoors is a private resort offering only non-motorized recreational activities. And Snowlands Network, on their website is self-defined as "we represent the interests of skiers, snowshoers and snowboarders who seek backcountry, wilderness-like opportunities" . Snowlands Network is will known for their opposition to OHV motorized activity, specifically OSV activity. The true score on this question should be (0) to reflect the true nature of the partnerships that DO NOT support OHV or OSV recreation.

Q6 - Score should be (0). It is not clear from the answer if any OHV clubs, groups or organizations were consulted to develop this course. If they intend to offer a course to OHV recreationists, it would be wise to contact those recreationists to determine if a course of this sort is wanted or needed. As stated previously, as the intent of the organization is to keep OHV and OSV recreation as far away from Hope Valley as possible, it may be assumed that the OHV and OSV community WAS NOT consulted.

Q7 - There is nothing to indicate that this proposed course of action was researched with the OHV community or OSV community in any way. On the contrary, it is clear that the Friends of Hope Valley do not support OHV or OSV activity in any form.

Q8 - It would be fair to assume that the Friends of Hope Valley will reach many non-motorized skiers for their avalanche safety course, but because of their militant activity encouraging their supporters to spy on OSV recreationists, it is doubtful that many OSV recreationists will support their courses, go to their website, or listen to their message.

In closing, this is exactly the type of grant application that SHOULD NOT be funded by the OHV trust fund. [Amy Granat - 3/31/09]

 I wish to voice some concerns with the grant application submitted by Friends of Hope Valley, G08-04-XX-S03. Though I am sure that organization does great work for their cause I must question an organization that is not in favor of OHV use trying to get our OHV funds.

Key issues I have with their application:

Under item #2 Contracts, Other-Interpretive signs - $9,000
As long as the signs they were erecting were for the benefit of OHV use, telling where you can or cannot travel. If they are for foot, bike, or horse trail information, this would be an inappropriate use of funds.

Under item #2 Contracts, Other-Website development - $5,000
Their current website shows this organization is not an OHV related group. They use the term "non-motorized" repeatedly on their website. If the money they would receive is not for OHV related website issues it should not be allowed.

Under item #2 Contracts, Other-Avalanche coarse/trainer - $2000
As long as a majority of those being trained are OHV snowmobile users and not cross country skiers I would agree with this. It does not clarify if that is the group that the training would be for.

8. Evaluation Criteria - Q 8.
8. Total number of points of contact the Project is anticipated to reach - 4

Greater than 10,000 (4 points)
I question that the signs or the website would reach that many people.

9. Evaluation Criteria - Q 9. (Education Project ONLY)
9. Total time a participant will have exposure to the Project’s message or training - 4

Greater than 2 hours (4 points)
I do not know how they think that a person would stay in front of a sign, a handout or even on a website for two or more hours to view their information.

I am not against this organization, I think they do a wonderful job in promoting non motorized recreation. But OHV funds must be spent on items that benefit the OHV community. [Rick Ferdon - 3/4/09]