Napa County Sheriff's Office

Preliminary Application Comments

 The Napa County Sheriff's office does a great job protecting the public and the environment on Knoxville public lands. I have assisted them two years in a row with the earth day clean-up and I am amazed at how much trash is removed from this area each year. If it were not for the deputies, rangers and volunteers this area would be destroyed in a matter of months. I support the Napa County Sheriffs grant proposal and look forward to seeing them in Knoxville wildlife area and the Knoxville public lands in the future. [Warden Ed Morton, California Fish and Game Warden - 4/5/09]

 Link to comments from Don Amador, Western Representative, BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc. [3/28/09]

 The Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District is strongly in support of the request from the Napa County Sheriff’s Office for a grant from the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division to support law enforcement activities at the Bureau of Land Management’s Knoxville Recreation Area (KRA). The Knoxville Recreation Area is the only off-road vehicle recreation area in Napa County, and one of the few such areas in the region, and thus represents a signficant recreational opportunity for the entire region.

Unfortunately, the Bureau of Land Management lacks the staffing to adequately monitor the area, which has led to numerous problems with illegal and unsafe activities, and associated environmental damage. The County Sheriff’s Office is the only agency able to provide effective law enforcement in the KRA. However, due to the popularity, large size and remoteness of the KRA, providing a law enforcement presence in the KRA is a signficant financial burdgen for the Sheriff’s Office. The requested grant is essential if the Sheriff’s Office is to continue to provided needed law enforcement. [John Woodbury, General Manager, Napa County Regional Park and Open Space District - 3/25/09]

 Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Grant #94-6000525 submitted by the Napa County Sheriff's Office for the Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program - 2008/2009.

There is a great need for a law enforcement presence in the vicinity of the Knoxville Recreation Area (KRA) lands. These lands, and private properties adjacent to them, are subject to impacts from a plethora of illegal activities engaged in by people who view these lands as "the wild west" and a "lawless" area. The location is relatively remote but unfortunately also easily accessible by people seeking quiet, secluded locations to engage in illegal or just plain reckless activities, or looking to cause trouble for others. As co-Director of the University of California's McLaughlin Natural Reserve, which functions as an out-door laboratory for university-level researchers and students who engage in environment-based scientific studies, as well as for K-12 school groups, and which flanks the KRA on both the west and east ends, I am very appreciative of the time and effort invested by the Napa County Sheriff's Department into patrolling these lands. Since Sargent Clark and his colleagues first began regular patrolling of the KRA using OHMVR grant funds, there has been a noticeable decline in reckless and illegal activities, both on the RA itself and on adjacent property. In addition, it is not only the interception of activities that leads to this decline...simply the presence of law enforcement officers on the roads and trails is very effective in discouraging people from attempting illegal activities.

I and my colleagues have been disappointed that, since previous funding from the OHMVR program ran out, officers from the Napa Sheriffs department have not had the resources to engage in regular intensive patrol. While occasional "drive through" patrolling is of value, more extensive patrolling, both in number of days per month, and in long days, is of much greater value. Many careless or abusive users of the KRA and vicinity make surprisingly brief but "productive" visits, and the chance of intercepting them or scaring them off is low when only short occasional visits by enforcement officers can be made to the area. More time spent in this area by officers, especially if week-day visits are unpredictable (i.e. don't always occur on the same days), will be much more effective, as it has been in the past.

I am very supportive of this grant application. As was mentioned in the application, other enforcement agencies (Lake County Sheriff's Department, BLM rangers) face limitations in patrolling this area, and are supportive and appreciative of the Napa County Sheriff's office's willingness to engage in this very necessary task. We are happy to support the officers when patrolling by providing use of our facilities (a field station equipped with bunk rooms, full kitchen, bathroom with showers, and ample vehicle parking) for day use or overnight use, free of charge. I can't express enough how valuable the visibility of the NCSD officers is to safety of property, people using our Reserve, and the public who engages in legal and appropriate use of the KRA.

Thanks for allowing my input.  I encourage you to fund this grant. [Catherine Koehler - 3/24/09]

 These comments are regarding the grant application submitted for $64,708.00 to allow Napa County LEO's to patrol the Knoxville area by motorcycle and/or other types of off highway vehicles.

The application reads between the lines like an attempt to allow a few OHV clubs to continue holding outings and events by posting two OHV mounted officers, five days a month for ten hours each (overtime no less) which are going to solve all the problems of OHV "recreationists" traveling outside the permitted area, marijuana "gardeners" under control from shooting at "OHV recreationists", and essentially thwarting all manner of crimes against the U.C. Davis environmental studies within the designated research area.

I have spent countless hours in this area both hunting and shooting. I have witnessed the remains from willful acts of destruction of just about any object that could be shot, driven over, pulled down, or blown up.

I stopped visiting the area more than ten years ago. The control of the persons committing the infractions and contributing to the dumping in the area where a large part of the "target shooting" took place was out of control. These were not target shooters but individuals hell bent on shooting anything and everything then leaving the mess to scrounge through for target material on their next trip.

Knoxville is now primarily the playground of Lake County morons who couldn't care less for the environment, the safety of others, or boundaries set up along private and public lands.

The area should be closed to all motor vehicles except LE vehicles. With the closure to all private vehicles the need for patrols could be cut to levels quite possibly managed by Lake County LE.

For Napa Co. Sheriff's to spend $90,000.00 on this area is unacceptable in my opinion.

Spend the money on the development of a OHV Park where the pot can't grow, the Sierra Club won't get their shorts in a bunch and no University research is on going. [Mike Golemon - 3/21/09]

 I support the necessity of rewarding the Napa Sheriffs department an OHV grant. They work hard at keeping our recreational and wild life areas clean. They have raised their own money for years. As you know belts have tightened and funds are harder to come by. Regardless the lands have to be kept. Thanks in advance for your help. [Rick Johnson - 3/19/09]

 I strongly urge your organization to approve the current grant application as submitted by the Napa County Sheriff's Department!!

I'm a member of a local organization that urges its members to participate in the "clean-up" days the Sheriff's Department sponsors every year, and the feedback I hear is that this valuable wilderness area couldn't have better friends than the officers who patrol the area, then volunteer their cherished off-hours days to sponsor the annual clean-up!!!

The only thing that's missing is the MONEY they need for their operations, and your organization can make a very big difference when you approve their grant as submitted!!!
Thank you for your careful consideration. [Mary Rasmussen - 3/19/09]

 I would like to speak in favor the the Napa County Sheriff's current grant application (G08-03-35-L01) to better enable law enforcement patrols in the Knoxville BLM area in Napa County.

I have witnessed, first hand, many of the problems caused by vandalism and improper OHV use in this area. As an avid hunter, I frequently visit both the Knoxville BLM area, along with the Knoxville WA (CaDFG). I am often annoyed by the lack of respect a relatively small number of users seem to display in using these areas. I think that an increased level of law enforcement presence at the BLM area will also help maintain at least a "visible presence" in the WA as well.

Recently, I have become involved with the Tuleyome Group's efforts to establish a National Conservation Area (NCA) designation for much of the North Berryessa region. While I think this has excellent potential in terms of facilitating coordinated land-use management, I am concerned with possible efforts to limit both non-highway road use in general, and specifically OHV use in the Knoxville area, in the proposed NCA. Helping assist the Napa Co. Sheriff's office efforts to improve and maintain enforcement in the Knoxville BLM area will go a long way towards demonstrating that this area can be managed effectively. It would be a great loss to those of us that utilize our public lands in a responsible manner to loose this opportunity due to an inability to maintain a visible law enforcement presence in the area. [R. Than Hendricks, Ph.D - 3/19/09]

 I have been going to the Knoxville BLM area for years and enjoy having the opportunity to use it. Whether it be for hunting, fishing, off roading, camping, or just plain relaxation, Knoxville is vital to Napa County. I hope you consider how important it is for our generation and future generations. I have taken my 9 year old son up there to see the wildlife, to enjoy nature in all it’s beauty (thank you Napa Sheriffs for the clean up!). The Napa Sheriffs Dept. needs this grant to keep Knoxville in working order. Please consider giving the grant to them. [Sara Dooley - 3/19/09]