BLM - Ukiah Field Office
Preliminary Application Comments
This is Drew Ramsay the North Bay MC secretary. I have been busy with pre-entries for the race, lots of emails, letters, phone calls to respond to then left wed. for the race to prep.
I wanted to respond to the grant process to support BLM and let you know we like 4 of the 5 grants. Excluding the 8 mile one.
The following points are in regard to possible future grant funding:
Although there were only 18 of us at the mtg. we currently run about 50 members and are therefore able to muster a good work force to adopt trails and to work with you to put in some new trails once the review process has run its course.
-The alternate entrance to South Cow Mtn. off Scotts Valley Rd. sounds good.
-A new fee system would be good to possibly cut down on the local outlaws, I am all for getting a little more order up there. I had a utility trailer I couldn't leave far from my camp site because sunday night the locals were back running up the river after dark. I didn't want them to light it on fire.
-Event only trails would offer something to draw riders and we could maintain them by hand, this is the preferred type for more experienced riders.
-We would like to see the maint. staff restored to original levels because the rider count has increased putting more pressure on the trails. It seems to me if there were more trails we could revolve some trails to recover or put some reroutes in at the high abuse area's.
-Install Quad filters ( I have seen large logs across the trail entrance, only wide enough for a motorcycle ).
-4x4 designated so they don't destroy the single track motorcycle trails. I am all for 4-wheeling ( I own one ), just put up signs or whatever works best.
Thank you for being approachable and open at the meeting, I felt like both of you did your best at answering the questions with out a run around. I have been to a few other forest meetings and it is very upsetting when you can tell the forrest managers seem to have an agenda and we are just in the way.
I felt you sincerely want to work with us and are interested in our imput. [Drew Ramsay, NBMC - 4/6/09]
SUPPORT of Grants # G08-01-17-G01 Ground Ops, G08-01-17-P01 Plan, G08-01-17-P02 Plan, G08-01-17-S01 Edu., SUPPORT of Grant # G08-01-01-L01 Law Enforcement.*
Law Enforcement Grant Comments.
“As this is a Law Enforcement Grant, D36 would ask that the overall LE funding INCLUDE any and all motorized permitted special events as inclusion of this law enforcement grant, and apply to any LE Cost Recovery pertaining to that permitted event.
LE Grant is funded by the OHV community, and the OHV community is holding said special event. D36 feels this is on fair to no again charge for services which the same community has already paid for. See BLM Handbook H-2930-01 SRP Policy for clarification on Cost Recovery.
Request is made to agency that any overtime for LE expenses and purposes at any permitted special motorized event be avoided at all costs, so the maximum LE dollars can be spread over the Grant Cycle funding period.
I SEE NOTHING IN ANY STATUE, LAW OR OTHERWISE THAT PRHIBITS THIS ACTION TAKING PLACE.
This important OHV opportunity is one of the best in Northern California area.
As usual, D36 supports LE programs that make sense for the community it serves. [David Pickett - 4/6/09]
Education) maps signs pamphlet, stress uncommon rules/laws. Most laws & rules are commonsense. Not much $ need be spent here.
Safety) more trails! So rides can spread out less chance for accident, like headons.
Law enforcement)1 peace officer 1 ranger, should be enough. As long as they did there job & were there mainly when its busy. Not Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.
Eight mile valley) road not worth fixing, unless good parking area/primitive camping area can be dun passed that. Would cost less to make trail around it. Road only goes about 1 mile passed that point anyway.
Ground operations) more trails! more trails! I would like to see more bike only trails & more quad trails & I'm sure jeep guys want more jeep trails. Also I like web cam idea. It must be robust & maintained - this would do more for law enforcement than an officer or ranger just driving around.
Bottom line, I dont want my money wasted on amenities just lot's of trail's to ride on. [Damon - 4/2/09]
Thank you for the opportunity to comment on your grant proposals for Cow mtn and Knoxville. I hope it is appropriate to put them all in one letter.
I support the grant proposal for law enforcement as written. Both areas are in need of additional enforcement to control the ongoing vandalism problems. The increased use at these areas because of the CCMA closure also warrants additional enforcement and search and rescue funding. I hope that these grants will reduce the need to charge clubs for law enforcement for approved events.
Education and safety;
A new supply of maps are badly needed. I have my doubts about the web cams sustainability, but will support them as an experiment to see if they work. I think the web cam at the gate is a valuable tool for users to have , but wonder how long they will last before being vandalized by local partiers. Perhaps a better solution might be to have a local motorcycle shop keep an up to the minute open or closed notice on their web site.
For Red mtn campground, I agree something needs to be done to control the situation up there. For the most part I don’t think it is OHVer’s causing the problems at the camp ground, but more of us might use it if we felt safer. I think the ultimate solution is to close Red mtn campground and replace it with a campground at the Scotts Creek entrance. A campground there at the old home site would have power and water, and would be easily patrol able by Law enforcement.
Cow mtn planning;
I support as written. I am very excited at the opportunities for improvements at Cow mtn. Improved maps, developing a replacement/ rotational trail system, and all the other items mentioned are worthy endeavors that will improve the visitor experience.
I support as written. We especially need to have the recreation officer position funded and filled. This is the key to implementing all of the great improvements planned for these areas.
Eight mile valley;
As discussed at the meeting, this one does not benefit OHV use as written. I would support a grant to repair the road, and possible one to make a improved camp ground in the valley.
Thanks again for the opportunity. I look forward to many more years of riding and volunteer work at Cow mtn. [Brad Sede - 3/30/09]
1. To the extent Green Sticker monies are used, infrastructure improvements such as camp sites, parking, etcetera should be primitive. Contrary to what my Wife and Daughters believe, "roughing it" is not a hotel sans room service. The outdoor experience does not need to include much in the way of amenities. The OHV folks don't need built in loading ramps as found at the West Side Staging area. I believe the group at the 3/26 meeting were in agreement on that and my experience is that this is the general consensus.
2. BLM should not expend much money on trail construction or maintenance. BLM generally tends to use a "Sweeco" trail machine which disturbs the soil more than necessary and creates the wrong kind of trails, moreover, they are expensive to buy and expensive to operate. Trails built with a Sweeco no longer follow the natural contours of the terrain so they are not sustainable without huge efforts. BLM would be better served by putting the money into an Ombudsman position that would liaise between the OHV volunteers and the BLM staff. The volunteers could provide the labor to build and maintain "adopted" trails sometimes as an offset for using the area for events. This approach would give clubs "ownership" of a trail, with that ownership comes pride of ownership. . .the difference between a rental and your own house.
3. An Ombudsman would be able to leverage the volunteer efforts to great effect. I believe the current "urban legend" among the OHV crowd is that the BLM is run by anti OHV folks. Clearly that is not the case (now) but a Planner/Ombudsman working with clubs to get more trails would communicate that message well. I believe you may find volunteers coming out of the woodwork. In fact I believe you would be surprised just how many volunteer hours have been put in over the years on Red mountain already.
4. I believe we have plenty of acres on Red Mountain (South Cow Recreational area) to create a world class OHV recreational area and your office has the right culture. Given the increase in customers (a good thing in my business) Red mountain has become very congested and dangerous, the solution is more trails. Otherwise we may find that, to borrow an old Graucho Marx line. . ."Nobody goes there anymore because it's always too crowded".
Given the new economic reality in California we need to learn to do more with less. The above is consistant with that goal.
Thanks for all your efforts. [Ross H. Liberty - 3/28/09]
Link to comments from Don Amador, Western Representative, BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc. 3/23/09
On behalf of myself and CORVA I would like to voice my support for the BLM Ukiah Field Office requests for grants.
1. Education and Safety: The Ukiah Field Office recognized the importance of educating the OHV riding and driving public about the rules and regulations regarding OHV activity on South Cow Mountain NRA. This should always be the first line of defense when dealing with OHV areas. It is critical that the OHV enthusiast understand where the trails are located, and I must heartily endorse the idea of using live web cam's so the public will know the current conditions on "the mountain".
The BLM Ukiah Field Office is exhibiting innovative ways to keep the public engaged with their local areas, and I hope that other OHV areas will also adopt this technology should it prove to be effective.
2. Planning: Although the Eight-mile Valley grant request does not directly increase OHV opportunities, it does enhance existing OHV activities in the area. Therefore, I support this grant request.
3. Planning: Cow Mountain is a critical an important OHV area. In order to continue as such, adequate and appropriate planning and development must be supported, especially by the OHV community. Therefore, I support this grant request.
In summary, all the grant requests by the Ukiah Field Office of the BLM are appropriate and directly benefit OHV recreation in the area. I support all these grants. [Amy Granat, Northern Director, CORVA - 3/21/09]