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BLM - Barstow Field Office

Preliminary Application Comments


 I an writing this letter in support of a proposed OHV grand funding by the BLM Barstow Field office for restoration projects in the Juniper Flats area. As an avid off-roader and long time property owner in the region, I fully support the WEMO route designations. Unfortunately, there are some individuals within the OHV community who do not abide by route designations and regulations and the damaging effects of illegal hill climb activity at Arrastra Canyon is degrading this unique riparian area that is a magnet for not only wildlife in the area, but for all recreational users. I wish to thank the OHV Commission for their visit to the location in the past as well as the attention of OHMVRD Public Safety Superintendent John Pelonio and Supervising Ranger Kelly Cloor, who viewed recent photos of ongoing damage at a the BLM/CDD meeting in Moreno Valley, Ca on March 25,2009.

Also of great concern is the restoration of Off Road Vehicle damage as a result of WEMO route non-compliance within the Juniper Flats ACEC at Cottonwood Springs. This lawless activity is having a negative effect on sensitive cultural resources and previous restoration efforts have been negated by continued unlawful OHV use that deviates from legal open routes. Funds are greatly needed for a harder barrier to illegal OHV use at key intrusion points and the Barstow BLM could really use some assistance to negate the damage caused by illegal OHV use at this location.

Please help the off-road community to help prevent closures of areas by providing funding for restoration and enforcement in this area. recently, the Barstow BLM Field office has been teaming up with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's department and Land Use Services/Code Enforcement to provide enforcement and educational teams to patrol this area. The Juniper Flats region is a mix of both private and public lands which require a multi agency approach to law enforcement. they have been doing a wonderful job but clearly need more funding. I applaud the State of California for providing funding to help promote legal and responsible OHV recreation, as well as providing restoration dollars to help repair the damage caused by the irresponsible and uninformed users who cause problems for all.

Thank you for your attention and the opportunity to comment. I am sending a hard copy of this letter along with the recent photos to your offices in support. [David Van Voorhis - 4/6/09]


 Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the preliminary OHMVR grant requests that the Barstow BLM office has submitted this year. As you know, the Friends of Juniper Flats is a non profit organization dedicated to the protection, preservation and restoration of the resources in that special area. We appreciate that you have included the many hours of resource monitoring work by our volunteers in the grant request and that the Barstow BLM office is taking a special interest in the area. The area offers varied OHV opportunity including 4x4, ATV, and some trails dedicated to motorcycle only riding. Our monitoring reports (now for over 6 years) indicate a high level of non compliant OHV travel with destruction of previous restoration work and significant trail proliferation and widening in the Juniper Flats ACEC and Arrastre Canyon in particular. Arrastre Canyon comprises several square miles of steep hills with thin granitic soils that erode easily and includes over 20 seeps and springs with associated riparian vegetation and habitat. There are miles of motorcycle only routes in Arrastre Canyon and no access for BLM vehicles.  The Juniper Flats Area also includes the Juniper Flats ACEC which also has several seeps, springs and riparian habitat as well as cultural sites. Much of the area is currently fenced from the Willow Fire Closure and there are miles of cattle grazing fences and private property fences which are continuously cut by OHV riders.

The Juniper Flats Area is a favorite place for recreation of a growing number of residents in nearby Hesperia (less than 5 miles), Apple Valley (less than 2 miles) and Lucerne Valley (less than 2 miles) as well as Victorville and the County areas between. Our membership is a diverse population of residents and others who like to hike in the area, picnic, camp, watch wildlife, mountain bike, trail run, hunt, target shoot, hang glide, and climb rocks as well as ride horses, and tour with OHVs. All the recreation activity is in addition to numerous residences (many surrounded by BLM land), a grazing lease and small mining operations that are allowed in the area. All visitors use an OHV to get to their destination in the Juniper Flats Area. The tremendous increase in visitors and the diversity of recreation is creating friction and in some instances dangerous situations. At present there are no informational kiosks in the region and insufficient funds for BLM presence. We appreciate that the BLM is applying for much needed funds to help deal with these issues. Although the area offers varied OHV opportunities, OHV non compliance has long been a great concern to residents and people visiting the area for quiet recreation. OHV noise, dust, dangerous short cuts, as well as scarring from hill climbs are all taking their toll on the resources (which includes more than 20 seeps and springs with associated riparian vegetation and cultural sites). Non compliant OHV behavior is having an increasingly negative effect on all other types of recreation, grazing and mining.

We fully support the Juniper Flats Restoration grant (#G08-01-04-R04), the Law Enforcement Barstow BLM grant (#G08-01-04-L01), and also the Barstow OHV Education and Safety Grant (#G08-01-04-S01) we look forward to daily law enforcement patrols and communicating with you about the details as well as how we can be of more help. [Jenny Wilder, Coordinator, Friends of Juniper Flats - 4/6/09]


 I would like to comment on grant submissions to the California OHMVR Division by the BLM - Barstow Field Office.  I have reviewed the grants for El Mirage Lake Road Development, Dumont Dunes OHV Ground Operations, Barstow OHV Ground Operations, El Mirage OHV Ground Operations, El Mirage Twin Hills Planning and Barstow OHV Education & Safety and feel these are all worthwhile grants that should be funded fully.

I have read the Law Enforcement, Barstow grant and support all except the portion that states "Registration: it is a standard practice is to check for proper registration whenever visiting a campsite or when contacting OHV operators". I believe that this practice violates the notion of law enforcement having "probable cause" to ask for registration and would like to see this practice stopped. Please consider having this grant applicant refrain from this practice while working under grant dollars. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 4/3/09]



 Link to comments from Dean Greenwalt - 4/3/09



 I fully support this grant, BLM has done a great job in keeping Dumont Dunes in great shape for the users. This grant keeps the users informed and they see what is being done.

Dumont Protective Barrier Restoration:
I strongly disagree with this grant. There is so much more that could be done before a fence is put up around the whole area. Volunteer patrols in the area's of concern, more LEO presence in that area, I've hardly seen any LEO in the wash area, a couple weekend of good enforcement and tickets will get the word out in the community. I don't think it is a large portion of Dune users, I think more trail riders going from one place to another. I've only seen a couple people out there in the last few years of going, and then they did not know they were out of bounds. I think alot more signage and carcinite markers will work, maybe bigger and a different color. Really hard for people to see brown markers in a brown desert when spaced 2/10th's of a mile apart. We have a big group of users that have offered volunteer assistance in helping place them, they just need to be out there to see. Maybe put some post and cable in the critical areas, but in no way should the entire area be fenced in.  I think it is a waste of money and time being there is so much more that could and should be done prior to this happening. By chance a lawsuit was filed it would only take a gate across the entrance to close of to everyone. I think if the fence was put up, we are only helping the other side with closing it off. I know this 1st part is for 9 miles of fence, but really it's for 20 miles of it. 9 miles is just the 1st part. I think the area needs to be surveyed and marked properly. I've seen the boundry signs slowly get closer over the last few years, something no one wants to see. Hope this helps out in some way, I don't want to see fencing when I go out in the middle of the desert, ruins the natural landscape and creates an eyesore.

NO FENCE AROUND DUMONT DUNES

Thanks again for the comment section. Semper Fi. [Mike Woods - 4/2/09]



 Link to letter on my views about the BLM grants for Dumont Dunes. Please take the time to consider my thoughts. [Pete Greep - 4/1/09]



 I am writing this letter in support of a proposed OHV grand funding by the BLM Barstow Field office for restoration projects in the Juniper Flats area. As an avid off-roader and long time property owner in the region, I fully support the WEMO route designations. Unfortunately, there are some individuals within the OHV community who do not abide by route designations and regulations and the damaging effects of illegal hill climb activity at Arrastra Canyon is degrading this unique riparian area that is a magnet for not only wildlife in the area, but for all recreational users. I wish to thank the OHV Commission for their visit to the location in the past as well as the attention of OHMVRD Public Safety Superintendent John Pelonio and Supervising Ranger Kelly Cloor, who viewed recent photos of ongoing damage at a the BLM/CDD meeting in Moreno Valley, Ca on March 25,2009.

Also of great concern is the restoration of Off Road Vehicle damage as a result of WEMO route non-compliance within the Juniper Flats ACEC at Cottonwood Springs. This lawless activity is having a negative effect on sensitive cultural resources and previous restoration efforts have been negated by continued unlawful OHV use that deviates from legal open routes. Funds are greatly needed for a harder barrier to illegal OHV use at key intrusion points and the Barstow BLM could really use some assistance to negate the damage caused by illegal OHV use at this location.

Please help the off-road community to help prevent closures of areas by providing funding for restoration and enforcement in this area. recently, the Barstow BLM Field office has been teaming up with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's department and Land Use Services/Code Enforcement to provide enforcement and educational teams to patrol this area. The Juniper Flats region is a mix of both private and public lands which require a multi agency approach to law enforcement. they have been doing a wonderful job but clearly need more funding. I applaud the State of California for providing funding to help promote legal and responsible OHV recreation, as well as providing restoration dollars to help repair the damage caused by the irresponsible and uninformed users who cause problems for all.

Thank you for your attention and the opportunity to comment. I am sending a hard copy of this letter along with the recent photos to your offices in support. [David Van Voorhis - 3/30/09]


 Project: El Mirage Lake Road Development
   Position: Strongly Support

A little history lesson here:

CORVA committed to the general concept of management of El Mirage way back in the mid 1980's when Rick Bates was president. I continued this support during my tenure as president.  Ed Waldheim took this support to a new level and followed through with all levels of government who provided what it took to get this project done.

El Mirage provides perhaps one of the most unique (abet complex) opportunities for motorized and non-motorized recreation in the state.

Back in the day, the lake bed and a few scattered parcels were publicly owned and the vast majority of the lands were private. We knew then, as we see now, that this was to be an expensive project. The decision was made to provide a facility to direct folks to recreate that desired a more managed "open area" opportunity.

The concept was/is to provide for this opportunity and perhaps these folks would not end up in areas that that they are not ready for and perhaps cause unacceptable impact to the same.

While the project has not gone with some stumbles through the years, the result has been rather successful.

Ed Waldheim's (Friends of El Mirage) efforts are to be commended. Starting with a vision, Ed has relentlessly pressed on for over twenty years and never wavered from the goal of providing this opportunity. Indeed, this was a commitment of all stakeholders made long ago.

I find it incumbent upon the OHV Division/Commission to submit its support to this project. Anything else would be a slap in the face of three CORVA administrations, the visitors to El Mirage, the government agencies who made this project happen, and the non-profit groups who have given "care and feeding" that in turn, has made El Mirage a success. [Steve Kuehl, Past President, CORVA - 3/29/09]


 We support the grant requests made by the Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Office. The Barstow Management Area is heavily impacted by OHV enthusiasts from all over California. The Jr. Ranger Program is an interested concept and should bring excellent returns. El Mirage Dry Lake is intensively used by OHV enthusiasts from Los Angeles, Orange, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Kern, and Riverside Counties. Infrastructure at that location shows the impact of the usage. Dumont Dunes is another site that is heavily used, especially on holiday week-ends. Although the Bureau of Land Management allocates extensive resources to these areas, additional funding is critical to ensure a safe and enjoyable OHV experience. [Karl Smith, District Legislative Officer, American Motorcyclist Association, District 37 - 3/22/09]