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USFS - Los Padres NF - Patrol District

Preliminary Application Comments

 I am commenting on the grants #G08-02-09 S02, Ed and Safety for the Mt. Pinos area for students K-12. This project seems important and valuable for our young people to be educated about our natural resources; plants, animals, enviornment and to be respectful of the impact we have when using our National Forest in the Mt. Pinos area. Safety practices are a must when operating off road vehicles and fits very well in this grant. Since many young people and their parents who live here use ohv's as their recreation, I support this grant and encourage the partnership with the Frazier Park Boy's and Girl's Club.

As to the USFS Los Padres Patrol District, G08-02-23-Lo1, Law Enforcement grant, the project covers 4 districts and a large geographic area. The number of officer's to effectively cover this area appears to be inadequate. Realistically, funding should be increased and more officers hired before increasing useage by ohv's. We have had the Day Fire and other fires to remind us how inattention, carelessness etc. can destroy life, property and our beautiful enviornment. The pressure will continue if the population grows as projected. Those of us who live here will not feel safe if we think there are not enough "eyes and ears" to help protect us. I support the grant with the request to admend it to add additional officers.

Personally, I do not like ohv's for the noise, destruction, pollution, etc. they cause. However, I am realistic enough to know that they will not go away, that balance and compromise is needed. We all would like to have a win-win situation.

Thank you, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. [Anita Z. Anderson - 4/5/09]

 I am submitting these comments on the grant application by the Los Padres Patrol District OHV Law Enforcement Grant Application.

The Law enforcement grant request is for the 2008-2009 grant cycle was 79,000 with a total funds being 156,250. Last year’s grant request was 392,500 with the total funding being 544,000. This appears to be a very large reduction in the funding for law enforcement for Los Padres. Law enforcement is a critical component of any OHV program and is necessary for resource protection as well as safety. We recognize that adequate law enforcement provides the three tiers of defense and prevents possible progression to the fourth tier which is use restriction and closure which is one possible outcome of insufficient presence due to inadequate funding.

Last year’s grant request was for 110 days of LEO time and 1400 days of FPO time. This year’s request is for only 55 days of LEO time and 316 days of FPO time. Given the size of the district and the number of areas requiring coverage the request would not be sufficient to allow even one LEO to cover both the Santa Lucia district and the Mt. Pinos District on all weekends and this is assuming all other Districts had no coverage. FPO presence also appears to be insufficient as it would allow for roughly one year of coverage across all OHV areas. We are assuming that law enforcement funding must be available through other sources? We recognize that the number of applications for law enforcement funding have far exceeded the available grant funds, but we contend that an area with the geographical area and the levels of use experienced by Los Padres should receive funding at a more realistic level. [Bruce Whitcher - 4/3/09]