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BLM - California State Office

 Grant request # G09-04-06-G01
Education and Safety, Archaeological Site Stewardship Program

I would like to express my support for the Archaeological Site Stewardship Program, and express my wish for continued support from this program. I took the opportunity to register for the class this year, and was both impressed and appreciative of this program.

OHV access can either help or hinder other activities, and I believe with more education members of the OHV community can both protect some of the archaeological treasures in the state, and halt some of the closures due to the discovery of arch. sites.

The grant amounts requests, after removing the match amounts, are minimal for the amount of instruction planned for the coming year. Sometimes, as OHV advocates, we have to think outside the box and endorse education and causes not previously thought to be traditional OHV allies. CASSP has allowed me to understand how this is possible and can benefit OHV opportunities as much as we can protect archaeological sites.

Kudos to CASSP and all the good work that they have already accomplished. With this grant request, they can continue to do more good work and educate more OHV enthusiasts. [Amy Granat - 4/5/10]



 The California Wilderness Coalition strongly supports the California State Office’s 2009-2010 grant application proposals for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. We believe that the proposals reflect the BLM’s ongoing commitment to maintain an OHV program that balances recreational opportunities with ecological safeguards.
 
We are very pleased to see the funding request for statewide restoration oversight in the California Desert District and Colorado River District. The activities outlined in the grant request are needed to ensure that restoration funds are used efficiently and strategically. In particular, we applaud the initiative to advance planning efforts across agency boundaries, such as watershed-level planning for OHV-related restoration.
 
We also support the funding request for monitoring of Sonoran woodland birds and desert tortoise populations. Such monitoring is needed to ensure that BLM management practices are maintaining healthy and viable wildlife populations and minimizing the impacts of OHV recreation on these species and their habitats.

If you need volunteers to help implement these or other projects, please do not hesitate to contact us.  [Sean Baumgarten - 4/2/10]



 Everyone asking for Grant money does it with honorable intentions to manage our public lands , provide sustainable recreation and protect resources.  I agree with all of that and am not one to say "do not fund"  but there are exceptions from my point of view. 
 
In reviewing these grants for 2009/2010  It it is alarming how the % of actual work on the ground changes from one agency to another.  From experience I would like to see no more than 5% of the grant request for staff under Ground Operation go to management.   The key to sustainable recreation on our public lands are for our grant money to be spent on the ground.  
 
Every single grantee should be preaching "Stay on Designated Trail"   regardless what your job is, it is the responsibility of every person involved with OHV that this message has to pushed.
 
Every single grantee should encourage those that are law abiding citizens to put pressure on the "Willfully Ignorant" to change their way so that we can have a "Sustainable OHV recreation"  for future generations. 
 
Lastly I want to thank every single person involved in working on  OHV recreation for your time and dedication . [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/28/10]


 Good Afternoon.   In reviewing this grant I find it very troubling that we are  putting in for $310,000 grant to do something that has absolutely nothing to do with on the ground OHV opportunity.   Our program has been in place since 1972.  Millions and I mean millions has been spent on everything possible, yet every year each agency keeps coming back for more and more and more. yet not one agency has provided a report of how much they have received to date since 1972.  What have they really done.  There is no historical track record mentioned in any of these grants,  No cumulative report of what you have accomplished over all these years with the millions given to you.  It is almost like your institutional memory starts over at each grant cycle, and you forget what you have done before.  I have had these conversations with Jim Weigand before and yet you keep coming back for more and more and more.

A.  Monitoring of the Sonoran Woodland Birds.  $60,000     This is over the top
 
B. Monitoring of Desert Tortoise, $180,000  this is over the top. You have millions being spent from Federal Government  to do this, there is absolutely no reason OHV has to contribute another dime.  The Tortoise has been studied to death and now it is nothings but an excuse to keep staff funded, by whatever means possible. There are thousands and thousands of tortoises out there, They are doing very well, even after institutions removed hundreds from the DTNA to study, tortoise that never came back.
C.  Restoration oversight,  $40.000  Now this is another example of keeping staff funded. Each Field office knows what they are doing. State office is not helping what so ever, not even when field offices need help on NEPA work to do the restoration in the first place.  Energy is gobbling up all of Field office staff, and NEPA work for restoration is going begging.   If State office would help with the NEPA work I would agree to this, but to do oversight, is a joke, they do not need oversight.
 
D.  Education and Safety, Archaeological.   Beth has been doing a good job, we have funded this program for year and year and years, yet, when we need clearances for Archeological stuff for Restoration, we go begging. I think we have done enough over the past 15 years.  They should be on their own by now and not take money from ground operations that are desperately needed . On the ground work is key,  Yet we keep doing everything but Ground operation. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/27/10]



 BLM State office would serve the OHV public better, (it is OHV grants we are talking about) if they would embrace the field offices need for Route Designation in form of materials,  maps, GPS system, Education together with law enforcement  to keep folks on "Designated Trails"  .  The "Willfully Ignorant"  are  running the show because they have no fear of agencies catching them because it has not been a priority of agencies.  BLM State office could do a lot better if it dedicated their resources and grants to assist Field offices in these areas so that the BLM multiple use concept can be  preserved. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/27/10]



 Please do not give any state money to a federal agency to close our public land to us.  I whole heartedly reject what the federal government is doing to our lands.  They are tying to kill local economies and discourage people from living free.  It appears as if they all want us to sit and a desk and enjoy the forest on a screensaver. [Casey Crandall - 3/11/10]


 The following is my comment for the OHV Grant funding request:
 
How many years is this study?  Why should OHV Grant money continue to fund this? The BLM has already determined the cause of the lowered population densities of tortoises:
“Beginning in the late 1980s, however, tortoises began to die at unprecedented rates from a combination of imported diseases and predation by ravens, vandalism, uncontrolled dogs, and coyotes, resulting in lowered population densities of tortoises.”
 
It’s time to stop studying and start working on a solution!
I recommend not funding this Grants request.
 
Thank you for considering my comment. [Bruce Brazil - 3/8/10]


 The following are my comments for the OHV Grant funding request.
 
I believe that Restoration projects should be site specific.
Knowledge of RESTORATION should not be specific to OHV areas. This position should be for all of the BLM lands and not funded by the OHV Grant program.
 
Monitoring of restoration projects should be included in the original project and not an afterthought.
A. List of Restoration Activities
The BLM is particularly interested in advancing technologies for arid land restoration and learning from outcomes of restoration projects funded by the OHMVR Division. Restoration of desert riparian areas damaged by unauthorized OHV travel is a major direction for restoration in the coming years. Efficiencies in seed collection, plant propagation, drought resilience, and herbivore control can help the BLM respond to the scale of OHV restoration required to meet OHMVR conservation standards for OHV recreation landscapes.
 
I recommend not funding this project.
 
Thank you for considering my comments. [Bruce Brazil - 3/8/10]


 The following is my comment for the OHV Grant funding request.
 
The only entry for funding by the OHV Grant program is:
“Other-Monitoring for Other Woodlands, $60,000.”
There is no explanation of where this money is intended to go.
 
How long is this study going to continue? At some point, there should be enough data to make some sort of decisions. Studying for the sake of studying doesn’t accomplish anything.
 
I also believe that this should be considered a Restoration Project.
4970.11. RESTORATION
(a) Purpose
(3) Restoration Projects also include scientific and cultural studies regarding
OHV impacts and Restoration Planning efforts.
 
Because there has been no end point for this study, I recommend not funding it.
 
Thank you for considering my comments. [Bruce Brazil - 3/8/10]