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USFS - Pacific Southwest Region

 Grant Application #G09-02-12-G01 USFS Pacific Southwest Region.

I have serious reservations about this request from the regional office of the USFS in California. First of all, I find a number of inconsistencies & inaccuracies in the application.

After working with the Forest Service in the majority of forests in California over the past few years, I feel I can more accurately answer the questions in the General Application than the applicants.

Starting with question #1, the amount of OHV opportunity offered in the most of the 18 forests in California has been vastly reduced in the last year, and we are sure to see more reductions in the coming year. Not only that, but OHV recreation has been widely discouraged and openly disparaged by members of the Forest Service, especially by the Forest Supervisor of the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. In many forests we have heard the call for "quiet recreation" over OHV recreation, however ill-defined the term may be.

Question #2: the map that most of the forests have issued after completion of travel management has been a poor quality, illegible map. To contend that this is issued at no charge is an exaggeration, since it is not a map that is usable by the OHV recreating public.

Question #7: I have never seen a forest that has patrolling officers available 5 days per week. Certainly, neither barriers nor signs are placed at the majority of intersections, in fact, during the Travel Management process we were told that existing signage on many forests indicating official OHV trails were placed there erroneously, and entire OHV systems were then dismissed from use by the OHV community and called "user created trails". So we have been taught by the Forest Service itself not to trust the signage on the forests in California. And again, the MVUM's produced by the forests are useless and do not help drivers and riders in any way.

In regards to the grant request itself, I find that the Forest Service is correct in assessing the need for new maps for forest visitors. But because they are requesting funding for new maps, they must reflect the need for the maps in the general application by not giving themselves the maximum amount of points for available maps in question #7. 

In any case, I do find it comforting that the Forest Service is admitting the inadequacies of the MVUM's. The requested amounts I find exaggerated - they want the entire cost of the graphic designer and the cartographer to be borne by the grant, with no match by the Forest Service, and I find the $112,500 printing cost to be very high. But the reality is that OHV enthusiasts do need new maps, and if this is the only way we can get these needed maps, I would grant the Forest Service part of the money they are requesting, but ask for more printing proposals, and a greater match for the cartographer and graphic designer. [Amy Granat - 4/5/10]



 I'm frustrated with how minimal the USFS MVUM maps are, and think it is unfair that USFS units within the Pacific Southwest Region (Region 5) are delivering such minimal maps after the OHV trust fund pumped twelve million dollars into the USFS Travel Management process in California. After delivering such sub-standard MVUMs, now they want to dig back into the OHV Trust Fund to deliver the usable map that USFS should have delivered in the first place?!?! That’s unacceptable, and would be double-dipping – using millions of dollars and failing to generate usable documents, and then asking for hundreds of thousands of dollars MORE to format what they failed to deliver in the first place!
 
The existing MVUM maps I have seen thus far are so devoid of lake, river, peak, campground, topographic contours, and other context that they are virtually unusable! The grant application states that "...members of the public and the motorized recreationist community have expressed a desire for the Forest Service to provide visitor-friendly maps to complement MVUM enforcement documents." That's not an accurate representation of events -- users have expressed how inadequate the maps are and questioned why more information was not included to allow even a minimum level of function. It is a strong statement about how few users support this grant that USFS lists no partner organizations under Question 5: Utilization of Partnerships -- USFS has so thoroughly under-delivered with the MVUM maps that users and groups are skeptical about other USFS map offerings.
OHMVR spent millions and millions of dollars with USFS on Travel Management, and USFS failed to deliver the results that they promised – this is not a strong argument to providing more money to the same agency for delinquent deliverables remaining from earlier funding cycles.
       
As well, there are problems with USFS’ self-rating sections.
* With seasonal closures in most forests (coming to all?), the OHV Visitor Opportunity Summary section numbers need reworked to account for the significantly lower opportunity allowed by these aggressive restrictions.
* Similarly, the whole 43,000 miles of Forest Roads aren't all available to OHVs, and the aggregate opportunity numbers should be adjusted to reflect those as well -- USFS should not take credit for year-round OHV usage on roads where they seasonally prevent OHV usage (certainly some of these roads are available for limited OSV use, but not all of them)!
* Sound Level Testing does not occur with the 50%-or-greater frequency listed under Question 13 across all Region 5 forests -- I've *NEVER* seen it in Eldorado National Forest, Tahoe National Forest, or the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit. Please substantiate where and when testing occurs and average across the Region -- I'm sure you'll find that USFS provides sound level testing on less than 25% of holidays and weekends.
Please re-evaluate and re-score the above elements of this grant application so that this grant application competes fairly with other grant requests.
 
Lastly, creation of these maps fits the Education category far better than it fits the Ground Operations category. The Education section of the grant guidelines specifically calls out “Maps and Brochures” as Education deliverables. USFS has targeted a category that has more dollars, and OHMVR needs to consider the grant where it fits best, not where it is ‘strategically positioned.’
 
As harsh as this comment letter may sound, I'm actually in favor of USFS producing the maps discussed in this grant – just not the grant, itself. USFS squandered public resources on producing tens of thousands of unusable MVUMs … and is now lined up to feed on OHV trust funds for further funding. I do not support funding this grant request. [Randy Burleson - 4/5/10]


 Ground Operations for $213,000  Well I am sad to tell you that this grant does not qualify as ground operation. It is education and Safety.   The only time it qualifies is if you , the USFS region office has a shovel in your hand and you are actually doing work on the ground.  Valejo hardly qualify's for this. The idea is not a bad one, but you would  be be better served  by supporting your forest supervisors with  good maps, something that CUTC has done to provide what the public wants. But it is beyond that point now, public wants GPS of routes.   It seems that you are a little to late for this project.   Besides, what on earth can you possibly do with $212,950  with 19 national forest in California.  It has taken CTUC yeas and years to develop what we have  and going on many printings since our first start  . You do not state what exactly you are going to put on maps, all routes, just routes you want public to know about, will they match what is on the ground.   Again this grant is nothing but a justification to have a $50,000 staff person over see a contractor who probably needs no overseeing.   Anyway, this grant should not be funded. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 4/5/10]



 G09-02-12-G01 - I am not in favor of this grant.  the riding areas in the different forest have not been settled.  Randy Moore has reversed and revised his decision, seemly because he is upset with the OHV community.  Sometimes I believe he reverses his decisions, because he feels the OHV rider may be getting something they desire, in spite of his actions to stop OHV use in the forests under his jurisdiction.

To put money into maps at this junction, is premature.  Besides, it is the function of the agency making the changes to to enforce and establish the rules and maps for change.

I do not support this grant. [Pat Henderson - 4/2/10]



 The California Wilderness Coalition (CWC) strongly supports the USFS Pacific Southwest Region’s 2009-2010 ground operations grant application proposal for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.
 
Access to good maps is a critical element in ensuring that OHV users stay on designated trails. For this reason, we strongly support the request for funding to produce visitor-oriented motor vehicle guide maps for national forests in California. By clearly displaying designated routes and by informing visitors of applicable laws, these maps will help to reduce the adverse impacts to natural and cultural resources that result from OHV use on unauthorized routes. [Sean Baumgarten - 4/2/10]



 G09-02-13-G01 Ground Operations

this is a very vague description for grant funds.  It sounds like the agency requesting the funds are using the green sticker funds as a means of reducing their own spending of their alloted money, from higher up.

It also sounds like the grant is asking for funds for general maintenance, which they should get from federal funding.

I do not support this grant.

G09-02-13-R02 Forest Wide Trail Restoration

As mentioned before, the Plumas National Forest has not shown that it wants to help with present OHV riding, and has restricted rather than expanded their riding areas.

Until the Plumas shows the public it wants to cooperate with the any riders and campers, I do not support the grant above.

G09-02-13-R04 Granite Basin
Again the Plumas is not trying to help the public, it just wants to restrict.  I say, restrict the green sticker funds. [Pat Henderson - 4/2/10]



 I strongly oppose the USFS - Pacific Southwest Region "Ground Operations" grant request G09-02-12-G01.

The Pacific Southwest Region, Region 5, is requesting $213,000 to further its agenda of systematic eradication of OHV opportunity within California's forests.  Region 5 claims that these "visitor-oriented motor vehicle guide maps" are a critical component of the route designation project - a project that is proving to have a devastating impact upon the publics ability to operate an OHV on public land.  California OHV taxpayers have already contributed to the funding of the route designation project to a sum of $12.8 million in this State alone; the result of this project is shaping-up to be nothing but disastrous for OHV in California.  It is now clear that the route designation project is neither enhancing or promoting OHV opportunities within the State; I do not support the continued funding of this project with OHV tax dollars.

The route designation project has been hijacked by Region 5 to further its agenda of closure, ignoring the spirit and intent of the Travel Management Rule, and in some cases violating law.  Region 5 has directed the individual forests to severely limit OHV opportunity in the form of closures of thousands of miles of once-legal routes, arbitrary and unreasonable seasonal restrictions, and preposterous restrictions on ML-3 roads.  The Travel Management Rule, as published in the Code of Federal Regulations, states that the decision to designate roads and trails open to motorized vehicles, as well as the classes of vehicles allowed on such roads, is to be made at the local level.  The CFRs further state that these decisions are to be made by the responsible official which will either be the Forest Supervisor or the District Ranger.  However, one needs to look no further than the recent reversal of the Record of Decision signed by the Forest Supervisor on the Modoc National Forest to see that Region 5, in-spite of the intent of the law, is using its heavy hands to force the route designation project to a pre-determined outcome of closure.  Please refer to the following document http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/Modoc-Appeal-Resol-March-11.2010.pdf for more information.

In addition, the timing of this grant request is premature.  The Travel Management process is not yet complete, as many forests have yet to publish their Final Environmental Impact Statement and sign the Record of Decision.  Furthermore, as shown in the Eldorado and Modoc National Forests, appeals and lawsuits will be filed.  It is likely that the Travel Management process will be tied up in court for years to come.  It is important to highlight that the "visitor-oriented motor vehicle guide maps" are supplemental maps to the MVUM.  If these vehicle guide maps are never printed, the public will still have the MVUM to refer to.  Therefore, to spend $200,000 plus to print supplemental maps, that are certain to be amended while the lawsuits play out, is fiscally irresponsible. 

I urge the OHMVR division to withhold funding of this grant. [Kevin Liles - 4/3/10]


 Please see the attached Memo requesting the USFS, Region 5 resolve gross discrepancies in visitor counts presented in the General portion of the various grant requests. [Kyra - 4/4/10]



 As president of the Siskiyou County Off Road Riders and on behalf of its membership we do not support this grant request.
 
The forest service has missed used the $12 million of green sticker funds it got for the TMP.   They have done nothing to develope a reasonable OHV Plan, the basicly just did a closure plan.
 
This map that they want to produce is no more then their standard  reacreation map.  Its not designed for OHV user.
 
We also support comments submitted by ROC.
 
Please reject this request, its not what we pay our fees for.  Our fees should go for the development and management of OHV trails and area. [Jim Lipke, SCORR President - 4/1/10]



 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]



 As chair of Recreation Outdoors Coalition I am writing to express our concern for this grant request.  In reviewing other grant requests it appears this is redundant.  Many Forests have grant requests in to produce MVUM's and at this point this process is not yet completed.  We believe any request for MVUM's is premature until the appeal process is over and final decisions have been made.  The Modoc NF is a case in point.  It was the public's belief that that decision had been made only to find several months later it had been reversed.  To go to the expense of prematurely printing these maps is a total waste of green sticker funds.  We also do not believe in using green sticker funds, which are for the purpose of enhancing motorized recreational opportunities, to continue the process of denying access to that very group.
 
ROC believes that maps are very important for forest education and enjoyment but to print them at this point in the process supports the belief that this process was predetermined because the process is not completed.  Waiting one more year to request funds for maps makes more sense as it is anticipated that there will be so many changes in the first year.
 
We therefore do not support this grant. [Sylvia Milligan, Chair - ROC - 3/21/10]


 I am an OHV user and have been for 41 years, and my father before me into the 1950's

I reviewed the Forest Service Regional Office's OHV grant request for $212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final step in the Forest Service R5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1).

 This planning process has effectively closed thousands of miles of existing national forest roads and unauthorized trails within California's national forests using over $12 million in previous State OHV planning grant funds.  It is a travesty to me that the Regional Office would have the audacity to request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV recreation to far fewer designated routes. 

 I do not support this grant application.

Thank You for your support of a great family sport and recreation. [Reid Stangenberg - 3/21/10]



 As a member of the Recreation Outdoors Coalition and Redding Dirt Riders,  I am writing to express our concern for this grant request.  In reviewing other grant requests it appears this is redundant.  Many Forests have grant requests in to produce MVUM's and at this point this process is not yet completed.  We believe any request for MVUM's is premature until the appeal process is over and final decisions have been made.  The Modoc NF is a case in point.  It was the public's belief that that decision had been made only to find several months later it had been reversed.  To go to the expense of prematurely printing these maps is a total waste of green sticker funds.  We also do not believe in using green sticker funds, which are for the purpose of enhancing motorized recreational opportunities, to continue the process of denying access to that very group.
 
ROC believes that maps are very important for forest education and enjoyment but to print them at this point in the process supports the belief that this process was predetermined because the process is not completed.  Waiting one more year to request funds for maps makes more sense as it is anticipated that there will be so many changes in the first year.
 
I therefore do not support this grant. [Brendan Hathaway - 3/21/10]



 Forest Service R5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1)

I reviewed the Forest Service Regional Office’s OHV grant request for $212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final step in the Forest Service R5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1).

This planning process has effectively closed thousands of miles of existing national forest roads and unauthorized trails within California’s national forests using over $12 million in previous State OHV planning grant funds. It is a travesty to me that the Regional Office would have the audacity to request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV recreation to far fewer designated routes.

I do not support this grant application. If the Forest Service chooses to close thousands of miles of roads and trails, then the cost the print these maps should be on their dime, not the State’s (which is you and me as an OHV operator and taxpayer). [Brendan Hathaway - 3/21/10]


 The U.S.F.S. request for our "Green-Sticker" funds deserves a very serious DENIAL.
 
Under NO circumstances should these funds be granted to the U.S.F.S.
 
They have CLOSED more trails than I can count. They don't run their areas/system anywhere near as well as the California S.V.R.A.'s.
 
No where NEAR as well; therefore, shouldn't we KEEP OUR FUNDS IN "OUR" AREAS?
 
Here's a very simple fact: We, the Citizens of California, have too few dollars to spend on our own parks and "lands". Shouldn't we reward the O.H.V.s/S.V.R.A.s that actually provide a service for the California O.H.V. using public?
 
Isn't that what these funds are intended for?
 
EXAMPLE: The U.S.F.S. provides LESS "use" within the ENTIRE Shasta Forest than the state has in Hungry Valley & connected systems (Just -1- Area with an AWESOME trail system!)
 
Yet, they request funding for their L.E.O.'s? I doubt these funds are proportional to the amount of O.H.V. use and necessary enforcement.
 
How about this: Let's keep these funds in the California S.V.R.A. system and fund improvements, LEO's and infrastructure at places like Hollister Hills S.V.R.A.
 
Doesn't that make a lot more sense?
 
Hollister is FULL of riders every weekend. They NEED the money for it's INTENDED PURPOSE. Not to forget the likes of Pismo and all the other "smaller" S.V.R.A.s that are used by Californians; and, often neglected in these processes.
 
This CAN NOT be said of the Shasta, Trinity, Plumas or Lassen Forests.
 
I can truly say that letters you receive from so-called "O.H.V. Groups" supporting these grants are not only mis-informed; but, they are often from a very limited FEW that have specific praise for a very limited small group of people within the U.S.F.S. system: The point?
 
You'll notice that it ISN'T PRAISE for the ENTIRE System...not the likes of which you have received on behalf of the ENTIRE S.V.R.A. system!
 
I hope you do what's right for California's Off-Roaders, The California State Rangers and the future of Off-Roading in California. [Manny Ornellas - 3/19/10]



 I cannot in any stretch of any imagination support this attempted grab of money in grant G09-02-12-GO1.

I reviewed the Forest Service Regional Office’s OHV grant request for $212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final step in the Forest Service Region 5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1).

The stubborn attitude of Region 5 has effectively closed thousands of miles of existing national forest roads and trails within California’s National Forests using over $12 million in previous State OHV planning grant funds. This closure attitude of Region 5 in denying the use of unpaved level 3-5 ROADS for green sticker use is abhorant, and they have the gall to ask for more money to map far less OHV routes, that now exist, after they got through denying OHV use, on way too many areas.

Further, there is redundancy in the funding of MVUMs, as some Forests are also asking for grant money to prepare MVUMs. And even further the grant states that if this is funded, after spending this supply they INTEND to SELL the MVUMs that Washington DC has mandated be printed.

It is unthinkable to me that the Regional Office would have the unmitigated audacity to request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV recreation to far fewer designated routes.

I cannot support this grant application, and ask that all who feel similarly respond accordingly.  If the Forest Service chooses to close thousands of miles of roads and trails because of the Region’s mixed use policy and massive road and trail closures, then the cost the print these maps should be on their own budgets, not the State’s OHV funds. [Ken Knull - 3/19/10]


 We are opposed to providing OHV money to the USFS to close the trails!

We have paid to have the trails put in to their inventory. Now they ask for OHV money to have them closed! As we have seen in the "Route Designation" process the USFS is not a good investment for OHV funds.
Give the grants to groups that actually enhance OHV opportunity, like the BLM. [Brendan Hathaway  - 3/17/10]


 In regard to OHV Grant # G09-02-12-G01 I would not support this grant application for a number of reasons. The first is that USFS has closed way to many trais and roads and is trying to close more so why would we consider giving them our OHV sticker money when we can't use OUR roads. [Todd L. Ratley - 3/16/10]



 Re: The OHV grant request for $212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final step in the Forest Service R5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1).

If the Forest Service chooses to close thousands of miles of roads and trails, then the cost to print these maps should be on its dime, not the citizens from which the rights of access are being taken.

It is a travesty to me that the Regional Office would have the audacity to request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV recreation to far fewer designated routes. [William Abbay - 3/16/10]


 I do not support the Forest Services' grant request to use another $212,000 of our OHV funds to close trails to OHV's.  My understanding is that they have used $12M of OHV funds already to close thousands of miles of access to OHV's.

The Forest Service is limiting access to OHV's, not increasing access for OHV's, so it seems counterproductive to use a portion of my OHV fees to assist their efforts in this regards. [Joe Reisinger - 3/16/10]



 I reviewed the Forest Service Regional Office’s OHV grant request for
$212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final
step in the Forest Service R5 route designation process (application #
G09-02-12-GO1).

This planning process has effectively closed thousands of miles of existing
national forest roads and unauthorized trails within California’s national
forests using over $12 million in previous State OHV planning grant funds.
It is a travesty to me that the Regional Office would have the audacity to
request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV
recreation to far fewer designated routes.

I do not support this grant application. I am outraged. I do not support
this application because of the Region’s mixed use policy and massive road
and trail closures, then maybe the OHV Division will decline to fund it.
If the Forest Service chooses to close thousands of miles of roads and
trails, then the cost the print these maps should be on their dime, not the
State’s. [Alex Peterson - 3/16/10]



 Application: Ground Operations
 
The following are my comments for the OHV Grant funding request:
 
This OHV grant request does NOT belong in the Ground Operations category. It is clearly a Safety and Education item:
4970.13. EDUCATION AND SAFETY
(e) Examples of Deliverables
(1) Education program Deliverables include, but are not limited to the
following:
(B) Maps and brochures
 
I also think that the information that would be included on this map/document, should have been included on the individual MVUMs. Folks that are using OHVs for recreational purposes won’t want to have to refer to or carry two different maps.
 
For the above reasons, I oppose funding of this OHV Grant request.
 
Thank you for considering my comments. [Bruce Brazil - 3/15/10]



 I reviewed the Forest Service Regional Office’s OHV grant request for $212,950 to print the initial batch of Motor Vehicle Use Maps as the final step in the Forest Service Region 5 route designation process (application # G09-02-12-GO1).

This planning process has effectively closed thousands of miles of existing national forest roads and unauthorized trails within California’s national forests using over $12 million in previous State OHV planning grant funds.  It is a travesty to me that the Regional Office would have the audacity to request even more OHV grant funds to print maps that now limit OHV recreation to far fewer designated routes. 

I do not support this grant application.  If the Forest Service chooses to close thousands of miles of roads and trails because of the Region’s mixed use policy and massive road and trail closures, then the cost the print these maps should be on their dime, not the State’s (which is me as an OHV operator and taxpayer).  [Elizabeth Norton - 3/11/10]



 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]