BLM - Bakersfield Field Office
I would like to comment on the BLM - Bakersfield Field Office Keyesville SRMA Ground Operations and Law Enforcement grants. The ground operations grant looks reasonable and addresses the areas that most off-roaders are concerned about, trash and restrooms. I would like to see some efforts going into trail grooming, brush trimming and other ways to improve the OHV experience. I also see a modest $3000 for an enclosed trailer. Other agencies ask for substantially more for trailers, so this is good. What I do not really understand why the ground operations grant needs two quads and a trailer. There is no justification in the text for this equipment. If it is to be used for patrolling, it might need to be moved to the law enforcement grant.
In the law enforcement grant you ask for $4000 for two radar units. I have difficulty with this one. Are people going too fast on their ATV’s? If this is for speed control on paved roads it should not be in this grant. The rest of the grants look good and should be funded. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 3/30/10]
We fully endorse your office's request for grand funds, for the purpose of protecting our desert environment.
Generally speaking, our goals at ORV Watch Kern County center upon the identification of illegal ORV activity and the coordination, with local law enforcement, of efforts to to curb ORV abuses. At the same time, however, we support all attempts to protect our public lands from damage by illegal riders. In that connection, we enthusiastically support your intentions to protect sensitive species and environmental areas under your jurisdiction, including the endangered desert tortoise. We hope that our endorsement of this request will be understood, not only as support for this specific aim, but as gratitude to the work everyone at the Bureau of Land Management is doing to guard our public lands. [ORV WATCH KERN COUNTY, Steering Committee: Jan Shaw Alford, Diana Palmer, Tom Ross - 3/31/10]
I'd like to offer public comments in support of the GO and Law Enforcement grant application.
The Keyesville area is an important multiple use area as an area in itself with significant OHV and non-motorized trails. It also provides access to adjacent Sequoia NF routes.
This area has had significant use for many years and has suffered from lack of funding and agency presence until recently. Now that the BFO has committed to an SRMA in the area things have improved substantially. There are active volunteers in the area and a good relationship between BLM and users.
A motorcycle has been requested for GO and for LE. I hope the agency has someone who is a proficient off road motorcyclist. Many agencies own motorcycles but don't have anyone who can ride them with enough skill to be effective. It is usually necessary for motorcycles to ride in pairs, riding alone is not usually allowed, so there should be a plan for two motorcycles to work in tandem, or a motorcycle paired with a quad although that is not as effective. Usually agency staff are better off just using quads.
I also see that the LE grant requests $1000 for motorcycle training. It is usually much less expensive than that to take an MSF course if that is the plan.
I am pleased to see that there is funding for patrol in the E Temblors. That area is getting increasing use and more LE presence is needed as part of overall management of the area.
I am pleased to see the relatively large proportion of agency match. It's clear the BLM is committing significant resources to the area and not just depending on OHV grant funds.
Thanks you for your consideration, [Bruce Whitcher - 3/29/10]
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]
Every single Law Enforcement grant should have a commitment and focus to catch the "Willfully Ignorant" visitor. We see every day folks doing what ever they want and they feel immune because it is their feeling "there is no one around to catch me" That has to change. Yes, we have Green Sticker Violations, sound violations, and other normal day to day violations that by now should be all in compliance. It is the "Willfully Ignorant " that does not abide by the rules of the areas they ride in, i.e. "Stay on Designated Trails " "Respect Private Property" "Know the rules of area you are riding in " be it Forest Service, BLM, City and County. All of us can put pressure on the "Willfully Ignorant" but it is Law Enforcement that needs to focus their talent to those that want to ruin it for everyone. We can not let them rule our destiny or how we are being portrait in the eyes of the public and government elected officials.
The other area of grave concern is our children, we need to make sure that all children 16 and under on Quads have the proper certification. We need to make sure that they are properly dressed to ride, no tank tops, tennis shoes and short pants. Parents need to be told of their responsibility in the strongest possible manner, ticket.
Thank you all for working this very difficult issue. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/28/10]
I support this grant with concerns about 2 motorcycles, Trimble and not enough focus of specific Law Enforcement
1. Being a grant mostly for Keyesville, it seems excessive to have two motorcycles when you have 1/2 year park ranger. Maintenance worker would not be riding a motorcycle.
2. Trimble, during our meeting we had big discussion about exactly what this GPS unit will provide. It was told to us that it is the top of the model. OK, having said that we need to know exactly what is the end product. So many times we purchase equipment, and that is the end of it. Will we get reports, will be get monitoring time lines and follow ups. What format will this be in so that the OHV Division and BLM in general can use. Is this something that will build our management program and sustainability of our OHV program. These questions even today the State office does not have a handle on it as it relates to all of BLM in California.
3. Law Enforcement, it talks about everything they want to do but not what specifically how they will get a the "willfully Ignorant" who goes off route. We do not talk about enforcing "Designated Trails" We do not talk about enforcing the 16 and under ATV regulations and what actions are undertaken to see that customer has a place to take the ATV required courses. We do not talk about sound test and enforcement
4. In general application it states that there are 4000 miles of OHV recreation , and 200,000 visitors. Is this strictly for BLM lands, and if so exactly where are those 4000 miles that I can go with my green sticker bike? If that in fact is true, then you should apply for more law enforcement. This grant hardly covers enough staff for 200,000 visitors. [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]