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USFS - Sierra National Forest

 The California Wilderness Coalition (CWC) strongly supports the Sierra National Forest’s 2009-2010 restoration, research, ground operations, and education and safety grant application proposals for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. We believe that these proposals reflect the Sierra National Forest’s ongoing commitment to maintain an OHV program that balances recreational opportunities with ecological safeguards.
We are particularly pleased with the requests for funding for the Dusy Ershim and East of Dinkey Creek Restoration Projects. OHV use on unauthorized routes along the Dusy Ershim OHV corridor is degrading the surrounding areas and adversely affecting meadows and riparian areas. Blocking or disguising unauthorized routes, decompacting soils, planting native vegetation, and other restoration activities will deter further OHV incursions and improve habitat viability in the affected areas. In addition, on-going monitoring is needed to evaluate the success of these restoration activities and to identify areas where additional measures need to be taken to protect resources.
We also support the Sierra National Forest’s ground operations and education and safety grant requests. We hope that the proposed activities, including trail maintenance, installation and maintenance of signs, monitoring, and public education, will largely eliminate the problem of illegal OHV use off designated routes. Additionally, we support the funding request to research the Yosemite toad, which will enhance understanding of the impacts of OHV use on the Dusy Ershim route on this species.
If you need volunteers to help implement these or other projects, please do not hesitate to contact us.  [Sean Baumgarten - 4/2/10]

 Please find my comments attached. [Mark Cave - 4/3/10]

 I am writing to express my general support of the various projects that the Sierra National Forest has proposed this year.  Unfortunately, the recent Travel Management process has resulted in a great deal of ill-will amongst the the OHV community and I feel that this grant is an excellent opportunity to mend fences and demonstrate the Sierra NF's continued support of the OHV program.  An excellent way to demonstrate this support would be to commit funding towards the purchase of equipment for the maintenance of OHV routes. I would like to see an increase in matching funds that the Sierra NF is willing to commit to, especially in regards to Ground Operations equipment. [Genevra Murray - 4/4/10]

 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]

 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]

 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]