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Mendocino County Sheriff's Office

  Comment for denial of grant request G09-03-52-L01

I urge the OHMVR Division to not fund this grant.  Item 2 of the Law Enforcement Needs Certification states, "Describe how the proposed Project relates to OHV Recreation and will sustain OHV Recreation, motorized off-highway access to non-motorized recreation, or OHV Opportunities associated with the Project Area".  The Mendocino Sheriff Department main purpose for this request is to deter illegal activities with a remote or undefined assosciation to OHV recreation.  My reasoning is as follows:

Applicant makes the following statements in their project description:

1.    "The budgetary challenges compound the problem as more areas are closed due to lack of funding the public traffic in these areas are significantly reduced making it ideal for illegal use";

2.    "Additionally, those who may not have taken advantage of these recreational areas in the past are doing so now because they can gain entry into closed areas, and/or can now afford to utilized the remaining open facilities due to the relative low cost"; and

3.    "There remote, hard to access lands are seeing an increased amount of marijuana growing operations".

Applicants first statement proves this grant is not relating to sustaining OHV recreation, access or opportunity.  Applicant states more areas are closed due to lack of funding and claims less public traffic makes it ideal for illegal use.  I believe, instead of this applicant requesting a grant for enforcement, it would be more appropriate for the land owner or manager to be requesting funds to keep the area open thereby promoting more public use.  Which would, pursuant to applicant's argument, make the area "not" ideal for illegal use.

Applicants second statement makes two claims.  The first claim states the issue is they  can gain entry into closed areas.  However,  the applicant does not define who "they" are or what is a "closed area".  If the closed area applicant want's to patrol has no legal OHV routes within a reasonable relation or proximity to the closed area than I believe OHMVR funds are not appropriate.  Applicant should be required to write their request on how it relates specifically to OHV recreation not generally, i.e. trespassing by OHV.  If "they" are people using OHV's incidental to a crime (trespassing) than that is not an appropriate use of OHMVR funds.  Applicants second claim makes no argument for the need for enforcement.

Applicants third statement relates to marijuana operations.  Again allowing the use of OHMVR funds for OHV use incidental to a crime (illegal growing) is not a proper use of OHMVR funds.

Although enforcement of illegal activities is paramount to protecting sustainable OHV opportunities, this request does not seem to written with in relation to any legal OHV recreation, access to non-motorized recreation or OHV opportunities.  Therefore it should be denied as I believe the County is the proper agency to fund this type of Sheriff operations. [Doug Teeter - 4/5/10]

 I oppose the Mendocino County Sheriff's "Law Enforcement" grant request G09-03-52-L01.

I generally support law enforcement, and I support appropriate law enforcement grant requests to the OHMVR, however this grant request is not one of them.  Mendocino county does not provide a large amount of OHV opportunity.  This grant request makes it clear that the Mendocino County Sheriff's department is primarily targeting the enforcement of illegal marijuana growing operations.  I support such enforcement, however, using OHV green sticker taxes to fund such enforcement is inappropriate and does not provide a benefit to promoting legal OHV activity.  [Kevin Liles - 4/3/10]

 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]