Inyo County Planning Department
See attached comments. [Marty Hornick - 4/4/11]
Please see attached comment on Inyo County's OHV planning grant. [Karen Schambach - 4/3/11]
While I applaud Inyo Counties desire to include all stake holders in the process of inventorying routes on the ground in Inyo county and their desire and push to make all information available to the public via a web based clearing house and in print form via a readily available color map I am concerned about several aspects of their grant proposal. The stated goal in the grant is to produce a consistent data set regarding all the routes in Inyo county that may be available for OHV use, recreation and access. Much of this data has already been collected and compiled by Federal land management agencies responsible for much of the land in the county and is currently available to the public. The proposal references "large gaps in data" these gaps may not be as substantial as the proposal makes it sound and it seems that it would not be financially logical or expedient to duplicate efforts already accomplished without exhausting all data sources. It is stated in the grant proposal that this is a goal but it seems that it should be a higher priority. Also, given the fact that much of the land in the country is federally managed public land, federal agency route systems need to be taken into account and processes such as the collaborative decision made about the Inyo National Forest's travel management program need to be respected in the inventory process and legally decommissioned routes should be treated as such. This also applies to other lands and routes managed by federal agencies and private land owners. A road closed or decommissioned though a legal collaborative process should not be mapped and marked as open or in another ambiguous way. While I do not think this is the intent of the county I am concerned that such things may happen either by mistake or a lack of adequate communication between the county and the agencies/land owners.
I also question the financial logic and expediency of duplicating already exhaustive inventory efforts taken on by the Forest Service and already accomplished and under way by members of the BLM staff, while I cannot speak to L.A. Department of Water and Power's knowledge of their route systems I would imagine that inventory efforts have taken place as they have within the National Park Service (Death Valley). It seems that duplicating these activities by re-inventorying routes would not be a wise use of money provided by recreationalists and tax payers. These activities will require more than the stated 2 GPS units and would require much more time and effort than I think the County has taken into account. I also question why it is necessary to fund legal council if the stated goal is to simply compile a more contiguous data set and make it publicly available. As a resident, a recreationalist, and a taxpayer in Inyo county I desire to have money spent in the wisest manner possible.
All this said I would again like to applaud Inyo county's stated goal of making more accurate and contiguous data and information available to the public, law enforcement and safety personnel. This will ultimately make residents and people who choose to recreate within the country safer and provide resources for all people regardless of their chosen mode of recreation. I simply want to ensure that money is not wasted duplicating efforts needlessly. [A. Schurr - 4/1/11]