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BLM - Ridgecrest Field Office

G11-01-15-G01
I support this grant request.
The BLM Ridgecrest Field Office provides California OHV users with considerable opportunities on BLM land. The area is large and use is high resulting in a significant cost to the agency. I believe their operations grant request should be funded to the extent possible. [Bruce Miller - 4/2/12]


BLM Ridgecrest  The ground operations grant for the Ridgecrest office is exactly what the grant program was designed for.  Most of the money is going on the ground to maintain and enhance OHV in their areas.  I would like to see this grant funded in full to support this area of heavy recreation use.

The Ridgecrest BLM Law Enforcement grant  is important to patrol these BLM OHV areas are should be fully funded. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 4/1/12]


I would like to support all the grant applications from this Field office. Since this field office is  under the microscope of the courts as to Route Designation and management of these routes.  Ridgecrest BLM office has 3040 miles of designated limited use trails, of which 2000 are in the WEMO  plan.  Because of this the management of designated trails is key to not only protecting our opportunity, but making sure that the riding public stays on designated trails. if signed "it is open" if there is no brown post sign, it is closed.   Period.  
 
G 11-01-15-G 01  Ground operation   
I am glad to see that the resealing of the Jawbone Station parking lot is in this grant, it is a way to protect the investment of this parking lot paid with Green Sticker funds when station was built 16 years ago 

Janitorial contract can be removed, as the existing Friends of Jawbone staff can maintain this because of the new flooring being installed  
 
Equipment,  with the savings on Janitorial crew another Generator/Welder/Air Compressor should be purchased so one is at BLM office in Ridgecrest and the 2nd one at the Jawbone Station Shop.  
 
UTV , this I believe is not a good investment of OHV dollars. These vehicle though fun, and lots of folks want them, they really are not good for Ridgecrest. Why?  BLM office is in the City, It will have to be trailered , (new trailer has to be purchased) then pulled behind a truck, (you are in a truck anyway) to get to the job location. BLM has quads they can use for those few times they get into tight areas, and instead of a UTV purchase a Small four wheel drive truck. This gives you the single vehicle ability to leave your office and go straight to work and you can take that vehicle just about any place you want.   It is safe, it is street legal, and is enclosed. BLM has lots of restrictions of what you can and can not do with UTV, thus making this vehicle not very practical for what it is purchased for.  Again, purchase small 4 x 4 and you will  have something purchased with OHV funds that will last you a long time.  
 
G 11-01-15-L 01  Law Enforcement 
Because of the visitors this BLM office receives and the 3,040 miles of designated trails, this grant should be  increased for more law enforcement officers.   The  distribution of LEO in California Field offices is disproportionate to the visitors each field office receives.  I know that is not what field offices want to hear, but you have to have law enforcement where the customer is in numbers.  
 
G 11-01-15-R 01   Restoration  
This is a good grant  because  this office is totally a designated trails field office with exception of open areas, every off route trail, trail that used to be legal today because of designation is not, needs to be barricaded with peeler post, wing fence or red sign and then restoration done behind it. Once the trails is out of sight and compliance is 100% then those barricades, signs and wing fences can be removed.   I suggest that this field office double the money requested for Restoration, so that it  can proceed quicker in getting control of the Limited use areas.  This is what I call Manage our OHV opportunities.    If folks do not stay on designated trails, we will all loose.  By doing restoration, it is one tool to help customers understand that the trail not signed or designated is off limits, (out of sight , out of mind) [Ed Waldheim - 3/30/12]


The Society for the Protection and Care of Wildlife is supporting these grants with some conditions.  No road is restored which leads to a spring, seep, guzzler, tank, or wildlife wells.  They could be limited but not restored out of existence.  Ridgecrest BLM should have a policy in place which states how roads put to bed and then determined in the WEMO process should be open will be handled. [Marie Brashear, President - 3/26/12]

Regarding the OHV grant application for BLM Ridgecrest Office Ground Operations G11-01-15-G01.

Mr. Beck, I’d like to offer my support for the proposed grant and associated projects you’ve detailed. The BLM’s Ridgecrest office has a daunting task in governing the increasingly popular areas under its jurisdiction. I’d like to request the El Paso sub region receiving increased maintenance of its access roads EP15 and EP100 into Last Chance Canyon. These routes are heavily traveled and are in serious need of some form of grading. My organization helps support the Bickel Camp historical site as you’re aware, and road conditions are degrading, thus limiting our support for the area as well. Your proposal to purchase the welder/generator/compressor can certainly be put to good use to maintain areas you’ve outlined. The increased bollard use for barriers and signage are also surely needed. Free maps and training such as at Moose Anderson Days with Friends of Jawbone are excellent public  educational offerings. [Charlie Hattendorf – pres. Friends of Last Chance Canyon - 3/26/12]


The Society for the Protection and Care of Wildlife support all of the grant requests of this organization.  We are glad to see they are continuing and expanding their pilot Owlshead Project.  We believe they should request additional restoration funds as the task for them in this area is great. [Marie Brashear, Pres. - 3/26/12]


Although we are normally delighted to support Ridgecrest BLM’s Field Office request for Law Enforcement grant funds, we need to point out a glaring omission from this particular grant application. Our hearty support for this grant request will follow upon incorporation of the action item set below.

It is our understanding, after having spoken with OHMVR’s Brian Robertson last year, that grant funds from the OHMVR division and Ridgecrest BLM were slated to be utilized for large format signage and informational kiosks at pivotal BLM sites in the greater Tehachapi Mountains area. The dozen or more kiosks would be furnished with maps and educational brochures so that off-road riders could be directed to legal riding opportunities. The kiosks would also serve as valuable law enforcement tools.

The public is looking for clarity and commitment from the BLM Ridgecrest office with regard to the management of these parcels, which are a gateway to illegal joy riding on the Pacific Crest Trail. These public lands have been suffering continuous, unnecessary and undue degradation from unchecked, illegal off-road vehicle use. Consequently quiet recreation cannot be enjoyed by those to whom the Pacific Crest Trail is dedicated.

Private lands adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail and BLM parcels in the Tehachapi Mountains are under siege by rogue dirt bike riders. Equestrians and hikers cannot pursue their chosen sport without harassment. Conflicts between property owners and dirt bike trespassers are escalating.

Kern County residents are asking the Ridgecrest BLM field office to address this serious omission in their Law Enforcement grant request, and include funds for kiosks and large format signage at strategic BLM sites in the Tehachapi Mountains. [ORV WATCH KERN COUNTY - 3/12/12]