BLM - Bakersfield Field Office
See attached comment letter. [Mesonika Piecuch, ORV Watch Kern County - 3/11/13]
Please see my comments on this grant application below.
1. Ground Ops
I am not sure why the Field Office did not apply for a Ground Ops grant. There is a great deal of need for maintenance particularly in the Keyesville area that gets heavy use.
I expect the Field Office will apply in the future for a Restoration grant, there are many areas across their jurisdiction that have suffered OHV damage over the years. The challenge is undoubtedly doing the required NEPA analysis prior to conducting restoration.
I have been involved with the planning project as an active participant for the last 5 years.
The Planning project for the E Temblors was submitted last year but was not funded. The project would be a follow on from initial planning done for OHV use of the E Temblors included in the Bakersfield RMP-EIS. The project would conduct the necessary project level environmental work to develop a managed OHV trail system on BLM Lands.
The points score for this project doesn't fully represent the merits of the project. It should score higher than the applicant indicates.
1. The amount of match provided by the applicant is 50.09%. With some minor adjustment this could be raised to 51% thereby achieving a full 5 points in this category.
The BLM is providing significant match in nearly all categories, much more than many other applicants, indicating it has made a commitment to this project.
2. Additional points could be awarded in Q 2.
There are hazardous substances in adjacent oil and gas production areas that were reviewed in the RMP EIS. Although these are not located within the project area they would be a consideration.
3. The area should be considered as partially representing "new opportunity". Although this area does have existing OHV use, it is not known as an OHV area. The use is mostly casual by local residents. With closure of other areas around the state use has increased making management essential.
4. The Field Office has already made a substantial commitment to this project as reflected in the Bakersfield RMP-EIS.
Use in the area is going to continue with or without this plan. Without a plan the area will be at risk of closure. BLM is trying to protect the area with a well conceived plan and deserves funding for this project.
Law Enforcement - the funding requested is very minimal for the very large area managed. The Bakersfield FO manages land from the Pacific Coast to the Eastern slope of Sierra Nevadas. There is minimal presence in the E Temblors, more will be needed as use increases in this area. [User501968 - 3/17/13]
I support the Bakersfield BLM Grant Proposal for the Temblors. The area has had historical OHV use for many years and is well suited for that purpose. This grant will provide much needed funding for developing a long term management plan for the area that will encourage responsible use of said public lands.
In addition, this grant will provide for much needed long term planning and travel management to protect natural resources in the area.
Planning and management are key to protecting and promoting motorized recreation in the area. The city of Taft and Kern County will benefit from positive socio-economic impacts that would result from the funding of this grant proposal.
Funding this grant proposal will support continued motorized recreation in the area, promote responsible recreation, and protect private property. [Steve Koretoff - 4/1/13]