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USFS - Angeles National Forest

 I am a 40 year resident of Santa Clarita and frequent user of our local forests and OHV areas.  And I appreciate that the Forest Service is applying for grant funds to help manage our OHV areas within the Angeles National Forest.

As an offroad motorcycle rider, I can tell you that most of us look for and enjoy single track trails as compared to fire roads.  But even though we hear that Forest Service funding has been dramatically reduced in recent years, it is obvious that the Forest Service has plenty of funds to close down a variety of single track trails that have been used by local motorcycle riders for decades.   These trails typically run parallel to various fire roads and some times spur off from the roads up into the hills or to connect to other trails and roads.

I have observed closures of these historic trails along most fire roads in the greater Santa Clarita Valley area including 7N02, 7N05, 5N24, Coarse Gold Road, City Highline Motorway, 5N27, 6N07 and Martindale Ridge Road.  These are only the local fire roads near my home.  But I expect that the Forest Service has been closing historic trails along many other fire roads in the Angeles National Forest.

So my comment with respect to the use of the grant funds is that I would like to see the Forest Service reverse this trend of closing historic trails which have been used by motorcyclists for years.  Instead, I would like to see the Forest Service open up some of these trails and add them to the inventory of legal trails.

Thank you for your consideration. Ken Raleigh - 3/9/14

 We like riding Rhower. It's close by so I take my two boys there.
Things I don't like about Rhower:
Too many fences. They are dangerous.
No one way trails.
Not enough motorcycle only trails.
Too many Rangers bugging you ruins the fun. We ride compliant anyway.
Not enough beginner trails.
No water.
No shade.
Things we like about Rhower:
It's close by.
The roads have been improved in to the Stage 1 area.
It's pretty. Stan Merrell - 3/16/15

 I saw an article stating that suggestions are being sought to improve Rowher OHV and was told the suggestions could be sent here.

The most important thing Rowher OHV needs is more trails, especially motorcycle dedicated trails.  The whole point of an OHV area is providing a place where people can enjoy Off Hwy Vehicles . . . new toilets, shaded picnic areas, more law enforcement, and the other things mentioned in the article I saw in the SCV paper, do absolutely nothing to address the greatest need.  When my buddies and I go to Rowher, we are there to ride, we find shade under a tree when we take a break, and don’t generally spend much time hanging around the toilets or staging area, so nicer facilities are of little value, whereas more trails to ride would be a huge improvement and appreciated.

As more and more users are crammed into fewer and smaller places to ride, the risk to the users increases greatly, while the enjoyment of the OHV area declines greatly.  This is especially true when larger vehicles like quads and rhino type vehicles, are on the same trails as motorcycles . . . sometimes coming the opposite way around a blind corner.  Very few quad or rhino riders venture out onto the narrow trails at Rowher in the first place, but by allowing them on the narrow trails, motorcycle riders who make up 95%+ of those that actually use the trails, end up with trails that are less enjoyable (wider, smooth, and boring) and more risk when that rare quad or rhino ventures onto the narrow trails.  I would like to see the trails be limited to vehicles that will have enough room to pass a similar sized vehicle, if encountered going the opposite direction.  I would also like to see the offshoots up top that were closed down last year either reopened or a new route created where motorcycles are able to stay off the fire road as much as possible . . . a motorcycle rider doesn't have a chance coming around a blind corner with a large truck coming the other way.  I would like to see the wire fencing along some of the trails removed, the fencing has been responsible for many injuries and should not be used close to motorcycle/quad trails.

As far as law enforcement, I would like to “feel” less not more.  We all appreciate the law enforcement activities that happen behind the scenes like stings to bust thieves that break into vehicles at the staging area and a general law enforcement presence at the staging areas is also nice to deter criminal activities to begin with.  But the law enforcement that we generally “feel” at OHV areas, really boils down to harassment.  The taxpayers who pay for these areas to enjoy and pay the salaries of those that maintain and patrol them, should not be treated like they’ve committed a crime and are under constant scrutiny for simply for showing up to an OHV area.  While it is rather rare for most of us to be stopped by law enforcement in our daily lives, the instant we roll into an OHV area we are stopped/approached/waved down by individuals that seem to only be focused on finding a ticket writing opportunity to justify their existence.   As taxpayer I would much rather see money allocated to law enforcement go to fighting real crimes and going after real criminals . . . not harassing a bunch of OHV enthusiasts with the hope that a major crime like an expired sticker on little Johnny’s PeeWee 50 might be discovered. Joe Taylor - 3/15/14

 I ride Rowher Flats 30+ times a year.

Here are my suggestions:

1. Please stop grading the single track smooth. Repairs are one thing,  but the under 40” trails should be left rough.
2. Make some one-way 40”+ trails for the beginners and quads, and label them as such. Any existing trail will do
3. PLEASE STOP installing those dangerous low wooden fences in the corners of the trails! They are a serious hazard.
4. Please make some new trails in  the valley below Sierra Ridge trail.
5. Please hold 5 min mandatory safety classes on Saturday and Sunday. Take a class, get a sticker. Can’t ride without the sticker.
Subjects: use of trail rider hand signals, directional trails, water, common civility, riding in the pits, etc
6.  Bouquet Canyon staging:  please leave it alone. It’s fine as it is.
7.  Plowed ‘cut-off’ trails on Sierra Pelona: please restore, and please encourage more of the same. The more of these ‘rouge’ trails there are, the safer the park will be. There are way way too many people sharing that fire road now.

THANK YOU AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK. William Kranhold - 4/4/14

 I ride Rowher Flats 35-40 times a year.  It is a great place to ride and one of my favorites.

Here are my suggestions:

Install a new clean restroom at Stage One and two.

Grade the dirt road coming into Stage one and two.

Hand out detailed maps of the area.  People are often confused once they arrive at Rowher Flats.  The map I found online from the forest service is very confusing.

Plowed ‘cut-off’ trails on Sierra Pelona: please restore.  It's very dangerous for dirt bikes now.

Establish new trails. Please do not grade the existing trails.  They are fine as is.

Please do not close existing trails such as Fall, lookout, and king snake.  These are great technical trails.  Some of the best in Southern California.

Thank you and have a great day. Thomas Dillon - 4/7/14

 I would like to comment on these OHMVR grants on behalf of the California Off-Road Vehicle Association.
Angeles National Forest  Ground Operations is a worthwhile grant to support OHV in the forest.
Angeles NF - Patrol District  Law Enforcement.  This is a good grant to support OHV areas in the forest.  I am not sure how important it is to spend grant money for law enforcement to go to trade OHV shows.  Maybe going to shows could fall under an education grant? Ed Stovin - 4/7/14