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USFS - Los Padres National Forest

 LPNF General Application Requirements
In Project Request(s) Summary the Forest total ($530,898) does not match the sum of the individual project descriptions ($628,963).  In Project Request(s) Summary Project G13-02-09-P01 Ortega Trailhead is not listed.
LPNF Development:   G13-02-09-D01 - Toilet Replacement
I support this request and recommend that the grant as requested be awarded as this infrastructure upgrade is desperately needed.
LPNF Ground Operations:  G13-02-09-G01
I support this request and recommend that the grant as requested be awarded.  A 4% growth from last year's grant seem reasonable.
LPNF Planning Ortega Trailhead:  G13-02-09-P01
I have no specific comments.  This is a very worthwhile project as it will improve OHV operator safety and provide a dedicated trailhead for OHV staging.  I strongly recommend grant be awarded as submitted.
LPNF Planning Pozo / LaPanza Reroute:  G13-02-09-P02
I have no specific comments.  This is a very worthwhile project and the first step in getting these minor trail sections relocated.   I recommend grant be awarded as submitted.

These comments are being submitted as an OHV enthusiast, a SVRA Volunteer OHV Patrolman (Hungry Valley), a casual LPNF trail rider and participant in the Hi-Mountain Dual Sport Rides. Dion Salfen - 3/30/14

 We would like to support the Ortega Trailhead proposal by los padres national Forest.  This though short, was saved with District Ranger support by installing necessary  water controls and local community adopts area to keep it clean.  The need to provide access from the Highway  is very important, right now they have to cross a paved road , which is not safe. So we  fully support this project. Ed Waldheim, California Trail User Coalition - 3/29/1

 1)   G13-02-09-G01  (Ground Operations):  As co-founder of Ojai Valley Dirt Riders and the trail maintenance lead person for Ventura County Motorcycle Club, I would like to express my full support of the subject grant proposal.  Conversations with club members as well as with non-members I meet out on the trails have confirmed that my own observations are correct as to the trail riding conditions in and around the Los Padres National Forest.  What I have observed is that the OHV population is always increasing with more and more new people flocking to the sport every year, and in contrast to that fact the OHV opportunities just seem to keep shrinking, with more areas being either closed or greatly restricted every year.  As I am sure you are aware, those circumstances have made conditions quite dangerous at many of the OHV parks like Hungry Valley and Ballinger Canyon for example, with the overcrowding that weekends and holidays produce in these areas the occurrence of rider collisions goes way up.  The trails in the National Forests go a long, long way in helping to disperse riders over a much larger area which immensely decreases the chances of rider/rider collisions.

Once again, I would like to not only express our support for full funding of this grant to sustain current OHV opportunities and avoid any losses, but also to encourage additional funding and opportunities for the future.

2)   G13-02-09-P01  (Planning-Ortega Trailhead):  I would likewise encourage full funding of this subject grant as well.  Our clubs have been involved with this project from the onset, we fully support the cost estimate and are committed to provide manpower as needed through our volunteer agreement.  Ortega Trail's current trailhead conditions are inadequate for two reasons.  One is that there is not enough space for parking with the trails ever increasing popularity.  Two is that the location on a hairpin turn is unsafe as it has very limited visibility for traffic passing by.  This much needed project will not only eliminate the safety issues but also create ample space for the future needs of the ever growing OHV community. Phil Pulley - 4/3/14

 We'd like to provide the following comments on the grant submitted by the Los Padres for 2013-14.  WE have been  volunteers primarily  on the SLRD but are also familiar with the MPRD trails.  We attend the quarterly OHV meetings with the Los Padres in Goleta where progress with the OHV program is discussed.  We will comment mainly on the SLRD grants because we are most familiar with that District.
G-13-02-09 G 01 -  Ground Ops
Due to unusually dry weather little trail maintenance was done this year resulting in a backlog of maintenance that will need to be addressed in 2013-14.
This is an ongoing Ground Ops program, and the Districts seem to have developed programs that work for each District.  The MPRD utilizes a dozer and operator from another district for mechanized trail maintenance and the Porterville crew for hand work. The Forest arranges completion of the HMP and completion of other necessary surveys and monitoring that only the managing agency can do.
Regarding the SLRD:
On the SLRD we have had difficulty finding dozer operators skilled in doing trail work. The District has not been able to utilize hand crews other than the CCC's on any regular basis.  The CCMA has recently been hiring Cal Fire crews with good results, but we have had difficulty finding seasonal workers willing to work for $20/hr and on an intermittent basis. Also the SLRD has very little equipment available for mechanized trail work.  Rental equipment is generally not available, very expensive or unsuitable for use on OHV trails.
We have had a very favorable experience with Trails Unlimited and the CCMA has requested that the SLRD contract with them for our maintenance work this year.  Volunteers will provide match and support for Trails Unlimited. Trails Unlimited will provide skilled equipment operators, proper equipment, and training that will help us get our trails into good condition.
Regarding grant # G 13-02-09-D01, Toilet Replacement, we support this project.  The La Panza campground is one of the best campgrounds on the District, but the facilities are very old and replacement  toilets are badly needed.  This campground is close enough to the Navajo Flats staging area that it gets use by OHV users.  High Mountain Campground is also one of the best locations and is at the intersection of several important OHV routes, Garcia Ridge trail, Hi Mountain Trail, and Pozo Arroyo Grande Rd.
Miranda Pines Campground is badly in need of an SST because the wilderness toilet no longer meets health and safety standards.  This is one of the few facilites in that remote area.  Brookshire campground doesn't seem to get a lot of use because of its remote location but it is in the vicinity of the Buckhorn OHV trails.  These trails very remote making an overnight stay necessary to spend much time in that area.
Regarding the planning grant G 13-02-09-P02, this project would fund a pioneering effort by the CCMA to utilize an outside contractor for NEPA analysis of the Pozo La Panza Trail Reroute Project. Forest specialists have many competing demands on their time making it difficult for them to take a project of this scale. Forest staff also has to complete multiple NEPA projects every year. To address the shortage of NEPA expertise the majority of the NEPA work for this project would be contracted to an outside firm with the Forest Service maintaining the necessary project oversight.
The CCMA has obtained grant funding for the majority of this planning work, but it will be essential to obtain OHV  grant funding for the Forest for the necessary oversight. 
We would like to address some aspects of the Project Description for this project.  The planned reroutes will improve the sustainability of the trails by relocating and rerouting problem sections that are difficult to maintain, but there is in fact very little off site impact from these sections.  Although there is erosion, most of the sediment generated is trapped by sediment basins, filtered by vegetation, and does not enter the watershed.  Also riders don't ride around these sections seeking an easier route because there is no alternate route. These problem sections of trail have been in use on the District for over 30 years.  But with a better understanding of trail layout and design, the need to reduce soil loss and to reduce maintenance costs  the CCMA and the Forest have decided that now is the time to do the necessary planning work to improve the sustainability of the system.
Thank you for the opportunity to comments on these grant applicaitons. Central Coast Motorcycle Association - 4/6/14

 As co-founder of Ojai Valley Dirt Riders and the trail maintenance lead person for Ventura County Motorcycle Club, I would like to express my full support of the subject grant and ask that it be fully funded.

In as much as I hate to admit it, there are those among our group that just refuse to respect the laws (as with most every large group).  Unfortunately the only thing that these individuals seem to understand is that in areas that have frequent patrols by law enforcement they run the risk of being cited and therefor must obey the rules.  Though we wish that these funds could be better utilized for something positive like opening of new trails, we completely understand the need to keep the lawless minority from going off route, trespassing and just generally making a bad name for the overall group. Phil Pulley, Ojai Valley Dirt Riders, Ventura County Motorcycle Club - 4/4/14