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USFS - Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest

  The Bridgeport Avalanche Center is doing an excellent job with their education program! The field session was very informative and provided a great hands on approach to avalanche safety. I would recommend every backcountry user to participate in their programs. Please continue and expand mountain safety programs with Bridgeport Avalanche Center. Jeff Lamborn - 3/14/15

  I would ask that any and all grants disseminated to the various Nation Forest Off-Highway Vehicle programs be limited to 50% of the proposed grant monies if that Forest abides by the California State OHV Green/Red sticker guide lines. Even though Riders of red sticker OHVs pay the full $52.00 bi-annual registration fees they  are limited to only partial year use in State SVRAs due to 'environmental' concerns of air quality.  Several National Forest districts have chosen to abide by the state mandated riding periods for red sticker OHVs even though there is no state mandated smog check program requirements for on road vehicles in their counties. Thank you for your time... David Cantrell - 3/13/15

  I have been riding snowmobiles for 9 years. Most of my experience has been acquired in the form of back country riding. I have always been aware that the area I ride places me and my riding party at the risk of being caught in an avalanche, and that I held very minimal skills required to rescue someone who may have been involved in an avalanche incident. It became an even more real concern when a friend of mine, who was a very experienced snowmobiler, was killed in an avalanche in the very area my riding group typically rides. I was thrilled when I found out that an educational opportunity was being provided in our area, and signed up immediately. Aaron, Duncan, and Jeff proved to be extremely knowledgeable in the causes of avalanche and provided the practical response information I needed to fill in the educations gaps I had to be an effective member of a rescue party. Because the people I ride with, and those who share my love of snowmobiling, mean a great deal to me, and because it is so important that they all ride safely and return home to their family's after EVERY ride I feel that it is critical for all riders to receive the education I received in the last two day. It is necessary to support and expand this program so that no one will need to attend another funeral because of a lack of avalanche education. Marie Hulse - 3/15/15

  The avalanche awareness and safety course was very helpful. I would like to see the program continue to grow to help educate more backcountry riders about avalanche safety. Adam, Jeff, and Duncan were very professional. They made the day fun while presenting a lot of information. Thank you for making this available, and I hope to see it continue. Tony Hulse - 3/15/15

  I am writing to offer my present and future support for the vital work that the Bridgeport Winter Recreation Area (BWRA) personnel are doing in educating the public in the avalanche dangers associated with backcountry snowmobiling or other backcountry uses (i.e., skiers and snowshoers). This grant makes it possible to not only educate the public, but provides funding for personnel to collect data for weekly Snowpack Summaries. This snowpack information is another tool in the backcountry enthusiasts "tool box" to keep them safe. I attended the Avalanche Awareness clinic at the Galena Creek Visitor Center in Reno, Nevada on March 13, 2015. While the clinic was focused on Snowmobiling in the backcountry and the BWRA, in particular, I found it to be the most informative and interesting backcountry avalanche awareness clinic I have ever attended even though I am not a snowmobiler. In fact, there were three outdoor enthusiasts who attended the clinic from the Reno Meetup Hiking Group and we all found it helpful. (Having the clinic here in Reno area was helpful to all the participants you reside in this area, but travel to the BWRA to enjoy this unique and beautiful place.) All three of the education program goals for the indoor portion of this safety presentation were relevant to backcountry users in the winter time. Specifically, the information taught included: 1) an overview of the use of avalanche safety equipment to increase chances of surviving an avalanche, 2) decision-making in avalanche terrain and how to minimize exposure to avalanche hazards, 3) snowpack, weather, and terrain attributes that contribute to avalanche formation. Of particular note was the depth of knowledge of Adam Babcock, the USFS Avalanche Specialist, and his excellent presentation skills. Also, pro-rider Duncan Lee from Let's Ride Adventures added his expertise to the event, which was evident in his comments and analysis of the videos and photos clips from Mr. Babcock's power-point presentation. In summary, the grant award from California's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program will make my backcountry experiences as well as the other participants in the clinic safer, which is the goal of this generous award. Brad Phelps - 3/15/15

  I have to say I really enjoy Adam's class on Avalanche Safety both in the classroom and out in the field. It was really great to get some fundamentals down and then apply it out in the field the next day. I really appreciated the mock beacon search and the method of watching others and then the critiquing afterwards so as a group we could become more educated and efficient on the process itself. Adam is a great teacher and so glad I got a chance to experience this class and glad these classes are offered and look forward to more. Dave Rummel - 3/17/15

  Thank you for bringing in an Avalanche Forecaster for the BWRA. This area is effected by different weather and snow pack than the other parts of the Sierra. The terrain is some of the biggest in the country and the elevation is also. The need for this program to continue is of great importance in my mind and not only the forecasting of avalanche conditions, but also the importance of the FREE avalanche awareness clinics to spread the knowledge to the public so they use the BWRA with caution, and knowledge so they can enjoy this amazing land with safety and fun. If there was a vote to continue this program then my vote would be yes! It is not only important to have this, but it also shows us all that the USFS is invested in the public enjoying the land properly. Thank you. Duncan Lee - 3/19/15

  i participated in the 3/14/2015 avalanche training session that the bridgeport avalanche center put on. it was my first training course i have attended and i have to say that all the facilitators of the training did a great job adam babcock, jeff roebuck and duncan lee made it a fun ,educational and meaningful day out there. i have had the tools to work with ie beacon, probe and shovel with no real understanding on how to use the properly. with what i learned with the instructors i have a beter idea of what to do however it really just made me realize that i want to go the distance and learn much more about my equipment and get more knowledge of what to do and how, so if i'm ever in a real world situation out there i can respond with speed, confidence and most importantly calmness to do the best job i can do to hopefully make the difference in someones life and my own as well. anyway i believe this is a very worthwhile program and that more winter sport enthusiasts take advantage of it. thank you again adam,jeff and duncan for your time and knowledge and look forward to the next clinic. david schilt - 3/19/15

  Did an avalanche safety coarse with Adam Babcock. The class was very informative and I think a great thing to have for the area. Also avalanche forecasting for the Sonora Pass area is something that I believe is very important for the Eastern Sierra. Dan Tonseth - 4/5/15

  Reviewing the bridgeport Avalanche center's observations and snow pack summaries provided valuable information to make informed decisions before heading out into the BWRA. As a novice, it helped guide me to assess the conditions and safely acces and enjoy such a beautiful resource. Melanie Bouchard - 4/5/15

  To Whom it May Concern: I recently participated in the Snowmobile Avalanche Awareness Clinic through the USFS Bridgeport Avalanche Center. Adam Babcock taught the course. This 2-day clinic was very educational and I learned many new skills to enhance my backcountry skills when traveling over snow terrain. Since 2010, I have been a Rescue Member of the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue Team. I am also currently the only Avalanche Canine Handler on the MOSAR team. Despite extensive training through MOSAR, the Bridgeport Avalanche Center covered many topics not included in past avalanche clinics through the team. I particularly found the field session of the clinic in the BWRA extremely educational. I strongly urge you to continue offering forecasting and clinics through the Bridgeport Avalanche Center. This area of Mono County was in great need of avalanche forecasting prior to 2010. I have resided in the Eastern Sierra since 1999 and personally have many friends that engage in backcountry winter sports in the BWRA. The service that the Bridgeport Avalanche Center provides is truly invaluable. Sincerely, Christina Ackerman - 4/6/15