Category Archives: Land Use Bulletins

National Monument Comments

 

July 5, 2017

 

National Monument Comments

By Jerry Smith

Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations

 

Re:  National Monument Reviews

https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001

Section 2 of the Antiquities Act reads as follows;

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected:

Nowhere in the Antiquities Act are things like scenic values, geologic or heritage sites, cultural sites, Wilderness, or Roadless Areas mentioned.  Protection of plant life or wildlife is not within the purview of the Act.

With the total lack of local public input into designations under the Antiquities Act, the economies of the surrounding area are seldom given any thought.  People who have never seen, nor are likely to ever see the area make decisions in places far from the areas in question.  They have no direct interest.  They have nothing to lose.

Only their selfish desire to “preserve” and “protect” something they have no real interest in drives these decisions.

People who have direct interest in these lands are few.  The areas are often remote with little human population and the economies are not always healthy.  Some of those inhabitants largely depend on that land for their subsistence and existence.

By naming vast areas as National Monuments, the management strategies of these areas change dramatically.

Removing motorized access to these lands will mean the local people can no longer utilize the areas in the manner they presently do.  When this happens, the exodus from the area results in impacts to local property values, the tax base, and entities like schools become crippled for money so their student’s educations suffer greatly.

In reading the Executive Orders that proclaimed these National Monuments, we do not see the need for taking vast areas out of Multiple Use management.  National Monuments are for protecting objects, not huge areas for their scenic values.

The Antiquities Act has been severely abused by the last few Presidents for the simple appeasement of a vocal “environmental” group.  It is past time to revise the act and put some serious limitations on it.  One limitation should be that public input is mandatory and another would be that local input should have more weight than that of others from long distances.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) defines “multiple use”, “public involvement”, and “sustained yield” as;

TITLE I

SHORT TITLE,

DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND

DEFINITIONS

(c)

The term “multiple use” means the manage­ment of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and non-renewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated management of the various resources without per­manent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with considera­tion being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.

(d)

The term “public involvement” means the opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rule making, decision making, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meet­ings or hearings held at locations near the affected lands, or advisory mechanisms, or such other pro­cedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance.

(h)

The term “sustained yield” means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use.

TITLE II

LAND USE PLANNING; LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION

LAND USE PLANNING

Sec. 202 (f)

The Secretary shall allow an opportunity for public involvement and by regulation shall estab­lish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give Federal, State, and local gov­ernments and the public, adequate notice and opportunity to comment upon and participate in the formulation of plans and programs relating to

the management of the public lands.

While the Antiquities Act grants certain powers to the President, the President must rely on certain information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or the US Forest Service (USFS) BEFORE writing a proclamation in determining the size, boundaries, and “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States”.

In determining these things, the BLM must abide by land use laws like NEPA and FLPMA.  This is “Land Use Planning” 101.  The questions of “when was the public involvement” in this process and when were public meetings held need answers.  This would seem a violation of the law or at the very least a violation of procedure.

Whenever portions of public lands are subject to a change in management status, the public MUST be involved.  That is not just a statement, it is LAW.

Much of the western public lands are vast tracts of wild, untamed country.  Even as large as these areas are, they each have many unique qualities.  The lands are rich in historical places and things.  Much of our heritage and culture as Americans thrive in having access to the history and cultural places of days gone by.

Some families have used the same hunting grounds for generations.  Those families have occupied the same campsites year after year while access has not been denied.

Other families have grown up going to the same areas to camp, fish, ride OHVs, and learn to be with nature.

To deprive these family traditions is in no way practicing “Sustained Yield” or “Multiple Use”.  Recreational uses can be “sustainable” if given the chance.  When issues arise, a call for volunteers to remedy the issue will nearly always bet met with great enthusiasm.  If government would just get out of the way, volunteers could do much of the necessary work.

The distinction between lands designated as national parks and national monuments are not widely known or understood.  One of the primary differences is in the management goals of each.

National Parks are protected primarily for their scenic, inspirational, educational, and recreational values.  National Parks are designated by congress.

National monuments have objects of historical, cultural, and/or scientific interest.  They are not so much about the land as they are about the objects.  One person, the US President, often designates National Monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Using the Grand Canyon National Park as an example, in 2016 they claim 5,969,811 visitors came to the park.

“The North Rim, it invokes a sense of solitude and serenity.” That’s what the National Park Service would have you believe.  With nearly 6,000,000 annual visitors, where and when are you going to feel “a sense of solitude and serenity”?

When you are standing shoulder to shoulder on the few platforms they have to view the Grand Canyon, just the clicks of all the cameras will nearly deafen you. Does that sound like “serenity”?

Can you imagine “solitude” with 3300 people per day average in the months that they are open on the north rim? This is the way the National Park Service describes the attributes of National Parks and National Monuments.

They manage vast areas for the views from small, controlled places someone decides are “THE” place to achieve solitude and serenity and “enjoy” the area. Solitude and serenity are not achieved near as well standing shoulder to shoulder with 50 other people at a viewpoint.

The BLM has managed these lands adequately since its inception.  The “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” have survived just fine under “multiple use” management.  Will public viewpoints allow for the continuation of “protecting and preserving” these objects or call attention to them increasing the probability that someone will deface or destroy them?  The more the object is advertised and seen, the more likely it will be vandalized.

One last argument against naming National Monuments in or near National Forests would be the increased danger of extreme wildfires.  The “protection” of National Forests has proven to be one of the major causes of extreme wildfires.  The excuses of “Climate Change” and “urban encroachment” are only small symptoms.

When the Endangered Species Act caused the curtailment of logging in the northwest, THAT was the initial cause of the present extreme wildfires.  Since that time, the forests have not been “managed”, they have been left to “nature”.  Other circumstances have changed, but the management hasn’t kept up with the changes.

Courts untrained in proper forest management and emotional attorney pleadings have been responsible for much of the forest “management”.  We must return to utilizing “renewable resources” so the expense and “extreme” of wildfires will return to a manageable state.  The current “system” isn’t working, so logically, management needs to change.  This will take time, but the outcomes will be worth the wait.

Insect infestations will become better controlled with proper “multiple use” management.  A healthier forest can better cope with drought conditions.  Watersheds will be better off.  Wildlife habitat will also improve.  Logging normally does not occur in National Monuments or other “protected” resources, so rethinking management of them must be done.

It is for these reasons that the United Four Wheel Drive Associations prefer that all of the National Monuments named in the last 20-years  be managed by the BLM or the USFS for their entire list of resources, NOT for a few qualities associated with National Monuments.  The designation of these National Monuments was unnecessary, unwise, and unlawful.

About the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA).

UFWDA shall be a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of promoting the continued growth and organization of recreational four-wheel drive motor vehicle activities and maintaining access for recreational opportunities through education partnerships, stewardship and political awareness.

Bears Ears National Monument Comments

By Jerry Smith
Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations

Re:  DOI-2017-0002 and Executive Order 13792

Section 2 of the Antiquities Act reads as follows;

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected:

Nowhere in the Antiquities Act are things like scenic values, geologic or heritage sites, cultural sites, Wilderness, or Roadless Areas mentioned.  Protection of plant life or wildlife is not within the purview of the Act.

Bears Ears National Monument is a United States National Monument located in San Juan County in southeastern Utah. The monument encompasses 1,351,849 acres.

Reading the Presidential Proclamation — Establishment of the Bears Ears National Monument, you will see references to things that have no relationship to “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.” 

The following is a long example of the wording of the proclamation.

“The area’s cultural importance to Native American tribes continues to this day. As they have for generations, these tribes and their members come here for ceremonies and to visit sacred sites.  Throughout the region, many landscape features, such as Comb Ridge, the San Juan River, and Cedar Mesa, are closely tied to native stories of creation, danger, protection, and healing. The towering spires in the Valley of the Gods are sacred to the Navajo, representing ancient Navajo warriors frozen in stone.”

“The area’s stunning geology, from sharp pinnacles to broad mesas, labyrinthine canyons to solitary hoodoos, and verdant hanging gardens to bare stone arches and natural bridges, provides vital insights to geologists. In the east, the Abajo Mountains tower, reaching elevations of more than 11,000 feet. A long geologic history is documented in the colorful rock layers visible in the area’s canyons.”

Local communities seeking to protect the mountains for their watershed values have long recognized the importance of the Bears Ears’ headwaters. Wildfires, both natural and human-set, have shaped and maintained forests and grasslands of this area for millennia. Ranchers have relied on the forests and grasslands of the region for ages, and hunters come from across the globe for a chance at a bull elk or other big game. Today, ecological restoration through the careful use of wildfire and management of grazing and timber is working to restore and maintain the health of these vital watersheds and grasslands.”

“The diversity of the soils and microenvironments in the Bears Ears area provide habitat for a wide variety of vegetation. The highest elevations, in the Elk Ridge area of the Manti-La Sal National Forest, contain pockets of ancient Engelmann spruce, ponderosa pine, aspen, and subalpine fir. Mesa tops include pinyon-juniper woodlands along with big sagebrush, low sage, black brush, rabbit brush, bitterbrush, four-wing saltbush, shad scale, winter fat, Utah serviceberry, western chokecherry, hackberry, barberry, cliff rose, and greasewood. Canyons contain diverse vegetation ranging from yucca and cacti such as prickly pear, claret cup, and Whipple’s fishhook to mountain mahogany, ponderosa pine, alder, sagebrush, birch, dogwood, and Gambel’s oak, along with occasional stands of aspen. Grasses and herbaceous species such as bluegrass, bluestem, giant ryegrass, ricegrass, needle and thread, yarrow, common mallow, balsamroot, low larkspur, horsetail, and peppergrass also grow here, as well as pinnate spring parsley, Navajo penstemon, Canyonlands lomatium, and the Abajo daisy.”

“Tucked into winding canyons are vibrant riparian communities characterized by Fremont cottonwood, western sandbar willow, yellow willow, and box elder. Numerous seeps provide year-round water and support delicate hanging gardens, moisture-loving plants, and relict species such as Douglas fir. A few populations of the rare Kachina daisy, endemic to the Colorado Plateau, hide in shaded seeps and alcoves of the area’s canyons. A genetically distinct population of Kachina daisy was also found on Elk Ridge. The alcove columbine and cave primrose, also regionally endemic, grow in seeps and hanging gardens in the Bears Ears landscape. Wildflowers such as beardtongue, evening primrose, aster, Indian paintbrush, yellow and purple beeflower, straight bladderpod, Durango tumble mustard, scarlet gilia, globe mallow, sand verbena, sego lily, cliffrose, sacred datura, monkey flower, sunflower, prince’s plume, hedgehog cactus, and columbine, bring bursts of color to the landscape.”

“The diverse vegetation and topography of the Bears Ears area, in turn, support a variety of wildlife species. Mule deer and elk range on the mesas and near canyon heads, which provide crucial habitat for both species. The Cedar Mesa landscape is home to bighorn sheep which were once abundant but still live in Indian Creek, and in the canyons north of the San Juan River. Small mammals such as desert cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, prairie dog, Botta’s pocket gopher, white-tailed antelope squirrel, Colorado chipmunk, canyon mouse, deer mouse, pinyon mouse, and desert wood rat, as well as Utah’s only population of Abert’s tassel-eared squirrels, find shelter and sustenance in the landscape’s canyons and uplands. Rare shrews, including a variant of Merriam’s shrew and the dwarf shrew can be found in this area.”

“Carnivores, including badger, coyote, striped skunk, ringtail, gray fox, bobcat, and the occasional mountain lion, all hunt here, while porcupines use their sharp quills and climbing abilities to escape these predators. Oral histories from the Ute describe the historic presence of bison, antelope, and abundant bighorn sheep, which are also depicted in ancient rock art. Black bear pass through the area but are rarely seen, though they are common in the oral histories and legends of this region, including those of the Navajo.”

“Consistent sources of water in a dry landscape draw diverse wildlife species to the area’s riparian habitats, including an array of amphibian species such as tiger salamander, red-spotted toad, Woodhouse’s toad, canyon tree frog, Great Basin Spadefoot, and northern leopard frog. Even the most sharp-eyed visitors probably will not catch a glimpse of the secretive Utah night lizard. Other reptiles in the area include the sagebrush lizard, eastern fence lizard, tree lizard, side-blotched lizard, plateau striped whiptail, western rattlesnake, night snake, striped whipsnake, and gopher snake.”

“Raptors such as the golden eagle, peregrine falcon, bald eagle, northern harrier, northern goshawk, red-tailed hawk, ferruginous hawk, American kestrel, flammulated owl, and great horned owl hunt their prey on the mesa tops with deadly speed and accuracy. The largest contiguous critical habitat for the threatened Mexican spotted owl is on the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Other bird species found in the area include Merriam’s turkey, Williamson’s sapsucker, common nighthawk, white-throated swift, ash-throated flycatcher, violet-green swallow, cliff swallow, mourning dove, pinyon jay, sagebrush sparrow, canyon towhee, rock wren, sage thrasher, and the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher.”

“As the skies darken in the evenings, visitors may catch a glimpse of some the area’s at least 15 species of bats, including the big free-tailed bat, pallid bat, Townsend’s big-eared bat, spotted bat, and silver-haired bat. Tinajas, rock depressions filled with rainwater, provide habitat for many specialized aquatic species, including pothole beetles and freshwater shrimp. Eucosma navajoensis, an endemic moth that has only been described near Valley of the Gods, is unique to this area.”

While an apt description of the area and its inhabitants, this is largely irrelevant to the Antiquities Act.

The Proclamation also states;

Protection of the Bears Ears area will preserve its cultural, prehistoric, and historic legacy and maintain its diverse array of natural and scientific resources, ensuring that the prehistoric, historic, and scientific values of this area remain for the benefit of all Americans. The Bears Ears area has been proposed for protection by members of Congress, Secretaries of the Interior, State and tribal leaders, and local conservationists for at least 80 years. The area contains numerous objects of historic and of scientific interest, and it provides world class outdoor recreation opportunities, including rock climbing, hunting, hiking, backpacking, canyoneering, whitewater rafting, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Because visitors travel from near and far, these lands support a growing travel and tourism sector that is a source of economic opportunity for the region.”

In all its lavish description, no mentions are made of the current motorized recreation opportunities that abound in the Bears Ears area.  In fact, many of the non-motorized recreational opportunities require vehicular access to accomplish their desired goals.  With the vastness of 1.3 million acres comes overwhelming distances needed to be traversed to access these “world-class” outdoor recreation opportunities.

Under typical management of a National Monument, most of the reasons to want to come to this area will be eliminated because the motorized access will be closed to the public.

The idea that National Monument designation will increase tourism is false.  In reality, it will dramatically decrease tourism in ways similar to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

The tribal leaders mentioned in the proclamation are largely as fictitious as the quantities of paid people bused in from out of state to bolster support for former Secretary Jewel’s visit to the area.

Actual local tribal leaders and members are largely against the National Monument designation.  Their access to tribal activities such as the gathering of firewood, pine nuts, medicinal herbs, and sacred sites will be substantially curtailed.  Traditional ceremonial sites will become inaccessible as well.

Utah’s congressional delegation, the governor, and counties affected were ALL opposed to this designation.

With the total lack of local public input into designations under the Antiquities Act, the economies of the surrounding area are seldom given any thought.  People who have never seen, nor are likely to ever see the area make decisions in places far from the areas in question.  They have no direct interest.  They have nothing to lose.

Only their selfish desire to “preserve” and “protect” something they have no real interest in drives these decisions.

People who have direct interest in these lands are few.  The area is remote with little human population and the economies are not always healthy.  Some of those inhabitants largely depend on the land for their subsistence and existence.

Removing motorized access to these lands will mean they can no longer survive in the manner they presently do.  The exodus from the area results in impacts to local property values, the tax base, and entities like schools become crippled for money so their student’s educations suffer greatly.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) defines “multiple use”, “public involvement”, and “sustained yield” as;

TITLE I

SHORT TITLE, DECLARATION OF POLICY, AND DEFINITIONS

(c)

The term “multiple use” means the manage­ment of the public lands and their various resource values so that they are utilized in the combination that will best meet the present and future needs of the American people; making the most judicious use of the land for some or all of these resources or related services over areas large enough to provide sufficient latitude for periodic adjustments in use to conform to changing needs and conditions; the use of some land for less than all of the resources; a combination of balanced and diverse resource uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and non-renewable resources, including, but not limited to, recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, wildlife and fish, and natural scenic, scientific and historical values; and harmonious and coordinated

management of the various resources without per­manent impairment of the productivity of the land and the quality of the environment with considera­tion being given to the relative values of the resources and not necessarily to the combination of uses that will give the greatest economic return or the greatest unit output.

(d)

The term “public involvement” means the opportunity for participation by affected citizens in rule making, decision making, and planning with respect to the public lands, including public meet­ings or hearings held at locations near the affected lands, or advisory mechanisms, or such other pro­cedures as may be necessary to provide public comment in a particular instance.

(h)

The term “sustained yield” means the achievement and maintenance in perpetuity of a high-level annual or regular periodic output of the various renewable resources of the public lands consistent with multiple use.

 

TITLE II

LAND USE PLANNING; LAND ACQUISITION AND DISPOSITION

LAND USE PLANNING

Sec. 202 (f)

The Secretary shall allow an opportunity for public involvement and by regulation shall estab­lish procedures, including public hearings where appropriate, to give Federal, State, and local gov­ernments and the public, adequate notice and opportunity to comment upon and participate in the formulation of plans and programs relating to

the management of the public lands.

While the Antiquities Act grants certain powers to the President, the President must rely on certain information from the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) BEFORE writing a proclamation such as the one above in determining the size, boundaries, and “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States”.

In determining these things, the BLM must abide by land use laws like NEPA and FLPMA.  This is “Land Use Planning” 101.  The questions of “when was the public involvement” in this process and when were public meetings held need answers.  This would seem a violation of the law or at the very least a violation of procedure.

Much of the western public lands are vast tracts of wild, untamed country.  Even as large as these areas are, they each have many unique qualities.  The lands are rich in historical places and things.  Much of our heritage and culture as Americans thrive in having access to the history and cultural places of days gone by.

Some families have used the same hunting grounds for generations.  Those families have occupied the same campsites year after year while access has not been denied.

Other families have grown up going to the same areas to camp, fish, ride OHVs, and learn to be with nature.

To deprive these family traditions is in no way practicing “Sustained Yield” or “Multiple Use”.  Recreational uses can be “sustainable” if given the chance.  When issues arise, a call for volunteers to remedy the issue will nearly always bet met with great enthusiasm.  If government would just get out of the way, volunteers could do much of the necessary work.

The distinction between lands designated as national parks and national monuments are not widely known or understood.  One of the primary differences is in the management goals of each.

National Parks are protected primarily for their scenic, inspirational, educational, and recreational values.  National Parks are designated by congress.

National monuments have objects of historical, cultural, and/or scientific interest.  They are not so much about the land as they are about the objects.  One person, the US President, often designates National Monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

Using the Grand Canyon National Park as an example, in 2016 they claim 5,969,811 visitors came to the park.

“The North Rim, it invokes a sense of solitude and serenity.” That’s what the National Park Service would have you believe. With nearly 6,000,000 annual visitors, where and when are you going to feel “a sense of solitude and serenity”?

When you are standing shoulder to shoulder on the platforms they have to view the Grand Canyon, just the clicks of all the cameras will nearly deafen you. Does that sound like “serenity”? Can you imagine “solitude” with 3300 people per day average in the months that they are open on the north rim?

This is the way the National Park Service describes the attributes of National Parks and National Monuments.

They manage vast areas for the views from small, controlled places someone decides are “THE” place to achieve solitude and serenity and “enjoy” the area. Solitude and serenity are not achieved near as well standing shoulder to shoulder with 50 other people at a viewpoint.

The BLM has managed these lands adequately since its inception.  The “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” have survived just fine under “multiple use” management.  Will public viewpoints allow for the continuation of “protecting and preserving” these objects or call attention to them increasing the probability that someone will deface or destroy them?

It is for these reasons that the United Four Wheel Drive Associations prefer that the Bears Ears area be managed as it has been for many years.  The designation of National Monument is unnecessary, unwise, and unlawful.

About the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA).

UFWDA shall be a non-profit corporation organized for the purpose of promoting the continued growth and organization of recreational four-wheel drive motor vehicle activities and maintaining access for recreational opportunities through education partnerships, stewardship and political awareness.

The Board of Directors of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations are often asked; “What do you do for us?”

Above is just one example of what we provide in the name of Land Use issues.  I know it is awfully long, but this is fairly typical of the comments I write and the arguments crafted.  Please take a few minutes to read this to see the work required to put something like this together.

Having read the many land use laws and rules is the first requirement.  Most of them I’m sure you have never heard of, but when you are working to keep Jeep trails open for motorized use, you must load your gun with knowledge of these laws.  They are the weapons used by the army of attorneys the Preservationistas use, so we must use them even better.

BFGoodrich® Tires Outstanding Trails Program 2016 Winners announced

Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 3, 2016 – BFGoodrich® Tires, in collaboration with 4 Wheel Parts,
United Four Wheel Drive Associations, Blue Ribbon Coalition and Off Road Business
Association, today announced the winners of the 2016 Outstanding Trails program. Nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast following, the trails selected and the associated clubs for this year’s program are:
· Sidewinder Trail, Colorado, Mile-Hi Jeep Club
· Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway, Kentucky, Ohio River Four Wheelers
· 21 Road, Grand Junction, Colorado, Grand Mesa Jeep Club
· Hagen Creek Trail, Yacolt Burn State Forest, Washington , Piston’s Wild Motorsports Club

Read the full announcement

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BFGoodrich® Tires 2016 Outstanding Trails Program

BFGoodrich® Tires builds tires for any adventure, including those that take drivers off their daily roadways. Through its Outstanding Trails program that promotes sustainable and responsible off-road driving, BFGoodrich Tires will once again award grants of $4,000 each, to four qualified and passionate 4×4 clubs in North America. These clubs will use their grants to continue local efforts that preserve and protect their hometown trails.

In its 11th year, BFGoodrich once again offers Outstanding Trails in association with 4 Wheel Parts as presenting sponsor of this year’s program. 4 Wheel Parts will promote the program and provide a critical outreach extension to four-wheel-drive clubs across North America. The program also is conducted in collaboration with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), Blue Ribbon Coalition and the Off Road Business Association.

To date, Outstanding Trails has awarded grants to 40 off-road trails nominated by 38 local clubs throughout North America. The program has provided more than $150,000 in grants in support of these trail conservation efforts.

Nominations are being accepted to July 15, 2016, on the BFGoodrich Tires website at www.bfgoodrichtires.com/outstandingtrails. The competition invites 4×4 clubs from around North America to nominate local trails that merit grants for maintenance or refurbishing. Trails are selected based on uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast support.

BFGoodrich has assembled a panel of judges comprising four-wheel industry veterans to evaluate Outstanding Trails grant submissions. This group selects three winning trails, which will be announced at Off Road Expo in October.

About BFGoodrich Tires

With more than 100 years of heritage, BFGoodrich® Tires is dedicated to providing high performance tires for those who have a passion for driving in virtually any environment. Combining technical expertise with 40 years of motorsports experience, BFGoodrich Tires delivers tires for a full range of driving experiences from ultra-high-performance street to off-road terrain with one common theme — extreme performance. Come upgrade your performance with BFGoodrich and see where our tires can take you at www.BFGoodrichTires.com, on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/BFGoodrichTires or on Twitter at @BFGoodrichTires.

About United Four Wheel Drive Associations

United Four Wheel Drive Associations is the world’s leading representative of all-brand, four wheel-drive enthusiasts. UFWDA benefits, developed and tested over the past 40 years, include four-wheel-drive safety and awareness education; such user ethics programs as adopt-a-road, conservation volunteer and volunteer trail patrol; assistance with new club formation; education seminars to aid four wheelers through complex state and federal programs affecting trail access; internet forums designed to instantly connect members globally and webinars. For more information on the UFWDA log on to www.ufwda.org

About the BlueRibbon Coalition

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well — all sports; all trails.  With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, participation in the administrative process, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. BRC works with land managers to provide recreation opportunities preserve resources and promote cooperation with other public land users. BRC is recognized nationwide for its credible staff of landuse and recreation professionals, as well as a legal team with nearly 30 years of accomplishments.  Learn more at www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org).

About 4 Wheel Parts 

4 Wheel Parts is the global leader in off-road truck, Jeep and aftermarket performance products. With 69 locations across the U.S. and Canada and growing, 4 Wheel Parts Service Centers install all the products they sell. Maintaining the nation’s largest inventory of off-road tires, wheels, lift kits, and accessories, 4 Wheel Parts serves customers across the country and around the globe.  Life is Better Off-Road™.  Visit them at  4wheelparts.com  or call toll-free  877-474-4821.

 

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Request for Information (RFI) Regarding Involving the Public in the Formulation of Forest Service Directives

AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. SUMMARY: The Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, Business Operations, Office of Regulatory and Management Services (ORMS) is preparing to revise a portion of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) governing public participation requirements and procedures related to the issuance or revision of internal Agency directives. The Forest Service is committed to ensuring that a broad and representative cross-section of the interested public is provided advance notice and a full and fair opportunity to comment upon the formulation of standards, criteria, and guidelines applicable to Forest Service programs. In keeping with this commitment, the Agency is interested in enhancing its public engagement and expanding its approach for public notice and comment beyond just formal rulemaking.

The Agency has identified a need to update the relevant regulations to reflect the varied media consumption patterns of key Forest Service stakeholders and the public at large. These potential regulatory revisions are also necessary to ensure that written policies align with the Agency’s current practices, which have changed to ensure compliance with recent court orders.
The Agency is hosting a webinar for all interested members of the general public to inform the public of these changes to the Forest Service’s public participation procedures. This session will include additional information on the need for these changes and the outcomes the Agency is seeking to achieve. It will also include an outline of a potential path forward and provide attendees an opportunity to ask questions, provide input, and suggest ideas.

DATES: A webinar will be held for interested members of the general public on Tuesday, December 15, 2015, from 1:00-2:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time/10:00-11:30 a.m. Pacific Standard Time. ADDRESSES: The webinar will be held via Adobe Connect web conferencing software. To access the presentation, enter the following URL into any Flash-enabled web browser: https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/orms/. Audio-only access is available toll-free by calling (888) 844-9904 and entering the following access code: 4909819.

 
PROM DRESSES uk

Write a letter to your US Rep in support of reopening Clear Creek

Cal4 Wheel

Urge your US Rep to pass HR 1838, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act

Please write a letter to your US Representative urging them to support and pass HR 1838, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act. This legislation will designate 75,000 acres of Federal public land in San Benito and Fresno Counties in California as the Clear Creek National Recreation Area (NRA) and ensure access for the responsible use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) in the area into the future, as well as designate 21,000 acres as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness.

  Write Letter

Recreational Trails Program survives

Courtesy of the Coalition for Recreational Trails; we are delighted to tell you that the U.S. Senate passed its multi-year transportation bill with a 65-34 vote.  The provisions affecting the Recreational Trails Program were left alone.  The amendments from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) that would have eliminated RTP – which we asked you to help stop – were not brought up for consideration.

 While it’s difficult to track exactly, we have heard that volumes of calls opposing Sen. Lee’s amendments were received by Senate offices.  Thank you so much for your tremendous help!

Moving forward, the Senate has also just passed (91-4) the three-month extension of the current transportation legislation that the House had already passed.  October 31, 2015 is now the new deadline for the House to pass its own multi-year transportation bill (or something else!).

Call your Senators NOW to save funding for trails

An  Alert Courtesy of American Trails

The full Senate is gearing up to vote on its version of a transportation bill-and yet another attack on funding for trails, walking, and biking has surfaced! Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has introduced an amendment (S.A. 2280) that eliminates the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP)-the nation’s largest dedicated source of funding for trails, walking and biking. This program also funds the Recreational Trails Program (RTP), and helps people like you and me stay healthy, get outdoors, support our local economy and get where we need to go. Help us defend funding for TAP, (including the RTP) and for safe places to walk, bike, and ride in your community by calling your senators now.

The Senate could vote on this legislation as early as this weekend, and it’s important that your legislators hear from you right away.The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, one of our valued partners, has prepared a webpage that includes contact information, as well as a simple message that you can use to communicate with your senators.

Call your senators now and please spread the word through your networks! Please take this simple action now… 

 

Sustainable ATV Trails; Keeping water and soil healthy with sediment control

Recently published online, is a website linked to the USFS outlining the basics of sustainable trails and lists of resources. While aimed at ATV, the message is the same for 4×4 trails.

http://www.fs.fed.us/t-d/atv_trails_site/index.html

learn

about the relationship between soil and water and how sustainable trail design can help prevent erosion and other harmful effects caused by erosion.

build

sustainable trails or improve existing ones using these time-tested techniques, each with detailed descriptions and photos.

manage

existing trails with methods for monitoring trail use and make decisions on how best to target resources for maintaining and improving trails.

Public meeting August 16 on Johnson Valley changes

From the Bureau of Land Management

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and the Marine Corps will host a Resource Management Group meeting about the changes in land use in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area at the Lucerne Valley Community Center on August 16, 2014 from 1-3 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future locations of the Marine’s company objective areas within the Shared Use Area for military training in accordance with Military Land Withdrawals Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-66).

Input from State agencies, Off-Highway Vehicle and other recreation interest groups, and environmental advocacy groups as well as the public in general are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

The Lucerne Valley Community Center is located at 33187 Old Woman Springs Road, Lucerne Valley, CA. For additional information, contact the Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Manager, at 760-252-6004; email: ksymons@blm.gov; or the MCAGCC Public Affairs Office at 760-830-6213; email: SMBPLMSWEBPAO@usmc.mil.