SOS-Keep An Eye On The Ball To Keep Trails Openposted Mar 13, 2013
Tags: General News, Rights to Ride All Article Tags
Keeping An Eye On The Ball Helps Keep Trails Open
In sports they say keep your eye on the ball. The same is true with keeping public lands open. Instead of keeping an eye on the ball it is about keeping an eye on studies and regulations that may be used later to close your trails.
Stewards of the Sequoia recently submitted a letter cosigned by 64 other organizations and clubs challenging a flawed Forest Service Study which highlighted unsubstantiated impacts of OHV, Horseback and Downhill Skiiing, while the study elevated the need for greater Preservation funding based merely on a "willingness to pay". Yet the study ignored the hundreds of millions of dollars provided to the Forests through self funded programs like the OHV Green Stickers, as well as ignoring the hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours from all forms of recreation.
This flawed Forest Study will be the basis for future forest planning, so it could directly effect the Sequoia and every Forest nationwide.
Read Stewards letter challenging the flawed study here
If you agree that this kind of work is important please be aware that membership donations have not been able to cover the expense of attending two years worth of meetings in Sacramento or the expense of the challenge letter.
Stewards Of The Sequoia Ruffles Some Feathers
The local Newspaper Kern Valley Sun has run an article about the Audubon attempt to block Stewards trail maintenance
“Audubon has a lot of preserves and their mission is supposed to be about conservation. So why would they block stewardship work that would reduce the environmental impacts of trails while keeping the trails open and enjoyable for everyone?” Horgan said. “I thought the Audubon Society was a member of the community, but their letter has shown themselves to be bad neighbors.”
Audubon Society California Director phoned Stewards and said that people calling their office has wasted a considerable amount of Audubon staff time, which begs the question of their wasting a considerable amount of Kern County staff, legal counsel and commissioners time with their totally baseless letter.
Audubon Society needs to continue to hear from the public by calling 800-542-2748 and politely let them know what you think about Kern Audubon Society wasting Kern County staff time while attempting to block non profit conservation organizations like Stewards of the Sequoia from getting funding to augment our volunteer programs on public lands.
The public has a right to recreate on their public lands. This would be the first Kern County grant for trail maintenance in the multi decade history of this grant program, It cannot be a coincidence that Audubon chose this time to air their objections.
Jawbone OHV Land Acquisition Needs to Include Building Trails
The Off Highway Motor Vehicle Division (OHMVR) is proposing to purchase 28,275 acres of privately owned land near Jawbone in order to ensure these lands continue to allow motorized recreation at a cost of about $19,000,000
Last Year Stewards of the Sequoia Executive Director attended the OHMVR presentation outlining the proposed land purchase . He cited the need for building motorized single track trails on these lands and was able to get support from The Nature Conservancy and other environmental groups. The OHMVR stated they intended to build more motorized single track trails. Stewards submitted a comment on the Draft Environmental Report stating:
"This acquisition represents a large investment of the OHV recreating public’s dollars. It is imperative that investment should include the written intention of building motorized trails on acquisition lands."
The OHMVR is seeking letters of support so we submitted a letter on behalf of our members.
Stewards Get Trail Grants To Help Maintain Trails
Regardless of the Audubon Society attempt to block our efforts Stewards has been awarded three grants totaling roughly $23,000 to help fund trail maintenance on motorized and non motorized trails in the area.
This will be the first time Stewards have been able to secure any funding for trail maintenance. In order to receive the funding Stewards will have to provide roughly $50,000 in matching work. Our members have stepped up every year volunteering to keep their trails open. This year your volunteerism will mean more work getting done on the trails than ever before. Of course if we do not get a good volunteer turnout then we will not receive the grant funding.
Please check our event schedule to see if you can help and get more for your trails
Comments Needed On Sequoia Forest Grants
Each year the Sequoia National Forest receives grant money from your California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division Green Sticker Fund for your trails. Stewards will be reviewing and commenting on the grants as we do on behalf of our members each year. Comments can increase the score upon which grant funding is determined.
Four proposals were submitted for the Sequoia, including:
You can view and comment on the Preliminary Application by visiting the State Grants and Cooperative Agreements program website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov and selecting the “Grants” tab beginning March 5 thru April 1, 2013. The OHMVR Division’s website will provide further detailed instructions for accessing the preliminary application and submitting comments.
Over the years your donations helped Stewards reopen this trail along with eight others and so much more.
Yet today 88% of Stewards members have let their donations expire. Please make your donation now so we can continue our efforts to keep your trails open. Thanks
With your help Stewards of the Sequoia will continue to keep the Sequoia National Forest A Land Of Many Uses and open to all