Access Issues

McClintock appointed chair of House Subcommittee on Federal Lands

Congress spent much of January getting itself organized. This means appointing committee members and subcommittee members as well as adopting procedural rules for each committee. This process also involves hiring new staff for the various committees.

Of particular interest to us is the fact that Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) is the new chairman of the House Subcommittee on Federal Lands, formerly known the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation. (We prefer the new name.) We have worked with Rep. McClintock and his staff on a number of issues over the years and believe he has a very good understanding of our issues. He replaces Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) as subcommittee chair since Rep. Bishop has moved up to become the Chairman of the full committee. With Chairman Bishop and Subcommittee Chair McClintock, the House Resources Committee has a strong team of leaders in place and we look forward to active engagement with them over the course of the next two years.

Link to article: http://www.arra-access.com/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5863

Trespass laws to be enforced at popular OHV site

The Red Bluff Police Department announced Wednesday it would begin enforcing trespassing laws on a piece of property located at Walnut Street and Baker Road that is frequently used by all-terrain vehicles.

In a press release the department said it had been contacted by several residents in the area in regards to the constant off road traffic of dirt bikes, quads and four-wheel drive vehicles that recreate in the hills of the area.

The Tehama County Air Pollution Control District has also investigated complaints regarding the amount of dust in the air.

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Frogs & toads to be listed as endangered

CA4WDC issues position statement on ESA Listing of Yellow-legged Frog and Yosemite Toad

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that the Final Rule for listing of the Sierra Nevada yellow-legged frog and the Northern Distinct Population Segment of the mountain yellow-legged frog as Endangered Species and the Yosemite toad as a Threatened Species is pending publication in the April 29, 2014 edition of the Federal Register.

Background:  The current listing effort is the result of a lawsuit settlement between the USFWS and Center for Biological Diversity.

The frogs and toads have been on U.S. Forest Service "species of concern" list for more than 14 years.  As such, they were addressed in the 2000 Sierra Nevada Framework (SNF) with defined management prescriptions as if they were formally listed species.  As such, grazing, logging and recreation activities have lived under the SNF prescriptions which treated the species as listed on the Threatened and Endangered Species List.

This means that when U.S. Forest Service travel management was conducted, the SNF was one of the tiered documents reviewed to determine impact of designating the route.  As such, USFS routes can be (or should be) considered to be in compliance with ESA listing.

Note, I said "should be" considered in compliance.

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Senate committee to mark up wilderness/OHV bills

Reprinted from E&E, June 17, 2013

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee tomorrow will seek to advance a dozen bills involving public lands from a North Carolina seashore to an Alaskan rainforest.

Measures include bills to designate new wilderness in western Nevada, Colorado's San Juan Mountains and eastern Oregon's high desert, each of which is strongly backed by conservation groups.

Members will also vote on bills to convey timber in the Tongass National Forest to an Alaska Native corporation and allow more off-highway vehicle access to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore -- measures that have attracted considerable controversy.

"We're pleased to see the wilderness bills go forward," said Tim Mahoney of the Pew Campaign for America's Wilderness.

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State releases report on OHV fund investigation

An investigation that began in July 2012 regarding the under-reporting of OHV and State Parks funds was concluded recently. California Deputy Attorney General Thomas M. Patton writes in his report that, "This investigation has yielded no evidence that any OHV monies were ever intentionally hidden."

CA4WDC is formulating a response to this issue. Visit this link to view the full reports and other information regarding the investigation:
http://resources.ca.gov/attorney_generals_investigation_into_discrepancies_in_financial_reporting_by_california_state_parks/

Six Rivers begins Travel Management Planning

Comments are due by June 4

The Six Rivers National Forest in California has published a Notice of Intent in the Federal Register to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) associated with implementing a Travel Management Plan (TMP) for the Smith River National Recreation Area in the Gasquet Ranger District. This notice constitutes the beginning of the scoping and comment period for the TMP.

The Forest proposes the following changes to its transportation system: 1) add 28 user-created routes as roads, totaling 16 miles; 2) add 45 user-created routes as motorized trails, totaling 44 miles; 3) implement seasonal gate closures on 2 roads and 5 motorized trails, totaling 13 miles; 4) implement mixed-use access of 1 road (17N49), totaling 4 miles; 5) close 118 roads, totaling 57 miles, and; 6) close 173 user-created routes, totaling 80 miles.

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