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Clear Creek EIS

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The BLM has released the Environmental Impact Statement for Clear Creek and as expected the have selected the most restrictive use alternative short of closing the place.

Many of the single track trails will be closed and I have severe doubts as to whether anything other than a family enduro or dual sport ride could be conducted legally.

Everyone needs to call the Hollister field office and request a copy of the EIS and then provide written comments back to the BLM. I will try to highlight the issues on my blog. http://home.earthlink.net/~tobince/blog.htm

Contacts in Hollister are George Hill, Acting Field Office Manager and Brian White, Clear Creek project coordinator. Office phone is 831-630-5000.

Address is 20 Hamilton Court, Hollister, CA 95023

I will be reviewing the EIS this weekend. Hard to do because it is so depressing.

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I contacted Brian White yesterday to request my copy of the CCMA EIS he said it would be publicly available today 8-30-5 and mine would be in the mail at that time so I will be able to start my reading next week. Until then Ed is there any thing in the EIS that relates to the current thread “Categorical Exclusions” in this group? If so could a CE be used to help you and others plan serious events?

He also told me that he will return to sending out the monthly bulletin about CCMA with the BLM information on current events. DT

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Wow....that is some VERY bad new !!! :banghead:

I will request a copy of the EIS report and write them a letter..........does it really help in these kind of situations - I know it can't hurt - just wondering if these letters have any real impact?

Is the BRC able to use there funds/lawyers to block something like this?

Any idea why single tracks have been targeted?? Is it because of the are they are in or.............?

Thanks Dan

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this is the process we are going thru at elkins flat now, the next meeting in december will annouce the alternates to be studied or maybe its to take in public input to generate EIR alternates. Alternates for trails can only be lots of miles, status quo or less miles...... Public involvement and letter writing keeps our finger in the pie.

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Just capped off a long day by giving the EIS a first run through. I don't think most people have any idea how screwed we are. The people who created the EIS and the new CCMA management plans have figured out how to well and truly screw the OHV community. Not only are a huge percentage of the trails and barrens closed, but the decisions are not open to protest according to the process they have created. There are only three areas of protest acceptable:

  1. Designation of barren areas open to off road use.
  2. Adoption of the criteria for designating routes
  3. Designation of the San Benito Mountains Research Natural Areas

Digging through appendix A (Route Designation) is as telling as it gets. The justification for most of the trail closure are listed as listed as code 17119. Meaning? Does Not contribute to use spectrum. No environmental reasons. No endangered plants. No cultural problems. Just - does Not contribute to use spectrum.

Let me make this one very clear - The people in charge are NOT listening to you. For every "Green" interested in "saving Clear Creek" who showed up to the planning meeting 15 ohv users showed up. At the three work parties I joined at CC, dozens of OHV users showed up for each "Green." And look at the result.

I spent years at college studying to be a Marine Biologist. Spent weekends cleaning beaches, days building trails, years trying to work with different groups. Now I can't help but think that any attempt to work with these groups is a total waste. I have an urge to find a few barrels of weed killer and ride through CC with a sprayer on my back. One new tool that is destined to join my tool kit is a heavy duty pair of wire cutters. (And yes I know the greens read this site. In fact I'm hoping they read this post.)

I'll write my letters. I'll show up at the planning meetings. Hell I might even show up to some of the work parties. But I have to admit that I think the best we will be able to manage is to slow the closures down.

And before any of you dismiss this on as "not my problem" just because you don't ride CC - think again. I spent most of the day dodging quads up at Foresthill. When I wasn't busy dodging quads I was busy trying to find ways to put together decent loops. One problem...every where I turned I kept running into these:

Image-D5D2279532FF11DA.jpg

And somehow I doubt they are going to rebuild the trails after they are done logging.

Rant off. :banghead:

Seph

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Man - talk about being screwed !! And we can't even protest the closer's that don't even have a "reason" for being targeted for closer - &%$#@! !!!!!!! :banghead: Talk about being railroaded !!!!

Ed

What is the purpose of the meeting that you are going to today? Since there is no protesting of the EIS Bull Dogging - is there a legal avenue in postponing or fighting this BS discition??

Thanks

dp

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I can't believe there are doing this to my favorite riding spot.

For those of you who never been to CC its terrain and trails are unmatched. this is truley a sad situation.

I thought the damn BRC was going to help turn this thing around. :banghead:

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Not that I need another reason to leave this rathole of a state, but this certainly will add to my growing list.

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I can't believe there are doing this to my favorite riding spot.

For those of you who never been to CC its terrain and trails are unmatched. this is truley a sad situation.

I thought the damn BRC was going to help turn this thing around. :banghead:

I was wondering the same thing about the BRC - I know many of us have contributed what we can to the legal defense funds - I'm sure there doing there best to fight the fight ??

dp

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Not that I need another reason to leave this rathole of a state, but this certainly will add to my growing list.

EM_ Rider,

Between all the MC and 2nd Amendment sites I spend time on, I hear plenty of CA bashing. In most cases, including this one, the complainers have it dead wrong. The BLM is a FEDERAL organization. The CA state government has NOTHING to do with this situation. And the situation in general is not limited to CA. Head over to the BRC page and see what's happening in the rest of the country. Ca just likes being a few years ahead of the rest of the nation.

I love Ca every bit as much as I love the rest of the USA. We just need to get rid of every government bureaucrat (and about 70% of the population) and Ca would have a chance at becoming a paradise.

I thought the damn BRC was going to help turn this thing around.

Without the BRC the only dirt biking most of us would get a chance to do in on an xbox. They're working hard, but the deck is pretty well stacked against them - and there is no way they can do it on their own. Appendix J of the EIS has a list of everyone who sent in a written comment or spoke up at one of the planning meetings. There are about 1000 names listed, running about 10:1 OHV:green. Doesn't sound too bad does it? I think it sucks. The best we could do was 900 letters? How many people browse throught the TT CA forum each day? And the best we could do is 900? If we lose all of CC, the BRC will not be to blame. OHV user apathy is all that's needed. :banghead:

You want a chance to ride CC and keep it from become nothing more than a less convenient version of Hollister? Contact the BLM, get a copy of the EIS, and write your protest. Send the protest to the BLM, your congress-critter, the local newspaper, and everywhere else some anonymous BLM stooge doesn't want it to go.

Seph

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You're correct. In many cases with BLM and USFS, the CA part of the issue is minimal. But in all cases where I've seen CA govt. in action on the OHV front, I don't view them as an ally. They are neutral at best, and more often part of the problem. I'm as involved as a guy with a real life can be on these issues. And as we've seen over the years, that is not enough to win. If you want a job done right, hire a professional. In this case, that would be BRC, CORVA, CTUC and OBRA. I support them all. All OHV owners should too, but they don't. Rapid growth in the sport has been translated into rapid growth in their financial support. Without a well funded group of people fighting for OHV interests on a full time basis, I don't think we will win many battles.

IMHO, this statement perfectly captures the attitude that will continue to get OHV interests nowhere in the land wars.

Without the BRC the only dirt biking most of us would get a chance to do in on an xbox. They're working hard, but the deck is pretty well stacked against them - and there is no way they can do it on their own. Appendix J of the EIS has a list of everyone who sent in a written comment or spoke up at one of the planning meetings. There are about 1000 names listed, running about 10:1 OHV:green. Doesn't sound too bad does it? I think it sucks. The best we could do was 900 letters? How many people browse throught the TT CA forum each day? And the best we could do is 900? If we lose all of CC, the BRC will not be to blame. OHV user apathy is all that's needed.

"Apathy" is a strawman argument and totally misses the bigger issue. If OHV interests didn't prevail with a 10:1 margin, why do you think it would be any different if the margin was 1,000, or 10,000 to one? Whining about OHV apathy is a waste of breath, because even in cases where user involvement is very high, we often lose. Why? Because the enviro interests know how to fight effectively. They litigate and they hire full-time professionals to represent them at all levels of the process. The best thing I can do is support organizations that will use these same tactics for our interests.

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What has the DAMN BRC Done!!! The BRC is doing alot and they need better support from us the OHV riders and users. If it were not for the BRC we would not be riding at Georgetown or having our enduro'e there. We must support the BRC/D36 LAO/ORBA etc... These battles will go on a long time.

Kraig Traum

D36 Committeeman

CERA President

www.cera.org

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IMHO, this statement perfectly captures the attitude that will continue to get OHV interests nowhere in the land wars.

"Without the BRC the only dirt biking most of us would get a chance to do in on an xbox. They're working hard, but the deck is pretty well stacked against them - and there is no way they can do it on their own. Appendix J of the EIS has a list of everyone who sent in a written comment or spoke up at one of the planning meetings. There are about 1000 names listed, running about 10:1 OHV:green. Doesn't sound too bad does it? I think it sucks. The best we could do was 900 letters? How many people browse throught the TT CA forum each day? And the best we could do is 900? If we lose all of CC, the BRC will not be to blame. OHV user apathy is all that's needed."

"Apathy" is a strawman argument and totally misses the bigger issue. If OHV interests didn't prevail with a 10:1 margin, why do you think it would be any different if the margin was 1,000, or 10,000 to one? Whining about OHV apathy is a waste of breath, because even in cases where user involvement is very high, we often lose. Why? Because the enviro interests know how to fight effectively. They litigate and they hire full-time professionals to represent them at all levels of the process. The best thing I can do is support organizations that will use these same tactics for our interests.

Interesting take on my arguement. I'm not quite sure what your point was supposed to be. I should just give my money and that's it? Did I suggest that the CA gov was your friend? Did I suggest anywhere in my comments that we shouldn't support the BRC? I'm a card carrying member. I also donate as much as I can every year. I'm also an AMA member. And an NRA member. And I donate to a few other organization that support my rights.

My comments were aimed at the people who think that giving to the BRC is enough. That all they have to do is give some money and someone else will take care of everything for them. Personally I've never understood people who think that way. When there is a diasaster somewhere giving money to the Red Cross is great. If you can do it, giving your own blood, sweat and tears (in addition to what ever $s you can afford) is even better. I don't expect to be able to dial 911 and have someone take care of every emergency. If I see an accident on the road, I stop, call 911 and render aid. I don't just hang up after calling 911, kick back and watch the victims bleed to death. I also don't expect to be able to give money any organization and have them fight my battles for me.

As for the number of people who wrote protest letters...I still think the number is pathetic. The ratio is irrevelent - I'm interested in raw numbers. The Greens don't win just because they hire professionals. They win because they fight on every front. 900 letters is a start. 10000 would have been better. Dump those numbers on a politician's desk and tell me which stack they will pay attention to. Letters alone won't win any battle - but each one gives groups like the BRC more ammo to use.

Seph

Oh, btw

Whining about OHV apathy is a waste of breath

After your anti-CA rant, I'd be careful about tossing words like "Whining" around too much. :banghead:

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Maybe a little civil disobedience is in order?

Wire cutters, weed killer (evening primrose is a weed, right?), saws... :banghead:

I've never been to Clear Creek, but was planning to go this winter for the first time. It's disappointing to hear I may never get to ride some of the best trails there...

What will prevent people from riding the same old trails they always rode? What's to stop them? Steep fines (if caught)?

If this is what happens when OHVers do stuff like this:

http://www.salinasramblersmc.org/Workday.htm

maybe it's time to start destroying the damn stuff instead?

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Interesting take on my arguement. I'm not quite sure what your point was supposed to be

Then read more carefully. My point is that I don't think OHV interests will "win" until we adopt the same tactics as the enviros that have been kicking out butt for so many years. Boosting involvement is obviously important, but that is slow going as your 900 letters shows. More important, will be a strategic shift in how we fight these issues, especially IF involvement remains weak. Most of these issues are decided in court and I think that is where we need to be much more aggressive. I think that BRC and CORVA are doing some things in this direction, which is why I support them. In fact, they must be the front line because part-timers cannot be effective at working the legal side of these battles. All that said, I'd sure like to see a more aggressive style.

And my one sentence rant against CA was purely theoretical because I don't have any illusions about being able to change things quickly or easily. On the OHV issue, I clearly do think a shift in tactics would yield positive results.

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I can’t let this one slip past!

Lets just destroy MORE private and public property, kill some rare PLANTS, yeah that will teach them! Here are just a few shots from my last trip to CCMA. I don’t think we need more destruction by cowboys.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/plantguy/img_9441.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/plantguy/img_9439.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/plantguy/IMG_0375.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/plantguy/IMG_0355.jpg

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/plantguy/IMG_9665.jpg

This closure has been twenty years in the making and a major part of the reason is the behavior exhibited by a few in the OHV community giving the greens ammo, the remainder of the blame can be placed on the incompetent management of CCMA.

There is a Biologist that is instrumental in the formation of policy that hates everything including dirt bikes, an interim manager who would not know a Yamaha from a Honda let alone how to get to Spanish Lake, a geologist that knew someone who once thought he saw an asbestos fiber, and then there is Robert Beehler the lying chief-thief. Our government just continues the dog and pony show all the way from the Executive Branch to your local PD… why? Because WE let them. Gota go DT

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Then read more carefully. My point is that I don't think OHV interests will "win" until we adopt the same tactics as the enviros that have been kicking out butt for so many years. Boosting involvement is obviously important, but that is slow going as your 900 letters shows. More important, will be a strategic shift in how we fight these issues, especially IF involvement remains weak. Most of these issues are decided in court and I think that is where we need to be much more aggressive. I think that BRC and CORVA are doing some things in this direction, which is why I support them. In fact, they must be the front line because part-timers cannot be effective at working the legal side of these battles. All that said, I'd sure like to see a more aggressive style.

OK I think I've got it. You think the BRC should take all the money we've given them bo out and hire the OHV version of Johnny Cochrane, send him into court tomorrow to pull some "if the tire rut doesn't fit you must acquit" magic, and CC will be all ours by Friday?

I hate those damn Law and Order shows that make things look so easy. :banghead:

I though about launching into a detailed legal analysis :banghead: but I do that all day at work (all that Marine Bio stuff doesn't pay very well so I'm stuck working for a living). Just the quick and dirty - we can't do it the way the greens do. Why? Because they spent years lobbying the government (all those letters) and getting laws passed. The one in this case that matters is the Endangered Species Act. Various plants and animals found in CC are listed as endangered. OHV users aren't. The CNPS and CBD sued the BLM for failing to follow the regulations requiring them to protect the "endangered" species. Much as I wish there was, there just aren't any causes of action (fancy terminology for legal reasons to sue) that the OHV community can use in this situation.

As plant_guy pointed out, the greens also managed to get their own people into positions of power within the appropriate regulatory agencies (BLM, EPA etc). They not only make the decisions - they control the very process that allow the regulations to be made. Basically they attacked the problem from every angle. The situation took them 20 years to create but they only had to win once so they can afford to be patient.

Seph

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I can’t let this one slip past!

Lets just destroy MORE private and public property, kill some rare PLANTS, yeah that will teach them! Here are just a few shots from my last trip to CCMA. I don’t think we need more destruction by cowboys.

This closure has been twenty years in the making and a major part of the reason is the behavior exhibited by a few in the OHV community giving the greens ammo, the remainder of the blame can be placed on the incompetent management of CCMA.

There is a Biologist that is instrumental in the formation of policy that hates everything including dirt bikes, an interim manager who would not know a Yamaha from a Honda let alone how to get to Spanish Lake, a geologist that knew someone who once thought he saw an asbestos fiber, and then there is Robert Beehler the lying chief-thief. Our government just continues the dog and pony show all the way from the Executive Branch to your local PD… why? Because WE let them. Gota go DT

Access private land that the owner wants closed? No. Destroy public land? No. Regain access to public land stolen by the Greens? In a heart beat. Destroy rare plants? Personally I could care less about most of the rare plants in CC. Biologically they aren't all that distinct from other species and they aren't keystone species so their loss wouldn't be a major blow to the environment. On the other hand I think that every effort should be made to protect the plants. Close the trails that are actually a problem and fence off the vital areas (if you can get Julie Delgado to tell you where they are). Of course we did all that and look where we ended up. If playing by their rules gets us here then what incentive do I have to keep following them?

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I though about launching into a detailed legal analysis but I do that all day at work (all that Marine Bio stuff doesn't pay very well so I'm stuck working for a living). Just the quick and dirty - we can't do it the way the greens do. Why? Because they spent years lobbying the government (all those letters) and getting laws passed. The one in this case that matters is the Endangered Species Act. Various plants and animals found in CC are listed as endangered. OHV users aren't. The CNPS and CBD sued the BLM for failing to follow the regulations requiring them to protect the "endangered" species. Much as I wish there was, there just aren't any causes of action (fancy terminology for legal reasons to sue) that the OHV community can use in this situation.

Sounds like you are already waving the white flag on this one. If as you say "there just aren't any causes of action (fancy terminology for legal reasons to sue) that the OHV community can use in this situation", then what exactly do you expect to accomplish with more letters to the BLM? Aren't they just going to say "thanks for the letters folks, but the closure stands because we are just following the law?" Checkmate, OHV interests lose again.

My observation is that the status quo is a losers position and has been for years. No net expansion of new public OHV areas in CA for years, and steady decline in legal trail networks. From this result, I conclude that something is not working. If you have a different read, please elaborate. I've outlined an approach that I feel would yield better results than today's status quo. Combine a more aggressive legal strategy with other forms of advocacy. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong. Neither of us can say anything with certainty about the future. You have plenty of glib rebuttals, and many crisp answers, but no new strategy as far as I can tell......just more of the same.

I hope that "more of the same" proves to be successful. Remember, we're on the same side and both want the same outcome. More public land available for OHV use.

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