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South Park/Pleasant Canyon Closure (Death Valley)

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#1
Desertcrawler

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    Chuck (NCLR025)

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Many of you are familiar with (or have run) the South Park/Pleasant Canyon loop in Death Valley. The very day we ran it, we discovered that the BLM was closing it down to full size vehicle access. This includes the stretch with Chicken Rock above Briggs camp. We notified CA4WDC of the situation, and they are beginning a protest. Here is the text of a letter they sent (below). They'd also encourage anyone with feelings on this issue to contact BLM Ridgecrest, either by mail or through the attached link:

http://www.blm.gov/c...ack/process.php


They suggest that everyone needs to send in a letter or comment, to Hector and to state office and the BLM CDD. Also a copy sent to your congressman can't hurt. They are also in touch with a group in AZ and they flood the offices with letters and e-mails, can't hurt.


www.muirnet.net
www.4x4Voice.com
www.4x4Wire.com
May 3, 2011
Hector Villalobos
Field Manager
Bureau of Land Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
300 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
Subject: South Park to Pleasant Canyon Loop Route
Mr. Villalobos:
This letter is to express California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs concern over recent administrative actions and encourage Bureau of Land Management to enter into planning to accomplish the necessary route upgrades and repairs necessary to keep the South Park to Pleasant Canyon loop open to all motorized vehicles.
While the main focus of CA4WDC is to protect, promote, and provide for motorized recreation opportunities on public and private lands, many of our members participate in multiple forms of recreation; including but not limited to hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, horseback riding, bicycle riding, and gem and mineral collection.
We recognize the positive health and social benefits that can be achieved through outdoor activities. We also recognize that motorized recreation provides the small business owners in the local communities a significant financial stimulus. And, our members are directly affected by management decisions concerning public land use.
Our members subscribe to the concepts of: 1) public access to public lands for their children and grandchildren; 2) condition and safety of the environment; and 3) sharing our natural heritage. The general public desires access to public lands now and for future generations. Limiting access today deprives our children the opportunity to view the many natural wonders of public lands. The general public is deeply concerned about the condition of the environment and personal safety. They desire wildlife available for viewing and scenic vistas to enjoy. They also want to feel safe while enjoying these natural wonders. Lastly, the public desires to share the natural heritage with friends and family today as well as in the future. How can our children learn and appreciate our natural heritage when native species are allowed to deteriorate and historic routes are routinely blocked or eradicated from existence? A major part of CA4WDC is providing motorized recreation opportunity to the public through its numerous events throughout the state. One highly popular event is Panamint Valley Days (PVD), which has completed 25 successful years. Panamint Valley Days held each fall under Special Recreation Permit issued by BLM Ridgecrest Field Office uses a number of designated routes in the region during its event. One of the more popular trails rides is the South Park to Pleasant Canyon loop. It was recently revealed that this particular route has been closed to full-sized vehicles due to safety concerns with a bridge. Meanwhile, the route does remain fully open to Side by Sides, ATV's, and motorcycles consistent with BLM and National Park Service use designation of the route. Contact with the Ridgecrest BLM Field Office indicates the access across the bridge section has been administratively limited to lighter weight vehicles with concurrence of the BLM State
Engineer until appropriate actions can be accomplished to stabilize and strengthen the section. CA4WDC has used this route as part of its annual PVD event for the past 25 years. This route offers an opportunity for novice and intermediate skilled driver to view historic mining operations in the region and opportunities for other recreation pursuits such as rock hounding, photography and wildlife viewing.
CA4WDC strives to promote responsible recreation through education as a component of their events. The loss of routes like this hinder the ability of CA4WDC to promote the educational component where driving skills are stressed which results in lessening of future resource damage. CA4WDC encourages BLM to review their position on the route and enter into planning to accomplish the necessary route upgrades and repairs necessary to keep the South Park to Pleasant Canyon loop open to all motorized vehicles. CA4WDC is willing to discuss public-private partnership opportunities to accomplish the actions necessary to keep this route as part of the recreation inventory.

Respectfully,
John Stewart
Natural Resources Consultant
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs
Cc:
Bureau of Land Management, California State Office
Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District
Chuck (KI6WSR)
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#2
RON CT110

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Way to use our connection with CA4WDC. I just sent my comments/concern via email to the BLM office in Ridgecrest.

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#3
astateofmike

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Ron, I would think parts of India could be like time travel, but not sure you should keep your head there...."05-04-2011 07:55 AM" Hope your email kicks someone in the buttocks.

#4
Desertcrawler

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As an update, I believe Chicken Rock is back open. At least the signage has disappeared and hasn't been put back up. Kind of a don't ask don't tell sort of thing. And there is a grant from the BLM to design a new bridge that has given to the local office.



Ron, I would think parts of India could be like time travel, but not sure you should keep your head there...."05-04-2011 07:55 AM" Hope your email kicks someone in the buttocks.


Chuck (KI6WSR)
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
3" RTE Lift,Bilstein Shocks, GBR 4:11s gears, Rovertym bumpers front & rear, 2 IPF HID lights , rear work lights, custom sliders, diff guards, gas tank protector. Warn 9600 winch, synthetic rope, 285/75/16 tyres, Brownchurch rack, CDL Linkage, Heavy duty drive shafts, ARB air lockers, heavy duty rear axles & front CV joints from GBR. Ham & CB radio

#5
RON CT110

RON CT110

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Ron, I would think parts of India could be like time travel, but not sure you should keep your head there...."05-04-2011 07:55 AM" Hope your email kicks someone in the buttocks.


Indeed some parts was like going back in time. My head was jet lagged and didn't see the date when chuck posted this; however, still want to commend him on his post. Now my email and whether I get a response will be another story.

Tread Lightly Trainer: http://www.treadlightly.org/
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"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away" - Anonymous


#6
Desertcrawler

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    Chuck (NCLR025)

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Yes, tell me what you hear. I'm curious now if the trail is still "officially" closed. I had made a suggestion that they post the closure status more prominently down at Ballarat (the main access point) so that people don't do what we did , get 3/4 of the way into it and then have to turn around end of day when they see the signs for the first time (which most can't because they are out of fuel). They told me good idea -- but never seemed to act on it -- or if they did the signs were removed.
Chuck (KI6WSR)
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
3" RTE Lift,Bilstein Shocks, GBR 4:11s gears, Rovertym bumpers front & rear, 2 IPF HID lights , rear work lights, custom sliders, diff guards, gas tank protector. Warn 9600 winch, synthetic rope, 285/75/16 tyres, Brownchurch rack, CDL Linkage, Heavy duty drive shafts, ARB air lockers, heavy duty rear axles & front CV joints from GBR. Ham & CB radio




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