This comes from our friends at Cal4, and represents a rare opportunity; opening thousands of miles of trails!
The West Mojave Route Management Plan is open for public comments through June 4, 2015. The BLM is proposing to add about 4500 miles of roads to the legal road network for motorized vehicle travel. The OHV community needs to support this by making positive comments to add the roads to the system as opposed to closing them permanently. The link to the web site is below:
Here are some important points about making comments. Do not copy other comments, at least in their entirety. Boilerplate comments only count as one even if 50 people send the same comment. Below you will find talking points. Reword them if you can, or at least start out by defining who you are and how you are involved – number of years off roading, you love the desert, especially the west Mojave region, your family has been coming here for decades, etc.
Next, keep your comment short and only one or two points per comment. It is even better if you send several comments covering the key points you wish to make.
The BLM Barstow team has realized that keeping motorized vehicle routes open is easier to manage than closing them and trying to keep them closed. They are launching a comprehensive OHV education program by late 2015. The know how important motorized vehicle travel is for recreation of many types.
Which brings up another important point. While it is very good to say you are a responsible off roader when describing who you are, in the comment it self, please do not use off roader, OHV off highway or other references to off roading. While there are 7 million off roaders in CA, there are more than that who use motorized vehicles to travel on public lands. Even many Sierra Club members do this, but they would never admit to being off roaders even though they really are.
So use the phrase “Motorized vehicle travel”. This includes nearly 17 million CA users and makes it easier for the BLM to justify keeing roads open and making more routes legal.
- More recreation is taking place on all public lands, much of it using motorized vehicles. As the demand grows, more opportunities are need for recreation, including more motorized vehicle routes.
- Additional open roads will reduce the travel burden on existing roads and reduce resource damage.
- The proposed BLM Barstow motorized vehicle travel education program will reduce damage to the road system by presenting information in a positive way. For example, airing down tires reduces the unit loading on the ground (few vehicle pounds per square inch of tire contact patch on the ground) which in turn reduces damage to the soil and also reduces erosion and dust.
- As the demand for access to public lands for motorized vehicle travel increases, so must the supply. The more roads that are accessible, the less need the public will have to create illegal routes.
- Managing legal routes is more easily accomplished than trying to close route and keep them closed. The law of supply and demand comes into play. If the public perceives a need for more routes, they will create them. More legal routes will help.
- Those individuals, groups and clubs that use motorized vehicles on public lands have shown extraordinary volunteerism. By legalizing routes within the West Mojave, these people will be even more enthusiastic about volunteering to help preserve the land through education and monitoring.
There are more good points, I'm sure, so put on you thinking caps and get some solid comments to the BLM. They want the same thing we do, and the opposition has already flooded them with comment. Look at the web page and submit you comments.
questions? Contact me at email@example.com
Here is where you can submit public comments:
Submit public comments by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to:
Bureau of Land Management
California Desert District
Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment
22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
All comments must be received by June 4, 2015.