Membership Update – July 31, 2017

I apologize for the long period between updates, but our family has been involved in some medical issues for our son and we have been travelling between Dayton, Stanford University Medical Center and the Sacramento Area where he remains hospitalized.

However, Patti and I are planning our annual two weeks at Meadow Lake, CA, for the 50th Sierra Trek event sponsored by the California Four Wheel Drive Association. This will be our 37th consecutive Trek, so we don’t want to break the string!

Current Issues:

  • Washoe County Lands Bill – Properly called the Washoe County Economic Development and Conservation Act – Washoe County, in cooperation with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) have prepared a bill request whereby certain public lands would be withdrawn for various purposes, including seven new Wilderness areas in northern Washoe County.

The Washoe County Lands Bill seems to be in a limbo state. It seems that all land use issues are stalled until the Presidential appointments for Interior, BLM, US Fish and Wildlife, Agriculture and US Forest Service are completed and these people are at work, most, if not all land use issues are stalled. Congress is busy with the health insurance bills, among others, and very little is moving through the committees.

  • National Monuments –

President Trump has concern over those National Monuments that were created by past Presidents under the Antiquities Act which gives the President the authority to designate areas of high cultural significance as National Monuments. He has detailed Secretary of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, to review approximately sixty National Monuments, including the Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments in Nevada that were created by President Obama. He is to assess their size and suitability for monument status and report back to the President by the end of August.

Secretary Zinke is in Nevada today to review the Gold Butte and Basin and Range National Monuments.

It is not known whether the President will reduce or increase the size of these monument areas and draw lawsuits from environmental organizations who would challenge the President’s authority to eliminate or make boundary changes to existing monuments.

Permitting on Federal Lands –

The President has directed the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to streamline the process for obtaining special land use permits. We are watching this closely as it affects the Association and our member clubs that wish to obtain permits to put on events on the public lands.

Deer Valley –

After four years of closure due to a Forest Service paperwork error, the Deer Valley Jeep Trail, located between California Highways 88 and 4 in the Eldorado National Forest, will reopen on August 3rd. There are work parties scheduled for the 2nd, 3rd and 4th weekends in September (For information, call me at 775-246=3212 or email to the Association address}.

Upcoming Events:

–         August 10th through 13th – 50th Sierra Trek at Meadow Lake/Fordyce Trail – for information: www.cal4wheel.com/events.

–         September 16th – 2nd Annual N4WDA Silver State Poker Run – Dayton Area – This event is our annual N4WDA fundraiser (see attached flyer) which will be held on Saturday, September 16th at the Mark Twain Community Center in Dayton, NV.

The poker run is a three-hour event on private land and each entrant draws five poker cards at checkpoints throughout the run. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd best poker hands receive cash awards plus wall plaques commemorating the event.

The registration includes, in addition to one poker hand, a dash plaque, a meal (hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, salad and soft drink) and a raffle ticket. Additional poker hands, meals and raffle tickets are available for purchase. Kids will receive a raffle ticket for a kid’s raffle.

The raffle will include thousands of dollars’ worth of prizes obtained from major national and local donors.

Last year’s event was enjoyed by all and this year’s event will be even bigger and more fun so print out and mail the attached registration form or contact Carole Vance, Registration Chairman, at 775-246-4099 or atvance63@charter.net or go to the N4WDA website events page.

Please mark this on your calendar as a must attend and help support your Association. Volunteer help is also appreciated, also contact Carole.

Larry

Membership Update – February 9, 2017

Current Issues:

  • Washoe County Lands Bill – Properly called the Washoe County Economic Development and Conservation Act – Washoe County, in cooperation with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) are preparing a bill request whereby certain public lands would be withdrawn for various purposes.
    On January 19 th , N4WDA sent letters to Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei urging them to remove the unwritten rule (from Senator Reid) that ALL public land transfers contain a Wilderness Component and to work for the release of all Wilderness Study Areas (WSA’s) which were supposed to be examined by Congress and either made into Wilderness or released as unsuitable for Wilderness and have not been acted upon for up to 53 years.
    We received a letter back from the Jeremy Harrell in Senator Heller’s office stating that they are in complete agreement with the items we asked for and that they have been working on the WSA release. Jeremy also stated that he would like to meet with me on Wilderness matters when he is back in the area.
    On January 30 th , the Public Land Access Network – High Desert Coalition (PLAN-HDC), an organization that N4WDA has been actively working with, sent a letter to the Washoe County Supervisors (5) and the County Commissioner advising them of problems with the following items in the Wilderness component of the proposed bill:

    • The Wilderness component, as attached to the bill, cannot be found on the Washoe County website along with the Urban Interface component of the proposed bill (you must go to the Friends of Nevada Wilderness website and then find their “Wild Nevada” page to find maps of the Wilderness component).
    • The proposed Wilderness component runs afoul of the Wilderness Act of 1964 in that it modifies the boundaries of existing Wilderness Study Areas and adds lands that were not studied to these WSA’s to create the Wilderness areas in the component.
    • There was never a stakeholders meeting to get proper public comment on the proposed withdrawal of public lands as required by the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA).
    • There is a conflict created with the Sage Grouse critical habitat restoration being done by the BLM because of the restrictions on motorized vehicle use within a Wilderness area. Also, there are those who currently hold grazing permits in these areas and need the use of motorized or mechanized transportation to develop and maintain water sources not only for their animals, but also for other wild animals.

Now for the good news: Commissioner Jeanne Herman has told us that as of the last meeting, the Washoe County Commission has decided to drop the Wilderness component from the Lands Bill so that it can move forward and be introduced in by Senator Heller and/or Congressman Amodei in the next few days. It is now time for us to shift our focus from Wilderness to the Urban Interface component of the Lands Bill, working through Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei.

Coming Events:

  • February 18 th , Four Wheel Parts has asked us to support their Grand Re-opening of the Sparks store, so, weather permitting, N4WDA and some of our member clubs will be on hand to talk with folks and, perhaps get a few new members. If you have the time, please drop by and check out the remodel of the store and, by all means, come and see us at the N4WDA booth.
  • March 11 th , Four Wheel Parts is holding their annual Madness in March event and they have asked us to have our membership booth at the event. We will be there, weather permitting…
  • March 17 th through 19 th , the Off-Road Expo at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. We will have vehicles on display and our membership booth will be present so stop by and say HI! to those of us that will be working in the booth. Also, on Saturday afternoon, we will hold an Open Meeting where our members and the general public can be updated on what we are doing and interact with the Board of Directors.
  • May 6 th , Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful annual cleanup
  • April 22 nd , 3 rd Annual N4WDA Swap Meet – location to be determined.
  • May 20 th & 21 st , Pine Nuts Mountains Trails Association annual clean-ups
  • September 16 th , 2 nd Annual N4WDA Silver State Poker Run – Dayton Area – Details to come.

Larry

Membership Update – January 7, 2017

We would like to wish you a happy and joyous New Year and wish many days of fun wheelin’ for you!

Current Issues:

  • Expansion of the Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex – The US Navy has applied to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue to use the site of the Fallon Range Training Complex and to expand it to include more than 600,000 acres of additional public land. As a result of the Navy’s withdrawal application, the BLM has segregated the proposed expansion area from appropriation under the public land laws. The two-year segregation is obligatory while the Navy prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on its expansion and extension proposals for the Fallon site.
    On November 9 th , 2016, we, along with Greg McKay, Chairman of the Nevada Commission on OHV (NCOHV); Jenny Scanland, Secretary of the NCOHV: Don Amador, Field Representative, Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition; Doug Holcomb, Pine Nut Mountains Trails Association and Eric Anderson, Motorcycle Industry Council, met with representatives from the US Navy.
    The Navy team made a presentation about what training goes on at NAS Fallon, and the need for the expansion to accommodate modern weapons training for the next twenty years. The presentation was very complete and we came away with an understanding of the situation.
    The deadline for comments on the expansion was set at December 12 th , 2016, and N4WDA submitted a letter that included suggestions that, because the B-16 range is used for Navy Seal training, primarily small caliber weapons and no airborne ordinance is involved on this range, that the expansion area be shared with the public when no active training is being accomplished.
    We also suggested that a small shift be done to the B-17 range that would allow access to a major trail and move the airborne training further from Middlegate, a popular OHV area on US 50.
    Finally, we supported a suggestion by Sharetrails/Blue Ribbon Coalition that a section be added to the authorization Bill that Congress designate a suitable section of BLM land, acreage equal to that lost to the expansion, as a dedicated OHV area to be managed as such.
    It wil be several years before the final bill goes to Congress, so we wait and see.
  • Nellis Air Force Base Expansion – Like the NAS Fallon Expansion, Nellis AFB is also asking for 2,900,000 acres to expand their weapons range (aka Area 51). This consists of expansion of the area between US 95 and the existing range from Creech AFB at Indian Springs to just south of Beatty. Another area wraps from the southern edge of the existing range southeast to near Alamo, which is a heavily used OHV area.
    Like the NAS Fallon response, we asked that a section be added to the authorization Bill that Congress designate a suitable section of BLM or USFS lands, acreage equal to that lost to the expansion, as a dedicated OHV area to be managed as such.
    Once again, we will wait and see.
  • Washoe County Lands Bill – Washoe County, in cooperation with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) are preparing a bill request whereby certain public lands would be withdrawn for various purposes.
    We have attended several Washoe County Commission Meetings and, so far, nothing has been submitted to either Senator Heller or Representative Amodei.
    We have written a letter to Senator Heller asking him, since he is the senior Senator from Nevada, to do away with Senator Reid’s unwritten law that every Nevada lands bill have a Wilderness Component. We urged him to consider Wilderness areas on their own merits. We also asked him to urge Congress to move on the 53-year- old release of the Wilderness Study Areas (WSA’s) per the procedures sent forth in the Wilderness Act of 1964. We are also writing a similar letter to Congressman Amodei.
    We will continue to write letters to the County Commissioners urging them to drop the Wilderness component from the desired land transfers in the Reno urban interface (which also has some problems with access to areas withdrawn from BLM.
  • S. 22/H.R.243 – Senator Heller and Congressman Amodei have introduce the Nevada Land Sovereignty Act, legislation that prevents the threat of executive action designating or expanding national monuments without Congressional approval or local support.
    This, because of President Obama, using his powers under the Antiquities Act, recently designated the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and the Gold Butte National Monument in Southern Nevada (a favor to Senator Reid before his resignation). Both monuments had heavy opposition by locals and by the state Congressional representatives. Instead of these monuments being brought before Congress (the normal way), President Obama decided to use his heavy hand and unilaterally designated these monuments before leaving office. There is a move already to have President-elect Trump or Congress override these designations after the inauguration.

Coming Events:

  • January 26 th – N4WDA Board of Directors Meeting. Contact us at nevada.4wd@att.net if you would like to attend and we’ll send directions to the meeting site. Remember, all our meetings are open to our membership and to the public as well. We just need to know how many folks will show up.
  • March 17 th through 19 th , the Off-Road Expo at the Reno/Sparks Convention Center. We will have vehicles on display and our membership booth present so stop by and say HI! to those of us that will be working in the booth. Also, probably on Saturday afternoon, we will hold an open meeting where the members and the public can see and talk with the Board of Directors.
  • KTMB and Pine Nuts Mountains Trails Association clean-ups, dates and times to be determined.
  • We will set a date for the 3 rd Annual N4WDA Swap Meet, so start diggin’ your junk out and bring it to the meet where you can trade it for someone else’s junk. Lots of fun!!
  • Four Wheel Parts has asked us to support their Grand Re-opening of the Sparks store on February 18th and their Madness in March event on March 11 th . We will be there, weather permitting…

Larry

Membership Update – September 22, 2016

Since the last update, many things have happened and I finally have enough time to send out this update.

First, N4WDA has become a 501(c)7 corporation. This makes us a not-for-profit corporation in the eyes of the US government. Our first act, when we started in February, 2013, was to obtain a charter from the State of Nevada recognizing us as a not-for-profit corporation in Nevada. This federal recognition will give us more stature when dealing with corporations and government agencies.

This 501(c)7 status does not mean that donors can deduct their contributions to us from their personal income taxes… that would be a 501(c)3 charitable foundation. As we grow, the Board of Directors will consider creation of a conservation and education foundation whereby N4WDA and its member clubs can apply for and receive grants from other organizations and corporations for projects that would benefit our members and others.

1st Annual N4WDA Silver State Poker Run – September 10th On Saturday, September 10th, we held our first off-highway fund-raising event. The poker run began and ended at the Mark Twain Community Center in Dayton, NV.

We developed a route of 26.2 miles across county roads and private property that provided some interesting 4 wheeling in an area that even the local folks had not seen. The participants drove Jeeps, trucks and ATV’s and the route took about 4 hours for most to complete. This route was completed following the clues in a “tulip rally” format whereby they followed drawings of intersections and mileages between these intersections. No one got permanently lost, but most had a few misdirections.

Upon finishing the event, the top three poker hands were awarded prizes and the attendees enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs, followed by a super raffle.

We were surprised that more people from California registered for the event than from Nevada.

Current Issues:

  • Expansion of the Navy’s Fallon Range Training Complex – The US Navy has applied to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to continue to use the site of the Fallon Range Training Complex and to expand it to include more than 600,000 acres of additional public land. As a result of the Navy’s withdrawal application, the BLM has segregated the proposed expansion area from appropriation under the public land laws. The two-year segregation is obligatory while the Navy prepares an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on its expansion and extension proposals for the Fallon site.

 As a result, the Navy will hold seven public meetings on this expansion and extension. The BLM, Federal Aviation Administration, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service will participate as cooperating agencies in the preparation of the EIS.

N4WDA and its partners need to know YOUR knowledge of the OHV trails that will be impacted by this withdrawal which includes lands near Middlegate and Lake Lahontan.

Please go to the following website for the project area maps and information and to submit comments: https://frtcmodernization.com.

The following is a schedule of the Navy’s public meetings:

  • Fallon Convention Center, Fallon, 3-7 PM, October 3rd
  • Pershing County Community Center, Lovelock, 11 AM – 1 PM, October 4th
  • Evelyn Mount Northeast Community Center, Reno, 5-7 PM, October 4th
  • Emma Nevada Town Hall, Austin,5-7 PM, October 5th
  • Eureka Elementary School, Eureka, 5-7 PM, October 6th
  • Hawthorne Convention Center, Hawthorne, 11 AM – 1 PM, October 7th
  • Gabbs School Gymnasium, Gabbs, 5-7 PM, October 7th
  • Washoe County Lands Bill – Washoe County, in cooperation with the Friends of Nevada Wilderness (FNW) are preparing a bill request whereby certain public lands would be withdrawn for various purposes.

 A public open house on this issue was held on Friday, September 16th and again on Monday, September 19th at the Washoe County Administrative Complex in Reno. We were told that the areas around Reno were withdrawn for new water tanks, water lines, etc. and that the total acreage of the lands shown on their maps would be reduced as the entities requesting these lands finalized their requests. We also noticed that lands showing on the maps as being withdrawn for the Reno–Sparks Indian Colony (RSIC) and the Pyramid Lake Indian Reservation are already, in part, included in H.R. 2733 (Rep. Mark Amodei) the “Nevada Nations Land Act”. Our concerns with the Washoe County Lands Bill is that it appears that the lands withdrawn for the RSIC are far greater than those in H.R. 2733, and that they, although the RSIC has stated for H.R. 2733 that the OHV use on the current Cold Springs-Moon Rocks OHV Area would continue, we have no such assurances in this expanded lands bill.

The Washoe County open house did not address those lands being requested by FNW. In fact, if you went to the meeting and viewed the maps that were posted and asked about the various withdrawals, you would get the feeling that this was all that is included in this bill (almost as if Washoe County were helping to hide the FNW parcels). For further information and maps for the Washoe County Lands Bill visit the following site: https://www.washoecounty.us/csd/planning_and_development/conservation-act.php

The FNW proposes that 494,793 acres be withdrawn for creation of six new Wilderness areas in northern Washoe County (a half-million acres represents a huge portion of the county, considering that there are already several Wilderness areas already in existence in the Black Rock/High Rock area). For information and maps go to: http://www.nevadawilderness.org/wildwashoe

We need your input on these areas, where do you go to hunt, fish and otherwise use your OHV? We need information so that we, along with our affiliated organizations can formulate our opposition to the creation of these new Wilderness areas.

  • Pershing County Lands Bill – There is a proposed lands bill for Pershing County that transfers some of the BLM-managed “checkerboard” lands (dating back to the building of the Central Pacific Railroad whereby alternating sections of land for 20 miles either side of the right of way were granted to finance the building of the railroad and the other alternating sections to remain in federal ownership) to the county to aid in economic development including sales of lands to operating mining projects.

 Additionally, the lands bill would create 76,161 acres of new Wilderness in four areas and has language to release the remaining Wilderness Study Areas in the county (good luck… the feds were supposed to release these WSAs thirty or more years ago but the environmentalist organizations have prevented their release).

Once again, we need your information on use within the proposed Wilderness areas so that we can coordinate our opposition with our affiliated organizations. In this case, the small miners, specifically the GPAA of Northern Nevada, are adamantly opposed citing mineral potential in these areas.

For further information and maps for the Pershing County Lands Bill see:

http://pershingcounty.net/index.php/Lands-Information/pershing-county-lands.html

Nevada Commission on OHV (NCOHV) – In May of this year, the NCOHV was placed within the Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). The NCOHV is currently involved in a grants cycle whereby qualified applicants may be awarded grants for projects beneficial to the OHV community.

Since its inception, the NCOHV has operated as a stand-alone commission, but had been seeking a home in an existing department in order to be able to have office space and a permanent mailing address as well as house its newly-hired Executive Secretary.

The next meeting of the NCOHV will be on October 6th. For meeting information and to obtain the supporting materials, go to the Commission website: http://nvohv.com.

That’s all for now.  Please email us at nevada_4wd@yahoo.com to provide input on the above items or any concerns you might have.

Larry

N4WDA Silver State Poker Run 2016 – Registration

N4WDA_DashPlaque

 

 

 

Where??? Dayton, NV – 12 miles east of Carson City on US 50

Please join us on N4WDA’s inaugural family-oriented off road event on the Comstock. The poker run starts at 9:00 AM on Saturday 9/10, and will end with a meal (hot dogs, hamburgers, beans, sodas and all the trimmings), awards of prizes for the best poker hands (1 st , 2 nd and 3 rd ) and for the kiddie game(s) to be followed by a raffle. This event is limited to the first 50 vehicles. The run is for street-legal 4X4 Jeeps, trucks, etc., UTV’s and ATV’s. High clearance for long wheelbase vehicles is a must, aggressive tires are recommended for all vehicles.

Registration Form

N4WDA Update 1/11/16

N4WDA Membership:
N4WDA continues to gain new members. However, there were a number of our membership that have not renewed their membership and are therefore no longer active members of N4WDA. We currently have about 100 members, spread through several states, including Business, Life and Individual Members. We have six member clubs, the southernmost in Pahrump, and one out-of-state club. Please tell your four wheeling buddies about N4WDA and ask them to join. There is only strength in numbers when dealing with land access issues.

Activities:
* 2nd Annual N4WDA Family Fun Day – This event was held on Saturday, September 19th at 4 Wheel Parts in Sparks, NV. We had a great time, but not a very good membership turnout. The event consisted of a Show ‘n Shine, use of the RTI ramp, use of the Rock Crawl and lots of good food and drink.
The first Family Fun Day was held in 2014 and because it rained all day, we had poor attendance. The N4WDA Board of Directors is taking a long look at whether there will be a 3rd annual FFD. We realize that getting the word out to the public is a problem, but we thought that we would get better participation from our membership living in the Reno/Carson City/Gardnerville areas.
Please email us at nevada_4@yahoo.com and tell us what you think about our Family Fun Day (should we keep it or drop it).
* N4WDA 4×4 Swap Meet – We held a free 4×4 Swap Meet at 4 Wheel Parts in Sparks, NV on Saturday, April 25th, 2015. Once again it rained all day and this kept some folks from participating, but overall, the N4WDA Board of Directors felt that the turnout was poor. Most that brought stuff to sell were the member volunteers that put on the event.
Once again, I ask you, the members, to advise us as to whether you feel that you would like us to hold another swap meet this spring and if you would participate in it, either as a seller/buyer or a volunteer.
* New Off Road Event – The N4WDA Board is going to take a hard look at putting on a 4×4 off road event, open to the public, probably at the end of this summer. We are looking at two possibilities:
– Poker Run: A poker run, located somewhere in the Northern Nevada area is the easier of the two events. If we stay on county or private roads we eliminate the need for a permit from BLM or Forest Service.
The poker run can accommodate both of our vehicle types, Jeeps/trucks and ATV/UTVs. It can be a simple or more complex (rally type) run with an ending point at a park where we could serve hamburgers & hot dogs and even have a raffle.
– Trail Ride: A trail ride is more difficult and expensive. Most trails that we know of that would be interesting for a well-constructed Jeep/truck type vehicle would probably be unsuitable for ATV/UTVs. If we selected a suitable trail, it would probably be on BLM or USFS land and a permit, requiring a fee and insurance, would have to be obtained from the affected agency.
Would this be only a day run or would we have overnight camping involved? We could include a dinner with an overnight event, or end a day run at a park as we would with a poker run.
Please email us with your wishes and suggestions as we need all of the advice that you can provide us.
* 8th Annual Off Road and Motorsports Expo: N4WDA will again have its membership booth at the Expo, March 18th through 20th at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center in Reno. We will have vehicles on display and will be looking to sign up new members. As always, we need volunteers to talk to folks about 4 wheeling and N4WDA. It is a fun event to attend.
Also, on Saturday, we plan to have an OPEN MEMBERSHIP MEETING at the Convention Center where we would like to have you attend and interact with the N4WDA Board members. You will not have to pay admission to the Expo to attend this membership meeting as the meeting room will be located outside the main Expo floor area.

Corporate Membership Program: On December 34, 2015, our committee finalized the Red, White and Blue sponsorship program and we sent it out to ten manufacturers and retailers. This program creates an advertising opportunity for the sponsor and income for N4WDA. There are three levels of support for the sponsor to choose from.

Land Use Issues that we have been working on:
o Greater Sage-Grouse: N4WDA has been involved for several years (actually before N4WDA was created) and we have worked with the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the Pine Nuts Mountains Trails Association and the Nevada Trails Stewards in working for the best solution to provide protection for the grouse and to have the least impact on our sport.
In late September, 2015, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFS) issued its decision that it is not necessary to list the Greater Sage-Grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. This was a great win for everyone in that there will be a lesser impact on OHV recreation than would be if the bird were listed.
However, the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, who are charged with managing the Critical Habitat (18 million acres) are still changing their land use plans. We remain on top of these issues and will continue to attend meetings and write responses for these changes.

o ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT: The Endangered Species Act, as it currently is enacted is being used as a tool by the environmentalists to restrict habitat areas. The welfare of the affected species seems to be a concern secondary to the wishes of the environmental community whose agenda in regard to affected habitat area is to restrict access for the public.
N4WDA will continue to review ESA candidate species whose habitat is in the areas that our membership recreates in and will press for legislative changes to make the ESA serve the public, not just the environmental community.

o Eldorado NF 42 Trails: As I’ve explained in previous writings, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) alleging that the ENF failed to take into consideration its own Standard & Guideline #100 (S&G 100) when evaluating these trails for inclusion in the ENF Travel Plan. S&G 100 deals with “connectivity of water flows across wet meadows” (an example would be if a trail cause the meadow’s soil to become compacted, therefore restricting normal water flow in the meadow). The court agreed and ordered ENF to close these 42 trails and evaluate and mitigate S&G 100 problems before these trails would reopen. Shortly after the court’s ruling, 18 of these trails were released from inclusion for several reasons (such as the affected meadow being on private land instead of ENF land).
The remaining 12 trails are still closed pending ENF’s mitigation of the problem meadows. However, one trail remains a problem for N4WDA members, the Deer Valley Trail.

– Deer Valley Trail: The Deer Valley Trail is, next to the Rubicon, the most-travelled trail in the Eldorado NF. Because of its location, in California, it is used frequently by our membership, so we have been involved for several years with this closure.
We had hopes that the ENF would man up to the fact that they had mistakenly closed the trail, but, alas, that was too much to expect. Apparently they had started an Environmental Analysis and a plan to correct deficiencies on the trail (things that we had been asking for) and to assure that the Yosemite Toad’s critical habitat would not be significantly affected by reopening the trail.
The ENF Forest Supervisor, according to the Schedule of Planned Actions (SOPA) is expected to sign the record of decision in May of this year and the planned actions to commence in July, also this year. This means that, since the EA stated that the trail will not be closed while the rerouting, etc. takes place, we should expect that the Trail will open in July, dependent upon the snow melt, as measured at the Blue Lakes SnowTell station. The fact that the trail will probably open this year is a win for us, although very belated.

– Mormon Emigrant Trail: This trail, another closed trail, is made up of several forest routes, but is located from Tragedy Springs, west of Silver Lake off highway 88 and it continues past the original Plasses Trading Post sight down to Lower Bear River Reservoir. This trail has highly scenic value but is a relatively easy drive. It is also scheduled for mitigation of its S&G 100 problems this summer and it should probably reopen toward the end of the summer.

– Strawberry Pass Trail: This trail, located between the Caples Lake Highway Maintenance Station off Highway 88 and the 42 Mile Home Tract, just west of Strawberry on Highway 50 is very important to us as it is a north/south trail linking these two highways. The ENF SOPA has it scheduled for mitigation of its S&G 100 problems in 2017.

o NEVADA COMMISSION ON OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLES: At long last, the NCOHV will meet on this coming Thursday, January 14th, and review of the grant applications and possible granting of the $700,000 pot is on the agenda. It is possible that another grant cycle will start later this spring or summer as there is an accumulation of another $500,00+ available.
N4WDA is very satisfied with the NCOHV’s actions and we have been present and contributing to the discussions on the grant program – A big win for N4WDA!
We continue to ask to have a representative of the Jeep/truck community on the NCOHV panel.

o H.R. 1497: This bill, titled “Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864 Act”, introduced by Representative Mark Amodei on March 19, 2015, and was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, directs the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal lands to the State of Nevada. This bill is the first attempt to cause the Federal government to cede most of the Federal lands, other than military bases, to Nevada.
N4WDA has taken the position that we do not support the transfer of federal lands to Nevada as there is no plan as to how the state can manage these lands. We’re constantly told that the state has no money, and this will be very costly to hire professional management. Also, there is no apparatus for appeal of decisions by the State Lands Commission (who most likely will be in charge of these lands) as there is under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). We will monitor Congress and, if a suitable plan is presented, may change our position on support.

Although it may seem that we don’t communicate well with the membership, we are very busy working on your behalf. We are always discussing ways to be more informative and communicate with you more frequently, but alas, just like you, we, as volunteers, have families and responsibilities too.

We ask also that you do your part – volunteer for and/or attend our events.

Larry

Nevada Commission on Off Highway Vehicles announcement

On September 3rd the Nevada Commission on Off Highway Vehicles made the announcement:

FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT and REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

Fiscal Year 2015/16

This culminates over two years of meetings and necessitated legislative changes.

This means that your club or other organization can apply for funds to accomplish projects that are of benefit to the OHV community.

For further information, go to the NCOHV website, www.nvohv.com.

An N4WDA Update (or What We’ve Up To)

N4WDA Membership:
N4WDA continues to grow steadily. We currently have about 125 members, representing over 300 family members spread through several states, including Business, Life and Individual Members. We have six member clubs, the southernmost in Pahrump, and one out-of-state club.
We continue to take our membership efforts to various venues. The following is a list of near-future events that we will participate in:
Sept. 19 – 2nd Annual N4WDA Family Fun Day, 4 Wheel Parts, Sparks, NV
Sept. 26/27 – Silver State Rock Crawling Championship @ Wild West Motorsports Park, Sparks
Oct. 16 & 17 – Ultra 4 Championship @ Wild West Motorsports Park, Sparks, NV

Greater Sage Grouse:
As of our last update, there were two populations of the Greater Sage-Grouse that were being proposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) for possible inclusion as endangered species under the Endangered Species Act.
The Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS), 1.8 million acres, covers the Pine Nut and Sweetwater ranges from Gardnerville, NV, to near Bishop, CA, encompassing eleven counties in both states. Late this past spring, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the DPS was being dropped for consideration for listing because of an increase in bird population and the implementation of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest’s plan to conserve the bird’s habitat.
However, the Northeastern California and Nevada Population, 18 million acres in Nevada alone, along with that of the ten other states’ populations of Greater Sage-Grouse and despite such groups as the Western Governor’s Conference, the affected states’ departments of fish and game, and many other organizations, remains a candidate for inclusion as an endangered species. The decision date by FWS is soon… September 15th.
N4WDA has participated as a member of the Blue Ribbon Coalition’s Greater Sage-Grouse working group and BRC has been, in turn, a part of other coalitions (mining, oil, ranching, etc.) all who are working toward plans to preclude the need for listing the bird.
What does this mean for our membership? The plans by USFS and the BLM for management of the bird’s critical habitat will not be as stringent as they would be if FWS decides to list the Greater Sage-Grouse as endangered. We stand to, perhaps, lose some access to the affected habitat areas during the breeding season if the bird remains unlisted, but may very well be entirely restricted from this habitat if the bird becomes designated as endangered.
N4WDA has written its letters to FWS, USFS and BLM to make our position on the listing of the Greater Sage-Grouse well known – we support reasonable plans to save and improve the grouse habitat (the sagebrush steppe) but oppose the listing under the Endangered Species Act.

ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT:
As for the Endangered Species Act, as it currently is enacted, there are numerous proposals in Congress to amend it, some major, some minor.
As it currently is being used, the ESA is being used as a tool by the environmentalists to restrict habitat areas. The species itself, is secondary to the wishes of the environmental community in regard to their wishes for the affected habitat area, usually to restrict development. The current administration has promised “Good Science” in determination of whether a candidate species is listed under the ESA, but most reports seem to be the opinion of some expert, without scientific data backup, that are used in the determination. An example: OHV recreation affects the Sage-Grouse during the mating season and must be restricted (this must be common sense); however, there has never been a definitive scientific study to prove or disprove this notion. Scientific data, not perceived “common sense” must be used in these determinations.
Another ESA item is “Sue and Settle”. This is where FWS makes a determination that the environmentalists disagree with, the environmentalists give a notice of intent to sue or start a lawsuit and then FWS settles with these groups to avoid the cost and hassle of defending their position. This puts the Endangered Species Act in the hands of the legal system and not in the hands of FWS, who are, under the act, the determining agency.

Eldorado NF 42 Trails: compacted
As of this writing, twelve of the original forty two trails remain closed.
As I’ve explained in previous writings, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) sued the Eldorado National Forest (ENF) alleging that the ENF failed to take into consideration its own Standard & Guideline #100 (S&G 100) when evaluating these trails for inclusion in the ENF Travel Plan. S&G 100 deals with “connectivity of water flows across wet meadows” (an example would be if a trail cause the meadow’s soil to become compacted, therefore restricting normal water flow in the meadow). The court agreed and ordered ENF to close these 42 trails and evaluate and mitigate S&G 100 problems before these trails would reopen. Shortly after the court’s ruling, 18 of these trails were released from inclusion for several reasons (such as the affected meadow being on private land instead of ENF land).
Over the last two years, several of the remaining trails have reopened after mitigation of the S&G 100 problem. This group includes the Richardson Lake and Barrett Lake trails. The remainder (12 trails) remain closed pending ENF’s mitigation of the problem meadows. However, one trail remains a problem for N4WDA members, the Deer Valley Trail.

Deer Valley Trail:
The Deer Valley Trail is, next to the Rubicon, the most-travelled trail in the Eldorado NF. It is also one of the remaining twelve trails that remain unopened pending resolution of S&G 100 meadow problems.
But, THERE IS NO S&G 100 PROBLEM ON THIS TRAIL, OR HAS THERE EVER BEEN. Last summer, N4WDA, along with other appellants to the ENF Travel Plan, was invited to attend an interdisciplinary team trip to discuss the S&G 100 problem at Deer Valley itself. When we pointed out to the team that the second page of the hydrologist’s report describing the area where this problem existed did not match the land that we were actually looking at, the ENF hydrologist (not the one that was on the report – he was no longer on the ENF) stated that THERE IS NO S&G 100 problem and, if he were filling out the form, would not have checked the appropriate box.
The team then looked at other problems that WE pointed out that had been recommended by the South County Trail-Riders of San Jose, CA, the Adopt-A-Trail club during the last 37 years that had fallen on deaf ears. These included some trail re-routes to get the trail away from the bank of the stream at Clover and Deer valleys, some repair of the stream bank where some renegade wheelers had taken upon themselves to create a new crossing, etc. The team suggested hardening the Deer Valley stream crossing to alleviate any silt that might accumulate, from being released downstream when a vehicle crosses the stream. They also stated that the Yosemite Toad, an Endangered Species List candidate may have to be considered. The Forest Supervisor, Laurence Crabtree, agreed that ENF would seek a letter from the FWS stating that there would be “no significant impact” to the Yosemite Toad if this trail were to reopen. The trail was to reopen upon receipt of this letter (which, as of this writing, has never been written, ostensibly due to a lack of time as a result of the King Fire last September on the ENF).
The user groups stated that volunteer help would be offered to ENF to accomplish these goals.
NONE OF THESE OTHER PROBLEMS HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE CLOSURE OF THE TRAIL UNDER THE S&G 100 COURT RULING. N4WDA feels that this trail is illegally closed by ENF and is exploring litigation, with other stakeholders and organizations. This is a perfect case of “obstructionism” by ENF since they fear litigation by environmentalist groups if the trail should reopen. “Running scared” is not an acceptable excuse by N4WDA.
Meanwhile, ENF, Amador Ranger District, has just released an Environmental Assessment, that, under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), states ENF’s intention to accomplish these non-S&G 100 goals and sets four alternatives for comment. These alternatives vary, chiefly, in trail closure dates for protection of the Yosemite Toad. N4WDA suggested that instead of ENF’s proposed Alternative #1, which sets the annual trail-opening date of July 31st (totally arbitrary) the date be determined by the snow melt and water on the trail, which is listed as Alternative #3. In most years, the trail is dry by July 1st, and this year would have been dry by June 15th (let’s, once again, use “good science” in this determination. By the way, after we submitted our comments resulting in Alternative #3, the environmentalists submitted comments resulting in Alternative #4, suggesting that July 31st might be too early for trail opening. We need your help! Please go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=45439,
the website for this Environmental Assessment, and submit your comment by September 11th supporting Alternative #3.

NEVADA COMMISSION ON OFF HIGHWAY VEHICLES:
Despite the agonizingly slow process of doing Commission business within the state regulations, the Commission has made some very measurable progress since our last report. The NCOHV, at its latest (August 20th) meeting determined that $700,000 will be made available for the OHV Grant Program, for which the Requests for Grant Proposals will be released, hopefully, within the next month. These grants will be made available to organizations and clubs recognized by the Secretary of State’s office (your group does NOT have to be a federal 501(c) organization, a state incorporation is all that is necessary (it is easy to obtain if your group is not Nevada-incorporated). These grants can be used for items such as trail maintenance equipment, the establishment of a trailhead with parking and potties, an education program, etc., anything for the betterment of OHV recreation. The Commissioners are to be commended for their work in re-creating the NCOHV and those of you who have been paying your sticker fees will see some long-awaited results.
This is a BIG WIN for N4WDA and the other user groups who have taken the Commission to task, insisting that the NCOHV legally administer the program for the betterment of the OHV community.
H.R. 1497:
This bill, titled “Honor the Nevada Enabling Act of 1864 Act”, introduced by Representative Mark Amodei on March 19th and referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources, directs the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal lands to the State of Nevada. This bill is the first attempt to cause the Federal government to cede most of the Federal lands, other than military bases, to Nevada. Several other states, notably Utah, are also considering like bills. However, only Nevada has 87% of its lands managed by the Federal government. There are pros and cons… this would allow control of these lands closer to home, but would create a land management problem that Nevada, as it now stands, is ill-equipped to handle. N4WDA will be keeping a close watch on this and similar bills, commenting when and where necessary.

Although it may seem that we don’t communicate well with the membership, we are very busy working on your behalf. We are always discussing ways to be more informative and communicate with you more frequently, but alas, just like you, we, as volunteers, have families and responsibilities too.

Larry

CARRERA PERFORMANCE GROUP, AND THE NEVADA FOUR WHEEL DRIVE ASSOCIATION PARTNER

The Carrera Performance Group, LLC and the Nevada Four Wheel Drive Association have partnered to add another feature to the already full week of activities planned for the Silver State 4WD&UTV Jamboree July 13-19, 2014. In an effort to promote motorized recreation in Northern Nevada, and responsible OHV use, the Nevada Four Wheel Drive Association will take ownership of the trail ride aspect of the week long OHV celebration.

“This partnership takes our trail ride element to a whole new level.” Said event promoter Jeff Knoll, “We have been negotiating to open up some popular trails on private property, and this partnership gets the best trail leaders and land stewards teaching and promoting responsible travel practices. I am hopeful this will lead to a massive amount of trail riding opportunities as the event grows.”

The partnership allows the the association to take ownership of the trail ride portion of the event and presenting northern Nevada trail opportunities, and development of trail systems that will make the Silver State 4WD&UTV Jamboree a premiere OHV event.

Trail Rides in most cases will be free of charge in 2014, but membership in the Nevada Four Wheel Drive Association is encouraged. While protection of Nevada trail opportunities are paramount to the Association, education and stewardship remain a high priority. Additional Trail Ride information will be published as available. In addition Silver State jamboree attendees will be able to learn more about trails at the event in the lobby of the Nugget Casino.

http://silverstatejamboree.com/trail-rides/carrera-performance-group-and-the-nevada-four-wheel-drive-association-partner/