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View Full Version : BLM closes certain Lake Havasu areas



xFallen
10-02-2006, 07:43 PM
Read it for yourself here:

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2422/01jan20061800/edocket.access.gpo.gov/2006/E6-15818.htm

For those (I put the word "those" in there instead of "the pinheads" -- getting mellow I guess) who don't believe abuses have an adverse affect, real or imagined, it can and does happen.


Barry

azdesertrhino
10-02-2006, 08:22 PM
I hope this is a wake up call to everyone on the OHV community. We must work at keeping out trails open.

azcharlie
10-02-2006, 08:34 PM
What a bunch of BS!!!! I really hope that Fransico doesn't pull that S**T for the FJ area.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Sandee McCullen
10-02-2006, 08:41 PM
What a bunch of BS!!!! I really hope that Fransico doesn't pull that S**T for the FJ area.:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Before we all jump the gun here's the response from the Havasu Field Office re the closure........... This is the kind of closure we SHOULD be supporting guys. I wrote late this afternoon and already have a response. There are GOOD and SENSIBLE BLM managers. They need our support and thanks when they make sensible decisions. Specifically when they're fixing issues that were mostly caused by OUR fellow recreationists.

Re: Francisco................ he will close whatever he can in FJ area. Stay involved ................


Sandee,

Thanks for the note. In regard to your question here is the basic information:

Total Acreage Closed - 269 acres on the California side of the Colorado River near Needles.
Miles - not sure, but there is very little in the area...most of the miles are associated with authorized rights-of-ways (railroad, pipeline, etc). The authorized rights-of-ways are still availabe to the rights-of-way holder. Old Route 66 and any county maintained roads are still available to the public...the real issue is cross country travel.
Issues - This is the PG&E Remediation effort at Topock where they are cleaning up Chromium 6...Erin Brokovich stuff. This is also an area that has extremely sensitive religious significance to the tribes of the lower Colorado River. Specifically, it is the location of the Maze, a religious site...part of the journey that the deceased must follow. Finally there are desert tortoise issues and some riparian values in the area. The Fort Mojave Tribe is very involved in this area and the whole remediation effort and are extremely sensitive to OHV use in and around the Maze...there have been intrusions to the Maze (despite fencing) from OHV use.
Length of Closure - The emergency closure will remain in effect until the Beal Slough ACEC Plan is completed. The Beal Slough ACEC Plan is the first plan coming out of our RMP due to the sensitivity of the area.
The Fort Mojave Tribe initially wanted a much larger area closed under an emergency closure, but I felt that the larger area would be an abuse of the emergency closure regulations. I told them I would be open to consider a smaller area protecting the most sensitive issues and cleanup area and that we could discuss a larger closure as part of the planning process when we work on the Beal Slough ACEC Plan...this would be a public process.
This is no where near a high impact area, although it is adjacent to Park Moabi - a San Bernardino County Parks RV campground...they have been coordinated with on this. The location is just off of I-40 directly across the bridge as you enter California and approximately 9-10 miles from Needles. Basically we are trying to stop potential problems associated with the OHV use impacting the Chromium 6 cleanup and OHV impacts to the Maze (a tribal religious site).

I hope that this helps. The emergency closure is really pretty small and when you consider the cleanup and religious issues, it probably is not a real good choice for cross-country OHV travel. Give me a call if you have other questions on the closure or the other issues. Thanks again for the note. Tim


Tim Smith
Field Manager
Lake Havasu Field Office
2610 Sweetwater Avenue
Lake Havasu City, AZ 86406
Phone: (928) 505-1264
Fax: (928) 505-1208
Email: Tim_Smith@blm.gov

azcharlie
10-02-2006, 09:09 PM
Your right I did jump the gun a little. I don't understand the need to close the trails at TM and FJ. We did more damage to the desert at Lower Woodpecker cutting that walking trail than ANY trail run that I've been on. I DO understand closures do to chemical clean up and a tribal religious site.
I guess I'll start getting more involved if it helps.

Sandee McCullen
10-02-2006, 10:18 PM
How many of these "emergency closures" ever get opened up again ? That is a huge chunk of land and I for know people who use that area to recreate.

I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any closures of this scale, if there are specific areas that need protection, build a fence.

I will be writing a letter in opposition.

Most often, in the past, the Emergency Closures were not re-opened because OHV did not get involved. They were more interested in trails and having fun.......... today that attitude has changed and the abuse re emergency closures has stayed on our front pages. As I stated earlier, BLM do not need to do public scoping for Emergency Closures. If they have an issue that is a forming problem they can close ............ period. You can write all the letters you want but all it is likely to do is take the chance to tick off these land managers, that are NOT trying to penalize OHV, and it will make it tougher for us to ensure this area is ever re-opened. This closure is simply closing to CROSS COUNTRY OHV use which is already ILLEGAL on non-designated BLM lands. Why exactly should we be allowed to do whatever, wherever we please on our lands? The OHV area connected to this closure area is still open.

We need to be responsible users of the lands. There is a problem in this area that needs attention. Wouldn't a "responsible" recreationist of any forum be concerned about the health of the lands or environmental issues?

On a personal level I would ask you not write opposition letters regarding something that is helping our sport....... this certainly your choice but again........ We cannot have EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE we please.

Sandee McCullen
10-02-2006, 10:32 PM
Your right I did jump the gun a little. I don't understand the need to close the trails at TM and FJ. We did more damage to the desert at Lower Woodpecker cutting that walking trail than ANY trail run that I've been on. I DO understand closures do to chemical clean up and a tribal religious site.
I guess I'll start getting more involved if it helps.

Wasn't pointing fingers.............. we all tend to panic now and then. I'm included in that!!!

With more and more OHV recreationists getting involved in the issue we can win this battle............ I was told many years ago: "Know the agency regs & laws better than they know their own". It works. It has truly saved OHV and our rights numerous times over the past 10 years.

RE: FJ and TM........... The planning is ongoing from now through 2008. If WE don't get involved and pay attention to what "they believe" should be accessable by OHV vs what "we believe".......... they will WIN because it's most likely the easist path or the path of least resistence. Remember: Environmentalists want ALL closed and they've been active for 30-40 years and are on top of all issues. They live to sue!!! We need to be informed enough and have data to counter their "opinions".

The FJ area trail system is being evaluation right now by a "to be appointed" task team (as part of the Middle Gila Conservation Partnership) and the TM area is going into planning by members of the Bradshaw Foothills Coalition (both predominately OHV Friends groups) Each and everyone of you can join in on either of these or the Friends of Sycamore that are doing trail planning for the Sycamore area. Yes, I am a member of all.......... Each of these groups meet evenings or sometimes weekends but the land managers are recognizing the NEED for partnering with the "Users of the Lands". BUT...................... they are fully capable of designing and designating a trail system that's suitable and easy for them but most likely we won't like it. WE MUST BE INVOLVED.

As a note of thought.............. the Friends of Sycamore DID recommend CLOSING approximately 7 miles of trails. A couple were a dust issue parallel to the highway; some were in/through true riparians area. There are proposals for by-passes or connecting loops but sometimes there are reasons to close. We simply ask that mitigation be considered first. This can be in the form of gating to limit numbers; interpretative signs; by-passes etc. We do have a voice. More than we believe many times. Patrick Madigan, Field Manager from Tucson, has showed us this. He is responding to our letters and concerns. If we offer to be part of the solution rather than the complainers we can win. Better things from sugar than vinegar right?

Don't forget the FS planning ongoing across the state. They are doing NO route inventory............. WE need to do this for them or they simply publish whatever map they please and thats all we get. Contact your District Rangers and ASK what you can do................. if "we don't do........ we don't get"

Hopefully I'll get so many responses from OHV folks to join one or all of these groups we won't know what to do with all? :>)

Sandee McCullen
10-03-2006, 10:24 AM
First off Sandee, I appreciate all the hard work you do for our sport. Thank You !

My letter will be in good taste with an offer to help if they need any improvements done to decrease the damage. The people I know that use that area are responsible recreationalists and stay on the roads. If certain areas need fenced off or gated, fine. Emergency closures of that size are NOT fine.

If we don't write a letter and let them know that we wish access to the area, they will assume that we don't care, now wouldn't they ? I am not willing to sell out that area just yet.

Is this the stance you are taking in regards to the trails in the FJ and TM areas ???

PS - We've dealt with some of the BLM officers in that area, nothing spectacular.

The area being closed in Havasu is less than 1/2 mile square. This is approximately the size of a neighborhood cul-d-sac. 269 acres to do a haz mat minerals cleanup should not affect any of us or any OHV enthusiasts. The ONLY trails or area being closed are the CROSS COUNTRY crossings that we should not be on in the first place.

In answer to your comment about FJ and TM..... No, I do not contend we sit back and respect any closures they do or try to do. I do believe we only hurt ourselves if we protest each and every decision BLM makes. Some of their decisions (as this one at Havasu) are correct and are for the betterment of all.

I believe I, not so meekly, stated WE MUST ALL BE INVOLVED, and we must HELP do the inventory. We must also understand the values, issues, REGS that mandate the agencies AND we must understand and have scientific DATA supporting our side and issues. The only issues that we will face within FJ or TM will be the G&F and environmentals that want everything closed. We "fragment habitat"; we intrude into enviros "solitude" (they can go to the thousands of acres of Wilderness that we're not allowed into).... yada, yada, yada. We will probably lose some portions of trails to sensitive areas such as those that go through a cultural site; or an affected riparian area BUT we can demand mitigation......... a by-pass; bridge or hardened crossing; or interpretative signs and maybe fencing etc. Being involved can make this work. Sitting back and complaining will simply get us what THEY want us to have. Bottom line.

azrubyman
10-03-2006, 01:03 PM
The area being closed in Havasu is less than 1/2 mile square. This is approximately the size of a neighborhood cul-d-sac. 269 acres to do a haz mat minerals cleanup should not affect any of us or any OHV enthusiasts. The ONLY trails or area being closed are the CROSS COUNTRY crossings that we should not be on in the first place.

In answer to your comment about FJ and TM..... No, I do not contend we sit back and respect any closures they do or try to do. I do believe we only hurt ourselves if we protest each and every decision BLM makes. Some of their decisions (as this one at Havasu) are correct and are for the betterment of all.

I believe I, not so meekly, stated WE MUST ALL BE INVOLVED, and we must HELP do the inventory. We must also understand the values, issues, REGS that mandate the agencies AND we must understand and have scientific DATA supporting our side and issues. The only issues that we will face within FJ or TM will be the G&F and environmentals that want everything closed. We "fragment habitat"; we intrude into enviros "solitude" (they can go to the thousands of acres of Wilderness that we're not allowed into).... yada, yada, yada. We will probably lose some portions of trails to sensitive areas such as those that go through a cultural site; or an affected riparian area BUT we can demand mitigation......... a by-pass; bridge or hardened crossing; or interpretative signs and maybe fencing etc. Being involved can make this work. Sitting back and complaining will simply get us what THEY want us to have. Bottom line.


Sandee,
THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!
Is there a public record of any kind, anywhere that I can get my hands on that states The Arizona Game and Fish Department stance regarding the FJ area to include specifically OHV ?
I really would like to do some solid research to understand where they are coming from on the subject.
Thanks, Ken

John_P
10-03-2006, 01:40 PM
I'm sorry, but I cannot agree with any closures of this scale, if there are specific areas that need protection, build a fence.

I will be writing a letter in opposition.

I disagree with your point of view. It seems Arizonans in general are a little to "fence" happy these days. But sarcasm aside, if they are having trouble with desert tortoises, why would you want to build a fence? That may actually limit animal migration further complicating the problem. Also, fences don't just sprout from the ground...someone has to pay for them and put them up, mostly likely on the tax payers dollar.

I agree with anyone who as suggested simply monitoring the issue and making sure we have an active voice at the table.

Oldyeller
10-03-2006, 02:03 PM
The area being closed in Havasu is less than 1/2 mile square. This is approximately the size of a neighborhood cul-d-sac. 269 acres to do a haz mat minerals cleanup should not affect any of us or any OHV enthusiasts. The ONLY trails or area being closed are the CROSS COUNTRY crossings that we should not be on in the first place.




I totally agree, a very small area that has the same significance to the tribe as a cemetary would to any of us. There's no reason to be going cross- country, if you want to drive on plants do it in your own yard. She's right that you guys need to pick your battles, what are you seriously arguing for, the right to drive cross country across a tribal religious area. she said it over and over NO OHV TRAILS WILL BE AFFECTED! so do you just really love driving cross country or what?

A big thanks to you Sandee for always being on top of this stuff.

Sandee McCullen
10-03-2006, 02:39 PM
Sandee,
THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO!!
Is there a public record of any kind, anywhere that I can get my hands on that states The Arizona Game and Fish Department stance regarding the FJ area to include specifically OHV ?
I really would like to do some solid research to understand where they are coming from on the subject.
Thanks, Ken

Not sure what you're asking.................. The G&F were radically against almost all but the major roads in FJ area being open to OHV. They were involved in the route evaluation to propose 3 alternative plans to the agency. I don't know of anything specifically stating their stance but everytime a trail was noted to be in a "wash"..... automatic close. Everytime they could see vegetation nearby............ close. Close Martinez because there's water there thusly it's a riparian area. (They don't believe that riparian is judged by it's functionality..... "functioning; functioning at risk; not functioning". It doesn't matter who or why. If it's functioning at risk or not at all the cause has to be determined. Not just automatically blame OHV) They claim OHV is to blame for fragmenting habitat........ in other words our trails (even single track....... but wouldn't that be the same as blaming wildlife or cattle trails?) stop wildlife from crossing thusly limiting their habitat areas. Funny how many animals we see on or crossing roads whenever we're out isn't it? Wonder how "road kill" happens on MAJOR highways if they never cross.

What I'm most concerned with is this: Tucson BLM was not granted funding to do a full RMP of the area even though a complete route inventory and route evaluation has been done. G&F want a "map reflecting the trails OHV can use". This task team has been directed to start from a map with the trails the 3 alternatives agreed on. (NOT MUCH) IF this task team cannot agree or compromise on the use of the remaining trails these trails will not be on THE map. They will remain OFF LIMITS to OHV "UNTIL BLM CAN DO A FULL RMP". Now doesn't that sound like a set up to you? It does to me. I'm not sure of the number of miles for each but I know out of the 986 total miles in the pilot area (Hwy 60 south to Calvin-Florence Hwy) more than half will be closed to us until Tucson does the RMP which is not even scheduled yet so it will be at least 2011 before any determination would be made. Now this is an exact example of "abuse" because most likely they'd simply come back with: you survived all this time without these trails so there's no reason to reopen or designate open.
The Tucson G&F are worse than most I've dealt with but they are definitely radical and will be involved, along with the radical environmental groups, in developing the preferred alternative. John Windes, specifically, is pushing HARD for a map that will be the deciding factor of what trails/roads OHV can use and which they cannot so he can spend his days at FJ citing anyone and everyone that he finds anywhere on a trail not identified on the map.!!!!!!! He's out to kill and he won't stop unless WE GET INVOLVED and fight him. To us, Francisco does not support G&F views. To John, Francisco supports him 100%.

BLM has asked to form a special task team to develop a Preferred Alternative............ we will have representation but we also will be fighting a block wall so any names I present must not only know the trails and area, they must be able to dedicate a couple of weekends to sitting at a table evaluating the pilot area trails beyond the major routes that have already been decided within the 3 alternatives to be open to OHV. According to G&F that's not much.

Sorry for the length................ there is nothing re G&F stance other than their beliefs as noted above.

Sandee McCullen
10-03-2006, 03:05 PM
Sandee... Shnipe and I have talked in the past about getting involved with the friends of Sycamore, or at least getting more involved in that area.

Shnipe has begun to map out some of the trails in that area and I hope to be helping him soon with that project. In addition to trail identification; what else do you need done out there?

Also, we talked about pulling out a burned up pickup that is sitting close to the enterence to Squeeze; who would we contact to actually remove it once we got it up to a better location.

If there is anything we can do for you in that area please let us know; it's where we've kind of cut our teeth on the wheelin thing and we want to keep it open and help where we can.

ANY ONE interested in helping with the planning of Sycamore would be greatly appreciated. Especially 4x4 enthusiasts. The meetings are the 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Mesa FS Ranger District office. 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. We've completed the route inventory and just recently the route evaluation. Now we have to put all the trail identifications together. ANY HELP AND IDEAS are more than welcome and needed.
At this time it's been recommended to close approx 7 miles of trail but one stretch was several miles from lower Sycamore to Sugarloaf Rd right along the highway. (Single track only trail). We recommended closing a portion around a very sensitive and beautiful riparian to develop as non-motorized secluded area. A 1/4 mile piece near the gaging station and a couple of very small spurs that it was felt would only encourage further encroachment across country. We recommended numerous portions of trails to be made to create loops.
There will be an extreme rock crawling site....... although the PERFECT one was in the middle of one of the largest tortoise study habitats in the state! duh, dumb luck. District Ranger says: we will find a site.
There will be a 4x4 play area near the river
There will be tot lots, ATV tracks as well as identified trails, ramadas, camp sites etc.
This is the planning we now need help with.........