More complaints about road closures

Citizens sent Sierra Wave photos of road closures behind Shady Rest in the Mammoth Lakes area.

After we reported that unhappy citizens had begun to tear out Forest Service barricades on dirt roads in many areas, we received comments on our website expressing more concern.

The Mammoth Motorcycle Club wrote that they believe the Forest Service has refused to go out into the Forest to validate public concerns expressed over closed roads.  The Club representative spoke of feeling disheartened.  He said, “The signage, barricades, and blocked historical access to lost destinations and camping have gone too far….”

Disgruntled recreationists apparently took down this closure near Mammoth.

Another man said he drove to the Bachar Boulders area across from June Lake Junction and suddenly came upon a barrier on the road he had used for decades.  He said, “I nearly hit it.”  This man wanted to know why the Forest Service had closed a “benign, well-established road.”

Others have expressed concern about the two-foot high timbers that now block about 400 roads in Mono County and 200 in Inyo.  Some asked what will happen this winter when snow covers the timbers and snowmobiles try to travel.

Forest Officials maintain that the “tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands” led to the decisions to close roads and re-arrange travel on forest lands.

With summer recreation time underway, locals who have traditionally used dirt roads to reach camping and hiking areas report that their long-familiar roadways are blocked by timbers.

Marty Hornick, trails coordinator for the Forest Service said he and others welcome call and contacts from citizens with concerns over what is called the new Travel Management Plan.  See Forest officials’ names and contacts below:

Jon Kazmierski, Recreation Officer for the Mammoth and Mono Lake Ranger Districts, 760-924-5503, jkazmierski@fs.fed.us, PO Box 148, Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546

Nick Ettema, OHV Leader for White Mountain and Mt. Whitney Ranger Districts, 760-876-6211, nettema@fs.fed.us, PO Box 8, Lone Pine, CA, 93545

Marty Hornick, Trails Program Manager for the Inyo National Forest Service, 760-873-2461, mhornick@fs.fed.us, 351 Pacu Lane, Suite 200, Bishop, CA 93514

 

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33 Responses to More complaints about road closures

  1. Truth Seeker June 25, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

    How about the “”Friends Of the Inyo” post on their website how much money they are making closing roads in and around their communities? How much will they be paid to put the closures back up that are torn down? What percent of the FOI budget comes from putting up closures for the USFS? Does BLM pay them as well? How many paid positions are there at FOI?

    It is time for FOI to come clean on what they do that they don’t mention on their web site, and how much taxpayer money they take for doing it.

     
  2. Mammoth Motorcycle Club June 25, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Benett,
    Thank you for covering this story on Sierra Wave – even though it seems rather insignificant, considering the terrible news about the June Mountain Ski Area, and the distress it brings to our friends and family that live and work in June Lake…

    With your permission, I would like to post 6 links (to Mammoth M/C website “News”) that might further explain a few of our concerns with what the FS (and their contractors) is doing to our roads, trails, and camping areas. An increase in OHV users equals a decrease in available riding areas? Don’t believe the hype, we were ALL swindled!

    Regardless of what some may think, my goal here isn’t to rally your readers behind some kind of all out attack on FOI barricades or other type of underground sagebrush rebellion – it seems like the FS has already done a fine job of that already. Hopefully there’s still room for solutions and desire for compromise. Only time will tell… and with any luck there’s still time left.

    Enjoy the mess:

    • a disturbing link to some pictures and other information on the evils of the “Travel Management Implementation Process” in the mammoth lakes area – It’s not just for motorized users anymore: http://www.mammothmc.com/news/closedroadsandclosedcamping

    • A year in the making and our concerns on non-motorized access are still being road blocked! “…Accountability doesn’t pay or generate new dollars. Accountability may very well be the new dirty word for 2012.”: http://www.mammothmc.com/news/profficeralmostlosesit

    • An article addressing the exciting business behind the business of closing roads… Is business is good? You might be surprised: http://www.mammothmc.com/news/dontjawbonemammoth

    • Another article addressing the business behind those barricades… Yes, business is good! http://www.mammothmc.com/news/mammothmcusfsandstateofcarepmeetatthegoodlifecafe

    • An interesting read about how things came to be, and the lies that were told: http://www.mammothmc.com/news/restoringpublicaccess-testimony9-19-2011

    • Off topic, but a good read… The destruction of our trails through congress: http://www.mammothmc.com/news/theusfsclosesoneofyourfavoritesingletracktrails

    Thanks again Benett, for having the guts to report on this story.

    -Your friends at the Mammoth Motorcycle Club.

     
    • hisierragal June 27, 2012 at 8:47 am #

      “news”? or spin from a special interest group?^^^

       
      • Mammoth Motorcycle Club June 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

        Well, I must admit…
        I am interested in riding my motorized cycle, and I am involved in a group that likes to ride as well. So if that makes me involved in a special interest group then so be it.

        What are you interested in?

        If you don’t like the text, and how it’s “spun…,” then let the pictures do the talking.

        Thanks for the input!

         
    • Wilfred S. June 27, 2012 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks for posting links to you’re propaganda site, supporting the continued destruction of our wilderness. You talk a lot about the money funding FOI, so let’s hear where MMC gets it’s funding. Come on, fess up. Or should I do the dirty work?

       
      • Mammoth Motorcycle Club June 27, 2012 at 9:57 pm #

        HAHAHAHAHAHA!
        Go head Milfred, expose us! If you actually took the time to read our “meeting minutes (before sticking foot in mouth),” you’d know exactly where the funding comes from.
        Go ahead, Columbo, do the dirty work! HAHAHA!

        You know, Milfred, not every group is attached to Uncle Sam’s teat.

        “funding?” HAHAHA! That’s hilarious!

         
      • John C. June 27, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

        Hey Wilfred, I did some sleuthing and found this in MammothMC’s meeting minutes from March:

        “$562 was carried over from 2011, at the Zranch the following members re-upped for 2012: Russ, James, Joe, Junior, and Sam. We thank them for being proactive and renewing. Renewals are now taking place until the end of June, they are $20 for the year. At our website http://www.mammothmc.com you can renew online through the PayPal link – every last bit is appreciated and you can be sure that the club will use the money responsibly. New members from out of the area are encouraged to join and donate through PayPal.

        Incidentally, we also collected $6 in fines from Joe and James. Joe was guilty of repeated (2) counts of failure to appear at an event on time and not having his bike prepped properly for a ride (and other infractions).
        James had one count of getting a flat tire and not having a tube, probably because he had loaned it out to Weird (or Joe) on a previous outing.

        $668 is the current balance as of 3-22-2012.”

        And FYI, the destruction of wilderness is not something the club supports. And yes, please do the dirty work. I for one am ‘pure as the driven snow’, some of our other club members come with questionable baggage and/or backgrounds. Consider yourself forewarned.

         
  3. Big AL June 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Thank you for the contact information .. and @ truth Seeker, very good points made.

     
  4. Bret June 25, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

    This wilderness thing has gone to far, look at the recent lawsuit by The Center for Biological Diversity. Despite the fact the legislator approved a bill allowing off road vehicles drive on public roads with restrictions and the measure was support by the local community, a lawsuit is filed to stop it. The last time I checked this country is still a democracy. Can you imagine if that same organization doesn’t want you to eat red meat or drive your car.
    I believe in preserving the environment, but when I see our freedoms eroded because the minority believes what is good for the majority I can see myself caring less about the environmental cause.

     
    • Jenny B June 27, 2012 at 4:09 am #

      According to the “UN Global Biodiversity Assessment” unsustainable constructions and targeted activities include golf courses and ski runs. The UN wildlands project states the wilderness should be without roads. What will the friends of Inyo be pushing for next closing mammoth mountain. The need that grant money to support their families and pay their bills so it will not surprise me. Here is the actual document. Notice how it is very un human it is and how it is based on Malthusianism. Notice how these NGOs always preach about overpopulation.

      http://www.freedomadvocates.org/images/pdf/Unsustainables_UN_Global_Bio_Div_Assess_95_Pages.pdf

      The groups that push these measures are not friends of humans only the earth and who ever pays there grants.

       
  5. Jeremiah June 26, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    We are in historical times right now, in budget cuts, consumption, and wasting federal tax dollars.
    How does the USFS have so much money to just throw out there, with little or no good outcome.
    Its rediculous, I mean why pay taxes when the Fed’s can just print money?
    And why vote Republican? when now and days the Republican party is out for the interest of the Rich. They recently had 700 doners donate 250k to romneys campaign.
    I know I am off subject but that rediculousness runs hand in hand with USFS, (in my book,( but my book does have alot of pictures in it) hahaha).
    here is also what i saw from the Repubs this year;
    They applauded for the idea of letting a sick man without insurance die. Herman Cain got cheers for saying he’d electrify the border fence. They booed a gay man serving his country in the military.
    I mean i am Pro-life and for guns but civil liberties and respect for one another means more to me!

     
  6. Jeremiah June 26, 2012 at 8:13 am #

    We are in historical times right now, in budget cuts, consumption, and wasting federal tax dollars.
    How does the USFS have so much money to just throw out there, with little or no good outcome.
    Its rediculous, I mean why pay taxes when the Fed’s can just print money?
    And why vote Republican? when now and days the Republican party is out for the interest of the Rich. They recently had 700 doners donate 250k to romneys campaign. (250k each)
    I know I am off subject but that rediculousness runs hand in hand with USFS, (in my book,( but my book does have alot of pictures in it) hahaha).
    here is also what i saw from the Repubs this year;
    They applauded for the idea of letting a sick man without insurance die. Herman Cain got cheers for saying he’d electrify the border fence. They booed a gay man serving his country in the military.
    I mean i am Pro-life and for guns but civil liberties and respect for one another means more to me!

     
  7. Alexander June 26, 2012 at 8:24 am #

    Forest Officials maintain that the “tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands” led to the decisions to close roads and re-arrange travel on forest lands.

    So their decision is to shut it down so only people that can walk can see the back country. This is discrimination of all the rest of us that use vehicles to see the back country. There millions of acres of road-less areas for the ones that want to walk where no vehicles have been. So please stop trying to make more by closing roads that give the rest of us the chance to explore and discover.
    The number of people wanting to do both activity’s will continue to increase and it will be a challenge to land managers to provide for all. It will take compromise from both parties.

    So if that valley or canyon has a road leave it alone. Their is plenty of valleys and canyons that don’t have roads. You go your way and I will go mine.

     
  8. Rob June 26, 2012 at 9:16 am #

    “trails coordinator for the Forest Service said he and others welcome call and contacts from citizens with concerns over what is called the new Travel Management Plan.”

    Then they do what the please with complete public disregard.

    With more OHV users then ever existing roads should remain open. (and perhaps a few new ones made)

     
  9. Tim June 26, 2012 at 9:48 am #

    Here is the Friends Of The Inyo Federal Form 990 Revenue Amount filed in 2009. Looks like a lot of money to me, $620.444.00 for what they do or not do.Also they say that they have Asset Amount $419,970 ! Stay tuned.

    http://www.faqs.org/tax-exempt/CA/Friends-Of-The-Inyo.html

     
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:27 am #

      Tax exempt too! lol

       
  10. Greg Weirick June 26, 2012 at 9:54 am #

    Where is this so called “tremendous growth in off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands” that has led to the decisions to close roads and re-arrange travel on forest lands? Having worked for years with the forest on the Travel Mngmnt Plan, I can tell you it is all smoke and mirrorsto achieve the blatant Forest agenda to close down the Forest to reasonable motorized recreation, but mainly to shut out ALL resource extraction as in mining and logging. Unfortunately, recreation is just the poor stepchild that has to suffer!

    I showed this Forest all about the amazing route management that is going on in the San Bernadino N. Forest despite the huge motorized presence and the cubicle bound folks here didn’t want to hear about it? Down in the SBNF they have ten times the visitors we do here and yet few roads were closed in their TMP effort?
    I warned the Forest about the passion Eastern Sierra people have for their Forest and that they were sparking a wildfire of response, and I was told that they’d just hire more law enforcement rangers! Be very concerned folks, as this is just the tip of the iceberg of things to come!
    A huge chunk of the Forest budget is paying for more and more “scientists” to generate more and more documents that justify their closure tactics and it is all pre-conceived to achieve their goal. They claim that the environmental impacts are unsustainable, while completely ignoring that it represents a miniscule amount when compared with Mother natures erosion and dust.
    The total roads on the Forest make up less than ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT of the Forest acreage. Please remind them of that every chance you get and tell them to reopen your road!

     
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:37 am #

      Good post Greg, and a point in your post .. law enforcement …

      We’ll just hire more law enforcement .. it’s a shame that the forest service is becoming more about law enforcement, and less forest rangers. more of that control issue. What’s behind the tip of that ice burg, will not be nice.

      I predict though .. a change in this situation, I believe the sage brush rebellion will gain the upper hand and take back what we have lost.

      As in the Forest Service’s own words, there has been an increase in usage, not only motorized usage, rather all end users. This means more folks to be heard in what they want, we just have to harness this increase for our cause.

       
    • Compromise is good June 28, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      So Greg, I am confused…are you reneging on the CAT agreement you signed in ’08? To quote from the CAT proposal (which you signed): “No CAT member or group received all they wanted; that is the spirit of compromise and a sign of measurable success.
      Again, the goal of the CAT, collectively, and its members, individually, was not to “win” or “beat” anyone or anything. The goal was to use our local knowledge to create a designated system of roads, trails and areas across the Inyo that works for people and the land.”

      Just seeking clarification. It seems the OHV community was very well represented in the CAT negotiations: you, Dick Noles, beloved Inyo County Supervisors Linda Arcularius and Susan Cash, Bill Sauser…to name a few who all signed the agreement which is now being implemented. I’m not sure why your people are so mad at the FS and FOI and not mad at you.

       
      • Mammoth Motorcycle Club June 28, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

        No, they weren’t “very well represented” at all. Tell me, which one of your CAT members rode a dirtbike???? I guess that would be Dana Stroud? LOL!

        Even the FS agrees that dirtbike users were VERY under represented (if at all). Sorry, but it’s true.

        FYI: Mr. Sauser isn’t too pleased with the outcome either (mostly with how implementation is going down) – common knowledge.

        Maybe there should’ve been a CAT team for implementation as well?

         
  11. Truth Seeker June 26, 2012 at 10:40 am #

    On the “Friends Of the Inyo” web site, they are begging for small donations from the little people yet no where do they mention that they are taking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the USFS. They appear to be a contractor for the USFS. If so, has anyone ever heard of the USFS putting out a request for bid for this huge contract in Inyo or Mono counties? Something is very smelly here. FOI is being run like a criminal organization. How much does the director make? There is no salary listed for their job advetisement for a new director. What is the real reason their current director is leaving? Do they claim non-profit status? Why are they afraid to post their yearly income and expenses on their web site? These people have something to hide. I wonder if their own volunteers even know how much money they take in?

     
    • Benett Kessler June 26, 2012 at 11:01 am #

      According to Marty Hornick, FOI received a grant of around $600,000 and they are using that to work on road closures
      under the supervision of the USFS.
      BK

       
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:42 am #

      Yep .. deception Truth Seeker, but more than that .. it is a very well laid plan to recruit. You make your plea for money .. and oh yeah .. what ever you can give, or even better yet .. what you can do to help, by action …

      The plea for money is the hook. Like you say, they don’t need money. they have the huge grant .. hmmm

      You can bet there are paid positions involved, that is why there needs to be an audit of their organization.

       
  12. Tim June 26, 2012 at 12:40 pm #

    Here is the final Final Awards 2009/10 Grants and Cooperative Agreements Restoration Projects. They had requested $662.521.00 and received $603.000.00

    http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/files/final%20awards%20restoration.pdf

    Also When the Friends of the Inyo were requesting funds, It appears that some of the board of directors were writing support letters to the California State Parks OHV.

    Here is the link to the web site… http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26179

     
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:43 am #

      Your OHV dollars at work.

       
  13. Jon June 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Are you kidding me? This Travel Management Plan has been in the news constantly for at least 4 years, if not longer. For two years, the Forest Service begged everyone who uses Forest roads to ID those roads so they could be assessed, mapped and addressed. Then the maps were released to the public. Again, begging, pleading and multiple public meetings were held. The pending road closures were clearly marked.
    So, now, after not paying attention or being part of the process for several years people are surprised that roads are being closed? No sympathy.
    The public process is only as good as the public makes it. The horse (or ATV) is out of the barn, the roads are being closed and the outrage is three years too late.
    The lesson: When asked for input, give it; if you choose not to be part of the process, you will just have to put up with the decisons made based on input provided by “other people” who care enough about public lands to take the time to get involved early and often.
    Ironically, the Forest Service folks listed in the story will probably be more than happy to FINALLY get the input they have been seeking for years on numerous roads. Call them up.

     
    • Truth Seeker June 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm #

      Explain why the USFS, specifically JON KAZMIERSKI, refuses to release the map of all the closures to the public??? They have to learn the hard way by running into a closure.

      At the last public meeting in Mammoth, KAZMIERSKI refused to allow any questions or answer them. He was speifically asked to provide the closure map, which is digital, to any member of the public. He Jon, how about giving a digital copy to Benett so she ca post a link.

      This is the test for KAZMIERSKI. It would take him less than a minute to Email the link.

       
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:50 am #

      You have got to be kidding Jon .. people responded to your requests for comment .. but you disregarded that comment, but regarded the “other people”. We know how it works, and we will get the word out for you on how discriminating the Forest Service has been about this, you will get the response, might not be what you want, but you will get it.

       
    • Greg Weirick June 27, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      So, now, after not paying attention or being part of the process for several years people are surprised that roads are being closed? No sympathy.

      Guess you didn’t read my post, Jon? Was on the team that negotiated the roads for TMP and went to every meeting that was held. The token efforts to get the public involved by putting little blurbs in the local paper were laughable while the millions of Forest visitors in Socal heard and knew nothing! Now as they come to visit, you have a lot of nerve chastising them for not being at the meetings??

      The motorized reps that did attend the meetings were merely pawns in a game that allowed the Forest to tell Region 5 administration, look we have motorized people involved. The whole Inventoried Roadless area debacle that the Forest used to close most of the routes belies all common sense and would be declared unconstitutional if the real truth of it ever saw the light of day! Furthermore most of the roads now closed were legitimate legal roads that were simply never designated despite being perfectly eligible for it. Forest engineers dropped the ball, because as lower level roads, they had a separate maintenance funding source and didn’t need to be designated to be funded! With the stroke of a pen, they become nasty, illegal, user-created, unauthorized roads?
      There’s some logic for you! What do you have to say now Jon?

       
  14. Tourbillon June 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Problem is more than just closing roads. A government that behaves with such nonchalant disregard for the overwhelming majority and instead chooses to cater to – and pay – accomplice special interest groups soon loses the allegiance of its people, and with that its authority (as has already happened as the torn down blockades show). The Forest Service is not working its own best interest here, or in the best interest of the government at large or the country.

     
  15. a bit of an exaggeration June 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    More government-bashing Tourbillon?
    Try turning off Limbaugh and settle down a bit.

     
    • Big AL June 27, 2012 at 12:53 am #

      Ohhhh Dr. Facts .. you were being a good boy .. what happened? you jonseing again?

       
  16. Concerned June 26, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Here is the link…good luck reading it!
    http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=17479

     

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