Letter to the Editor: Consider ATV impacts

Dear Supervisors and Planning Department:

As I will not be the Great Basin Air Pollution Control Districtí’s Air Pollution Control Officer on December 30, 2014, the date of the rescheduled hearing on the Eastern Sierra ATV Adventure Trails Project, I am submitting these comments on the project for the record.

Ted Schade

Ted Schade

The Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District is the regional government agency that works to protect the people and the environment of Alpine, Mono and Inyo Counties from the harmful effects of air pollution.

As its Air Pollution Control Officer, it is my responsibility to enforce clean air laws to ensure that our people and environment are protected.

These comments from Great Basin regarding the proposed Eastern Sierra ATV Adventure Trails Project address only the potential air quality impacts of the proposed project. Others have or will weigh in on the other positive and negative impacts caused by the proposed project.

As the Air Pollution Control Officer, I have no opinion as to whether or not Inyo County should approve the Adventure Trails Project. My only concern is the project ís the impact on our air quality.

As required by law, Inyo County conducted an analysis of the environmental impacts of the Adventure Trails Project. That analysis identified a number of potentially significant environmental impacts and the project requires mitigation measures to reduce those impacts to less than significant levels.

However, the County’s own analysis concludes that, even with two proposed air quality mitigation measures (reducing speed limits and dust ìknock-offî grates within one-half mile of residences), the Adventure Trails Project will have significant unmitigated impacts to air quality. In fact, air quality is the only resource area that the County’s analysis shows ongoing significant environmental impacts from the project.

When discussing the environmental impacts of air pollution, ìnsignificant environmental impacts actually mean impacts to human health. These are not impacts to plants or animals or cultural resources or soil or water. These are impacts to our most vulnerable residents ór our youngest, our oldest and our sickest residents.

In the 24 years that I have been with Great Basin, we have done so much to reduce air pollution in the Eastern Sierra. We have controlled wood smoke in our communities; we have paved roads and parking lots; we have adopted agricultural practices that reduce air pollution on our farms and ranches; and we have nearly controlled the dust from our dried lakebeds. Yet, we continue to have days in Inyo County when we are exposed to air pollution that exceeds state and federal air quality standards. This air pollution impacts all the communities in Inyo County.

We cannot undo this progress and threaten the health of any of our residents that live on or near the proposed ATV routes by approving a project that has any significant air quality impacts. You probably read the letter in the December 2, 2014 Inyo Register from the California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs supporting the project. It agrees that the project will have significant impacts air quality impacts, but concludes that the air quality issues noted are not in excess of existing air quality issues. This statement is untrue; air pollution is additive ór more air pollution equates to more impacts. These significant impacts cannot be ignored by county decision-makers.

The proposed project will increase local sources of air pollution where people live, work and play. As such, it will have adverse impacts on their health. Unless or until Inyo County modifies the project to reduce all air quality impacts to less than significant levels, I would implore your Board to not approve the project. Direct your staff to work with Great Basin to develop real mitigation measures that reduce all air quality impacts to less than significant levels, even if it means modifying the scope and requirements of the project.

To not do so will mean that you did take all reasonable precautions to protect our health. That would not only be the wrong thing to do, but would also mean that the project will inevitably be doomed through litigation.

Please do the right thing for everyone that breathes. Thank you.

Sincerely,

Theodore D. Schade, P.E.
Air Pollution Control Officer

 

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76 Responses to Letter to the Editor: Consider ATV impacts

  1. Steve December 4, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Please Slim Shade, your organization does nothing but fine companies and kill any businesses wanting to operate. I wonder if you ever worked in the private sector? You leach off the hard work and endeavors of others and through the process of fines (which is taken from people by force) your organization is able to operate. The Great Basin is only able to exist through law and legislation. Tell me Shade, have you ever created a job or produced a product? Better yet, how about not being a hypocrite and drive an economy car. I challenge anyone reading this to go by the Great Basin and see how many SUV are parked in their lot.

     
  2. Eastern Sierra Mom December 4, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    I was surprised to find that my child’s daycare is located on one of the streets proposed in this plan. I hate to think of the dust that will be added to the playground they play in each day. I’m even more concerned with the added noise that these kids will be exposed to. Even 2 or 3 loud dirt bikes 15 feet from where kids are napping or playing is too many. I support this project in other areas of our community but I hope the board will reduce the number of routes through Bishop neighborhoods.

     
    • Mark December 5, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      Harley’s are louder then most wheeled OHV vehicles. Nearly every OHV’s also has USFS approved legal exhaust now days.

      Unlike Harley’s which almost all have modified ‘illegal exhaust’ and exceed the noise limit and never get pulled over and cited for illegal exhaust.

       
      • Wayne December 7, 2014 at 9:43 am #

        USFS or other off road noise standards do not apply on the designated combined use routes. The EIR states that the Public Road standards from the Calif Vehicle Code apply. These are a lower decibel level. Users of the combined use routes must also be licensed with the appropriate class endorsement, the vehicle must be insured for such use (OHV insurance does not usually cover use on pavement), and be older than 16. The EIR is not clear if lights are required, daytime lights are required on motorcycles on public roads, as are things such as a rearview mirror and turn signals. Liability and fairness issues will likely result in a need for enforcement of these existing regulations throughout the town and on connecting public roads in places where these types of things have been ignored. The need to be consistent and fair will also mean enforcement for street machines as well. The EIR process should include workshops to work through these types of things.

         
        • Mark December 8, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

          USFS approved spark arrestor mufflers also meet noise regulation standards

           
          • Wayne December 8, 2014 at 7:34 pm #

            USFS, BLM, Calif Green or Red Sticker, and California Vehicle Code all specify a decibel level and monitoring method. What are they, how do the monitoring methods compare and what does the Adventure Trail EIR specify will apply on combined use segments?

             
          • Desert Tortoise December 11, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

            Wayne, there are maximum decibel limits for all production vehicles including on road motorcycles, but they are routinely violated. Many of the “mufflers” one finds on motorcycles you encounter on the road will have something along the lines of “for off road use only” or “for closed course use only”, or maybe “not legal for highway use”. But it’s a case of more of them than their are of the cops able to enforce noise standards. Since motorcycles are not given biannual smog inspections as our cars are, motorcycle owners (I am one too and all of my bikes have the stock exhaust) have gone feral in this regard.

             
        • Mark December 9, 2014 at 9:24 am #

          Deja I also think the County needs to address how they are going to guarantee the public that the ATP won’t be putting more uninsured motorist on our public roads.

          Checkpoints are not practical, and law enforcement can’t pull over vehicles and check for insurance without a reason. I guess that leaves putting some type of very visible sticker on the vehicle.

           
          • Wayne December 9, 2014 at 11:18 am #

            Regarding Off Highway Vehicle insurance GEICO sent out a press release (just search on geico press release stay off paved roads). GEICO thinks that the vehicle is insured for OHV use, at the check point the owner shows proof of insurance card for the OHV. When there is an accident does the insurance company point to the press release and the fine print to say nope, won’t pay? That leaves Inyo County taxpayers liable. There probably needs to be a hybrid insurance policy developed for this use on combined use roads. Unfortunately the EIR failed to analyze if off highway insurance policies even apply to use on these combined use, highway segments.

             
          • Wayne Deja December 9, 2014 at 11:27 am #

            Mark….Very true….I’ve said the very same thing before…If LE does start stopping and checking for drivers licenses and insurance,here will come those in ORV land saying their “rights” are being violated….same with if they do have “check-points”…that and taking Law Enforcement off the highways and onto the trails baby-sitting these ORV dudes….and how about this one….when you see a dirt-bike or a quad with a helmeted rider,can you tell how old the guy is ?….I can’t….therefore,I can see it now….12 and 13 year olds riding and driving the town streets on their “boy-toys”…….with no license and no insurance……great!….yep….this is a REAL good idea….

             
    • Eastern Sierra Mom December 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

      Based on what I can find under California law, Street legal cars and motorcycles produced after 1985 have to be lower than 80 db. (85 db is where you begin to see ear damage.) I’m not saying that all street bikes follow this law but I am saying that they are regulated. According to the California OHV division OHVs must be below 96 db if they were produced after 1986. The vehicles that will be driving down our residential streets next to our playgrounds will most likely be louder. I believe that there are places for loud activities. We have some amazing and beautiful places to get out and ride. Currently I have the right to chose if I want to expose my small child’s developing ears to loud noises. I’m doing my best to pick toys that are not loud at home and we keep a fairly quiet house. Exposure to large amounts of noise in small children is related to poor sleeping habits, slower cognitive development and an increase in blood pressure. http://www.epa.gov/air/noise/ochp_noise_fs_rev1.pdf

      Regulations on vehicle noise were put in place to protect us. I don’t like the idea of ignoring these regulations.

      In response to the question of whether my child’s daycare is off of a dirt road. No it isn’t but it has a large dirt parking lot that would make a great in town staging area. I have no doubt that it will be used and I have no doubt the dust will increase on this small block.

      I’m for this project in many of the proposed area including the two nearest to my home. They are far enough that we will not be exposed to loud noise day in and day out. I’m requesting that the board and others reconsider having a route that runs next to a long time established daycare. We wouldn’t select a route right next to a grade school.

       
      • Trouble December 6, 2014 at 12:00 am #

        There are several different plans that can be approved. If your really concerned about one street you ought speak up at the meeting on the 30th. They already took Hanby Ave off the chalk board, mainly because one one the main opposition leaders husband works for the county!

        I do think there will not be near the problems you seem to believe will happen. To start with, very few people carry insurance on their quads. And you really should look at how well the Utah trail system has work for their community.

         
        • Wayne Deja December 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

          Trouble….You say “very few people carry insurance on their quads”….O.K……Then what happens if one of those that doesn’t happens to cause a vehicle accident while riding on the proposed town streets ?…..Do we just suck-it-up and pay for the damage to our vehicle ourselves ?…or maybe waste some time and days at the courthouse with some civil lawsuit,hoping the guy that caused the accident shoes up and has the money to pay for the damage ?

           
        • Charles O. Jones December 9, 2014 at 3:56 pm #

          @Trouble,
          California has a population more than twelve times that of Utah. The two states are apples and oranges. It would be wonderful if CA had population less the 3 million like UT does, but it’s just not a reality. I’ve ridden in Utah many times and I’ve yet to see anything that compares to Jawbone Canyon there. Utah just doesn’t have the same challenges we do with sheer numbers of people.

           
      • Eastside Bum December 6, 2014 at 1:06 am #

        Eastern Sierra Mom and Mark, the various agencies across Calif and the US have virtually given up on enforcing noise limits for street motorcycles. My perception tells me it’s possibly because the sheer numbers of bikes (hundreds of thousands) with modified exhaust, are simply overwhelming. That and other priorities have taken precedence.

        I believe Mr Schade has enough experience in his field, and is trying to tell us something without jeopardizing his job and reputation. Any increase in dust, resulting from approval of Adventure Trails Project, could undo “some” of the work he has achieved at Owens Lake. Or it could be that he truly loves Inyo county, and cares enough to speak out

        Personally, I’m sorry to see the community so divided on this issue. Whatever happens, there is bound to be much disappointment for a certain group.

         
      • Mark December 6, 2014 at 9:31 am #

        Law enforcement has looked the other way for years when it comes to illegal exhaust on Harley’s.

        Why do you think the OHV’s that will be driving down our streets will be louder? Any dirt bike made prior to 1995 is considered vintage and are rarely seen out riding in the deserts anymore. They are primarily used for vintage motocross events and riders take great pride in restoring these vintage bikes.

        Plus most new dirt bikes are four strokes and not has loud as the older two stroke models. Most two strokes now days are used for track riding only.

        I believe some of your concerns are without merit.

         
      • wayne December 6, 2014 at 11:08 am #

        Those are the State decibel requirements for street versus off road. I think the federal decibel max is 91 on BLM land . The EIR fails to specify which level is to apply on public road combined use segments. The literature indicates that permanent hearing damage occurs at 90 to 95 decibels, a range is given because of factors such as tonal frequencies and individual variation. Also keep in mind decibels increase on a logarithmic scale. The EIR does not include a monitoring or enforcement plan. A quote from one of the meetings is: “the Sheriff Dept was given 2 quads so they are committed to enforcement”.

         
        • Mark December 9, 2014 at 9:32 am #

          I don’t think noise will be an issue. But there are enough real issues to be concerned about the impact of the ATP.

          Most off roaders drive 4-strokes now days. Most manufactures use the same engines for street legal dirt bikes as they do off road only dirt bikes, meaning you can’t hear the difference between a street legal trail bike and a off road only bike.

           
  3. really? December 5, 2014 at 5:08 am #

    Interesting this Air Pollution Control Officer doesn’t list any actual facts or numbers about how this air pollution will increase. how much air pollution can these things really produce? Additionally the people that own atv’s and motorcycles are already riding them so I really cant imagine that any new pollution will be created, the only variable will be WHERE they are riding them. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that maybe this guy is just anti ATV or Motorcycle… Also in regards to “Eastern Sierra Mom” You are worried about dust and noise from ATVs? I’ve never heard of a more ridiculous concern… seriously you need to find something else to worry about.

     
    • Wayne December 5, 2014 at 9:16 am #

      The whole purpose of Adventure Trails program is to bring in new business and stimulate the economy in these small towns. I have not seen any numbers just heard the planners say at meetings “lots of money, significant increases in ATV visitors, and some of the end points in smaller towns is RV resorts.” Has anyone found actual numbers of new ATV traffic in the EIR? The thing is so big it freezes my screen so I cannot even get through it.

       
      • Desert Tortoise December 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

        Ask California City how it has worked for them?

         
        • Wayne Deja December 11, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

          Desert Tortoise….Better yet,ask how it worked out for the Desert Tortotise population there in Cal City…..no pun intended.

           
  4. Trouble December 5, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    I’m going to start a new organization, it’s called Mothers Against People Having Fun! The cool part is you don’t have to be a mother to join. Just against all indoor and outdoor activities in which people gather to enjoy themselves.

     
    • The Aggressive Progressive December 5, 2014 at 10:17 am #

      But Trouble those entities already exist, and the acting players are; Law Enforcement and nosy neighbors. LOL.

      But of course impacts to our environment is always a worthy conversation.

       
    • Pedro December 5, 2014 at 1:07 pm #

      I’d join but it sounds like fun.

       
    • Wayne Deja December 6, 2014 at 10:41 am #

      Trouble ….How about “MAOAPTUTLAW”…Mothers and others against people tearing up the land and wilderness..

       
      • Trouble December 6, 2014 at 11:13 am #

        How about figuring out that it’s already legal to ride on all these roads and has been forever. People just playing on peoples fears as far as I can see here. I think I’ll go stir up some dirt right now. All these dirt roads have been there for over 100 years already. No one has destroyed anything!

         
  5. Indy Resident December 5, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    In response to Eastern Sierra Mom saying ‘ I hate to think of the dust that will be added to the playground they play in each day’ … So youre saying that your school is on a dirt road? If so, I think you have more to worry about than a few ATV’s stirring up dust.

     
  6. Eastern Sierra Local December 5, 2014 at 9:21 am #

    I read the whole letter but found it extremely strange, in the first paragraph Mr. Schade states “As the Air Pollution Control Officer, I HAVE NO OPINION as to whether or not Inyo County should approve the Adventure Trails Project.”….
    Then in the last paragraph he states, “I would implore your Board TO NOT APPROVE the project.”
    HUH?
    More government speak?

    I really don’t care about this project all that much; however, I really don’t think it’s going to have a huge negative environmental impact. Other areas around CA and the USA have these things and it doesn’t create an environmental issue…it’s really just a vocal minority of NIMBY’s complaining.

     
    • Desert Tortoise December 11, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      Take a look at the region between Ridgecrest, Randsburg, Red Rock Canyon and Cal City and then try to say with a straight face there will be no environmental impacts. The degradation of air quality in Fremont Valley on long weekends due to ORV dust is palpable, you can taste it. That gorgeous view down the valley towards Mojave from US 395 is often ruined by the clouds of dust.

       
  7. CarbonFootPrint December 5, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Mr Schade states “I have no opinion as to whether or not Inyo County should approve the Adventure Trails Project.” Yet he askes the Supervisors to make the right decision. The body of his letter gives me the impression he does have an opinion.

    I beleive the main point of The Adventure Trails Project is to allow off-highway vehicles to utilize designated paved roads to access towns in our valley as well as guide riders to designated marked trails. Driving my OHV on a paved road produces signifigantly less dust pollution than driving on a dirt road. Also, my OHV has emissions controls to reduce (say it ain’t so) my carbon foot print.

    As for the noise issues “Eastern Sierra Mom” is concerned with, there are laws that address loud mufflers on OHV’s. I doubt the OHV rider with the loud pipe will want to drive in town and expose him/herself to the wrath of law enforcement.

     
    • Steve December 5, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

      That’s why he’s “Slime Shade.”

       
  8. Horse Guy December 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm #

    Adventure Trails is going to be a BIG money maker for Inyo County, at least that’s what we’re being told. Why would they be spending hundreds of thousand of dollars on it, just for locals, I dont think so. We’re talking promotion in outdoor mags, news stories in SCAL and Reno promoting the thing, advertising to bring up the Jawbone Cyn users, that’s how money will be made.

    Think Jawbone Cyn moved north, then take a look at what it’s like now where I ride in the Tundston Hills–from across the valley you can see clouds of dust coming out of the hills on weekends. Tell me how more bikes doesnt mean more dust.

    Eat my Dust, who came up with that expression anyway? Would that have been a dirt-biker?

    PS: And really, do you need to bash a mom who is concerned about her kid. That’s low.

     
    • Charles O. Jones December 5, 2014 at 5:01 pm #

      I do think of Jawbone Canyon, (or any of the many other similar spots) and that’s exactly what I’m opposed to this idea. I don’t ride dirt bikes anymore, but I used to, and I’ve seen first-hand what happens with excessive use. And isn’t that the point, to market the area and increase usage?

      Anyone who claims that a significant increase in usage won’t have negative impacts on the land (and the air) is just kidding themselves or speaking disingenuously. If all you care about are the potential economic impacts, fine, just admit it. But don’t try to pretend that negative impacts don’t also exist.

       
      • Mark December 6, 2014 at 9:37 am #

        I’m not disingenuous, a significant increase in usage will absolutely have an impact.

        My biggest concern is erosion and trail damage due to people not staying on marked trails. The landscape never really does recover Jawbone is proof of that.

         
  9. wagonrd December 5, 2014 at 3:12 pm #

    Ted is just another person in the long line of folks who want all off road vehicles banned in Calif. The proven way to do so is to eleminate riding areas. His “Air Quality” argument resonates with those who agree with his philosophy, for he effectively creates an image of Owens DryLake dust storms if the Adventure Trail route is approved. It’s pure hogwash.

     
    • Charles O. Jones December 7, 2014 at 10:05 am #

      I’ve never met Mr. Schade but the article states he’s been in his position for 24 years. 24 years of his life has been committed to monitoring and protecting the air quality for the residents and visitors of the OV. I hardly believe that he spent all that time and effort just to support “his philosophy” of banning off road vehicle use. I value his opinion as he is the leading expert on air quality in the OV. You may consider his opinion on air quality as “pure hogwash” but what are your credentials?

      You claim his argument resonates with those who agree with him. Doesn’t the same hold true in reverse? Even though he’s the expert, you reject his opinion because it doesn’t mesh with your personal agenda. Again, what are your credentials?

       
  10. p ite December 5, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    is somebody jumping the gun , im seeing new signs poping up on posts from round valley school to bishop creek and ed powers, these are small brown arrows pointing the way to bishop, round valley pleasant valley, and one to ohv area etc.

     
    • Wayne Deja December 5, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

      pite…..Just like I’ve been saying….Once the foot gets in the door,look out !!!…..I’m sure the residents of Round Valley and Pleasant Valley are looking forward to this influx of “rider-guys” coming soon…..maybe…..to their pleasant(pardon the pun) little areas and their choice of quiet,rural living.Do they still have that major deer-migration area up near Round Valley ?…..If so,maybe a choice area for the dirt riders to hop on their bikes and chase them around…In the Antelope Valley,their “animal-of-choice” to harass,run over and de-grade was the Desert Tortoise..up here,I’m sure it will be deer herds or some other animal they can chase around the wilderness….off-trail,of course,claiming it’s their “right” to do so,if they want.

       
      • Mark December 6, 2014 at 9:39 am #

        It was the Ravens that did in the Tortoise in the Antelope Valley ‘Deja’.

         
        • wayne December 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

          Ravens and tortoises co-existed for thousands of years. As human populations increased the mobile omnivores such as ravens increased as well, due to being able to seek out food at dumps, campsites, along roads (people toss an apple core saying it is biodegradable, for example). Ever seen the ravens raiding the trash @ Redrock & Jawbone? Me too. That unnaturally rapid increase in mobile omnivorous animals leads to many problems (think also bears at Mammoth).

           
        • Wayne Deja December 6, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

          Mark….Check the facts,buddy…..maybe the newborn tortoises had to deal with the ravens,but the majority of the grown -ups were driven away and killed by the “ORV” boys…..I’m busy today,so not time to get the facts posted here,….”Google” it and see the fight that takes place to this day trying to keep “cycle-men” off Desert Tortoise areas because of the killings.

           
          • Mark December 7, 2014 at 8:36 am #

            I’ll check it out Deja. As an avid off roader and owner of four wheelers and dirt bikes I believe the ATP will bring more people to ride in the area and have a direct negative impact on all trails and the environment. I’ve rode all those areas you mentioned Wayne and nothing good is going to come from more OHV use in most of those areas mentioned especially the coyote.

            I also believe the ATP is all about hopes of more tourist and more money. That may or may not happen but if it does it will be at the expense of adding environmental damage to the areas Wayne mentioned and a few areas he didn’t.

            I’m against closing current trails but I’m also against inviting, advertising, making maps, and putting up signage to existing riding trails.

            If you live in the Eastern Sierra and/or just enjoy the pristine beauty of the area I do not recommend you support the ATP.

             
    • Wayne December 6, 2014 at 6:51 pm #

      There are signs now in the Westgate Pass, Little Cowhorn Valley, Deep Springs Valley, and Eureka Valley roads areas as well.

       
  11. Ken Warner December 5, 2014 at 3:35 pm #

    Whoever makes the decision to approve the Adventure Trails System, you better be right because you will never un-do your decision.

     
    • Incorrect December 5, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

      Actually Ken, what everyone fails to mention or notice is that the Trails System is only a pilot program (strange since its in the title of the proposal). It has a two year lifespan. If implemented, after two years, it will be null in void. Then it must be revisited to see how successful or unsuccessful the program was based on actual facts and data rather than theoretical dramatizations. While were talking about facts and data I would like BLM to conduct an official study in Buttermilk, the Volcanic Table Lands and the Owens River Gorge to find out if the climbers have adversely effected the habitat of both the rodents and rabbits and the raptors who feed on them. I’m fairly sure that clearing of the brush around all the rocks, the chalk dust, and human feces all over in the surrounding vegetation can’t be too healthy for those poor animals and birds. I mean everybody always complains about those darn offroaders out there on the existing trails and roads, what about the thousands of people trampling through the brush in concentrated are as every year? I dunno, maybe its just me?

       
      • Wayne December 5, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

        Actually not null or void. The program will still be there and the Board of Supervisors will have the discretionary authority to decide: 1-continue; 2-continue with revisions; or 3-discontinue. The EIR does not include a monitoring plan, schedule, or budget and no baseline data has been collected. So they are are leaving themselves twisting in the wind like a weathervane.

         
        • Desert Tortoise December 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

          More like leaving themselves an out later on since there will be no hard data to refute regardless of what decision they make. Hey, just saying ………………

           
  12. Wayne Deja December 5, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Horse Guy…..You say “Adventure Trails is going to be a BIG money maker for Inyo County,at least that’s what we’re being told”….wanna bet ?….First off,the ORV’ers are quite content tearing up Jawbone Canyon and Cal City without adding another 2 hours or so extra drive-time to come up farther into Inyo County to do it….These bands of reckless riders aren’t looking for paved roads….Some try to say it will give them “access” to stores,markets,restaurants,taverns,etc…..gimme a break….For some of them,all this will do….if approved…will give them free reigns to think this will open up ALL of the areas up here,including the closed wilderness areas, every street in every town,private property,BLM and LADWP land….Some try to say Law Enforcement is in favor of this trail system….if that’s true,we’ll see if they think that way after it happens….IF it happens…..Just what LE needs here in Inyo County on Friday and Saturday nights,and probably into early Sunday morning….calls and complaints about groups of “guy-guys” running amuke… then having to check them for insurance,drivers license,etc.and even if they are of age to be able to have either….and that’s if the “riders” don’t bolt into the desert once the red and blue lights and siren come on behind them…What this “trail system” talk does is remind me a lot of the medical marijuana prop put to a vote a few years ago….maybe figured as a good idea,but then later on,to see and realize what a mistake,and a joke it turned out to be…how the “getting the foot in the door” opened up things people laugh about now,how some were able to take advantage of what seemed to be the right thing,and a good thing….at the time…only instead of getting a medical licence to smoke and deal weed legally,it’ll be some thinking the little town streets and desert areas up here will become a dirt-rider mecca to come here and do as they please….and if it turns out not to be that way for them,they won’t want to come here anyway.

     
  13. Wayne December 5, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    Jawbone is thinking too small. That’s why the concern about no numbers or analysis in EIR. There are what, at least 15 million people in the LA to San Diego area? Look at the toy-hauler traffic jams on weekends heading out on 15 and 10. They are getting pushed back hard in those desert areas. Now they will be invited up here. An unintended consequence will be that local CHP and SO will have no choice but to crack down, no riders under 16, no use anywhere but designated “safe by CHP” for combined use. We all currently let the kids play. They come and go, gearing down & slowing, closing gates, as needed to get out of town. I did the same back in my day. Now I have a road bike but I started on a little dirt bike. Once the big boys arrive with their big toy-haulers things will change.

     
  14. April Zrelak December 5, 2014 at 6:07 pm #

    Thank you, Ted, for providing the public with real information on the fugitive dust increases that this proposed project will bring. There is a lot of misinterpretation in these letters about your statements. Most of this valley is federally designated non-attainment area for PM10. Los Angeles has spent well over $1 billion to mitigate areas of their responsibility. Adding hundreds or more motorcycles and ATVs onto the dirt roads will diminish the great progress that has been made. Anyone can look at Jawbone and Randsburg areas to see the dust from large numbers of vehicles driving the trails and roads. Why would Inyo County Supervisors want to step backwards in air quality improvements? Two of our supervisors sit on Great Basin’s board. I’ve listened to their comments on issues of air pollution over the years. To be consistent, they should not approve a project that is evaluated to cause significant impact to such a vital resource as air.

    There are many ways to enjoy one’s self without contributing to air and noise pollution. People often do not think about how their actions affect others. Minimizing negative impacts is a civilized way to live. With 37 million people in California, each action is cumulative to the point of being excessive. We are all polluters just by being alive, especially in a first-world society. What is being discussed here, is the scale of pollution for the sake of recreation.

    Aside: I think people might comment more reasonably if they used their real names instead of hiding behind pseudonyms.

     
    • CarbonFootPrint December 5, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

      “With 37 million people in California”

      Exactly!

      That’s the real problem the environmentalists don’t talk about.

      That’s a huge carbon foot print.

       
      • Charles O. Jones December 6, 2014 at 9:08 am #

        Exactly is right!

        So what do you propose? Those 37 million people aren’t going anywhere. So we need to have practical land management in place for that many folks. And those 37 million are exactly why the examples of Utah’s trails program don’t hold any water. Utah has a population of less than 3 million people. Do the math.

        I’m not opposed to dirt bikes per say. I’m just opposed to the push to bring more of them to the area which will also bring the issues of overuse. The template is plain to see for those with an open mind – just go to Jawbone Canyon on a holiday weekend. If you like what you see then support this proposed program. I have spent time at Jawbone and many other areas as well. I have seen the impacts of overuse and that’s why I can’t support this concept.

         
        • CarbonFootPrint December 7, 2014 at 11:58 am #

          Spangler & Jawbone are designated open riding areas. They have large staging areas to camp and are relatively close to So Cal. That’s why those places look the way they do and I’m fine with that. The area near Poleta pits is an open riding area but the terrain is not suitable to ride everywhere and dry camping in large numbers is not practical. I doubt we will see a significant influx of OHV’s. All this program does is allow licensed riders of insured OHVs to access towns for fuel and supplies.

          Also, I and all of the people (locals and So Cal residents) I know who ride OHV’s are responsible and considerate people who respect the places we live and ride. We teach that to our children. Yep there are bad apples in the bunch and that’s why we have law enforcement.

          This is a pilot program. If it doesn’t work, so be it. I say stop whining about it and let’s try it.

           
          • Charles O. Jones December 7, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

            @CFP,
            Like you, I used to do my best to ride and behave responsibly when I rode bikes on our public lands. Unfortunately from my experiences that isn’t always the case with others. I don’t share your opinion on how many riders will potentially travel to this area though. The crowds that infest the riding areas down south will undoubtedly push people to drive further in attempts to escape the madness. Time will tell (if the program is approved) and I sincerely hope I’m wrong.

            Regardless of where people stand on this issue, now is the time to discuss it openly and honestly. I don’t see the sharing of opinions opposing this program as “whining” any more than your opinions supporting it are whining.

             
      • Mark December 6, 2014 at 9:41 am #

        More humans being born into the welfare system every day. It’s not sustainable. Population increase is the biggest factor when it comes to humans destroying the environment.

         
  15. p ite December 5, 2014 at 6:56 pm #

    i can just imagine the looks on the faces of the hunderds of thousand maybe more people that have come up here and spent their money here to camp in the sites around bish
    op that come up here for the peace and quiet, to fish hike , bike ride ,photograph paint and explore in the quiet solitude and the fresh clean air that they cant get at home i just wonder how they will feelif morning noon and night engines are being reved and tuned and the smell of gas and exhaust i think many of them will find somewhere else to go the one thing that is very hard to find is quiet, not to mention dust in your bacon

     
    • Wayne Deja December 5, 2014 at 10:33 pm #

      pite……The smell of gas and exhaust…..hard to find quiet….dust in your bacon….How about glass from broken beer bottles in your tires…biker-men popping wheelies on your town streets at 6:00 A.M. Sunday morning…loud groups of confrontational off-road boys filling the campgrounds and causing late-night trouble for others….beer-runs at Saturday 2:00 A.M….animals dead on the trails,either from being run over,or dying from exhaustion after being chased for hours…cattle having access to the town streets after gates are left open…or no trespassing signs are ignored or removed….Law Enforcement being taxed having to babysit these “guys from L.A. and beyond” coming up here for their “fun-fun”…And let’s not forget,and ask,…who’s going to do the clean-up after these bands of boys go back to where they live ?…When the Eastside of Lancaster opened up to rider-guys,and their week-end guy friends,the area resembled a city dump more so than an open desert area.Next time you have to go to Lancaster,take the jawbone canyon turn-off,drive a ways,and check out the area there and see what it looks like….now picture that happening up here in Round Valley or Pleasant Valley….But,the good thing is…..the more I hear,and the more I read…on this site with comments,and other places too,the more I see people opening their eyes and knowing the Owens Valley isn’t meant to be an off road area with a “trail system”….my guess….it ain’t a gonna happen anytime soon…even if it would turn out to be only a two year pilot program….two years of dirt-biker rider-guys having free reigns in the Owens Valley would mean a hundred years of work and effort from others trying to fix their destruction …

       
  16. Bishop Native December 5, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Anyone who has seen the steady stream of toy haulers heading back to LA after a weekend at Jawbone Canyon/California City/Dove Springs would hang the supes if they approved this project….and Bishop has much nicer trails, dirt roads and scenery than those places. It will mean a serious decrease in quality of life for locals. What is obvious is that this project is not for the benefit of the people of Bishop.

     
  17. common sense December 5, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    One windy day in the valley does more than what ATV, UTV, or Motocycles would do in 100 years. Give me a break. The biggest source of pollution is the Owens Dry Lake. Why doesn’t the air pollution control board focus on the big stuff first rather than the less than 0.01 of a percent stuff.

    The Great Basin Pollution Control board is a waste of time.

     
  18. Indy Resident December 6, 2014 at 9:40 am #

    HAHAHA… Whoever started this Jawbone and Cal City nonsense needs to give it a rest. Jawbone, Dove Springs, Cal City, Randsburg, etc are all VAST spaces with endless miles of riding. I personally go out every Thanksgiving with 20 RV’s just outside Randsburg to ride all of the miles and miles of trails. There is nothing up here to invite these riders. I am just with one of the thousands of groups. If I were to bring my city of 20 RV’s and bikes here, where would you propose we go? Nowhere… We are nothing like Jawbone. This bill is geared more to locals like me that has to trailer my bike outside of Independence to the local hills. I would love to just hop on my bike and cruise out of town and go ride without being harassed.

    There are currently plenty of MORONS that cant go slow through town. They tear up the streets, and as soon as they hit the dirt its a dirty cloud of dust and noise. THIS is a Sheriffs or BLM issue..

     
    • Charles O. Jones December 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm #

      At roughly 100 miles long by 5-20 mile wide, the Owen’s Valley is vast area as well. Not to mention the scenery is far better here than in the Mojave Desert. And many of those thousands of groups you describe would love to get away from the crowds you’ve experienced.

      If you think this proposal is geared towards locals you’re sorely mistaken. This is all about the money – and there’s no appreciable economic impact from serving those who are already here. This is about bringing new users to the area in hopes they’ll spend their money. Unfortunately that increased usage brings negative impacts along with it.

       
      • Wayne December 6, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

        The EIR also describes “links” to and includes combined use routes (& signs are already going up which implies the decision is considered bought and paid for) to Casa Diablo, Little Cowhorn Valley, Deep Springs Valley, Coyote Plateau, Alabama Hills, Foothill Road, Silver Canyon and the top of the Whites to Wyman Canyon. These were all listed in the Inyo Register Sat Nov 29. There is nothing in the EIR documenting any of these have actually been visited nor that site specific analysis done relative to the EIR. The Nov 29 Inyo Register was the first time these routes were displayed in a location and in a way that was understandable (the EIR is so large it crashes home computers and when I went to the library I as out of time before they could find their one copy). Maybe the Register should publish this list again before Dec 30?

         
    • Wayne December 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

      When this project starts local law enforcement, CHP & SO, will have to strictly enforce absolutely everything due to liability issues. CHP made the discretionary call that 36 of 38 combined use routes are completely safe. Including multiple paved mountain roads at Independence, Lone Pine and Big Pine (that determination, arbitrary because there is no documented site specific analysis in the EIR is a huge liability issue). Go drive these road segments, all are deemed 100% safe for combined use.

       
      • Trouble December 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

        CHP will probably be enjoying their now found freedom on their days off.

         
        • Wayne December 11, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

          I think the California Highway Patrol Boys and Inyo County SO will be scrambling to enforce absolutely everything when they realize they have approved a use as safe that even Inyo County has said is unsafe (such as when Inyo County has closed Tuttle Creek Road to downhill traffic during busy weekends). No weekends off for those guys, their bosses are facing big liability problems. Just go drive these combined use roads and see for yourself. They are not just simple city streets in Bishop.

           
          • Desert Tortoise December 12, 2014 at 8:18 am #

            The CHP isn’t going to be liable for anything. The state ends up paying the bill for any lawsuits that are won. No matter what happens the CHP is unaffected. They gave their professional opinion but they are not the ones approving the plan.

            I don’t have a high regard for the CHP any longer (I once did, thought they were the most professional LE agency in the state, maybe the nation but no more) but no matter how many egregious mistakes they seem to make, women beaten on the side of the freeway or whatever, they are never any calls for changes within the force. The OV is just a small, isolated and sparsely populated corner of a very large state. Nothing that happens up here is going to affect the CHP materially and the miserable Chipsters know it.

             
  19. DESCO December 6, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I saw one of these law abiding, outdoor fun loving dirt bikers in Bishop the other day. I was going west on Maciver and he was making a right off Main at the pizza place. When I first saw him he was leaned over so far I thought he had fallen over. Not to worry, as soon as he cleared the turn he popped a wheelie and roared past me and continued on one wheel till he had to drop down and run the stop sign at the far end of the street. I’m glad that no seniors from the Sunrise trailer park were crossing the street on their way to Vons. They don’t move very fast, are hard of hearing and don’t see real good. Easy targets for the outdoor “sportsmen”.

     
    • Trouble December 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

      Desco- Enduros are already allowed to go on all these roads legally. They still will be when this law really goes into effect on the 30th!

       
  20. BobK December 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    W Deja: You need to a apply for a job with National Enquirer with all of the fiction that you write. The Buttermilks (where the deer migrations occur) have been open for years and there has been no problems that I am aware of, and I live real close. The four wheelers entering into the wilderness areas? Give me some examples. And how does any of this have anything to do with the current off road plan? You keep bringing up off roaders and broken beer bottles. I’ve seen a few of those up near Bishop Pass in the past. Who are you going to blame for that? Those nasty old off roaders?

     
  21. DESCO December 7, 2014 at 12:35 am #

    Trouble
    I’m not talking about legal, I’m talking about “RESPONSIBLE'”.
    In a nation of finger pointing this is one more argument that he who shouts the loudest wins.
    A very few will prosper from this ill conceived bill.
    I hope some day we will meet so that I can kick you squarely in the testicles.

     
    • Trouble December 7, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

      Desco- I live next to the route and I can’t wait to be able to hoop on my quad and just go. I’m not worried about your other desires!

       
  22. Wayne Deja December 7, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    BobK….Not so much fiction….If you think what I say is “fiction”,take a couple days off and visit the Antelope Valley…I lived in Lancaster,Quartz Hill and Rosamond from 1962 till 1991,and saw FIRST HAND what ORV’ers did back in the 70’s and 80’s and do to much of that area to this day…..the desert out on eastside and the Lake L.A. area….the Quartz Hill desert area…the hills of Rosamond..the Littlerock Dam area is TOTALLY destroyed,to the point the creek-area there had to be shut down..both on trail and off trail….and then,if you take that two-day trip to see what I’m talking about,on the way back up here,be sure to visit Cal City….and especially the Jawbone-Redrock Canyon area……and try to picture how it would look….and USED to look… before the off-roaders ….see if all that is “fiction”….and then,when your back home up here in our,as Bob Todd states “Our little slice of Heaven”,try to picture Round Valley,Pleasant Valley,the outskirts of Bishop,Big Pine,Lone Pine,Independence and just about every other little town here looking the way the A.V. desert areas look now….then talk “fiction” and the National Enquirer with me.

     
    • Mark December 8, 2014 at 7:52 am #

      Come on Deja there’s a bit of fiction in there. Littlerock Dam was closed due to a federally protected and endangered species the Southwestern Arroyo Toad. The OHV area has since reopened, however the canyon is still closed upstream of Rocky Point to all access. I’d also like to point out that it is now illegal to ride/drive green sticker vehicles anywhere within L.A. County except in designated OHV areas such as Rower Flats and Littlerock Dam, so that damage you say continues to this day isn’t happening. You might also be surprised to hear they just opened another area to legal riding due East of Littlerock Dam off of Mt Emma Road at 77th Street.

      What damaged Jawbone Canyon area was when it was 100% open riding area. Hill climbing caused massive erosion damage that has not recovered to this day and probably never will. Most all hill climb at Jawbone now have red stakes at the bottom stating the route is closed. This is also true in the Spangler Hills South of Ridgecrest.

      Back in the 70’s there was absolutely no regulations to enforce other then disturbing the peace. I received more than my fair share of disturbing the peace citations. All of which I beat in court because we were miles from the nearest homes. That has since changed and you will now be cited for riding in a closed area ($400) or for riding on private property without the owners written consent.

      When you say enforcement must be consistent and fair I have to just laugh. If enforcement was fair just about every Harley rider would already be cited for disturbing peace. I’m actually on your side Deja but you tend to stretch the facts a wee bit.

      If the County goes ahead with the ATP I would suggest requiring a permit along with a must read informational educational pamphlet and a short quiz before the permit is issued.

       
  23. BobK December 7, 2014 at 2:43 pm #

    Wayne: It just hasn’t happened! These areas up here that you mention have been open to ORV’s for decades and I don’t believe for one minute that opening a few paved roads for people to buy gas and food are going to do what was done down south. This plan is to be reviewed in less than 2 yrs and if it creates the chaos that you IMAGINE, then you will be able to shoot it down, probably very easily. People, pro and con don’t want to see this area ruined.

     
  24. wagonrd December 12, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    Well folks, after 70+ posts, everyone is saturated! So, I’ll give a parting shot. I supported Adventur Trails because Randy Gillespie of Golden State Cycle wa.nted it. Now that his shop is closed, I have no major reason for supporting AT. Now I want to keep the Eastern Sierra trail system for our own use. We small number of off roaders here ride quietly and responsibly on trails that very few people know about. Let’s keep it that way

     

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