Adventure Trails public hearing set for Tuesday

By Deb Murphy

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Adventure Trails Pilot Project Tuesday at 11 a.m. The project has survived eight years of scrutiny, countless public hearings and two lawsuits.


The project has been whittled from the original 70-plus to 36 potential routes down to seven for the Supervisors consideration in late January of this year. Only three are currently in use. The other four have not been approved by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whose land either the routes start or end on, or the Inyo National Forest.

The concept is fairly simple: the routes provide Off-Highway Vehicle access to off-road trailheads. The sole Bishop route begins at Laws and ends at the Poleta OHV Recreational Area; the Independence route begins downtown and ends at Mazourka Canyon Road and the Lone Pine route starts at Boulder Creek and ends at Horseshoe Meadow Road.

The project was set in motion by Assembly Bill 628, allowing combined use routes through January 2017.

County Public Works’ Transportation Planner Courtney Smith gave the Supes a snapshot of the draft project report, required by AB 628, last Tuesday in preparation for Tuesday’s official public hearing. The data, like the number of routes, were a little thin. The traffic count was described as “fairly light” and there were no impacts on non-motorized routes. The only OHV-related complaint involved side-by-side riders on U.S. Hwy. 168, not part of the Adventure Trails project. Smith also said there were no new trails created as a result of the project.

During the public comment period last Tuesday, it was stated that INF wants a National Environmental Protection Act analysis and LADWP wants the County to assume liability for all OHV use on its lands.

In an e-mailed response, LADWP Aqueduct Manager Jim Yannotta said “LADWP needs to be protected against any liability, environmental harm and be reimbursed for any increased costs on Los Angeles-owned lands as a result of the Adventure Trails project. These concerns have been brought up to the County.”

The response from INF was longer but boils down to a Forest Service policy that “defines the jurisdiction of a road as ‘the legal right to control or regulate use of a forest transportation facility derived from title, an easement, an agreement or other similar source.’ There are none of these instruments in place for the Adventures Trails pilot program that would transfer jurisdiction to the County…. The Forest Service cannot transfer jurisdiction of a road to another entity without doing NEPA.” But, “the Inyo National Forest supports the Adventure Trails Pilot program in concept.”

The response from the Supervisors was frustration. Without enough data, Chairman Matt Kingsley said, the County “should ask the legislation to extend the pilot program. We need the time to gain more data, get DWP to approve and see if we can work with the Forest Service.”

Supervisor Rick Pucci described the lack of approval as “silliness. We should continue putting pressure on DWP. The County has accepted liability. We need to get these roadblocks lifted.”



, , ,

28 Responses to Adventure Trails public hearing set for Tuesday

  1. Trouble December 15, 2015 at 5:25 am #

    I swear that some people just don’t like to see people be happy and free.

    • Charles O. Jones December 15, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      That may be true, Trouble. But there are also more legitimate reasons that people have concerns with this project.

  2. Low-Inyo December 15, 2015 at 9:43 am #

    Last Saturday,while there was a Church function going on,a celebration of life for one of the communities beloved citizens,while it was going on,there was a herd of ATV’ers on DWP land behind the Church racing around chasing the cattle and kicking up dust…..

    • Trouble December 16, 2015 at 1:38 am #

      Low Inyo Maybe we should ban all cattle and church goers?

  3. Low-Inyo December 17, 2015 at 7:55 am #

    Trouble…….Personally,I find cattle and church-goers a lot less annoying than a bunch of guys on their “boy-toys” showing off to their friends by chasing animals around on a field they’re not supposed to be on….and where there also happens to be a local herd of elk as well as the cattle….but I guess no big deal,as long as it makes them “happy and free”…right ?

  4. Trouble December 17, 2015 at 10:41 am #

    Low Inyo I was pretty proud of my response. Still am. Two wrongs don’t make it right.
    People are still allowed to ride on all these open areas as much as they want. I hope all of them know that. But because of responses like yours, people have to drive there trucks and trailers into town to fuel up.
    Like I said first, some people just don’t like to see people having fun. I am sorry about the poor cows.

  5. Low-Inyo December 17, 2015 at 1:47 pm #

    Trouble…Don’t want to get in ANOTHER back-and-forth with this,but “riders” aren’t allowed on ALL open areas…there is such a thing as private property…..which many of them ignore and don’t care….and like, with the one I mentioned,when there is “No Trespassing “signs posted,that is supposed to mean no trespassing..even “dirt riders being free and having fun “..whether the signs are shot full of holes or not,the signs can still be read.

    • Russ Monroe December 18, 2015 at 7:33 am #

      So, to summarize, Lo; You observed a crime being committed and chose not to report it. You were an eye witness to criminal abuses, not only against yourself, but also a whole church full of local citizens yet you elected to let the criminals get away with their crimes so that you could use the “crime” as justification for another bigoted rant? You accuse “them” of not caring about law, but how many times have you not official reported a breaking of law, only write about it later?
      If one repeatedly fails to report crime…. at what point does one become the criminal?

      Trouble; you should be proud of that response… it was funny.

      • Low-Inyo December 18, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

        Russ Monroe…..I did report it……twice……as I do whenever I see off-roaders being where they’re not supposed to be…once when I first witnessed it….and again when it seemed no one cared enough to respond to it…two agencies….how’s that for an answer ?

    • Trouble December 19, 2015 at 8:13 am #

      Low Inyo, there is only one good thing about DWP, they let us use the land they embezzled from our founders years ago. And they own 99 percent of it.
      Your yapping about some stupid kids steering up the cattle and pissing off grandma ain’t helping nothing but the tree huggers.

      • Low-Inyo December 19, 2015 at 4:23 pm #

        Trouble…Here’s some advise you might want to take,or at least think about…IMO,LADWP is a good thing up here,knowing if they didn’t own the land,a good chance the day would come that the Owens Valley might end up looking like Lancaster and Palmdale….which brings me back to my advise to you…..maybe that is where you could move to…..away from the “tree huggers” and those that like the animals and nature up here …..and two,it would put you closer to areas already decimated by the off-roaders,such as the Littlerock Dam area,Cal City,Jawbone Canyon, and just about all of the eastside of Lancaster when dirt bikes and ” boy toys” were popular back in the late 70’s and early 80’s,which resulted in more or less eliminating the entire Desert Tortoise population in that area ….that way,you could be “happy and free” and more in your element.

      • Philip Anaya December 19, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

        Have to agree T.
        Access to the lands of Inyo County whether it’s a National Park , Forest ,BLM or the LADWP is a good thing and don’t you think, a great privilage. That freedom comes from the so called “tree huggers” the founders, if you will, that secured and made them open for all of us today. Some of those “tree huggars” are the pillars of the preservation of the lands and this freedom we enjoy today in the Owens Valley. They were the ones that got a CEQA law passed in California and a Long Term Water Agreement here in the Eastern Sierra. So whenever there is the occasional irresponsible rider ripping and speeding for the fun of it across this Valley, that’s a problem for both the environment and the folks who responsibly motor the Valley roads and trails and get blamed and result in possible restriction of access by the acts of a few . As for the tree huggers remember T, No good deed ever goes unpunished .

        • Trouble December 20, 2015 at 4:14 pm #

          Phillip, I apologize for the tree hugger comment, I shouldn’t have said that. The only thing that bothers me on this hole adventure trail topic is that the real issue has been distorted. All the trail system really changes for any of us up here, is that we would be allowed to drive into towns legally on existing roads. I actually enjoy your knowledgeable responses.k

          • Charles O. Jones December 21, 2015 at 8:16 am #

            I disagree Trouble. One of the major pushes behind this project is the hope of bringing more OHVs to the region to fuel the local tourism economy. More users equate to more damage to the existing trails, and sadly, more illegal trails being created. These realities have been clearly demonstrated in other high use areas. If anything is “distorted”, it’s the notion than none of this will happen here in the Owens Valley with increased usage.

            I’m not against OHVs. I’m not against the local tourism economy. I’m just not in favor of supporting either at the expense of the increased damage that comes along with more OHV users.

          • Low-Inyo December 21, 2015 at 3:27 pm #

            Charles O.Jones…..right on…for those in favor of it,it’s all about the money….the all-mighty buck….and the second part of your comment,correct again….the majority of the off roaders want every square inch of land open to their hobby,and with this “adventure trail “,that opens the door to what they want… areas open or not….just like the high use areas you mentioned,and I mentioned earlier…I saw first-hand the destruction they did in the Antelope Valley and beyond…..for a good example,Google “Littlerock Dam off- roader images” and you’ll all see what I mean.

      • Mountain Watchdog December 21, 2015 at 6:23 am #

        “Tree-huggers” … “Enviro-wackos” … these are terms used often by Neocon hero and major spokesperson and show clearly how easy it is to get some types to close their minds when hit with enough insults and/or fear-mongering.
        Then there’s the other demonized word – liberal that is similar to the Devil within that same angry and paranoid group.

        • Mountain Watchdog December 22, 2015 at 6:24 am #

          Good to see only 4 people on this topic listen to the bile spewed by Limbaugh 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, and reruns on weekends. Translated at the voting booth – clearly a minority.
          BTW- the word liberal translates to free, broad-minded, and compassionate. Not communistic, evil, and bad American.

          • tourbillon December 22, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

            Thanks MW for explaining why left wing totalitarians on campuses nationwide demand the silencing of viewpoints with which they disagree. A minority? Or is this now the new majority?

      • Paco January 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

        Oh, you mean the land stolen from native inhabitants? That land?

        • Low-Inyo January 4, 2016 at 7:00 am #

          Paco…I can understand those being bitter about what happened with the Natives and their land long ago…..recently reading of millions of natives killed in the wars….what I don’t understand is how did that many Natives allow that to happen ?? Seems if all the Tribes banded together back then,they could have fought off those (the settlers) that were trying to take away their land and way of life…we all know if they had, it would be a better,much more pleasant Country to live in today… .IMO.

          • Trouble January 5, 2016 at 7:14 am #

            Low Inyo , do you really believe that?

          • Low-Inyo January 5, 2016 at 10:00 am #

            Yes,Trouble,I do believe that…….Back then,and now,plenty of land to share…..if the settlers had gone about it a different way,not wanting everything and a “take-over”,I think all could have gotten along…..for the most part,the settlers didn’t meet a lot of opposition when they first arrived…they met the opposition when they began acting as if they were in charge of “their” new land…..acting as if they were in charge of everything….killing the Bison for sport…..pushing the tribes out of sacred land.telling the tribes where they could live…when I look at documentaries and read of things back then, before the take-overs began,seems it was a much better place to be and live than it seemed to be after the settlers wanted everything,and began pursuing the all-mighty dollar….and surely a lot better than it is now a few hundred years later…

  6. Trouble December 17, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

    Maybe we should all just pull over at our lovely viewing areas? Pretty soon we’re going to get cited for leaving footprints.

    • Sherry January 3, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

      Utterly absurd response. Is that what passes for a debate with you?

  7. Erich December 21, 2015 at 6:42 am #

    Call me a skeptic, but the whole idea behind the adventure trails project seems overly promoted. Why would someone from Los Angeles drive the extra distances when there are plenty of places closer and already “developed” for the purpose. And for that, Inyo county has been asked to assume the liability that DWP has not. Irresponsible.

  8. Larry December 21, 2015 at 2:16 pm #

    This is the result of weak county leadership from the CAO to the supervisors! They cannot develop a viable economic plan so they go for the bizarre concept of “adventure trails” to appear they have a plan even though “adventure trails” has zero data to show the benefit outweighs the cost. Please remove all those illegal ugly signpost!

  9. Trouble December 21, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    I do apologize saying that. I’m actually very liberal minded, but have a lot to disagree with, with both parties.

    • philip anaya December 25, 2015 at 8:44 am #

      Keep on “rockin in the free world” T.
      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your’s


Leave a Reply

KSRW · 1280 N. Main St. Suite J · Bishop, CA 93514 · 760-873-5329
Positive Projections Web Design