San Bernardino County Sheriff''s Department
Preliminary Application Comments
I am writing in support of the above mentioned grant request for the San Bernardino county Sheriff Victor Valley station. On numerous occasions I have found myself extremely disturbed by errant OHV riders. One neighbor motorcycle rider terrorized our 55+ community along the Mojave River last year, doing donuts around the guard house. Other riders woke up several neighbors every night around 2 am by racing up and down the Mojave River. On several occasions I have been walking along the multi use (non motorized) trail when OHVs speed by causing a large cloud of dust. OHVs are entering Mojave Narrows Regional Park on a regular basis and trespass on river front properties including the Lewis Center. A common response to OHVs in the Mojave River is that the Victor Valley Sheriff and Code Enforcement have no vehicle that can effectively traverse the sandy bed. Adequate OHV equipment is a must.
I hike in the Juniper Flats area (accessing trail heads by 4x4) and I am the coordinator for the Friends of Juniper Flats. We have been monitoring that area for 6 years (via 4x4 and motorcycle as well as hiking). The destruction over these past years is accelerating and on several occasions we have called the Sheriff dispatch office and they are prompt to respond. However, they usually arrive in a patrol car which is not adequate for the rough 4x4 roads and motorcycle only trails in that region. In addition to OHV touring, hiking, equestrian activity there are people who hunt and target shoot in the region. Friends of Juniper Flats have members who mountain bike, hang glide, rock climb, and trail run in the area.
This level and diversity of activity is causing some friction as well as resource damage. Errant OHV riders seem to target the BLM's efforts at restoration sites, destroying the vertical mulching or making a new trail around the restored area. Increased law enforcement seems to be the most effective solution to continue to provide visitor safety and limit damage to resources (both private and public lands). Since the area is accessed via private lands and some residences are surrounded by BLM land, it is necessary for the BLM and the Sheriff office to join forces. Problem areas that access the Juniper Flats Region are via Bowen Ranch Road, Milpas Highlands, Grapevine Canyon Rd, Bonita Vista, Round up Way, Arrowhead Lake Road (by Welch lane there is an ongoing cut in the fence) and Deep Creek Road.
Unfortunately I have found that many calls probably do not get recognized because of the difficulty of giving a nearest cross street in rural areas. This is particularly difficult in regard to the Mojave River. Neighbors I talk to state that nothing can be done about the Off Road Vehicles in the Mojave River, which is a wildlife refuge. This indicates to me that there is a need for more public awareness of the OHMVR grants and how the Sheriff is handling the problem. The OHMVR division has a responsibility not only to provide legal riding areas and OHV access, but also to manage OHV recreation. Failure to do so increases the chances of accidents and violent conflicts. Law enforcement is a vital link in the process of managing OHV recreation. For this reason I fully support the grant request from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department, Victor Valley- both law enforcement and Education and Safety.
In order to work out some solutions regarding problem areas and to help the public make meaningful calls, would it be possible to have at least one public meeting a year? Would it also be possible to produce a map of the known problem areas and share this with the public?
Since most calls are for an OHV rider that is here one minute and gone the next and then maybe returns later (and there can be several of these encounters in one location on any given day), the response is of low priority. Perhaps it would be more meaningful if a separate call number is assigned to the OHV problem and an email address. The call # could have a message to leave pertinent information and the officer could call back. This number could be shared with County OHV code enforcement.
I appreciate all your efforts to help provide safe and sane OHV recreation by enforcing the law and helping with education and outreach. [Jenny Wilder - 4/6/09]
The Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council wants to express full support for the San Bernardino Sheriff's grant requests. The Sheriff's have been the front line of defense for private property owners and citizens for protection against unlawful and irresponsible ORV activities in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County. With limited resources they have done a very effective job for the Wrightwood area. We appreciate the education and enforcement efforts. We believe that the SB County law enforcement agencies have been the most effective in efforts to protect private property owners and citizens from damage and disturbance from ORV activities.
We support full funding of both law enforcement and education grant requests. [Wrightwood Municipal Advisory Council, Kim Floyd, Chair - 4/6/09]
I have read the State Parks OHV grant applications for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department for Victor Valley, Barstow, Twin Peaks, Education & Safety, Victor Valley. I find all these grants to be worthwhile to help promote and protect responsible OHV recreation. My only reservation is the low match amounts offered by the sheriff's dept. [Ed Stovin, CORVA - 4/5/09]
Link to comments from Dean Greenwalt - 4/3/09
I am writing this letter to support grant funding for the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Dept OHV teams. They have been doing an outstanding job promoting responsible OHV use in this area by using an approach that involves both education and enforcement. San Bernardino County is home to several designated OHV areas including El Mirage, Stoddard Valley, Rasor, Dumont Dunes and Johnson Valley. Despite this fact, some OHV users continue to trespass on private lands and engage in unauthorized use that is damaging. San Bernardino County Ord 3973 adresses this issue by requiring OHV riders to obtain written permission to ride on properties they do not own. The San Bernardino County Sheriff's dept approach to the issue is to use both education and enforcement to encourage responsible OHV use in designated areas. They also provide first responder EMS services to those who are injured. Please support their hard work by fully funding their grant request. [David Van Voorhis - 4/3/09]
The Victorville and Barstow San Bernardino County Sheriff offices are very much needed and appreciated for their continued support of El Mirage and Johnson Valley and Stoddard Valley OHV areas. It is my hope that a more coordinated efforts be placed between Sheriff offices and BLM Rangers so that we can become more efficient in covering 3.9 million acres. Air ships, radio communications between the agencies should be a number one coordinated effort. Friends of El Mirage has monthly meetings on 2nd Wed of each month 9 a.m. and we would like to see representatives both from BLM and Sheriff LEO's come to meet with the public. [Ed Waldheim - 3/29/09]