USFS - San Bernardino National Forest
Restoration Grant for $322,200 Well time is getting short, and I have to say there is not a single grant that I am reviewing that I could not go into depth and pull out way to much over head. This grant, has an organization that matches no one else, yet they are asking for almost $200,000 in over head. What for. WE need folks on the ground to do the work not over head. All you need is one person directing workers, and that is it. The rest should be born by the existing administrative staff of the association. We are not in the business to keep association, or forest or BLM staffed. There is not a grant that you could not dissect and decide exactly what is on the ground when it all gets set and done. This forest only has 42 miles of single track miles. That is it.
Education and Safety, $127,700 Wow. Again we have over 50% in administrative stuff, including duplication of purchasing awnings, as requested in Restoration Grants. Again, this comment goes for all grants, it seems we are on a shopping Spree and we are trying to get close out sales, so we ask for all this money. No wonder we are over subscribed in all categories. Everyone is asking for money without regard to why we have the OHV program. Again, Sorry but program directors, then program manager, then program coordinators and then again another program coordinator Wow, what is this?
Every single grant needs to be pared down to on ground work, and let those applying for the grant pay for their over head. That is not what OHV program is in business for. It is to get stuff done on the ground. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all " - 4/5/10]
We appreciate the Forest Staff coming to quarterly meetings and in a 2 hour time frame it is really impossible to really get into each of these grants. $776,000 being requested for a forest that has 42 miles of single track trails and according to Evaluation Criteria it has 903 miles of trails available for OHV recreation. It also shows 238,452 OHV visitation so you have to wonder exactly where are all these OHV visitors going. ? How many of the 903 miles are open to Green Sticker Vehicles?
O & M. Last year the forest received $270.723 for O & M and this year they are asking for $376,000 Why the jump ? When I add the staffing I come up with over 50% going to management. That is not right. This again goes for every single grantee in this grant cycle. We have lost our way on getting stuff on the ground. It does not take 50% manament to get things done on the ground, not with a forest that claims to have to many volunteers, that they could probably take over other agencies with their work capabilities.
Planning. We now have 3 separate planning grants, all add staff over staff over staff. I only wish we had a record of the money this forest has received to do the same work on same area in past years. Baldy Mesa being one of them. Baldy Mesa has been on the agenda since 10/8/1998 and we are now asking for planning. Institutional Memory is out the door, we seem to operate on a memory of year to year. Almost like everything is disposable when used, so ask for money to replace what we just used. This is not right.
Route Designation. $248.--- OHV paid 12 million in California to do the route designation, Federal Government came out after California did to make sure the entire nation does this, but did not provide money? Why. Do other states have an OHV program? so why does the federal government no provide the resources to accomplish it's mandate, or is it another "unfunded Mandate" This is another example of top heavy. And add to that , San Bernardino Forest Association is also asking for restoration, With the few miles of trails we have available, exactly who's trail is it we restore? Something does not match here.
Law Enforcement $125,000 Interesting we still have 42 miles of single track, but now we have 169 miles of forest roads available for green sticker use, (these are forest roads) We normally do not spend money on those. Now we have 734 miles of level 2 roads open to SUV/4 WD, no Green Sticker, and of those 734 miles 104 miles are 4 x 4 routes. Law enforcement will focus on 211 miles of green sticker roads, so here we now have a handle on exactly how many miles of Green sticker roads are available to us. This was not explained in the other grants. I have always supported Law Enforcement where there is OHV activity and feel they are totally under funded. [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all " - 4/5/10]
The California Wilderness Coalition (CWC) strongly supports the San Bernardino National Forest’s 2009-2010 restoration and ground operations grant application proposals for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. We believe that these proposals reflect the San Bernardino National Forest’s ongoing commitment to maintain an OHV program that balances recreational opportunities with ecological safeguards.
We are particularly pleased by the grant request for funding to restore unauthorized routes in the Mountaintop District and other areas. OHV use on these routes is resulting in damage to sensitive natural and cultural resources, including riparian areas and meadows, threatened and endangered species, and the Bighorn Mountain and San Gorgonio Wilderness Areas. Furthermore, if left unaddressed these routes may lead to the further proliferation of unauthorized routes. The proposed restoration activities, including installing barriers, disguising unauthorized routes, decompacting soils, planting native vegetation, and installing signs will deter further OHV incursions and improve habitat viability in the affected areas. In addition, on-going monitoring is needed to evaluate the success of these restoration activities and to identify areas where additional measures need to be taken to protect resources.
We also support the proposed activities contained in the ground operations grant request, including trail maintenance, soil conservation, sign and barrier installation, and monitoring. These activities are essential to providing a high-quality, well-managed and sustainable OHV program in San Bernardino National Forest.
If you need volunteers to help implement these or other projects, please do not hesitate to contact us. [Sean Baumgarten - 4/2/10]
Everyone asking for Grant money does it with honorable intentions to manage our public lands , provide sustainable recreation and protect resources. I agree with all of that and am not one to say "do not fund" but there are exceptions from my point of view.
In reviewing these grants for 2009/2010 It it is alarming how the % of actual work on the ground changes from one agency to another. From experience I would like to see no more than 5% of the grant request for staff under Ground Operation go to management. The key to sustainable recreation on our public lands are for our grant money to be spent on the ground.
Every single grantee should be preaching "Stay on Designated Trail" regardless what your job is, it is the responsibility of every person involved with OHV that this message has to pushed.
Every single grantee should encourage those that are law abiding citizens to put pressure on the "Willfully Ignorant" to change their way so that we can have a "Sustainable OHV recreation" for future generations.
Lastly I want to thank every single person involved in working on OHV recreation for your time and dedication . [Ed Waldheim "OHV activist for access to public lands for all" - 3/28/10]
We are opposed to providing OHV money to the USFS to close the trails!
We have paid to have the trails put in to their inventory. Now they ask for OHV money to have them closed! As we have seen in the "Route Designation" process the USFS is not a good investment for OHV funds.
Give the grants to groups that actually enhance OHV opportunity, like the BLM. [Brendan Hathaway - 3/17/10]
Please do not give any state money to a federal agency to close our public land to us. I whole heartedly reject what the federal government is doing to our lands. They are tying to kill local economies and discourage people from living free. It appears as if they all want us to sit and a desk and enjoy the forest on a screensaver. [Casey Crandall - 3/11/10]