Archive for the “Updates” Category

Governments working with anti OHV activists

Posted by on June 30, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has no responses.

Don Amador, aka the General, is the voice of reason and an important ally in our fight to preserve OHV recreational opportunities. Check out his blog to get an idea of some of the threats we are facing. See the following which is included in Don’s blog about land closures due to illegal immigrant and drug smuggling:
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/06/18/federal-lands-arizona-travel-warnings-place/
“Dennis Godfrey, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona office, said roughly a dozen signs were posted earlier this month along the Sonoran Desert National Monument advising that travel in the area is not recommended due to “active drug and human” smuggling. “It is a corridor for smugglers of all types,” Godfrey told FoxNews.com…

Similar signs have been posted at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest, which covers nearly 1.8 million acres in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico…
‘This is one of those things that the Department of Interior does not want to publicize,” said Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, ranking Republican on the House ‘Parks and Public Lands Subcommittee.. ‘

Don also has a link to a speech given by Forest Service Chief detailing the four threats to our forests and grasslands, fire and fuels, invasive species, loss of open space, and unmanaged outdoor recreation.
http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2004/speeches/01/idaho-four-threats.shtml

“But Americans are faced with growing threats to their quality of life. I think Jack Troyer recently spoke to you about the four major threats—fire and fuels, invasive species, loss of open space, and unmanaged outdoor recreation.
Each year, the national forests and grasslands get hundreds of miles of unauthorized roads and trails due to repeated cross-country use. We’re seeing more erosion, water degradation, and habitat destruction. We’re seeing more conflicts between users. We have got to improve our management so we get responsible recreational use based on sound outdoor ethics.”

As Don points out, we are under constant attack from our government. From trying to protect us from ourselves with threatened closure of Forest Hill and Downieville, to the outright closure of Clear Creek, to the closure of recreation on public land due to illegal immigration and drug smuggling, to the Forest Service’s assessment that off highway vehicle recreation is one of four major threats to our forests and grasslands; we are under constant assault.

The anti OHV community is strong and powerful beyond its numbers. It is enlightening that the next to last sentence, “We have seen more conflicts between users”, is how Dale Bosworth sums up the threat posed by OHV use as one of the four great threats to out public land. These conflicts are more than likely conflicts between those folks who oppose all OHV use and our OHV community. This is the essence of our battle with the federal bureaucracy which is more in tune with city based anti access groups than with the American public, especially the locals who actually use these forests and grasslands. It is time to stay informed and band together with like minded individuals to fight these nefarious groups and their tools in Washington.

Don’s investigation into ties between our government and anti assess organizations is enlightening, especially contacts concerning supposed health risks to the public. Go to the sites that he offers and you will be just as concerned as he is. As Don says;

“What trail enthusiasts (motorized and non-motorized) should be concerned about is that there IS a well thought out strategic effort by the green/governmental complex (EPA, Cal EPA, DTSC, CBD, TWS, etc.) to close OHV trails on FS and BLM lands due to undocumented “health risks” to the public.

Has this closure effort reached the level where the HQ can claim there is a conspiracy to close OHV off public lands? That time may come very soon, but in the meantime The General believes there is a well coordinated effort by greens group and their supporters (or hostages) in the federal government to restrict or ban historic OHV and other uses on public lands.”

Visit Don’s site for more information and ways to make a difference.

Thank you.

Disclose Means Stifle: Sierra Club not Special Interest; What other interests are exempt?

Posted by on June 29, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has no responses.

Debra Saunders writing in the San Francisco Chronicle today reports that the U.S. House of Representatives last week passed HR5175 which is said to fill in the gaps created by the recent Supreme Court’s Citizens United Ruling that lifted political advertising by labor and corporations. They say House just wants special interests to disclose their funding of independent political campaigns. The new law bans campaign expenditures that do more than $10 million dollars with the Federal Government.

There is only one problem with this law. Washington is using this law to decide which groups get to speak out on the issues. The new law has numerous exceptions written into it. Unions, the NRA and large special interests like the Sierra Club are exempted from the law’s disclosure provisions. “It is an anti-special interest law that exempts powerful special interests.” Besides the Sierra Club, what other special interests are exempted? Just wondering… As we have seen before Washington pays more attention to special interests that provide them with lavish campaign contributions than to the voices of local residents who are affected by their laws.

If the Sierra Club and other so called environmental lobbies are so popular, why do they feel that they should not be subject to the same disclosure laws as everyone else? Just wondering…

See comments to article about closing down trails because of contamination caused by gold mining.

Action Alert: Group’s Study – A Catalyst to Close Down trails – Forest Hills Threatened

Posted by on June 23, 2010 under Press, Updates. This post currently has one response.

According to a San Francisco Chronicle front page article dated June 23, 2010 entitled “Toxic Trails a legacy of Gold Rush” hiking and biking in the Sierra Nevada can be detrimental to our health.

It describes a study done by a so-called environmental group which the group hopes will be an impetus for the Bureau of Land Management to close down recreation due to toxic contamination caused by gold mining in the distant past. One of the areas highlighted in their study as particularly dangerous was Forest Hills, an off road motorcycle riding area.

Several Sierra trails are toxic, group says

“The thousands of mine shafts that pockmark the Sierra Nevada and testify to California’s Gold Rush riches have also left a legacy of toxic contamination in some of the state’s popular recreation areas, according to a new study.”

“Soil tests on a handful of trails near mine mouths in the foothills have revealed extremely high levels of lead, arsenic and asbestos, said researchers at the Sierra Fund, a small environmental advocacy group.

The naturally occurring minerals were pounded to dust generations ago and carted to the surface, where they are now stirred up and inhaled by hikers, off-roaders, bikers and horseback riders.

While their analysis was limited to 80 samples from 11 trails and recreation spots in the Foresthill, Downieville and Nevada City areas, the group says California’s 47,000 abandoned mines pose significant threats to public safety, particularly in the dry summer months when families flock to the foothills.”

…”The fund is also pushing for warning signs and, in some cases, restricting access to public trails with high levels of hazardous minerals.”

“A federal audit in 2008 charged the Bureau of Land Management, which controls a number of abandoned mining sites in California, Nevada, Arizona and other states, with endangering public health by failing to clean up arsenic, lead and mercury near the shafts or to erect barriers around them…That same year, the agency closed about half of the Clear Creek Management Area, a 31,000-acre off-road vehicle paradise in the hills outside of Hollister, after a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report said waste from the defunct asbestos mining in the area posed a serious risk to those who work, camp, hunt and ride on the property.”

”In the Sierra Fund’s study, researchers reported levels of arsenic, asbestos and lead well above levels deemed safe for human exposure. At the Foresthill Off-Highway Vehicle area near the Marall Chrome Mine pit, science director Carrie Monohan said lead levels were nearly 18 times the state and federal standards, and 40 percent of the soil samples showed asbestos contamination.”

“Because of the diffuse nature of the hazardous minerals in surface soils, they are almost impossible to clean up, according to David Christy, spokesman with the Bureau of Land Management’s Central California division.

’The technology is a challenge,” he said. “The approach to cleaning up mines is steam cleaning them and cementing over them, and that costs a lot of money.’

Under President Obama’s federal stimulus plan, California received about $20 million of the $73 million set aside for cleaning and maintaining abandoned mines nationwide. Some estimates peg the number of abandoned mines in the United States at 500,000 and the amount needed to detoxify them in the billions.”

Read more here.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Sierra Fund is a small environmental advocacy group. That is doublespeak for well a connected organization dedicated to closing out-door recreation. We all know what the Bureau of Land Management did to Clear Creek based on junk science. The Sierra Fund is attempting to prod the Bureau of Land Management to close down other recreational trails in the Sierra Nevada.

Although, predictably, they are attacking off road motorcycle riding areas, they are also attacking hiking, camping, hunting and mountain biking, i.e. families flocking to the foothills (their words, not mine). We are not alone in our fight to maintain access. Downieville and Nevada City are mountain biking Mecca’s. Although I am primarily an off road motorcyclist, I also enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and camping. This is huge. We need to get mountain biking groups involed.

Our nanny state is trying to keep us out of public land for our own good. Don’t believe this. They are not out to protect us, but looking for an excuse to shut us out of our own land. The truth is that our government does not attempt to protect us from drugs made in third world countries and the safety of deep water drilling is left to foreign oil companies like BP. -EXCUSE ME- This is another land grab, pure and simple. See Article in the New York Times entitled “Concern Over Number of Foreign Clinical Trials for Drugs Sold in the U.S.” dated June 22, 2010 and my post in this site entitled “A Fishy Story”.

The Sierra Fund study pinpointed Forest Hills for study which showed lead and asbestos contamination. We have heard this all before. There has been no showing that this so called contamination has ever led to any health problems for families using these areas. Forest Hills is an area dedicated to off road motorcycle use and it is near the Bay Area. We cannot let this happen. They have already shut us out of Clear Creek, and even as access groups are fighting that action, they are seeking to close down other off road riding areas.

Forest Hills is not far from Mammoth Bar in Auburn on the American River. A little history: Our Green Sticker money built and maintained the access road down to Mammoth Bar, an off road motorcycle riding area, which the kayakers used to launch their kayaks. The Kayakers then succeeded in closing down Mammoth Bar to off road vehicle use four days a week, including one day on the weekend. As a member of PITS (Pacific International Trials Society) I am pissed because it means that we can no longer put on trials events there because we need to set the event up the day before. Also the rule that we must always stay on the trails has meant that we can no longer use public land to put on trials events period. Access to the excellent trail system and the sand motocross track at Mammoth Bar has been restricted and these rules have impacted off road use in an area which we have enjoyed for decades.

We cannot let down our guard. Outdoor recreation is under attack. Please discuss this with friends and neighbors. Join access groups like Blue Ribbon which fight for out door recreation on all fronts. Northern California recreation (off road vehicle use and other forms of recreation) has never before been under such relentless attack. These so called environmental groups must be stopped. This is our children’s and grandchildren’s legacy. Please don’t let it be taken away from them.

Meeting in Tracy

Posted by on June 11, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has no responses.

Greetings;

Here is the GOOD NEWS – we are gaining political traction for the motorcycle and 4WD groups at Carnegie.

The meeting at the Tracy Fairfield was a chance to decide on the new name for the non-profit organization – Carnegie Forever (Inc.). Some had to vote via email/phone due to races, graduations, injuries, work, etc.

The AMA D.36 Prez Dave Pickett and Blue Ribbon Coalition area Rep Don Amador heard our positions on the lawsuit, the creek bed designation, Alameda/Tesla Expansion project and rider/staff questions.

The OHV Commissioners could not attend at the last minute but want an update of the meeting.

The goal of the meeting was to alert the OHV leadership groups that Carnegie has a new substantial and professional voice. We will make a presentation to an OHV Commission Meeting in the near future and we will ask that the meeting be held here in Tracy so many more of us can attend.

This was a milestone on our path to our goal of an improved and EXPANDED Carnegie.

Many thanks to all the attendees and especially Dave and Don.

Carnegie Freedom Day – Six Month Anniversary Coming Up

Posted by on June 11, 2010 under Events, Updates. This post currently has one response.

The six month anniversary of Carnegie Freedom Day is fast approaching. This anniversary is something that we can’t afford to forget because it is a reminder of what we can do with a little organization and planning. We are a formidable force because we share a common trait. We love our sport and we love Carnegie. Non-riders can’t understand the passion that motivates us and few can really describe the exhilaration that comes from riding a light weight, powerful machine over challenging terrain.

It all began last December when my husband and I were out riding at Carnegie. The rangers called a meeting and informed us that a lawsuit had been filed in Alameda Superior Court. The judge had issued an order closing the park until the state submits and gets approval for a waste discharge report from the regional water board. A waste discharge report is normally required from industrial polluters discharging toxic waste into the water supply. The judge agreed with the petitioners that heavy metal contamination caused by off road use was killing fish and it had to stop.

There is only one problem. There are no fish. The creek-bed is bone dry except during periods of heavy rain. In drought prone California, there is typically water trickling though the creek-bed only a few weeks a year (if that). But, to reiterate, there are no fish, never have been. Even during the wettest of rainy seasons the stream doesn’t go anywhere. It is absorbed into the flood plain and then lost to evaporation.

Also, the judge ignored the countless other potential sources of the supposed heavy metal contamination in the so-called creek (which wasn’t flowing that rainy afternoon). Those sources include Lawrence Livermore Labs, a Federal Superfund Site, and which operates a firing range where lead bullets are pumped into the hillside above the creek and where explosives are detonated nearby; abandoned coal mines; a former brick making factory with abandoned slag heaps from coal fired kilns; and illegal tunneling by Hetch-Hetchy.

We were incensed and organized a protest for December 28, 2009 which we called Carnegie Freedom Day. We also set up a website carnegieforever.org where anyone could sign a petition to keep Carnegie open. When I say “we” I am talking about Dave Duffin (our fearless leader), Gunnar Östergren, Hamid Majidy, Pete Krunich, Mark Speed, Mark Martinez and others.

With Dave Duffin (creator and director of Oasis for Kids Inc.) as moderator, thousands of off-road riders attended Carnegie Freedom Day in the rain on a weekday. Representatives from CORVA, Dirt Diggers, AMA, BRC, Oakland MC, and Club Moto were there, along with others. A diverse crowd of outdoor enthusiasts came to support our cause.

The rally featured a large contingent of children seated on and around the stage. Speakers included such notables as Suzuki’s Rodney Smith, who observed that Carnegie was the most challenging place he had ever ridden; Scott Dunleavy, owner of Berkeley Honda/Yamaha, who donated $200 dollars to the cause; and Pete Krunich, who gave the microphone over to the youngsters and let them say what they liked about riding at Carnegie. They all said that they enjoyed spending time with their families.

Also included on stage were Skip and George Horne (Carnegie Hill-climb promoters), who forcefully reminded us to keep up the fight and to vote the “so and so’s” out of office. Two local young up-and-comers, Pete Krunich, Jr. (Widow-Maker Hill-climb Champion) and Kacy Martinez (KTM sponsored WORCS Woman’s Cross County Champion and AMA Woman of the Year), who spoke to the crowd of growing up together riding at Carnegie with family and friends, and who expressed sorrow and loss at the possibility of loosing their favorite off road riding area.

There were many other speakers including Dave Picket from District 36: “We need your help. All you parents out there…You can do it…Use your vote”.  “Mr. Hangtown”, Ed Santin, took the microphone and reminded us that “Carnegie is managed, all the trails are managed, and it is our place to ride”. It is maintained with our green-sticker money.

It is said that the hero of the day was a nine year old young man who grabbed the microphone and said what everybody was thinking and nobody dared say; “Screw the judge…It’s the place to be… I want the judge no longer”. A few weeks later he received a gift certificate donated by Carnegie riders.

Then Don Amador, representative of Blue Ribbon Coalition, fake fishing pole in hand, jumped on stage and announced that they had made a mistake. “They had awoken the sleeping giant”. No truer words were ever spoken. To date the petition has been signed by over fifteen thousand riders.

OHV Division Deputy Director Daphne Green and Division Chief Phil Jenkins addressed the crowd to reassure them that Carnegie wasn’t going to close and if it did, it would not be closed for long. They discussed things that they were doing to protect Carnegie, such as filing a water discharge report.

After the speakers had finished, everybody got together for the Carnegie Freedom Day Ride. Hundreds of motorcycles and mini-bikes stormed quietly out of the parking lot and rode the access road from one end of the park to the other and back again. Mud flying up with the spray splattered riding gear and boots, but everyone seemed to enjoy the experience of solidarity as the day’s event came to a close.

Predictably TV crews weren’t able to find the creek. This lawsuit is retarded. There is a huge difference between mainstream environmentalists like those of us who ride at Carnegie who truly care about the environment, and the pseudo environmentalists who hate our sport and will do anything to shut us down. In the past, in theory at least, I supported groups like Blue Ribbon Coalition, but like so many others I put off joining. Instead I continued riding not giving much thought to overcrowding caused by recent land closures.

This was a wake up call and after attending Carnegie Freedom Day my husband and I joined Blue Ribbon and got involved. We discovered a lot of things by reading Blue Ribbon’s on-line magazine and visiting their web-site. One of those things is that we must stick together. We are under attack. Check out the National Monuments Act and the resurrected Road-less Initiative.

Although Carnegie is still open (we won the appeal), this has not ended the lawsuit. The battle will not go away anytime soon. We also need to form and join local groups like the non-profit that Dave Duffin and his friends at Carnegie Forever are putting together to represent our interests at Carnegie, and most importantly, we need to stay informed, vote, get involved and fight for our rights. “These are our rights”. ”We aren’t hurting anyone”. “We can’t let them take away our place to ride”. As Jason says, “Together we ride: Divided we walk”.

We Have Something to Celebrate!

Posted by on March 16, 2010 under Legal, Updates. This post currently has 18 responses.

For all the details, download this document.

Here’s the conclusion:

“The Palma procedure is appropriate “when petitioner’s entitlement to relief is so obvious that no purpose could reasonably be served by plenary consideration of the issue.” (Ng v. Superior Court (1992) 4 Cal.4th 29, 35; see also Lewis v. Superior Court (1999) 19 Cal.4th 1232, 1236-1237, 1240-1241.) Here, given the existence of the Porter-Cologne Act’s detailed administrative scheme, no purpose would be served by further briefing or oral argument.

Therefore, let a writ of mandate issue directing the Alameda County Superior Court to vacate its order overruling demurrer and granting petition for alternative writ of mandate, filed December 8, 2009, and to enter a new and different order dismissing the petition for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. In light of our determination that the administrative exhaustion requirement was not met, we will not reach the other issues raised by this petition. Upon entry of the superior court’s dismissal order, our December 28, 2009, stay shall be automatically dissolved. Petitioners are entitled to their allowable costs. ”

Put in plain text, the park remains OPEN. We should definitely celebrate this. And then get back to the long term issues. Thanks everybody for your support. It means a lot to us here at CarnegieForever / CORE.

Update: Additional info directly from the court website.

CORE / CarnegieForever Update

Posted by on March 5, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 3 responses.

  • Our organization (CORE) is meeting with a blue chip San Francisco law firm to assist us in setting up a non-profit corporation. This will be necessary in the near future to offer tax-exempt donations to our financial supporters and give us status in legal venues.
  • Our Internet staff will continue to prepare an effective strategy to communicate with the 15,000 people who signed our “Save Carnegie” petition.
  • At our meeting on Wednesday March 3, 2010 (graciously sponsored by Tri Valley Moto the KTM dealership in Livermore across from the airport), the first Carnegie Hero Award was awarded. The winner is 10 year old Max H. This young man who came up on the stage at the “Save Carnegie Rally” took the mike and spoke his heart. Max was given a round of applause from the CORE members assembled and received a $100 gift certificate issued at Scott Dunleavy’s  Berkeley Honda-Yamaha.
  • There have been no updates on the lawsuit (now at the Appellate Court in SF) from the OHV Division office in Sacramento as many brace themselves in anticipation of the outcome.
  • The Carnegie California Hillclimb series start on March 20. George Horne indicates the park is the process of approving his layout for the event. The Pro Hillclimb is set for April 10/11. Visit skipspromotions.com for details.
  • Don Amador of the Blue Ribbon Coalition wants us to help put this information out to all CORE fans: http://www.sharetrails.org/letters/letter.php?id=50

Carnegie Still Open II

Posted by on February 19, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 7 responses.

Greetings to all the faithful riders, businesses and supporters of our effort to keep the park open and alive.

The news of the potential closing, and current uncertainty, has had some negative effects on a lot of us and especially MotoMart, the concession store at Carnegie. Tony and Vicky Shipman and their extended family of workers have been our lifeline for riding with all and any service, repairs and supplies. Tony spends many hours on the concrete pad outside the store in all kinds of weather working on every bike that reports to his emergency room.

Pass the word out to all your friends and contacts to come out to the park and stock up on supplies while the dirt bike season continues. I’m going to do my part and buy 8 sets of new knobbies!

Dave Duffin, CORE

Carnegie Still Open

Posted by on February 13, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 3 responses.

We went to Carnegie today (February 12th) and it was tacky. The
motocross track was awesome.  We talked to Tony at MotoMart and he told
us that attendance has been down, and said that a lot of people think
Carnegie is closed. Let everyone know that Carnegie is still open, and
if you have Facebook or Twitter accounts please spread the word.

Diana & Chuck

Nothing from the Court yet … But still some good news

Posted by on January 29, 2010 under Updates. This post currently has 6 responses.

We are still in the dark as far as Carnegie news goes so let’s celebrate a few positive things while we’re waiting:

  • The Supercross event tomorrow should be great for us, we have a booth and are starting to get more and more calls/emails from people, organizations and businesses who want to help.
  • We just reached over 1,000 unique visitors to this site and people are coming back.
  • 13,707 people have signed the online petition and we have over 1,000 on paper.
  • The facebook group “Save Carnegie Forever!!!” has over 3,500 members.
  • Diana and Chuck, long time Carnegie and OHV enthusiasts,  have agreed to write for us. If you haven’t read their comments yet, do it now.
Page 3 of 3123