Ridgecrest Public Lands Roundtable

January 28, 2016

 

Beginning at 6:00 p.m. the BLM hosted a public meeting on OHV Grants at the Ridgecrest Field Office. Comment sheets were distributed; requesting input for any projects or ideas regarding OHV Grants. A power point presentation by BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner Dana Stephenson was very informative. Listed below are the type of grants and the amount of money available for the 2015/2016 OHV State Parks Grant Cycle:

         Ground Operations and Maintenance: 50% ($13M)

o    Planning

o    Development

o    Acquisition

         Restoration 25% ($6.5M)

         Law Enforcement 20% ($5.2M)

         Education and Safety 5% ($1.3M)

 

Many pictures were shown to demonstrate accomplishments from past years that were funded with grant money. Non-profits, Government Agencies, cities and counties are among the list of organizations that can qualify for grants.

Important Dates to Remember:

         March 7th Preliminary Applications are Due

         March 8th-April 4th Public Comment Period

         May 2nd Final Applications are Due

         June 6th Intent to Award will be Posted on Division Website: http://ohv.parks.ca.gov

 

Ed Waldheim asked each member of audience what they would like to see the BLM do as far as OHV Grants? As he went around the table, majority of the audience expressed concerns with the lack of Law Enforcement. Bob Wood asked for development in popular areas where people gather such as, adding rocks surrounding an area or possibly gravel to make less dust and to promote better behavior. Roger suggested some types of signs that inform public of emergency phone numbers. Bill Maddox requested funding for an archeologist for the adopted public lands cabins to determine what can or cannot be done. Carl was unsure if it could be considered part of an OHV Grant but he will ask. Lee Sutton asks for restoration and law enforcement. Jim Kenney expressed his concern with the area between Ridgecrest and the Open Area. Sam Merk would like see money spent to hire more rangers. The issues of illegal dumping and illegal shooting close to residences have not addressed when reported due to the lack of rangers. Larry Boyer also requested more rangers and expressed his concerns with the restoration being done on the routes to guzzlers. Will Liebscher wants a map at right scale, a traffic pattern between Ridgecrest, Randsburg, Johannesburg, & Red Mountain. From all points he wants routes of ingress and egress to keep order when large amounts of visitors come to these areas. This meeting adjourned at 7:20 p.m.

 

At 7:25 p.m. the Ridgecrest Public Lands Roundtable began with Ed Waldheim; Vice-Chairman leading the meeting due to the absence of Chairman Randy Banis. The Agenda and Minutes were approved.

BLM reports were then delivered by Carl Symons. The RTP Grant for Southpark Bridge was approved. BLM is working with China Lake to determine the route system in the areas surrounding Black Water Wells. In February preliminary meetings will began regarding a renewable energy project called Aurora. BLM is starting an outreach with schools to set up mini programs such as: wild horse and burro, range and recreation. Hopefully will take students out on the field to show what BLM does. A meeting for HPMP (Historic Properties Management Plan) for WEMO was held. BLM is working on the WEMO Route designation, still same deadline in November 2016 for ROD (record of decision).

 

Ed Waldheim added Section 106 under new business for February Meeting. Next meeting will be held on February 25, 2016. Meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.