2013‎ > ‎

1. March, 2013 - two for one

Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2013

Members in Attendance:

Abe, Johnston, Russ, John, Isabel, James, Kim, Junior, Johnny “Rotten,” 

Members NOT in Attendance:

Joe

Guests:

John Jr.

 

 

I.      General Announcements

·         Mammoth M/C Welcomes it newest Member, Mr. Rotten.  A long time dirtbike enthusiast and local 2-stroke expert, Member Rotten enjoys WFO on his KX500, Nachos, and Fish Lake Valley singletrack.  He’s looking forward to a summer of interesting rides in the Mammoth Lakes and surrounding areas.  You can Contact Member Rotten at: outdooractionman@csnbc.com.  For an immediate response, please put “4strokes suck” in the subject line.

·         President Abe was happy to announce that the NEW club tee-shirts (logo pictured above) will be in production soon, and sticker design is also on its way.  The tee-shirts will be for sale at $5 above cost.   All proceeds to be kicked back into the treasury.  Artwork design is hand drawn, courtesy of the original “Jo-Jo.” Not the Joe Joe (Co-Co) seen speeding around town in my old truck.  Buy the shirt and support your local dirtbike rider.  FYI:  The meaning behind the artwork isn’t as subjective as you may think; a full interpretation will be explained at our next meeting.

 

·         The MMC 2-day “Death Valley Conservation ride” is scheduled for Saturday, March 23rd and 24th.  We’ve got 5 riders so far.  The ride leader will be using his trusty MVUM map for accurate trail navigation though the national park, so it’s guaranteed to be an exciting time.  Sorry, all GPS tracks and ride location info are for members only.   If the Weather stays nice, Member Russ might join us as well!  If the weather is too nice, however, Member Russ is going surfing.  Or maybe down south to visit friends.

 ·         Please note that the Mammoth Motorcycle Club has changed their membership procedure.  In the past, we’ve been open to all individuals, families, etc., who’ve expressed an interest and who’ve simply donated (via PayPal or check).  This system has worked fine, and we’re happy to have the membership base that we currently have. 

From now on however, individuals interested in joining the club must either show up to a meeting, or have a current MMC member vouch for their identity and character (or lack thereof).  Approval will be decided on by the Current club officers and members that at are present at the time.   We feel that this change will be better for our club down the line.  The website has reflected this change.

II.          PR Officer’s Roundtable Report

·         This roundtable meeting was by far, one of the most productive on record.  Happy hour drink specials were flowing all night. Make no mistake; this special treatment from the management was well appreciated.  Many thanks to the well-connected club member who made this happen.  Live music after the meeting was great.  MMC gives the Snow creek Bistro 2 thumbs up!    

Members in attendance are anxious to start the riding season (many already have!); ride ideas were discussed at length, as well as repair/maintenance suggestions for some of our favorite trails.  We all know how busy the “Friends” of the Inyo have been…Closing roads, and collecting green sticker funds and taxes (unchecked). 


 If there’s anything we’ve learned from this style of  mis-management, is that in order to keep trails open they must be ridden – and often.  Remember, these individuals and groups responsible for closures and wanton trail destruction, have not and DO NOT ride.  The more they close the less they need to manage, so they target our riding areas, our trails, and our wallets. 


As an offroad club, we’ve decided that riding off-road motorcycles is much more important than attending pointless meetings.  We may have been fooled in 2011, but in 2013 we plan on using our rights hands for less glad-handing and more throttle.  I won’t go into too much detail about what rides and events were discussed (you must attend for all the juicy details), but ideas ranged from Mammoth’s “Best-of,” to Fish Lake Valley sand washes, to Sweetwater singletrack and  various other  dualsport trips.    

Mammoth M/C members are encouraged to run with any project or idea/event they can dream up.  We will take our queue from FOI and roll them out… all summer long


3 different ride reports were given during the meeting.


·         Fines:  Although not in attendance due to a business trip overseas, member Joe picked up a fine for abusing the email list (his second one).  Please remember that the Google group email list is for motorcycle related OHV news and or club related communication (information).  Keep it that way, and leave all the other BS out.  Thanks!      

·         Website News:  some updates, check it out at www.mammothmc.com.

         

III.         John’s Land Manager Update

·         And I'm not looking to paint Paul or Jon K. in a bad light.  Whenever a meeting reminder is sent out, different folks get interested in piping in, this round was no different.  The bottom line is that the USFS is rolling out many projects, too many in my opinion, but life moves on with or without my participation.  At first I was going to tackle one, then another is announced, and yet another.  Meetings are held to discuss these projects but the scope is very large and makes me think that the average person (meaning unpaid public) doesn't have the time or resources to become fully involved.  I call it getting buried by the process, that's what it feels like.

Regardless, thoughtful dialogue can still take place - it is important that we can understand other point of views besides our own.

(Begin email chain)


(3/13/13 - from Paul, FOI)
Howdy John - Thanks for the reminder.
Wanted to pass on that in our comments on the Forest's proposed Mono Craters restoration project, I included one of the routes east of the June Lake Junction that I know you've brought up - U-01S302 - for addition to the Forest Transportation System, among lots of other things. This is the route that goes past the small red volcanic cones; it makes sense to add it back in for a number of reasons. On the Upper Owens project, we suggested that no further work be done in the Shady Rest area until some sort of area-specific recreation planning is done, among other things. I hope you guys took advantage of these projects to get comments in on specific routes.

I also understand that you talked to Laura at the last FS public meeting. Always good to know the neighbors. She said you wanted to know why we didn't do projects for motorized recreation. Got any to suggest? Just to get ahead of the conversation, backhanded suggestions like "don't do travel management" will be accepted, illicit a grin and then summarily dismissed.  I am seriously looking for projects you and others think would be good - limbing, tread maintenance, mapping of routes not reflected in travel management, loop signage, anything. 

I have been able to get FS buy-in on having us organize a project maintaining the single-track connecting the White Mountain Road to Black Canyon to Redding Canyon in the southwestern Whites this season. I am looking at the first weekend in June for this as June 1 is National Trails Day. Always looking for partners and volunteers to ensure we do it right. This trail is one of my favorite multi-use singletracks around, and we are hoping to have folks from the full spectrum of the bike community - motors and pedals.

Tomorrow is another of Ed's meetings in Bishop. I am going to bring forward the desire to have two meetings in Mammoth and two in Bishop each year, as well as an expansion of the agenda from just OHV grant stuff to projects folks would like to see done to benefit all forms of Forest recreation - motorized and non, winter and summer. I've talked to Sauser and he said he would come if the meetings came back to Mammoth, too. After the meeting, I am heading down to work with a college spring break trip in the Kiavah Wilderness bordering Jawbone doing restoration of MX routes in the Wilderness and maintenance on the PCT. I just got back from there and was pretty blown away by the amount of infrastructure Ed's own crews have done down there - from signage to campsite delineation to fencing to road maintenance. It is really dry in the Mojave right now.

Take care and thanks for any project ideas you all come up with, Paul


(3-13-13 - response from John, MMC)
Hey Paul, glad you have the time to email.  I'm glad to hear that the red volcanic vents will be accessible again.  I missed showing them to friends/family but I guess we could have always walked out there.  But nothing beats driving up on a benign road to collect some lava for any reason at all.  The ice/roller rink has a BBQ I bought from Castoff, the rocks are from there.  I wish we could take advantage and comment but again the scope is too large.  Between multiple staging area projects, proposed restoration projects with maybe 10 separate areas, and a new forest future plan roll-out I have a hard time touching all that. (Hammer time)  I want too, but just like travel management the devil is in the details and there are too many to ferret out.  I could make one or two choice comments, but, it is hard only to take a small bite.  I'm on a diet.

I did talk to Laura and I was a little embarrassed that I didn't know who she was by sight.  But she may have gotten my question confused with another person from the audience.  My question was "Is FOI getting out of the OHV business?"  Marty didn't want to answer for her but later she told me that yes, you all were.  Someone else piped in with the statement that can't FOI enhance OHV rather than just close everything else.

But since you are asking...   An adventure trail system like Inyo County’s could work up here in Mono.  I like the idea of people being able to access our communities for gas, food, lodging - I do it already because I ride dual sports.  Travel Management did a pretty good job of weeding out the interesting trails and connectors.  I always like the idea of unsigned routes that allowed for one to get lost, I guess nowadays getting lost is something frowned upon and everyone has an iPhone (and QR codes) to do the thinking for them.  Always interested in new trails, but that doesn't seem popular with anyone.  Opening the track on a limited basis would be nice too.

Not too concerned with travel management, I think it will prove itself unsustainable.  Eventually money will dry up.

The trail you are mentioning up in the Whites is something I've never been on; probably it would be over my head with the side hill exposure.  I think it's one of Jerry Counts claim to fame?  Not sure.  Keep me posted on the project, I might be able to get some helpers but it's far out.

Sounds like a good time ahead down in Jawbone.  It's cool that you walk your talk, hope you find peace in your work.  We're just trying to grow up with our kids and spend 5-7 days/week with them on the snow.  Trying to sustain that is tough, but worth it.  Land projects galore, mostly our own stuff, but we did buy Manzanar 4 new fruit trees for their welcome plaza.  I'm all about non-native plants and trees, and using Inyo's water and sunlight to the fullest.  See you around, John.

 

(3/15/13 - from Jon, USFS)
Hi John,

 

I just wanted to drop a quick note and remind you and the club of the many projects the Inyo has going right now and the opportunity for your club and members to comment:

 

1.       Shady Rest Staging Area – Scoping comment deadline passed, but we will still consider comments in the analysis. The “official” comment period on the EA will take place later in the spring.

2.       Scenic Loop Staging Areas – Same as above, comment any time. In both projects, I’m curious what the club thinks about the off-loading ramps we have proposed. A few motorized users who participated in the Sherwins Working Group recommended these structures, but I have since heard from a few OHV and OSV users that they are not really necessary. What do you all think?

3.       Restoration Projects – I know you are aware of these.

4.       OHV Grants – The Inyo has 5 grants, including our law enforcement grant. It would be great if MMC could comment on these projects. You can do so through the State OHV Division website. Pay particular attention to the “Travel Management Improvement” grant that we have asked for. At our open house last night, folks were excited about this grant.

 

Hope you all have a good meeting. The Bistro ribs are pretty incredible.

 

(3/15/13 - response from John, MMC)
Hi Jon, thanks for the email.  I'm aware of all the projects including the forest re-visioning plan too. (That could be #5.)  It's all too much for me to participate effectively.  The restoration projects alone had me stuck with the multitude of maps and just talking about one road up on Wheeler Crest.

Also I looked at one OHV grant (restoration and monitoring of Little Antelope Valley, Mammoth Creek, and urban interface of the Whites) and it appeared to be just a huge contract for FOI to continue their OHV business.  At the one meeting Laura told me they weren't going after more grants, but, if the USFS is upon their behalf then what is the difference?  The whole point of protecting the Mammoth Creek water-shed from OHV is a non-issue.  There is no OHV activity in or near Mammoth Creek, protecting Los Angeles water quality sounds like DWP wrote that grant application, but even they don't care.

Long time ago we used to use berms or dirt piles to unload bikes behind the Shady Rest ball field #3.  They are still there and people get creative and still use them today.  We don't trailer much anymore so we don't use them, but yes, unloading ramps are functional and will be used.  Most visitors to the area come self-contained and will have their own ramps, but once they see an unloading ramp they'll use those too. -John.

 

(3/15/13 back from Jon, USFS)
Thanks for the comments John. Yes, forest plan revision should have been on the list, thank you for adding it.

 

I know that trying to keep up with all of our projects – to read all the documents, to study all the maps and to take time to comment – is a challenge for the public. This problem has been mentioned many times and I will continue to advocate that we do all we can to simplify our documents, maps and the access to this information. Public input on these processes is extremely helpful and we have a responsibility to make the process as minimally onerous as possible while still following the laws and policies that govern our planning and decision making.

 

The “Restoration, Monitoring and Repairs” grant application does include a request to fund a FOI restoration crew. The crew would cost about $100k per year and 1/3 of the cost is paid for by FOI, over three years. As with any organization that has the capacity, skills and ability to perform work that the Forest has identified as a priority, the INF will continue to partner with FOI to accomplish our program of work in a way that engages the public in the management of their lands. The most attractive part of the FOI relationship for the INF is that organization’s interest and ability to facilitate volunteer efforts and get the public out on the ground to help manage the national forest.  The US Forest will work with any organization that shares this interest and can help the forest implement its management objectives. If MMC or any other organization would like to assist with the maintenance of the motorized system, I would be glad to help facilitate that partnership.  Please note that ALL work performed by FOI or any other partner organization is directed by and overseen by the US Forest Service. The “Travel Management Improvement” grant, if we receive it, will be an opportunity for groups, like yours, to work with the USFS to identify and prioritize ways that we can enhance the motorized system. I believe that this management objective would be in line with your club’s interests, so hopefully we can work together on this. If your club, or members of the club, has interest, please submit a comment to the OHV division stating how the club or members want to be involved.

 

As for Mammoth Creek, existing bare soil on some of the routes that are not part of the motorized system is leading to erosion into Mammoth Creek. Sedimentation into streams is a water quality issue and the US Forest Service has a responsibility to mitigate these resource impacts. Improving water quality is not only in the interest of the downstream water consumer (LA), but also of interest to anglers who want healthy fish populations along Mammoth Creek and the Owens River. Fish rely on cold oxygenated water and sedimentation leads to increased water temperatures. Especially in these drought years, it’s important to keep these streams running as cold and clear as possible.

 

Thanks again John for taking the time engage. Please keep it up and encourage your club to ask questions and submit comments.

 

(3/15/13 forth from John, MMC)
Hi Jon, thanks for taking the time to clarify.  I understand that FOI is poised to partner, the same can be said for CLM (California Land Management).  My preference is for your organization to manage the land, not others.  Some things shouldn't be outsourced.  I do understand that you have a good relationship with FOI.

Part of my beef with them is that they are 'wilderness' driven and backed.  Of course they also have well rounded, normal, folks on board who enjoy all recreation.  I always read their Jeffery Pine Journal because it's very informative and I like conservation too.  However, in many previous issues their members and articles would brag about how their passion is signing roads closed to OHV.  It's all online and I can forward links if you'd like.  So flash forward to now, and they've turned that passion into a paying gig.

One time in the desert a whole contingent went down there and put about 40 signs and numerous barricades all over one of our properties at the mouth of Surprise Canyon.  No one knew!  It was a sign/blockade party, lots of time and materials all to be wasted on the tax-payers dime.

Overseen can mean varying degrees of supervision.  We participated in one field day out at Inyo Craters hosted by FOI and MLTPA.  There was no supervision and conflicting orders.  It appeared that FOI had their own agenda and wanted specific areas of the parking lot and other spurs closed even though the direction from USFS was not to close anything.  I was there.

I'm not suggesting that MMC can do better.  But the USFS can, and if it costs more, it's worth it.

And I don't disagree with water quality issues.  Our household drinks straight from the creek. (Not Mammoth)  What I disagree with is how OHV is spun into Mammoth Creek thereby needing the grant.  I see it as 'needing the grant' creates issues that really have no cause or effect from OHV.  It makes me uncomfortable.  Mammoth Creek is heavily impacted by use up at the Lakes Basin, and comes right through town, condos, miles of walking trails (user created and Town/USFS created), and heavy grazing, only to end up right on private (LADWP) controlled land, except for a few spots that are USFS or someone else.  OHV isn't a player in Mammoth Creek.

I'll take a look at the TM improvement application, if there is something there we can work with I'll let you know. -John.

 

(3/15/13 final from Jon, USFS)
Thanks John. I understand your concerns and we share some of them. I will continuing to work on improving how we partner with organizations and keep your ideas in mind. I appreciate the thoughtful input, Jon

 

 

IV.         Summary

If you’ve managed to make it this far and still understand what's going on, you are doing very well indeed.  See ya next time!

 

 

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