Off Road Vehicle Issues

While several off-road vehicle issues are "on hold" at this time, your best source for detailed information is Community ORV Watch, often spoken of as "COW," an organization that developed with support from MBCA. At the COW website you can view/download/print a brochure about off-highway vehicle information specifically for the Morongo Basin.

 

  • MBCA's WEMO Routes Comments to BLM

    Thanks once again to Board member Pat Flanagan, MBCA has submitted a researched, detailed, and illustrated comment letter in response to the BLM's request for comments on the Draft West Mojave Route Network Project Land Use Plan Amendment for the California Desert Conservation Area Plan and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement, aka "WEMO."

    The areas of most interest to MBCA regarding controlling OHV activity in the Morongo Basin and the Lucerne Valley areas are found within Travel Management Area 3. TMA 3 stretches east and west from south of Apple Valley to Wonder Valley.  The subregions of BLM land are found in Juniper Flats, Rattlesnake Canyon, Sand to Snow National Monument, Joshua Tree, and Wonder Valley.

    Specifically, MBCA asks BLM to implement the provisions of Alternative 2 because they "emphasize protection of physical, biological, and heritage resources, while providing for the smallest transportation and travel network focused on through access, and the most limited acreage and forage allocation dedicated to livestock grazing, comparatively." The BLM's preferred Alternative 4 would yield negative consequences to all those important attributes.

    You can find maps and information specific to the Morongo Basin's OHV regulations on pages 2&3 of the MBCA comment letter.
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  • WEMO Comments Due June 14

    The BLM published the latest draft of the West Mojave Route Network Project (aka WEMO) on March 16, 2018. Public comments on this motorized vehicle management plan will be accepted through June 14. Community ORV Watch has taken the lead in providing a great deal of thoughtful and helpful information to ensure that your comments are substantive and informed - and make a difference. They provide a sample template comment letter but encourage you not only to add your own personalized comments, but also to comment on specific routes that will affect your neighborhood.

    For an introduction to the current WEMO plan, view this WEMO PowerPoint presentation (in PDF format) created by Pat Flanagan.

    MBCA and COW both urge support of Alternative #2 rather than the BLM's Preferred Alternative #4. The Preferred Alternative #4 designates far too many miles of roads on BLM land bordering desert communities as open for any motorized vehicle usage. In Alternative #2, most of the routes would be limited to street-legal only vehicles, reducing the noise, dust, and damage that often accompany extensive use of off-road vehicles thereby reducing quality of life in nearby neighborhoods.

    COW's WEMO page provides excellent and extensive detail and advice on making substantive comments to the BLM. In addition to supporting Alternative #2 over the BLM's Preferred Alternative #4, they will educate you step-by-step on how to decipher the BLM's PDF maps (don't use the online GIS maps-they are not accurate). Explore and then comment on specific routes that you have concerns about. Using the PDF maps provided by BLM (learn how at the COW website) gives you a chance to view the consequences of the proposed plans for your neighborhood.

    Don't forget to complete your comments by June 14.

    By email to blm_ca_wemo_project@blm.gov;
    By fax with Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment to 951-697-5299;
    By mail to
      Bureau of Land Management,
      California Desert District,
      Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment,
      22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos,
      Moreno Valley, CA 92553  
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  • MBCA Support Letter for Off Highway Vehicle Bill SB 249

    In early June, MBCA sent to the state Assembly's Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife a comment letter in support of SB 249 - Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Act.  It was also signed by representatives of the Alliance for Responsible Recreation and Community Off-Highway Vehicle Watch.

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  • Rural Roads and OHV Limits

    Commentary and documents provided by Pat Flanagan
     
    The BLM believes they have the legal right to connect public land parcels together using county un-maintained dirt roads. I believe this is incorrect – our dirt roads, a legacy of the Small Tracts Act (STA), are considered by the County, based on case law and the STA, to constitute legal right-of-way (ROW) for those entitled to use them, i.e. the public and utility companies. 
     
    The documents provided here, especially the STA pamphlet and Penfold letter and County opinion, need to be readily available to anyone wanting to understand their legal position should BLM open County un-maintained dirt roads to OHV riding.

     

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  • Off Road Vehicles Comment Letter

    January 2016

    On January 22, 2016, MBCA submitted a detailed comment letter to the BLM about the proposed changes to the West Mojave Plan (WEMO), arguing against the Plan Amendment, particularly the preferred Alternative 3, as it "threatens our quality of life, property values, tourism economics, and public land conservation values by legalizing OHV riding on thousands of miles of dirt roads throughout our Morongo Basin and other area communities in the West Mojave."  Further, the letter demonstrates how the BLM's plan flies in the face of the federal Small Tract Act with its intent to provide a comfortable framework for residential desert communities.

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