Trip Report

Meetings that will help inform you, create an OHV presence, and possibly give you an opportunity to voice your opinion.

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Trip Report

Post by BeachHead »

Bob Mason filed the following trip report:

ASA Board of Directors

Jerry Seaver and I traveled to El Centro for the TRT meeting. The following will summarize our meetings during this two day visit to Yuma and El Centro on behalf of ASA.

Thursday July 27 lunch with Ken Rosevear, Yuma UDG BOD member

Tim Gantz and Don Pratte participated in the meeting with Ken. Don is the brother of the new owner of Duner’s Diner (formally Pair A Dice). Don is the project manager for the construction underway that will include fencing of over 200 acres, the construction of a new home and helipad. Owner Ron Pratte is a major ASA supporter. The restaurant is being refurbished and will be open under new management in Sept.

Ken briefed us on his recent meeting with Yuma BLM staff re UDG partnership support of OHV and boating recreation activities in the Yuma area. The Yuma Rod and Gun Club will be the primary user organization partnering with UDG and BLM. Ken also provided awareness of his campaign for a seat in the AZ Legislature.

Thursday July 27 @ 2 pm with Sheriff Carter

Tim Gantz and Don Pratte joined us in our meeting with Sheriff Carter and Undersheriff Sharon Housouer. ICSO invited BLM to attend, however BLM did not attend due to schedule conflicts.

We provided ICSO with the latest draft of the ISDRA Public Safety DVD script. We requested his approval and confirmed that he and Sheriff Elect Loera will participate in a photo shoot for the DVD. We also provide the proposed artwork for the 2006-07 litter education bags. ICSO will review and provide their comments/approval.

We discussed the ASA 7/9/06 letter to ICSO and BLM re the Comp Hill curfew. Sheriff Carter said he was not prepared, at this time, to recommend that the county ordinance be lifted. We inquired as to the criteria required to do so. Sheriff Carter offered the following:

· His deputies in the field would need to tell him that conditions on the ground were such that officer and public safety were assured.

· No “unlawful assembly” situations are encountered during the 2006-07 season.

· Adequate field staffing is available to manage the multiplicity of major gatherings, i.e., north/south drags, Olds and Test Hill activities.

We requested that ICSO and BLM reinstate the 2001 Comp Hill Solutions Team. The Sheriff was supportive and agreed to contact Vicki Wood. This request was also discussed at the TRT meeting on 7/28. The TRT passed a motion recommending that BLM convene the team including representatives of the TRT and OHV organizations.

Thursday 7/27 @3:30 pm meeting with District 5 Supervisor Wally Leimgruber

Wally reiterated that the Sheriff is responsible for public safety. The Board of Supervisors will be responsive to the Sheriff’s recommendation. Wally emphasized that the County has recently encountered litigation resulting from a fatality at ISDRA. He was emphatic that it will be difficult to lift the Comp Hill curfew without a reduction in the number of fatalities at ISDRA.

Thursday 7/27 @4:30 pm meeting with Cathy Kennerson, UDG

Ken Rosevear reviewed the Yuma BLM UDG activity. Cathy continued with a review of Tim Gantz’s UDG role in coordinating the MLK clean up and the SSSS program. A brief review of the content of the UDG Visitor Guide followed.

Friday 7/28 @ 7:20 am meeting with Sheriff Elect Ray Loera

In a breakfast meeting with Sheriff Elect Loera he indicated a willingness to maintain an open dialog with the OHV groups to identify future actions to maximize public and officer safety while optimizing OHV recreation activities.

Friday 7/28 TRT meeting highlights

The meeting was long and informative.
The entire meeting was recorded and will be posted on the ISDRA TRT website.
Good attendance by reps of OHV groups and business interests.
The New BLM kiosks are up and will have the info panels will be installed before the season starts.
The UDG/BLM ISDRA survey draft was reviewed. The economic info will be available in Aug and the results will be summarized in the 2006-07 UDG Visitor Guide.
Tim Gantz displayed a prototype sign for the Partners in Dune Safety project.
Considerable discussion of the safety issues associated with “Bermed Tracks.”
ICSO made a comprehensive report re the status of the fee collection program. The fee machines will have RFID capability which may be implemented at a later time. The schedule is tight for having the permit machines in place for the October dune visitors. There was considerable discussion of the second vehicle permit requirements. BLM and ICSO are preparing a form that will allow for a second towed in street legal vehicle to be assigned to a primary vehicle. The vehicle towed in must be used only for off road. If it goes on road it will need a regular permit.
BLM distributed the new “Quick Facts” brochure
During the budget discussion BLM announced the addition of new pads on the Gecko Rd. Also several new vault toilets. New pad construction will begin next Monday 8/31. A BLM news release will be forthcoming.
Vendor permit revenue increased significantly last year. No changes are anticipated in the vending program rules for next season.
The south dunes ranger station planning is progressing.
A representative of the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) briefed the TRT on plans to realign the canal in the proximity of Test Hill. It was evident that IID has listened to the concerns of OHV and has modified the alignment and construction schedule to minimize OHV impact. Comments re environmental mitigation were interesting particularly the revegetation program associated with the PMV. ASA will ask Dr Phillips to follow up to learn more about the IID mitigation plans.
A representative of the natural gas pipeline project made a presentation by teleconference. The alignment and construction of this project also was sensitive to OHV concerns. It was obvious that the canal and the gas line project managers have listening to the TRT comments.
Considerable discussion of the Comp Hill curfew resulted in a TRT motion. With the approval of BLM management Clark Beene was open to future discussion of the criteria to be used to consider lifting the curfew.
ICSO will be adding two new LEO buggies next season. These vehicles were purchased with BLM DC funding approved by Bill Woody. The two buggies that are being acquired will be used by the ICSO and maintenance will be the responsibility of the ICSO.

Bob Mason

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Thanks for the update. Some of that sounds real positive... :D
Nothing is achieved without effort --- the fundamental force that brings success...:)

Proud 2005 JRS Award recipient :P


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