Friends Of Jawbone Report February 18th 2009 Left home 5:50a.m. Had bkfst in Cal City. Another VERY INTERESTING land use meeting. Highlights included: 1. Rex Moen from Senator Ashburn’s office reported on a new federal law effectively pulling all small cc ATVs off the market because of lead in their batteries and the likelihood that small ATVs [and the lead] are coming into contact with small children! 2. He also reported that Senator Ashburn has sponsored a bill that would give cities permission to allow use of green stickered vehicles within their city limits. This would supposedly lead to an increase in recreational tourism dollars being spent in those towns that allowed access. So far his proposal has received little publicity, but the little he has gotten has not been good. He could use some letters of support. 3. He reported on the actions of area Congressman McCarthy, who has opposed the federal bailout and has reportably stated ‘we export more IOU’s than anything else.’ 4. Mr. Peterson, representing the Kern County Board of Supervisors spoke about the need for the League of Cities to form a committee and prepare a position statement supporting “Recreational Tourism” as an element in land use planning. 5. Mr. Hurtado from the Cal. City Police Department informed us that the City has readied it’s own permits for off-highway vehicle use within city boundaries that will be effective upon issuance until June 30 2010. 6. Mr. Tyson from the Kern County Sheriff’s department reported on the ongoing difficulties his department is having with the OHV Watchdog group that has been stirring up trouble in the Tehachapi area that I reported on last month. Dispatch operators are being required to tracking phone calls regarding OHV disturbances to determine if the Sheriff’s department is being unduly impacted by this fringe group. 7. Red Rock State Park. Mr. Dingman was not present, but it was noted that the State Park is still collecting public imput on the Park, even though they have indicated their plans to review the Park’s operating plans were halted due to the State budget shortfall. FOJ will investigate this further. 8. The Honda Proving center has donated the last 4 boxes of plastic bags to the FOJ for distribution to visitors. Ed Waldheim expressed his preference that these NOT be offered for use as trash bags. Honda will also be supplying a GENERATOR for the RAFFLE at the upcoming Moose Anderson Days. 9. A gentleman from the wind energy company reported on the work being done in Pine Tree Canyon south of the State Park. 10 of 79 turbines are online and hooked into the power grid, with approximately 4 more being added per week. There is concern over the gate that guards access to this area, as the area is CLOSED to OHV use, but illegal OHV use of the area is increasing. 10. Ms. Ibarra of the State Parks OHMVR joined the group via speaker phone to indicate that the grant procural process was still proceeding as normal, even though the governor has expressed a desire to raid the entire 90 million dollar OHV fund to try and help balance the state budget. Grant deadline for this year is March 2nd. Grants are currently being prepared by the FOJ, Cal City Police and Fire, Kern County Sheriffs and the BLM. Grant applications are now prepared online, using OLGA [On Line Grant Application] software. Mr. Waldheim admonished ALL grant applicants to include a budget for additional signs to be purchased, saying "A TRAIL GRANT WITHOUT A SIGN BUDGET IS LIKE BUILDING A BATHROOM WITHOUT TOILET PAPER" 11. Mr. Beck from the BLM Ridgecrest office elaborated on the grants that his office has prepared. The BLM was also asked, and submitted a ‘wish’ list for projects that could be potentially funded under the federal government’s new ‘bailout’ plan. Mr. Beck also announced a community cleanup for the Great Falls Basin area on February 28th. The BLM will have a Desert Advisory Council [DAC] meeting next Thursday, February 26th in Ridgecrest. I am planning to attend. 12. Ed Waldheim reported that the FOJ is almost out of money. Virtually all of the money used to build the Jawbone Station, as well as purchase the equipment, fuel and signs that the FOJ has used to provide trail repairs and maintance was acquired thru RTP grants which have run their course. If the FOJ is not successful in getting it’s grants thru this year, it will have to lean hard on other stakeholders like the BLM and Kern County for financial assistance. Es Waldheim fielded the option of creating yet another permit in order to help finance operations, but received an immediate rebuke from his close friend in the AMA [American Motorcycle Association] and FOJ Vice President Paul Kober. 13. FLCC [Friends of Last Chance Canyon] president Charlie Hattendorf will meet this Thursday with Hector Villalobos [head of the BLM Ridgecrest office] to discuss the situation with the cabins in the El Paso mountains. The meeting was originally scheduled for today and I was planning to spend the entire day in the high desert to make this meeting. Mr. Villalobos apparently moved the meeting to provide the opportunity for imput from Steve Smith, a retired BLM ranger with an extensive backround on the cabins in the area. 14. Moose Anderson Days is scheduled for April 25-26. Got back to the shop 2:15pm, a little over 8 hours later, with a full day yet to go.