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Championing Trail Treasures in the High Sierra

Nov. 5, 2007 Article by Don Amador

Four-wheeling in High Lakes OHV Area
High Lakes OHV Area (Photo by Don Amador)

As many new-to-the-game off-highway vehicle (OHV) advocates are learning, protecting access to our high quality trail systems on federal lands is a difficult process.  It requires commitment, vision, and a lot of elbow grease.

In California for the last 5-7 years, many of our National Forests have seen a steady decline in both federally appropriated recreation dollars and state grant funds from the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Trust Fund.  Historically when available, these monies had been used for trail-related on-the-ground public services.

When there is a deficit of the public component of volunteerism or the lack of funds or agency staff to maintain important trail recreation opportunities, the resource and users suffer.

On January 1, 2008, new legislation (SB742) will reenergize the OHMVR program.
This passionately fought for ecologically balanced bill, with a 10 year sunset, provides substantive funding for trails and trail development.  Using the promise of SB742 as a catalyst, I asked Lassen National Forest specialists to join the BlueRibbon Coalition and the Redding Outdoor Recreation Coalition for a tour of a popular high-Sierra OHV area.  

Many ATV's use the High Lakes OHV Area 
Sylvia Milligan, Redding Outdoor Coalition, pauses by a lake along tour route (Photo by Don Amador).

One of the High Lakes

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