Community OHV Watch (COW) has managed to buffalo and bamboozle since the very beginning of their organization. They have managed to whine at such a shrill level that for a few years they had Public Safety and many Elected Officials thinking that they must be 10,000 strong and could sway whole voter blocks. We now know that it is a core group of extreme Tinfoil hats commandos are no more than 50 strong in all of San Bernardino County .
We were reminded of their silliness and manipulation of events, with the Great “Poste Homestead” caper. That by the pure force of sniveling created from broadcloth the fable of a homestead out of a hog ranch, backed by an amateur historian of dubious intelligence and zero credentials. An abandoned hog ranch by the way in the middle of a public recreation area. This their newest Red Herring is their way of closing off yet another motorized vehicle recreation area from Public access.
Demanding at every turn that Johnson Valley is where all off roaders must go, Klasky and his group refuse to support the Off-Road Community in saving the Johnson Valley OHV Area from base expansion or the solar farm scams. He wants that closed and denied off roaders too.
Klasky and his group refuse to compromise and demand that they have it all their way and the Public be damned. They fail to support sensible changes to Ord. 3973 and in actions and words intend to ban off road vehicles in their entirety. It is their way or nothing.
Remember this spectacle of deceit? Prior to last Presidents Day weekend the COW group send scores of letters into the California Department of Parks and Recreation, falsely complaining of OHV use run rampant. They raise so much hell the State send Law enforcement to conduct an investigation. Here is what they found or should we say what they did not find:
Public Safety Update
At the December 3rd Commission meeting, the Commission and the Division received letters from residents of Wonder Valley describing OHV conflicts and private property trespass. The Division has received additional emails and letters from these reporting parties and from other Morongo Basin residents. The Division’s Public Safety Team (Superintendent John Pelonio and Supervising Rangers Kelly Claar and Vince Anibale) was assigned to investigate the complaints.
Wonder Valley is in the Morongo Basin. It is north of Twenty-nine Palms in unincorporated San Bernardino County along Amboy Road. It is roughly twenty miles by ten miles. The area is a mixture of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land, private land and state schools lands. The area is a desert landscape with a system of dirt roads. Most private property is not fenced or signed. The authorized BLM OHV routes are generally not signed.
On January 16, 2009, the team held three meetings in Wonder Valley. During these meetings, the local residents provided additional photos and documentation to illustrate their concerns.
*The first meeting was attended by representatives from the BLM, the SanBernardino Sheriff’s Department (SBCSO), and San Bernardino Code Enforcement. The SBCSO officers advised that the San Bernardino County Counsel has issued a legal opinion that the Wonder Valley dirt roads are highways open only to street legal vehicles.
*The second meeting was at a local resident’s home. Other residents of the county and representatives from the public agencies attended. The residents stated that the complaints are exaggerations and that they would like to continue to operate OHVs on existing roads.
*The third meeting was with two of the reporting parties and representatives of a third. The group drove around the area to show the Public Safety Team areas that have been used by OHVs in the past. No recent vehicle tracks were seen except on existing roads. The reporting parties told the team that President’s Day weekend is the busiest weekend of the year. They reported that the noise and dust from OHVs made it impossible for them to stay in the area that weekend.
The team made additional contacts. A local California Highway Patrol (CHP) watch commander was contacted. He advised that the CHP does not consider the dirt roads in Wonder Valley to be highways and that these dirt roads may be used by non-street legal vehicles.
On President’s Day Weekend, five State Park Peace Officers, including the Public Safety Team, were deployed in Wonder Valley. They provided public safety coverage to allow the Sheriff’s Department and BLM to deploy their personnel in other locations. The weather was ideal for OHV recreation. It had rained the day before, so there was no visible airborne dust. It was clear and cool with minimal wind. The officers focused on the areas around the homes and business of the reporting parties. Officers were in the area for about 10 hours on Saturday, February 14. One officer checked the area on the morning of February 15th.
Officers observed one non-street legal vehicle. It was an ATV being ridden at slow speed on a track on the operator’s private property. The team did not see any illegal activity, so no enforcement contacts, citations or arrests were made. The reporting party residences did not appear to be occupied, so they were not contacted. Two local residents stopped by the command post and expressed appreciation for the effort.
Community OHV Watch and its members wasted precious taxpayer dollars on a wild goose chase. That in the end proved to the State of California that they had been exaggerating all along.
Common Law demands that a closed road be marked Closed. Common law demands that the people shall have due process before a road is closed.
What they what now is everyone to forget that the State of California thinks they are full of manure. They have manipulated the BLM to violate their own rules based upon Common Law principles and precedent, in trying to convince the public a road not marked closed is in fact closed. Is the BLM management in Barstow visiting the local pot dispensary?
Oh one more thing, BLM if you want to say roads are closed then mark them as such. That is a basic rule of common law. Unless you are planning on tossing out a thousand years of English Common Law because you don’t want to piss off a few environmental extremists. Before you close an existing trail or road show us the environmental impact study supporting its closure.
Left to our newest desert neighbors all public lands would be closed up and fenced off from every type of human activity… unless of course its something the environmentalists themselves want to do.