City releases proposed ATV trail system

 The Eastern Sierra ATV Adventure Trails organization is proposing an ATV trail
system that will provide access from public lands, managed for ATV recreation, to
goods and services in our towns in Inyo County.

 Specific ATV combined use routes utilizing county and city streets have been
recommended and are presently being reviewed. This is a pilot program to evaluate
the impact on Inyo County.

 There will be an environmental assessment prepared and public comments will be
solicited at a future date before any ATV travel will be permitted on Inyo County
roads or city streets.

 Any county road or city street that may become a travel way for ATV access shall
require a licensed, insured operator, obeying traffic laws and speed limits.

 ATV travel on any public routes will be limited to daylight driving, maximum speed
35 mph.

 ATV recreation within towns and cities is not a new concept. It is widely used in
Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, and West Virginia to name a few.

 ATV use is a major recreation on Inyo County public lands.

Eastern Sierra ATV Adventure Trails
Dick Noles (760) 873-4519
Randy Gillespie (760) 920-1701

City of Bishop
Keith Caldwell (760) 873-5863
David Grah (760) 873-8458

County of Inyo
Courtney Smith (760) 878-0207
Elaine Kabala (760) 878-0382

31 Responses to City releases proposed ATV trail system

  1. Eastern Sierra Local September 6, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    An EXCELLENT idea that will only bring more outdoor recreational opportunities to the Eastern Sierra! The City of Bishop, Inyo County, and ATV Adventure Trails are thinking outside the box on this one. Anyone who would oppose this proposal is either an extreme environmentalist or a curmudgeon.
    Awesome! I hope that every community on the eastside gets together and develops a comprehensive plan that links together the Owens Valley communities for ATV access!
    Good work.

  2. Sean September 5, 2013 at 11:42 pm #

    For all those doubting what I’m saying check out the below links. That means you Wayne. Time to go preorder your Rolls-Royce Wayne.

    Now it’s $15 a year per OHV.

    • Wayne Deja September 6, 2013 at 11:37 am #

      Sean….See “Bishop Native’s post a couple above yours….and “Justitia’s a few above that one…..Cal City….an open area with nothing more to offer than desert for ATV’ers isn’t the hiking trails,mountain bike trails,fishing and hunting and camping areas,wildlife areas,etc. that the Eastern Sierras’ provide for it’s tourists and vacationers.What might work in Cal City and Rosamond and Edwards…and Lancaster-Palmdale-Quartz Hill won’t work up here….apples and oranges…..Good thing about it is….I’m in my late 50’s… at least I won’t be around to see or witness the chaos and destruction this “proposed” trail system will bring to the Valley…..cause by the time it happens….if it happens….after all the environmental assessments and opposition,opposition from Law Enforcement Agencies,and other people and groups,I’ll be long dead and buried.

      • sean September 6, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

        It’s going to work great Wayne. The only constant is change. Try to roll with it. No one is going to build a motorcross track next to your house.

  3. Steve September 5, 2013 at 8:31 am #

    I absolutely support the OHV network.

    Thousands of acres in Inyo Co.are “designated road less wilderness” set aside for all the people who want the experience with out OHV noise. In allot of places that used to be open to all users.

    The Green sticker program is responsible for concentrating the OHV riders to “designated areas”, were now the problem is over crowding. I was part of a group that was fighting to stop the green sticker program because we could see what was going to happen when we were all sent to ride in the same places. Not spread out over all of the great spots we used to ride in.
    We started the “Tread lightly” program and worked hard to leave no trace, pick up trash in the hope we would not get shut out of some of the best places to ride. We all know how that turned out.

    So please go out side and enjoy the places all around you, and I will do the same for as long as I can.

  4. Bishop Native September 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm #

    The overall impact, economically and from a quality of life perspective for locals, will be negative. Typically anglers, hikers, equestrians, come to the Eastern Sierra to enjoy the natural beauty and peace of the area. They will certainly be discouraged from coming if there is a lot more offroad presence. I prefer the tread lightly tourist dollars myself.

  5. Sean September 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    I knew the environmental extremists would come out of the woodwork on this one.

    Only about 5% of the time when I do an off-road trip do I see anyone. And most times it’s other off roaders. When I do run into non-off roaders it is usually within walking distance of a town or community.

    California city was a dustbowl before they laid all the roads for the third largest city in the state. Of course everyone knows the story with that and the city was never built outside of a very small part. And I was just out there last year. Large areas have been fenced off to protect wildlife. There are still hundreds if not thousands of miles to ride. My point is a balance can be struck.

    All you against ATV’ers Already have thousands of square miles that you can walk around in And not hear anything except the occasional airplane. You talk about give them a mile and they take 10 miles. That also works for the environmentalists how run amuck.

    There aren’t enough Rangers in the world to stop ATV’ers from riding in the deserts. The simple fact is you need to give them places to ride and drive or they will go wherever they want.

    I do agree that it’s a bad idea to put ATV trails near hiking areas, mountain biking areas, or equestrian trails. That’s just asking for trouble.

    There is more than enough desert for everyone. Give ATV’ers places to ride or they will make their own.

  6. salblaster September 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Looks like the atv trails program is going thru as planned, I went to one of their public meetings to hear for myself whats going on. It sounded pretty good to me, get it written into law that offroaders have a right to be here. From my understanding of the insurance requirements I can insure my atv for about 100.00$ a year thru geico and that should cover me to ride on pavement portion of trail. I also learned that any county road pavement or dirt is illegal to ride on at present time, dirt roads like movie flats road in the Alabama hills or the dirt road that goes from Big Pine to Keoghs. Any county maintained dirt road you ride on you can be ticketed. How do you know if the dirt road your on is a county road, it will have a steet sign posted at the intersections. In all the years i’ve been in the valley I ‘ve never been haseled by off roaders, most are just families on vacation. Not sure where this bad biker gangs roaming the Owens Valley is coming from, maybe some of the naysayers can hire Billy Jack to go outdoors with them. From long time offroader who will be enjoying my atv for as long as the law allows me to.

  7. Robin September 4, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    Bishop should be like California City and that’s the common future we should work towards, really??

    Well, I wish someone from this group would provide some concrete, fact based estimates on what it will actually cost the county to support this designation. It smells to me like a huge tax payer burden for a specific and limited special interest group. What will be the cost to maintain these roads, for cops to patrol these roads, and for emergency services to be provided? Already the county has spent more on this then it does on years worth of marketing. What is the actual ROI to the county (i.e. us, the tax payers) for supporting this?

    • Wayne Deja September 4, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Maybe the environmental groups that will SURELY oppose this thing should use Cal City as an area to base their opposition to it….that area….the Jawbone Canyon area….the area 15 miles or so east of Lancaster….the area south-west of Lancaster…and just about every other area the ATV’ers were welcomed into,but instead of abiding by the rules and laws,took advantage of and destroyed the once pristine area and turned it into a dust bowl…give em’ a mile,they take 10 miles…give em’ 10,they take 20…and so on..I’m just hoping someone doesn’t come on this story and start talking about all the $$$$ this type of “event” will bring to the Valley here….like what happened a couple months ago,when someone was pushing for ATV activity and events in Mammoth…..who can forget the statement that someone said how a single ATV event brings in $20 million dollars a week-end to the areas economy…yeah,right…and I’m gonna go wax my Rolls Royce after making this post.

      • Russ Monroe September 4, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

        Ya know Wayne…..
        Maybe that pound a day of coffee, is a bit more than is prudent.

        • Wayne Deja September 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

          Russ…Can’t drink coffee no more…and haven’t for quite a while…doctors orders….

          • Russ Monroe September 5, 2013 at 10:56 am #

            Good call Wayne!
            Caffeine may be legal, but it can be just as destructive as any other drug.

    • Get it rite September 4, 2013 at 6:19 pm #

      All this money is from the green sticker fee we pay.

    • Sean September 4, 2013 at 10:06 pm #

      California city funds it by requiring an additional $10 use permit. To ride within the city limits of California city you must have your green sticker and the $10 a year California city sticker. With the money they have generated they have built campgrounds with lighting shades and showers. They have police officers out in the trail area. They also have been able to fund paramedic units dedicated to the trail area.

      I don’t know the details of their budget but I can tell you the actual city where people live is insignificant. The cop I get all the above information from was working in their trail system area and I spoke to them last year When I bumped into him out in the desert. It’s my understanding that they were paid pretty well (the cops). And I got the impression that money came from their trail system program use fee.

      • Wayne Deja September 5, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

        Sean….So your saying with that YEARLY $10.00 permit fee,the city is able to hire it’s own full-time police force just for the trail area,a full time paramedic staff,AND be able to fund campgrounds,complete with lighting and showers ?……WOW….must be the millions and millions of dollars those ATV’ers put into the economy in the area each week-end…..gotta go….my Rolls Royce got dirty today on the way to my vacation mansion in Beverly Hills…another wax and wash.

        • Sean September 5, 2013 at 11:30 pm #

          California city is a municipality. They have their own police department. The California city police officers, fire and paramedics handle the trail areas of their city. They’re not just special trail police officers.. They are actual city police officers.

          They told me they can have 100,000 people riding within their city limits on a busy weekend. $10 x $100k = a $1mm budget.

          If you doubt me go ahead and drive out there and see the facilities for yourself. Talk to the police officers that you bump into out there.

  8. Joe September 4, 2013 at 7:24 am #

    Does anyone have information with regard to insurance requirements? Most of these vehicles are not insured directly, so what happens if an accident occurs between a insured car and a non insured off road vehicle? What if the rider does not even own a car or any form of insurance since it is not required for off road vehicles?

    • Benett Kessler September 4, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      The City of Bishop press release says the proposal requires “insured drivers”.

      • Mark September 5, 2013 at 8:54 am #

        How are LEO’s going to tell if OHV’s have insurance or not.

        It’s mandatory when you register a street legal vehicle, but not when you register a green sticker vehicle.

        and yes Wayne I own severa OHV’s 😉

        • Mark September 6, 2013 at 11:56 am #

          Insured drivers or insured vehicles? A permit like in Cal City could require insured vehicles but doesn’t necessarily mean the driver is insured.

    • Wayne Deja September 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

      Joe…This is just one reason why it ain’t gonna work…and hoping the environmental assessment mentioned…along with some other environmental groups I’m sure are ready and waiting to oppose and delay this “trail system” for as long as possible….In another Sierra Wave story,we have some posters complaining a lot about sobriety check-points set up to deter drunk driving on HWY 395….can you imagine the complaining that will take place if these ATV’ers are stopped and checked for vehicle insurance,a driver’s license,as well as sobriety while they are speeding through the towns and streets of Inyo County ?….and like Justitia mentioned on her post above….the “riders” blazing their own roads and trails through the areas not designated…or private property….no way is this gonna work…it’s a smoke screen…never gonna happen….too many powerful environmental groups will kill it from ever happening…

      • Russ Monroe September 4, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

        You are fabricating your own facts again Wayne!
        “too many powerful environmental groups will kill it from ever happening…”
        Over the last few years, I have attended many public meetings, inter-agency get togethers, and other group discussions regarding this trail system. I don’t remember ever seeing you at one of them. I have however, attended those meetings along with many of the local representatives of the “powerful environmental groups” that could oppose this and I have yet to hear any opposition to the plan or the process.
        I’ve been riding around you on these types of vehicles for…. ever since you have lived here. I see you in the Alabama Hills at least once a week. Please post the time, date, and location of any time my riding has caused you any sort of problem.
        And under the heading of; “never gonna happen”…. this is already law Wayne!
        This act passed both houses in Sacramento and has been signed by the governor of California. ATVs are also road legal in several other states and have been for many years.
        I’m certain that you do live in fear of great hoards of drug crazzed toddlers driving their tricycles uninsured across your path but; well, that’s your problem Wayne, and nothing that any law is going to change.

        • Wayne Deja September 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

          Russ….I’ve seen you too,usually on my way back from working in the Alabamas….and have to admit,never once have you,yourself caused me anytype of problem….but can’t count the times I’ve turned onto Movie Road and spent more time picking up trash than I do hiking and walking around the rocks…..and reported damage done by vehicle traffic to certain areas that are closed to vehicle traffic..When those types of reckless ATV’ers turn onto your road and area where you live,and doing what they do,into,onto and around your property,if it hasn’t happened already,you won’t be appreciating it much…..still do remember that story you told years ago when I installed your dish-net about the bear coming into your yard and stealing that 5 gallon bucket of dog food…bears and wildlife raising heck is one thing …and tolerable…but people doing it in a reckless matter a whole nother thing..not so tolerable….

          • Russ Monroe September 5, 2013 at 8:43 am #

            “When?” Wayne, that point was past decades ago. As our nearest year round neighbors are the campground, which we can watch 24/7 from our kitchen or living room, we have a good idea of how many “good” riders there are, vs “bad” riders. From my count, starting in 1977, the ratio is extreme. We have had problems with three riders, out of many thousands of riders. Those three “bad” riders rode full race bikes, not licensed or insurable. One of them did not feel restricted by any law so he rode where ever he pleased. The other two just rode suicidally, IE: 70mph past our driveway, on dirt, helmet-less, no lights, pitch-black nights, at 2:15am. What all three riders had in common was; they were locals, and law enforcement dealt with the problem.
            In case you haven’t heard, I do not have a reputation for tolerance. If a rider violates my private space, their vehicle will need to be be towed off of it.
            What it comes down to is: I started walking these hills during the first week of June 1961, I travel the same roads, often at the same times, as you. I have had different experiences than you have. I believe that your assumptions about how this rule change will play out are incorrect. We disagree about what we have seen and what it means. Personally, I hope that we get to find out who is correct and get to continue the debate here. I believe this is the type of open discussion that Benett is looking for in running this blog and I fully respect your opinion, even while shredding the basis for that opinion.
            Much more than I can say for the endless stream of sniping pseudonyms that post irrelevant garbage here, then hide.
            You are one of the few contributors here that I will take the time read.

      • Mark September 6, 2013 at 11:58 am #

        They have sobriety check points at Dove Springs and Cal City.. OHV’ers are use to it already.

  9. Trouble September 3, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    I luv it. I can’t wait to see people out enjoying themselves. I hope the route comes down my street!!! Thanks Mr. Noles!

  10. Justitia September 3, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    This is the death knell for quiet contemplation of the outdoors – and for undisturbed beauty. It is absolutely shocking how many illegal “trails” snake their ugly paths up Inyo and White Ranges, scarring the mountains for generations and leading to erosion.
    If the incessant political drumbeat of the motorized vehicle adherents pushes decision makers to implement this program, then I hope to heavens they support sufficient fiscal resources for BLM, Forest Service and DWP law enforcement types so that miscreants can be ticketed and fined for breaking the law when they go off of approved roads and trails. Trespassing on private property is another common behavior of people who feel empowered riding ORVs, as well as intentionally frightening livestock.
    I call upon people who love the solitude and silence of the Owens Valley to report every violation by ORV users to the Sheriff or other appropriate agency, to demand that the ORVs comply with laws regarding noise levels in and out of town, and that the law-abiding ORV users police their own people by turning in violators.
    Because, if this program goes into effect, we’ll have many more of them here, with proportionally more destructive behavior.

  11. sean September 3, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Love it! Hope it happens. I love riding trails around Bishop and the Owens Valley.

    California City has huge numbers of visitors for their MX park (up to 100,000 people on peak weekends according to one of the cops who works for Cal City). Maybe some of that biz will drive up farther for some new trails to ride.

    • Wayne Deja September 4, 2013 at 6:35 am #

      sean… it…….really looking forward to a bunch of rowdy,drunk ATV’ers riding around these proposed “trails” in,around and through the towns….disobeying the rules and speed limits that plan to be set…taxing Law Enforcement trying to control the situations…unlicensed,unsupervised,uninsured teen-agers doing as they please….yep….gonna be great…..glad it will be a LONG while before it all happens….if it ever does.

      • Sean September 4, 2013 at 9:59 pm #

        Oh and is that so much worse than the loud drunk wine snobs just finishing up from a wine tasting and loudly discussing the most recent play They attended while stumbling to their cars and driving home drunk?

        Or is it any worse than loud drunk people leaving any concerts or any fair or any rodeo?

        Maybe we should just ban skiing. All those ski runs have horribly marked up the hills.

        Let’s just reinstitute prohibition and ban anything fun. God knows I don’t want to disturb your quiet time out in Death Valley.


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