Lawsuit settled on Adventure Trails

By Deb Murphy

Owens Valley’s Adventure Trails pilot project got a green light from Judge Dean Stout with a Stipulated Judgement in a lawsuit filed by environmental groups. The Board of Supervisors can complete the process at today’s meeting with its approval.


Petitioners, The Center for Biological Diversity and Public Employees for Environmental Resonsibility, agreed to “dismiss the Petition in its entirety against all named parties.” Inyo County and Adventure Trails System of the Eastern Sierra agreed to not approve “any of the 31 deferred routes or new routes … prior to the pilot project sun setting Jan. 1, 2017” and to “abide by the requirements of “ California Environmental Quality Act EIR guidelines of the enabling legislation, Assembly Bill 628, is extended beyond Jan. 1, 2017.

“It’s been a long road,” said Adventure Trails’ representative Randy Gillespie. “We’re done kicking the can down the road. Now we can put the project together and show the public that it will work. Now we’ll have a managed system.”

According to Gillespie, the organization’s goal was to develop a few routes in Southern Inyo and begin to build data. Now, said Gillespie, “that’s what’s going to happen.”

“Staff did an amazing job,” said Supervisor Mark Tillemans. “We didn’t give up much and we’ll be able to gain a lot of data” over the next year and a half.

While none of the routes provide access in the City of Bishop, five are in the vicinity. Route 5 starts at Brown’s Town and ends at the Poleta OHV Recreational Area; Route 6 starts at Pleasant Valley Campground and ends at Horton Creek Campground; Route 7, Pleasant Valley campground to Tungsten Road; Route 9, Brown’s Town to Bir Road and Route 15, Laws to the Poleta OHV Recreational Area.

In addition, the Independence route starts downtown and ends at Mazourka Canyon Road and the Lone Pine route starts at Boulder Creek and ends at Horseshoe Meadow Road.

The suit called for the removal of directional signage and focused on the County’s environmental documents, monitoring and mitigation.


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21 Responses to Lawsuit settled on Adventure Trails

  1. Low-Inyo June 21, 2019 at 8:41 am #

    Jeff……Don’t make me (or us) up here laugh…..the “adventure trail” has not nearly been the “money-maker” and success some thought and hoped it would be…and I’m betting not quite the “adventure” the OHV visitors were thinking…and when it’s not quite the “adventure” they were hoping for,that usually means it’s time to blaze their own trails in areas they don’t belong…and maybe a reason for the recent added restrictions being talked about in the Alabama Hills and threats by the USFS closing certain areas because of litter and misuse they are noticing and having to deal with…don’t believe it ?,look it up …my hope was,and still is the rowdy off-road partiers are bothered by the fact their designated trails they find offensive,not able to go and do as they please,dealing with many restrictions where they can go when they come up here…and since there are Inyo County Sheriff’s ORV patrols trying to keep many of them in line,and from what we hear,doing just that…and hoping when they head north,they end their journey at Cal City and Jawbone Canyon where they more or less can do as they please to the land they travel and abuse….

  2. Jeff Mac June 20, 2019 at 2:46 pm #

    Old thread. Just returned from a trip to the Bishop area and drove on the designated OHV routes to Coyote Flats from Brown’s Town! Nice Spent a bunch of money in the area. Drove until we hit snow and turned around did not drive around creating new trails. Picked up one gatorade bottle, looked like it was left by a local. Do you still whine about folks spending money in your businesses? NO seriopusly, I hope 4 years later that the irresponsibile have not showed up and ruined anything. OH and your welcome on our San Diego beaches anytime we won’t complain about the trash you leave, or the having to be rescued in the rips!

  3. Low-Inyo May 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm #

    wagonrd and Tony Cumia : O.K.,there is a trail along the RR bed.But do you REALLY think the majority of the ORV’ers(especially the ones from SoCal) will or would obey the laws on the trails,where and where not they are supposed to go ?See above post about the planned SoCal “bar to bar” run they already have planned,even though the “pilot program” does not include a Lone Pine to Bishop trail.

  4. Tony Cumia May 11, 2015 at 9:26 am #

    The old railroad bed is the trail everyone uses…..go to Google earth, there a few routes

  5. wagonrd May 11, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    lowinyo: There’s been single track between Bishop and Lone Pine for 50 years,invisible from a few feet away, and not across private property, nor on 395. And anyone who thinks a 50 mile ride on a dirt bike is a major task is riding a Honda 90. What’s all this talk about drinking? Fools who drink and ride off road are quickly ostracised by fellow riders. They crash and have to be rescued. But, you are right about inviting the great unwashed herd up here into our beautiful country. There is a great difference between their attitude towards the environment and the people I ride with.

  6. Low-Inyo May 10, 2015 at 1:31 pm #

    wagonrd : I’m sitting here trying to think how on Earth could someone “ride” between Lone Pine and Bishop on an ATV without either getting on HWY 395,at least for a ways here and there,which I think might be a little dangerous, or for the road dept. or CalTrans (and the tax payers) to build some type of trail or road in the dirt or shoulder for them to do it.Or,of course,the old fashion way the ATV and ORV’ers do it, by just blazing their own trails through private land,public land,closed areas,and wherever else they seem fit to go.When I used to ride dirt bikes a long while ago,if I had a rare 50 or so mile trip planned,I’d pack a lunch and make sure I had a full tank of gas before I left.No need to make stops in towns and civilization,that was part of the fun,unless I wanted to hit some taverns along the way,which I never did.And I also stayed on existing paths and trails,not making my own.

    • Robert Mulligan May 11, 2015 at 6:57 am #

      There’s a OHV group from Socal already planning a Owens Valley bar to bar ride.

      • Low-Inyo May 11, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

        Robert Mulligan…How surprising.I’m sure if they start from the South they’ll be nice and drunk by the time they arrive and hitting the streets in Bishop.Yeah,I know,the trails don’t include the paved roads in this “pilot program”,but since when do the majority of the ORV’ers,especially the drunk ones,obey the laws and the rules…not only the written laws,but the un-written laws of the environment.Law Enforcement,I hope you enjoy babysitting these riders from SoCal.

  7. wagonrd May 10, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    The original goal was to have a utv route from Lone Pine to Bishop where folks could stop at Independence, Big Pine, Bishop for lunch and gas. That’s a fairly mundane ride for utvers who ride in NV, UT, AZ. Now all we have is just fragments clustered around Bishop. The attraction is minimal and poses no threat to the environment. There might be a few foreign tourists who will rent a utv and putter around on these lical routes, but most of us will head east and northeast into NV, AZ, UT.

  8. sean May 6, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    I like to shoot from my golf cart while duck hunting but only after a few drinks. Dick Cheney usually rides shotgun with me.

  9. Low-Inyo May 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    These comments are already showing the problems and “DRAMA” this is going to cause.My only hope is these SoCal ORV’ers stay on their damn trails,leave the booze and weed at the campsite or motel,stay sober,don’t chase the domestic animals or wildlife around for “fun”,clean up your own trash,don’t expect others to clean up after you,don’t destroy the mountain bike and hiking trails(which we ALL know they’re going to do,ALL of the above),and last,but not least,hope Law Enforcement is there to keep you in line,so your “adventure” on your ORV’s is a short one time thing up here,and you can go back to tearing up the land farther south like you did,and still do, in Jawbone Canyon and the deserts of the Antelope Valley.

    • MARK May 7, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      It is illegal to ride anywhere in the Antelope Valley (LAC) and LASD has a very active off road vehicle task force. It’s a $400 ticket if you’re cited. There could be as many as 11 members of the task force out there on any given weekend. Inyo county needs the same type of task force.

      • Low-Inyo May 7, 2015 at 2:47 pm #

        MARK;Haven’t been to the A.V. in quite a few years now,but I did live in Lancaster for 31 years,including the 70’s and 80’s…if what you say is true,I’m sure that law was brought on by the almost singe-handed TOTAL destruction of the desert-land on the eastside of Lancaster when the dirt-bike craze was going on.Let’s hope that same sort of thing won’t happen up here once the SoCal riders arrive.

        • Mark May 8, 2015 at 11:01 am #

          Here’s a story on Northern L.A. County’s off road vehicle task force. Run from these guys and gals and they will catch you. It was this task force that finally put and end to illegal off roading in the Antelope Valley.

          • Charles O. Jones May 9, 2015 at 4:17 pm #

            Without adequate enforcement measures, most laws will eventually be ignored. I hope law enforcement plans to do their job with this new program.

  10. biggame May 6, 2015 at 12:08 pm #

    haha tinner you must be a cop?

  11. Charles O. Jones May 6, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    So you get your panties in a wad over a bicycle going the wrong way on a trail yet you don’t mind having “a few” and operating your heavy, gas powered OHV on other trails.

    Got it.

    • Tinner May 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

      Camping out and having “a few” while on a two wheeled OHV far from civilization and even paved roads is one thing but when they share paved roads with pedestrians, cyclists and street legal vehicles is another thing. Sure I could hurt myself, maybe that’s why I sold my dirt toys and hardly even drink anymore, I guess I should have been more clear.
      Even a lightweight, 125 pound mountain biker traveling downhill and the wrong way at a moderate speed while others are traveling the designated and opposite direction of travel is an unnecessary accident waiting to happen, for both parties. Even scarier and more dangerous when that knucklehead(s) is pushing 200 pounds traveling at a high rate of speeds.
      Panties? Haven’t worn them in years…commando Chuck, commando.
      Again, I think this project is a great thing, it makes me want to buy a side by side OHV and live like Dave.
      Good job and a huge thank you to Randy and all who made it happen!!!

      • Charles O. Jones May 6, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

        While riding my MTB far from civilization, I’ve had good fortune of being strafed by OHV’rs (that have had “a few”) on more than one occasion. Can’t say that I liked it much. Don’t care much for getting strafed by reckless MTB’rs either.

        Your comments just struck me as funny. You rail against irresponsible behavior while at the same time admitting to your own irresponsible behavior.

        But one thing we can agree on: “I just hope we can all get along”. It all boils down to common courtesy – which isn’t as common as it should be IMO. A little mutual respect and a friendly wave or greeting can go along way towards a more peaceful coexistence.

  12. Tinner May 5, 2015 at 8:49 pm #

    I like this a lot, I just hope we can all get along.
    The few idiots of every group of whatever always ruin it for the rest. I hope those who use these trails police themselves.
    Drinking (alcohol) often goes along with OHV, or maybe that’s just how I roll, not get drunk but just have a few. Kinda like when golfing. Maybe golfing is a bad example.
    I know when I catch mtn bikers traveling the opposite direction on a directional trail, I give them an ear full, it has to be done. If it puts the safety of others at risk or if damage to the existing trails is being done, it has to be said. Law enforcement cant and wont always be there to inform and educate or lay down the law.

    • Bob May 6, 2015 at 8:52 am #

      I’ve often wondered the legalities around drunk driving in a golf cart. Especially at Sierra Star where golf carts drive across road ways.


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