Adventure Trails public hearing set for Tuesday

By Deb Murphy

The Inyo County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing on the Adventure Trails Pilot Project Tuesday at 11 a.m. The project has survived eight years of scrutiny, countless public hearings and two lawsuits.

ohv

The project has been whittled from the original 70-plus to 36 potential routes down to seven for the Supervisors consideration in late January of this year. Only three are currently in use. The other four have not been approved by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, whose land either the routes start or end on, or the Inyo National Forest.

The concept is fairly simple: the routes provide Off-Highway Vehicle access to off-road trailheads. The sole Bishop route begins at Laws and ends at the Poleta OHV Recreational Area; the Independence route begins downtown and ends at Mazourka Canyon Road and the Lone Pine route starts at Boulder Creek and ends at Horseshoe Meadow Road.

The project was set in motion by Assembly Bill 628, allowing combined use routes through January 2017.

County Public Works’ Transportation Planner Courtney Smith gave the Supes a snapshot of the draft project report, required by AB 628, last Tuesday in preparation for Tuesday’s official public hearing. The data, like the number of routes, were a little thin. The traffic count was described as “fairly light” and there were no impacts on non-motorized routes. The only OHV-related complaint involved side-by-side riders on U.S. Hwy. 168, not part of the Adventure Trails project. Smith also said there were no new trails created as a result of the project.

During the public comment period last Tuesday, it was stated that INF wants a National Environmental Protection Act analysis and LADWP wants the County to assume liability for all OHV use on its lands.

In an e-mailed response, LADWP Aqueduct Manager Jim Yannotta said “LADWP needs to be protected against any liability, environmental harm and be reimbursed for any increased costs on Los Angeles-owned lands as a result of the Adventure Trails project. These concerns have been brought up to the County.”

The response from INF was longer but boils down to a Forest Service policy that “defines the jurisdiction of a road as ‘the legal right to control or regulate use of a forest transportation facility derived from title, an easement, an agreement or other similar source.’ There are none of these instruments in place for the Adventures Trails pilot program that would transfer jurisdiction to the County…. The Forest Service cannot transfer jurisdiction of a road to another entity without doing NEPA.” But, “the Inyo National Forest supports the Adventure Trails Pilot program in concept.”

The response from the Supervisors was frustration. Without enough data, Chairman Matt Kingsley said, the County “should ask the legislation to extend the pilot program. We need the time to gain more data, get DWP to approve and see if we can work with the Forest Service.”

Supervisor Rick Pucci described the lack of approval as “silliness. We should continue putting pressure on DWP. The County has accepted liability. We need to get these roadblocks lifted.”

 

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Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago

I do apologize saying that. I’m actually very liberal minded, but have a lot to disagree with, with both parties.

philip anaya
philip anaya
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Keep on “rockin in the free world” T.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your’s

Larry
Larry
6 years ago

This is the result of weak county leadership from the CAO to the supervisors! They cannot develop a viable economic plan so they go for the bizarre concept of “adventure trails” to appear they have a plan even though “adventure trails” has zero data to show the benefit outweighs the… Read more »

Erich
Erich
6 years ago

Call me a skeptic, but the whole idea behind the adventure trails project seems overly promoted. Why would someone from Los Angeles drive the extra distances when there are plenty of places closer and already “developed” for the purpose. And for that, Inyo county has been asked to assume the… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago

Maybe we should all just pull over at our lovely viewing areas? Pretty soon we’re going to get cited for leaving footprints.

Sherry
Sherry
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Utterly absurd response. Is that what passes for a debate with you?

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago

Trouble…Don’t want to get in ANOTHER back-and-forth with this,but “riders” aren’t allowed on ALL open areas…there is such a thing as private property…..which many of them ignore and don’t care….and like, with the one I mentioned,when there is “No Trespassing “signs posted,that is supposed to mean no trespassing..even “dirt riders… Read more »

Russ Monroe
Russ Monroe
6 years ago
Reply to  Low-Inyo

So, to summarize, Lo; You observed a crime being committed and chose not to report it. You were an eye witness to criminal abuses, not only against yourself, but also a whole church full of local citizens yet you elected to let the criminals get away with their crimes so… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago
Reply to  Russ Monroe

Russ Monroe…..I did report it……twice……as I do whenever I see off-roaders being where they’re not supposed to be…once when I first witnessed it….and again when it seemed no one cared enough to respond to it…two agencies….how’s that for an answer ?

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Low-Inyo

Low Inyo, there is only one good thing about DWP, they let us use the land they embezzled from our founders years ago. And they own 99 percent of it. Your yapping about some stupid kids steering up the cattle and pissing off grandma ain’t helping nothing but the tree… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble…Here’s some advise you might want to take,or at least think about…IMO,LADWP is a good thing up here,knowing if they didn’t own the land,a good chance the day would come that the Owens Valley might end up looking like Lancaster and Palmdale….which brings me back to my advise to you…..maybe… Read more »

Philip Anaya
Philip Anaya
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Have to agree T. Access to the lands of Inyo County whether it’s a National Park , Forest ,BLM or the LADWP is a good thing and don’t you think, a great privilage. That freedom comes from the so called “tree huggers” the founders, if you will, that secured and… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Philip Anaya

Phillip, I apologize for the tree hugger comment, I shouldn’t have said that. The only thing that bothers me on this hole adventure trail topic is that the real issue has been distorted. All the trail system really changes for any of us up here, is that we would be… Read more »

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I disagree Trouble. One of the major pushes behind this project is the hope of bringing more OHVs to the region to fuel the local tourism economy. More users equate to more damage to the existing trails, and sadly, more illegal trails being created. These realities have been clearly demonstrated… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Charles O.Jones…..right on…for those in favor of it,it’s all about the money….the all-mighty buck….and the second part of your comment,correct again….the majority of the off roaders want every square inch of land open to their hobby,and with this “adventure trail “,that opens the door to what they want…..legal areas open… Read more »

Mountain Watchdog
Mountain Watchdog
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

“Tree-huggers” … “Enviro-wackos” … these are terms used often by Neocon hero and major spokesperson and show clearly how easy it is to get some types to close their minds when hit with enough insults and/or fear-mongering. Then there’s the other demonized word – liberal that is similar to the… Read more »

Mountain Watchdog
Mountain Watchdog
6 years ago

Good to see only 4 people on this topic listen to the bile spewed by Limbaugh 3 hours a day, 5 days a week, and reruns on weekends. Translated at the voting booth – clearly a minority. BTW- the word liberal translates to free, broad-minded, and compassionate. Not communistic, evil,… Read more »

tourbillon
tourbillon
6 years ago

Thanks MW for explaining why left wing totalitarians on campuses nationwide demand the silencing of viewpoints with which they disagree. A minority? Or is this now the new majority?

Paco
Paco
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Oh, you mean the land stolen from native inhabitants? That land?

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago
Reply to  Paco

Paco…I can understand those being bitter about what happened with the Natives and their land long ago…..recently reading of millions of natives killed in the wars….what I don’t understand is how did that many Natives allow that to happen ?? Seems if all the Tribes banded together back then,they could… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Low-Inyo

Low Inyo , do you really believe that?

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago
Reply to  Low-Inyo

Yes,Trouble,I do believe that…….Back then,and now,plenty of land to share…..if the settlers had gone about it a different way,not wanting everything and a “take-over”,I think all could have gotten along…..for the most part,the settlers didn’t meet a lot of opposition when they first arrived…they met the opposition when they began… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago

Low Inyo I was pretty proud of my response. Still am. Two wrongs don’t make it right. People are still allowed to ride on all these open areas as much as they want. I hope all of them know that. But because of responses like yours, people have to drive… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago

Trouble…….Personally,I find cattle and church-goers a lot less annoying than a bunch of guys on their “boy-toys” showing off to their friends by chasing animals around on a field they’re not supposed to be on….and where there also happens to be a local herd of elk as well as the… Read more »

Low-Inyo
Low-Inyo
6 years ago

Last Saturday,while there was a Church function going on,a celebration of life for one of the communities beloved citizens,while it was going on,there was a herd of ATV’ers on DWP land behind the Church racing around chasing the cattle and kicking up dust…..

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago
Reply to  Low-Inyo

Low Inyo Maybe we should ban all cattle and church goers?

Trouble
Trouble
6 years ago

I swear that some people just don’t like to see people be happy and free.

Charles O. Jones
Charles O. Jones
6 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

That may be true, Trouble. But there are also more legitimate reasons that people have concerns with this project.