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ASA - CALL TO ACTION

Paige

Well-Known Member
As most of you know, American Sand Association, CORVA and SDORC have hired a
biologist/botanist team to document that activities in the dunes can not
drive the Peirson's milk-vetch into extinction.

The recent rains have sprouted an abundance of milk-vetch plants in the dunes. By documenting the
existence of the plants, the fight to preserve our freedom to ride the dunes is taken a step further. Time is critical as the weather warms. On the <font color=yellow>13th, 14th, and 15th of this month,</font color=yellow> our team needs transportation in the dunes around the Gordon's Well area. We need 4 vehicles each day to move
them from site to site. ASA, CORVA and SDORC have committed $64,000 to this project. If we do not
want to waste our hard-earned dollars, we must give this team the support they need to do the job we hired them to do.

If you can be one of the 4 vehicles per day that is needed, please go to:

<A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.glamisonline.org/transport.htm>http://www.glamisonline.org/transport.htm</A>

ASAP with your availability and type of vehicle. Also needed is someone to coordinate the effort, scheduling the team and transportation, etc. It would be helpful if a motorhome were available so that the teams could use it to download their tracks from their GPS receivers into their laptop computers.

<font color=red>THIS CALL TO ACTION MUST BE ANSWERED</font color=red>

- opportunity knocks only once!

Thanks in advance for doing your part to keep our dunes open!

<font color=red>An Alert from ASA and SDORC</font color=red>


<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>
 

Paige

Well-Known Member
An effort to conduct a plant-by-plant count of endangered species in the closed areas of the local sand dunes by the La Verne-based American Sand Association has been rejected by the federal government.

ASA president Vince Brunasso said the U.S. Bureau of Land Management is holding the off-road group to the letter of a federal court order limiting entry to certain closed areas to government vehicles on government business.

Brunasso said ASA is prepared to spend $64,000 to hire biologists to count the plants, and has offered environmental groups and BLM the opportunity to accompany the biologists.

With the main area of more than 48,000 acres closed to off-road vehicles, Brunasso said it is impractical to enter on foot to conduct the study. He also said the plant of main concern, Pierson's milkvetch, has been in bloom for about six weeks and will be all but gone when summer arrives, making it important to conduct the count now.

"It doesn't appear that any one else but us is concerned about the plants; only in keeping the area closed," he said.

But El Centro BLM field manager Greg Thomsen said ASA representatives are welcome to accompany BLM on its count of the plants, and in fact, he said, ASA representatives and environmental group representatives are in the field with BLM this week counting plants.

Thomsen said ASA will not be allowed to enter the closed areas in vehicles. The decision, he said, was made in BLM's Riverside office. That decision is being appealed to the state office in Sacramento.

"The interpretation was the settlement doesn't allow other vehicles, separate from BLM, to enter the area," Thomsen said.

The closures are part of five interim agreements resulting from negotiations between the BLM, three environmental groups — the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and the Washington, D.C.-based Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.

Those groups filed a lawsuit against BLM alleging it failed to consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on potential impacts to endangered species from a wide range of activities allowed in the sand dunes. Also party to the settlements were off-highway vehicle groups.

The order, signed in November by federal District Court Judge William Alsup, in San Francisco, states, "BLM shall close four areas of the Algodones Dunes to OHV and other vehicle use. Official government vehicles conducting monitoring or other legitimate governmental activities shall be allowed inside the closed areas."

Although ASA has been invited to accompany BLM in its monitoring efforts, ASA's Brunasso said BLM's efforts are limited in scope and will not result in an accurate count.

"We can't go off the transects," Brunasso said.

The method used by BLM to count plants is through the use of transects, that is by dividing the area into 34 randomly selected transects.

Thomsen said he has confidence in that counting system.

Meanwhile, a desert ecologist for the lead plaintiff, Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity, Daniel Patterson, said part of the problem facing ASA's study is that ASA has failed to provide Patterson with a copy of ASA's proposed monitoring methodology.

Patterson intimated that should he find the methodology, likely to provide scientific information of value to the BLM, it might be possible all of the groups involved in the settlement could agree ASA could enter the closed areas with vehicles and conduct its count.

"They really couldn't give me any details at all" about the protocol, Patterson said, adding CBD has not "ruled out" the possibility of some kind of arrangement being arrived at.

Brunasso said the study would be conducted by reputable biologists with more than 30 years of experience in the field.

"We look at this as mainly a stall tactic on (Patterson's) part that makes us spend our resources trying to justify our means, and there really is no reason to question the protocols because this is a reputable scientific firm with over 30 years experience," Brunasso said.


<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>
 

martininsocal

Well-Known Member
I only have one problem with the asa-they are fcighting for glamis...ONLY! They have stated that if and when they win the battle to open glamis back up, they are done. they don't want to fight for the other areas that will come up next in the same lawsuit, including johnson valley. ai am a desert racer, and glamis is just one of the places I visit. CORVA is helping with this battle , but they have stated they will carry on the fight long after glamis is decided. It is time we stop piece mealing these battles and fight from a common platform. I believe CORVA is this platform. I will not condem the ASA, but I have to fight for all the desert, not just the sand box.

If your gonna go, go BIG
 

Paige

Well-Known Member
Fortunatley - an umbrealla organization already exists - The California League of Off-Road Voters.
CORVA, along with AMA Dist 37 is a founding member of the California League of Off-Road Voters (CLORV) which our little fledgling organization (Coalition of Off-Road Desert Racers) , is also already a part of (I am the tresurer for CLORV).

CORVA, AMA Dist. 37 and Public Lands for the People also have a lawyer and are paying immense lawyer's fees each month ($40k) some of which CLORV will pick up and the rest comes out of their cummlative funds - but CLORV is there to take the pressure off of CORVA, et. al. This is to fight the settlement the BLM agreed to in the GLAMIS lawsuit... and be an umbrella org for all California.

Regarding ASA yeah ~ they are there to fight for Glamis - That is how they came into being, BUT if they win and are successful, it will set the precident for the rest of the 21 CDCA lawsuits.

CORVA supports ASA and has been funneling funds into their court battles - mainly because we must all stick together and if ASA can get this one over-turned, we all are in better shape. This is not only a ASA issue, in the long run if effects everyone. ASA has hired the biologist that is trying to gather some information on the milk-vetch plant - because at this time there is none! They shut down those 48,000 acres without knowing much about that plant other than it was on the ESA list. That is what this call to action was about - helping to document the milk-vetch - but by the CDCA settlment agreement they can only go in by foot or on horseback - no motorized transport.

At the DAC meeting Tony Campbell and I were at April 7, ASA was there in force, and were equally concerned with other areas of the proposed management plans that have nothing to do with the dunes.

We were there representing the off-road racing community to learn what our fate is with these new management plans and to let these people know that competition is there and concerned about what is going on. Thus far, the old parker 400 course and the old B- V course are the only ones slated for elimination however, that meeting did not inlcude the management plan for Johnson, Stoddard and Ridgecrest ~ that is the one where the racers must get together and really respond to. CORVA thank god sits on the Planning Committee for the West Mojave Plan and I have been up to a few meetings to try and figure out where the open areas will be shut down - at this time the race courses are okay - but that is subject to change. Ed from CORVA is working to protect competition as long as competition supports them, which is what CORDR is trying to do.

As we get organized this little org (CORDR) we will need help - our main goal at this point is to provide a voice for the racing community with all these damn land grabs and to do the fall clean up and take what ever money we raise and send it to CLORV or CORVA whoever needs it most...we are just now getting our non-profit papers and once they are filed with the state, we will be ready to start organizing...

So bottom line - in this fight - everyone is in it together - we are getting attacked from all sides AT THE SAME TIME, so it behooves us to support each other - ya know
(As a matter of fact the article I just wrote for ORC is being reprinted by SDORC and is being distributed by CLORV to all the California legislaters).
BUT the racers must get involved so hopefully people like yourself will be more than willing to help as we figure out how to set this up.

CLORV represents everyone and does go Big! ( these damn acronyms are confusing) we have a lobbiest and a number of groups already involved with CORVA leading the way
~ Hopefully by working together - we will not only make a difference but be victorious...No more games - no more whimp footing around - we are fighting fire with fire!

<font color=yellow>Paige<font color=yellow>
 

Rodney

Well-Known Member
Paige,
First, THANK YOU for your efforts...some of us really do apprciate it. I'm a long time desert enthusiast
and, unfortunately, have not been as involved as I should be. I belong to the BRC, I will join CORVA next. It is nice to see we are making progress in getting organized, all is not lost yet!! Keep up the good work!

Winning IS everything
 
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