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Old 03-20-2009, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thank-you!!!

There was a tour of Johnson Valley provided to the members of the Desert Advisory Council and guests.

Among noted "guests" was myself and OHMVR Deputy Director Daphne Greene (along with another OHMVR staffer). And, there were a couple of guys from the State BLM office in attendance.

First, I want to congratulate the organizers of the tour. You guys did a very commendable job of demonstrating what a 4x4 run is all about. Starting with the drivers meeting and the on trail procedures, the tour came off with a display of professionalism.

The unplanned event where a disabled vehicle had to be winched out of a tight spot and it was provided with assistance down the mountain was a great display of professionalism.

I heard a lot of positive comments. Several members of the DAC mentioned to me they now have an appreciation for 4x4 recreation and what I have been telling them for several years now has a frame of reference.

Thanks to Doug for being my chauffeur for the tour. I enjoyed the day and the entertainment you provided.

Thanks to Jerry, Dave, Mustard Dog and everyone else that was a part of pulling this off.

To everyone that was part of planning and executing the tour, thank-you for your dedication and commitment.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good Work guys!

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Old 03-21-2009, 08:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Nice!
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It was cool to do, and I really think we made an impact.

The lady riding with me is the executive secretary for I think the BLM district manager. After the run Larry Blaine was telling me that she has the ear of a lot of top people there. She had an absolute BLAST!!! Kept saying how there was no way this kind of thing could be described and getting to experience it first hand was just incredible.

I took her down Sledge at the end of the tour, it was cool
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Very cool!
And yes, it was a pleasure to be able to be involved.
My passenger, is a conservationist overseeing the Pipes Canyon Preserve and the local Wildland Conservancy, and she's also Chair of the California Desert Coalition (Group fighting Green Path).
The cool thing about her is that she's an avid off-highway enthusiast. She has actually wheeled the Hammers before ("in her boyfriend's crawler") and she also owns a quad and dirt bike. Plus she's currently shopping for a duel sport. She knows her stuff.
I asked about her interest in helping save JV. She had two main concerns. One being she truly acknowledges the need for our recreation, and two is that if we loose this place, the negative impact to the local Conservancy areas would be risk.
Anyway, she had a good time and seems to be on our side. However some of her cohorts think she's nuts.

BTW, I put her behind the wheel half way down Sledge...she can wheel!
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The gentlmen who rode with me was really concerned that the opposition was even considering this area. I give BIG props to Dave and everyone for the on-going work. We have to keep the fight up as our backs are to the wall!

I was the guy pulling the Scrambler out of the canyon!
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Great work guys!
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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the guy with me was a cattle rancher from the onyx/kelso valley area on the blm advisory committee. being a member of the club that built the hammers i spent the day explaining history of the hammers an 4 wheelin in general to anyone who would listen. the common coments were i had no idea anything like this exsisted out here ane this isn't just another piece of dirt. everyone had a great time. hats off to dave an the blm people . craig, victor valley 4 wheelers

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Old 03-21-2009, 02:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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this is awsome to hear. Didn't even relize this happened! Congrats to you all that pulled this off. This gives a warm and fuzzy feeling
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My passenger was this less than petite fellow that had never ridden in a Jeep at the Hammers before and got scared real easily. (some of that may have been my driving) Other than that, I was honored to be a part of something like this and would do it again in an instant.

I did get a chance to take a gentleman name Court up to the entrance to Sledge and his comments over and over were the same. He'd ridden motorcycles out there for 20 years and never knew just how diverse and awesome the trails were and how impossible they would be to replace.

I was the guy that was directing the winching and recovery of the broken rig. Thanks Gerald, you picked the pefect spot to get him out of the way so everyone else could get through.
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:23 PM   #11 (permalink)
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the guy with me was a cattle rancher from the onyx/kelso valley area on the blm advisory committee. being a member of the club that built the hammers i spent the day explaining history of the hammers an 4 wheelin in general to anyone who would listen. the common coments were i had no idea anything like this exsisted out here ane this isn't just another piece of dirt. everyone had a great time. hats off to dave an the blm people . craig, victor valley 4 wheelers
Are you Craig?
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Old 03-21-2009, 09:58 PM   #12 (permalink)
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great job...that is the way to impress them and show them what it is all about!!! for some of them it was probably an experience of a lifetime.(even the scared little guy...wish i could be a fly on the wall when he is recounting his adventure!)
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:14 PM   #13 (permalink)
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You guys are awesome for making this happen and doing such a good job.
Thank you!!!!
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Old 03-22-2009, 03:55 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Great kob. I'm glad everything went good. I have tried to do the same here in TN. They are trying to start up a state wide OHV and I thought it would be good to get the head people out on the trail and show them what it was all about. It just seems like none of them want to do it, or the people I'm going through are not doing much to push it.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Great job everyone.
So how do we get Difi and her cronies out there for a fun ride?
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:27 AM   #16 (permalink)
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thanks guys, i am far away but am pleased to see such a great day in the name of offroading. i don't know if i will ever make it to jv but i sure appreciate your fine efforts!
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I did not make this tour, But I did attend the DAC meeting, Its unfortunate
there was little ...if any mention of this tour during the DAC meeting
Saturday.

Its unfortunate, Because Everyone I spoke with that did the tour thought
it made a positive impression and was well recieved.

Also, No public comment was allowed between presentations, So
most of us were stuck listening without input. John Stewart and Ed
managed to wrangle the microphone a time or two, That was about it
from the public. We left before the end of the day when public was
allowed time. By then subjects are stale, everyone wants to get the hell outta there

A presentation regarding Re-opening some or all of the closed half of Glamis
but maybe two people from the ASA sand community, One on the DAC board itself.

You would figure with so many Glamis users out there, there would be more people
interested.

Im sorry for this type of report, But tha last DAC meeting I attended in Ridgcrest
was much different, The Surprise Canyon tour was a hit with the committee, and
we as the public were allowed to participate during the meeting.

Wayne
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Old 03-22-2009, 12:23 PM   #18 (permalink)
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was much different, The Surprise Canyon tour was a hit with the committee, and
we as the public were allowed to participate during the meeting.

Wayne

So was this Wayne. Bigger than can be described.
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:44 PM   #19 (permalink)
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...even the scared little guy...wish i could be a fly on the wall when he is recounting his adventure!...
Watch for the video on the Technique (tm)!

Great job, all -- I honestly believe that ride-alongs are the BEST way to educate folks on what we do and how we do it... you just can't summarize in writing or even on video what it is like to crawl through boulders.

Thanks for making time to educate, even on a weekday.

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Old 03-22-2009, 01:55 PM   #20 (permalink)
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i wrote an e-mail to difi's web site extending an invite to do the same thing for her and her staff. see what happens. larry at barstow blm has done the same i think and is pushing hard to keep jv open for us.
yes i'm one of 2 craigs at VV4W. the old fat guy with the extended 104" willys
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Old 03-22-2009, 01:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Gotta take a shower (3 days and 300 desert miles gets you dusty) then look through the photos I have from the trip. Got a little stuck on my diffs a few times, but my 2 riders had a great time, and want to check out more trails, sounded like lots of the DAC members wanted to go back to the Hammers as soon as they could.
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Old 03-22-2009, 05:04 PM   #22 (permalink)
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So was this Wayne. Bigger than can be described.
I did not imply it was not BIG. My beef is that there is usually a report to the
DAC by the host BLM district of the outing of the previous day. The report
that was given by the BLM failed to convey the good feeling and rapport that
was in evidence on Friday at the Hammers. And, yes, there should HAVE
been a lot of recognition by the DAC as to how the day went and
recognition of the effort and hospitality of the OHV community.

I'm sorry to say that the DAC members did not place comments in the official
record, of the good time they had, or of any increased understanding or
appreciation of off roading.

The day was not entered into official DAC public record by the recorder,
(At least when I was there) So consider down the road if somebody wants
to say,.... look up and reference that hammer tour as a matter of public record
It will not exist...No matter how Big it was.

Wayne
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:23 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Wayne, that is tragic for sure that even just days after the successful tour, it was not noted in a meeting of this sort.

So, moving forward...what can or should be done? Should we subtlly mention to those on the tour that had great impressions and are in a position to comment, actually DO comment at the next DAC meeting? When is that?
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #24 (permalink)
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This post does not bear good news, so if after reading it, you want to shoot the messenger, fire away. If on the other hand, you recognize that the messenger is not the enemy, then perhaps you need to realize that you need to take a more proactive stance to save Johnson Valley.

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I attended the DAC tour on Friday, and I too heard all of the wonderful comments made by the DAC members and the others in attendance. Incidentally, in case you didn't get to meet him, San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt went on the ride.

It was truly wonderful that all of you gave freely of your time and your equipment to show the Advisory Council just how special Johnson Valley is to all of us. I know that by the end of the day you were all pretty hyped up over the how well your efforts were received. I have no doubt that there was a great deal of 'bench racing' done by the DAC members on their way back to Barstow. I bet there was a lot of "I can top that stories" of daring-do by their drivers. With this tour being an unqualified success, and without a doubt, one of the best that has ever been presented to the DAC, I, and I'm sure all of you had high hopes that surely the DAC would be very vocal in their comments to the BLM and the Military, that Johnson Valley MUST be saved.

I went to the DAC meeting the following day, with visions of grand statements of support for saving Johnson Valley dancing in my head.

What did I hear instead? The sounds of silence! The rave reviews of the previous day were nowhere to be heard. The DAC members were back to business as usual, and when the representative for the Barstow BLM gave the required report of the previous day's tour, what did it consist of? Words to the effect of, 'What you saw yesterday was just a small part of Johnson Valley, there's more to it than just that one area.' HUH? To say that I was shocked by the failure to recognize the effort that went in to giving the DAC members, the 'ride of their life,' is a gross understatement!

I know that the volunteers were thanked on Friday out on the lakebed, but frankly, none of that is part of the public record, and in general terms, if it ain't in the minutes, it didn't happen.

I will give credit to Steve Borchard, the California Desert District Manager, who did make a statement for the record. Mr. Borchard said, "It was an exciting and illustrative ride, thanks to the volunteers and their equipment."

Later in the meeting, following a briefing by Col. Weston, USMC, I thought that surely, now the DAC members would speak up in support of saving Johnson Valley, after all they could make their statement directly to the Colonel. Didn't happen. At no time during the meeting, did the council take any position of support for saving Johnson Valley.

There was one bright point in the day, and that was when DAC member Dinah Shumway pointedly challenged the Marines by saying, you should include looking at wilderness areas, because everyone should be asked to support the military, not just the recreationalists! She continued, "No one sector of our community should be asked to sacrifice." I thought, perhaps now, the council would speak out to save Johnson Valley. They did not.

Did the advisory council give any advice to the BLM during the meeting? Yes, they asked them to implement the following rules on BLM land: no wood with metal, no glass, and implement a 10:00 PM curfew for noise. Oh yes, and some other motion about putting up more signs.

All and all, I was hugely disappointed in the BLM and the DAC, and I am very proud of the Off Road Community.
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Old 03-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Frankly Helen, the DAC (for the most part) has lost its sole.

Once it was a group of folks that were vocal leaders who attempted to represent the interests they represented and took pride at giving BLM the advice they needed.

I was saddened to read most of the transcripts of the last DAC meeting and to read the comments of Ron Schiller. With Ron not being a part of this group, there is only Richard Rudnick left as one who will raise hell (if necessary) with BLM.

Now the DAC is mostly there for their ego and how it looks on their resume.

Sad indeed.
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