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Old 05-14-2012, 11:32 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Here's more information on the OHVDC in answer to Jeff's concerns.

- The OHVDC is not a CORVA effort per se. Discussion of this issue, and the search for a qualified law firm was underway when a concerned individual who wanted to push this issue forward pitched the idea to all the large organizations. CORVA, or rather, members and board members from CORVA, were the only ones interested in taking this on. A large group was invited from which a smaller group volunteered as board members.

-N2Dirt is a 501c3 that was formed by CORVA members in much the same way the Cal4 Foundation (on which I am a Trustee) was formed by Cal4 members. It had gone pretty much dormant, had a three member BOD, and was the perfect "foundation" to build on (pardon the pun.) I was chosen as the Project Manager/Chairman for the effort.

- The plan is to sue if we have a case. No additional plan is necessary. The goal is first to make the legislature obey the law, to invalidate AB 95, and second to receive whatever damages the lawyers feel we can manage. We should have some answers next week. Loans taken in the past were legal, and the repayment schedule is written into law. A separate effort would be needed to change anything on this front.

- No question, suing is expensive. The plan is to raise money via donations from whatever sources are available. There is, I believe, a substantial amount of money waiting for the legal opinion. Once we have a case we will all have to work hard to fund this effort, and I know we can count on the wealth of knowledge and skill at fundraising to be found here to offer assistance.

- As I've said before, there are no management fees. All funds received are for legal fees. We are not yet publishing the treasurer's reports, but they are available for the asking now.

The makeup of the OHVDC board should be published on the web site any time now, which should answer some "who are we" questions.

Questions, inquiries, or offers to assist this effort should be directed to me.

Joe Sand, OHVDC Project Manager/Chairman
Joe@jeepwhisperer.com, cell 916-710-1951.

I thank all of you for your interest in this important effort.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:48 AM   #127 (permalink)
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I looked through Gov. Browns budget release last night and and didn't see any new "borrowing". The continued $10M "Take" is in there. That is the focus of the proposed law suit by OHVDC. So, add another $10M to last years $10M unconstitutional "Take" and future years, and you'll see what the OHVDC is trying to regain and protect.

http://www.ebudget.ca.gov/pdf/Govern.../3000/3790.pdf

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Old 05-15-2012, 09:34 AM   #128 (permalink)
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So, the overall $$ coming into the OHMVR is 95 Million a year right?

The revolving debt is 8 Billion a year and the total debt 16 billion.

And we are set to lose 10 million a year to pay down a massive debt, that could cost us teachers, firefighters and police? (And yes I know that is a chicken sh** ploy).

Everyone has to give, why are we different? (Devils Advocate)
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:40 AM   #129 (permalink)
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- No question, suing is expensive. The plan is to raise money via donations from whatever sources are available. There is, I believe, a substantial amount of money waiting for the legal opinion. Once we have a case we will all have to work hard to fund this effort, and I know we can count on the wealth of knowledge and skill at fundraising to be found here to offer assistance.

- As I've said before, there are no management fees. All funds received are for legal fees.
What will happen to the donated funds should the initial goal of $15k not be met?

When the $15k goal is met the investigation launches and proves a case either exists or doesn’t. When the call to move forward comes, what will the monetary goal be for launching the lawsuit? What will happen to the funds donated should we fall short of that goal?

If all goals are met and the lawsuit moves forward, what will happen if more funding is required along the way?

When the lawsuit is successful, what will become of the legal fees reimbursed by the State?
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:15 AM   #130 (permalink)
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So, the overall $$ coming into the OHMVR is 95 Million a year right?

The revolving debt is 8 Billion a year and the total debt 16 billion.

And we are set to lose 10 million a year to pay down a massive debt, that could cost us teachers, firefighters and police? (And yes I know that is a chicken sh** ploy).

Everyone has to give, why are we different? (Devils Advocate)
Good question, this will be the real issue once we get past the OHV money is Parks money mind set there's more pressing matters at hand, personally I say recall the Governor that can't figure out he's going the wrong way, yeah I know fat chance.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:18 AM   #131 (permalink)
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What will happen to the donated funds should the initial goal of $15k not be met?

When the $15k goal is met the investigation launches and proves a case either exists or doesn’t. When the call to move forward comes, what will the monetary goal be for launching the lawsuit? What will happen to the funds donated should we fall short of that goal?

If all goals are met and the lawsuit moves forward, what will happen if more funding is required along the way?

When the lawsuit is successful, what will become of the legal fees reimbursed by the State?
Another good question, but I wonder why this don't bother you till now?
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:30 AM   #132 (permalink)
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Sometimes people have other things to think about.

WTF kind of question is that?
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:49 AM   #133 (permalink)
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Another good question, but I wonder why this don't bother you till now?
Thank you!

I don't spend every waking moment considering all aspects of this thing and the synopsis I responded to, which was just released, brought the question to mind.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:53 AM   #134 (permalink)
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Loans taken in the past were legal.
If this is the case, how can we explain Mr. Hathaway’s successful pre-SB 742 fund reimbursement effort during the mid 90’s?

http://nohvcclibrary.forestry.uga.ed...LES/M-0031.pdf

"CORVA member, Kurt Hathaway, filed suit against the State of California involving over $100 million of diverted special funds (OHV & Boating funds) used to balance the budget from 1991-1994. The suit was settled on February 15, 1996 and the state will repay the funds with interest!"
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Old 05-15-2012, 02:28 PM   #135 (permalink)
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the repayment schedule is written into law.
Would you happen to know what law the schedule “is written into” and where this law can be found?

Over the forty-one year history of the OHMVR Division and concurrent establishment of the “self-funding” mechanism, only two documented reimbursements have ever taken place that I have been able to discover.







In 1982, eleven years after its inception, the first documented transfer of “Trust Funds” to the “General Fund” occurred totaling $8.5M.

In 1983 SB 156 established a repayment mechanism Ch. 1007/83, SB 156, Robbins - $21,5M transfer (repayment) from the General Fund to the OHV Fund when “the Director of Finance determines that the OHV Fund has become, or is about to become, encumbered in excess of the moneys available . . . “.

In the next thirteen years over $55M dollars were taken via various methods for different purposes. One involved a $3M “loan” to the Dept. of Fish and Game in 1990 via AB 3727 that was NOT paid back in the time “promised” but was eventually returned.

To my knowledge and after extensive searching I cannot find documentation of any other voluntary repayment, hence Mr. Hathaway’s 1996 success is the only other reimbursement that has occurred in thirty years of loaning, borrowing or taking.

If someone can produce other cases of reimbursement, please do!

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Old 05-15-2012, 02:58 PM   #136 (permalink)
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You're a class act, Bob.

FWIW, I support your ability to speak freely, I just wish you'd be equally free with your full motivations.

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Old 05-15-2012, 03:19 PM   #137 (permalink)
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You're a class act, Bob.

FWIW, I support your ability to speak freely, I just wish you'd be equally free with your full motivations.

Randii (not hiding)


Thank you!

Are there no reimbursements to the "fund" you can cite as a contribution to the discussion?

I have highlighted Mr. Hathaway’s success time and time again as the singular outstanding example of what a lawsuit can accomplish in total support of this endeavor!!!

Are you not in support of bringing litigation in an attempt to build upon and emulate his outstanding achievement?
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Old 05-15-2012, 03:47 PM   #138 (permalink)
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Thank you!Are there no reimbursements to the "fund" you can cite as a contribution to the discussion?
Not in the busiest week of my month.

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Originally Posted by LYIN' KING View Post
Are you not in support of bringing litigation in an attempt to build upon and emulate his outstanding achievement?
I don't know enough about Hathaway to comment on that, but I am certainly in favor of litigating over intervening, and OHMVR is*well* worth saving. I shudder to think of how little OHV recreation would be available without the Division!

Back on topic: here's a cut-and-paste on this topic from SOTSNF:
We know that a few people have wanted to see the California OHMRVD moth balled. Ever since SB 742 was passed it has kept the environmental hands out of \"our\" cookie jar. Now certain environmentalists want the Division to go away, this has been stated during public meetings. Therefore, it is not hard to believe that the push to raid the OHV Trust Fund may be coming from environmental concerns.
Enter “Sub-Part A” of the USFS Travel Management Plan. Environmentalists are claiming the USFS doesn’t have the resources to maintain “system routes” therefore the system should be right sized for the budgets available. What better way to reduce access and recreational opportunity than to go after the funds that keep them open. Environmental concerns do not want responsible OHV use in the forest; they want OHV “out” of the forest.
The funding comes from gas taxes paid by those that use the fuel for off-highway use. Those taxes are to support our road systems. Being the State and Cal-Trans does not want to maintain off-road routes and, they do not want to \"re-fund\" our taxes, the OHV Trust Fund and OHMVR Division was created. Fuel tax and registration fees are paid for a specific purpose and are not part of general funds. When you slide your credit card through a gas pump you are paying for the fuel and taxes with the understanding that those taxes will go to a specific use. Diverting money to \"other\" uses goes outside of the original tax law and agreement between the state and the public. There are many that feel what the State is doing is a breach of contract. OHV users agreed through SB 742 to pay additional registration fees so long as those funds went back into OHV related projects. Once again, by diverting those funds to another use or to the general fund, the State is breaking the law a! ccording to SB 742.
There have been several instances of lawsuits that have been filed against the state due to the fore mentioned reason. The First-Five lawsuit would be a perfect example.
For more information and to get involved go to www.ohvdc.org


Randii

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Old 05-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #139 (permalink)
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Nuff said regarding resolve.
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:26 PM   #140 (permalink)
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I haven't been on Pirate in a long time, but for the most part, it is like I never left. The same small group of people, especially the Duck, are still throwing rock at folks who actually get involved and take a stand on behalf of the OHV community.

Regarding suing California, I am not sure that is a winner. Even if you were to be successful, getting a favorable judgement is one thing, actually getting the cash is another as evidenced by the 1996 case where only a portion of the judgement was actually re-paid California is in such an incredibly deep financial hole that I don't see how we will ever get anything back. I am also not clear on the concept of paying lawyers to see if you have a case. I have been on the legal review committee of a major OHV organization, as well as an officer in several other OHV organizations that have filed multiple lawsuits, and I have never seen significant payment to see if a case is feasible.

BTW, for the record, that earlier lawsuit was filed by Richard Fine, an anti-tax attorney in LA. Kurt actually didn't have anything to do with initiating the lawsuit, he was the most convienently located OHV organization officer to Fine's office, I think he was CORVA VP at the time. Fine recently got out of jail after serving 14 months for a contempt citation over his legal activism. Fine didn't charge anything for this lawsuit, as he got a percentage of the winnings.

The Ecologic and BRC attorneys have both looked at this situation, and neither see a winning case here. Duck has poo-pooed both of them, as he does almost everybody else in the OHV leadership community, saying they aren't "constitutional" lawyers, therefore they can't understand the law. Well, they may not be "Supreme Court" candidates, but I respect their opinions more than a one term CORVA president from over 20 years ago who spends half his day at work as a parts guy for a Yamaha dealer on the computer instead of actually working. All he does is throw rocks at people and tell us how much he knows and does (did many years ago), he doesn't actually go to meeting or write letters, or heaven forbid, actually belong to ANY OHV organization today or make any donations to ANY cause. He talks about writing big NEPA document responses, but I haven't seen one in over 20 years, and I have been involved in scores of NEPA documents. Yeah, he did good work on the Sequoia 20 years ago, but in the end, we still got screwed. The "mediated settlement" he is so proud of was never actually implemented. But the Duck left the battlefield decades ago and now just sits on the sidelines criticizing today's leaders

I am glad to see Jeff Knoll's posts and learn about his work. I also understand why he got frustrated and backed off somewhat, as debating with some on this forum is a waste of time.

Happy Trails
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Old 05-15-2012, 04:54 PM   #141 (permalink)
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right now, I think getting money back on a lawsuit is secondary. the lawsuit is intended to stop the taking of further funds. you have to stop the "leak" before you do anything else. Don't get me wrong, the BRC, CAl4, and other organizations may be good and are fighting hard for this - but, in all these years, have they been able to stop the taking of funds? When I sent my membership dues to BRC - I didn't ask about the management fees, where the money goes, etc - I sent it because i support what they do. Yet, to be honest - I don't see how effective they are.

This is our last shot - the environmental groups are very successful because they sue - the federal agencies "bow" to them because they are scared of lawsuits and will bend over backwards to appease them.

I don't know if this lawsuit would be successful, but, I want to know what the courts rule. If they rule against us and say the trust fund is fungible - then, at least we know where we stand. If they rule in our favor - then that would be awesome and will stop the further taking of money. Either way - we will know how to proceed from there. I guarentee you - the State will continue to take until they are told not to. The only way that will happen is with a lawsuit - letter writing campaigns, calling your representative will not make that happen.

Finally, I am fairly new to all this - but, one of the things I have noticed is that the OHV community really does turn on itself. Here we are in a position where the recreation we all love can be damaged for many years to come - and, that cannot bring people together. We would rather rant and rave and call people out....not good for the cause!
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:03 PM   #142 (permalink)
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I haven't been on Pirate in a long time, but for the most part, it is like I never left. The same small group of people, especially the Duck, are still throwing rock at folks who actually get involved and take a stand on behalf of the OHV community.

Regarding suing California, I am not sure that is a winner. Even if you were to be successful, getting a favorable judgement is one thing, actually getting the cash is another as evidenced by the 1996 case where only a portion of the judgement was actually re-paid California is in such an incredibly deep financial hole that I don't see how we will ever get anything back. I am also not clear on the concept of paying lawyers to see if you have a case. I have been on the legal review committee of a major OHV organization, as well as an officer in several other OHV organizations that have filed multiple lawsuits, and I have never seen significant payment to see if a case is feasible.

BTW, for the record, that earlier lawsuit was filed by Richard Fine, an anti-tax attorney in LA. Kurt actually didn't have anything to do with initiating the lawsuit, he was the most convienently located OHV organization officer to Fine's office, I think he was CORVA VP at the time. Fine recently got out of jail after serving 14 months for a contempt citation over his legal activism. Fine didn't charge anything for this lawsuit, as he got a percentage of the winnings.

The Ecologic and BRC attorneys have both looked at this situation, and neither see a winning case here. Duck has poo-pooed both of them, as he does almost everybody else in the OHV leadership community, saying they aren't "constitutional" lawyers, therefore they can't understand the law. Well, they may not be "Supreme Court" candidates, but I respect their opinions more than a one term CORVA president from over 20 years ago who spends half his day at work as a parts guy for a Yamaha dealer on the computer instead of actually working. All he does is throw rocks at people and tell us how much he knows and does (did many years ago), he doesn't actually go to meeting or write letters, or heaven forbid, actually belong to ANY OHV organization today or make any donations to ANY cause. He talks about writing big NEPA document responses, but I haven't seen one in over 20 years, and I have been involved in scores of NEPA documents. Yeah, he did good work on the Sequoia 20 years ago, but in the end, we still got screwed. The "mediated settlement" he is so proud of was never actually implemented. But the Duck left the battlefield decades ago and now just sits on the sidelines criticizing today's leaders

I am glad to see Jeff Knoll's posts and learn about his work. I also understand why he got frustrated and backed off somewhat, as debating with some on this forum is a waste of time.

Happy Trails
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:32 PM   #143 (permalink)
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In regards to the lawsuit, please check the 2011 Strategic Report, the history of the OHV loans as well as repayments start on page 8:http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/f...0final-web.pdf

The state (LAO) has already announced that they will take the entire amount allocated to the OHV Trust Fund in due time that is initiated with the gas user fee. Starting with $10 million last year and continuing until there is nothing left. Then we have no program. Many if not most of the OHV programs in the forests will close, the Rubicon may be forced to close because the county won't have the money to comply with the terms of the clean-up and abatement order, since most, if not all, of that funding comes from the OHV Grant Program.

Extreme organizations will take advantage of this circumstance, because they can force federal agencies to close off-road opportunities. Federal agencies can only keep open those trails they can afford to maintain, with grant funding gone, we have nothing to argue to keep them open. Road budgets in the Forest Service have decreased by 60%-70% in recent years. Metcalf OHV Park, Frank Raines, Jawbone....all those areas will most probably be closed. It's a nightmare in the making.

When faced with that choice, CORVA chose to pursue the option of a lawsuit, and determine if we had a sufficiently strong case to ask for support from the entire community. Many have proceeded to support this analysis, including Rubicon Trail Foundation, Stewards of the Sequoia, Stewards of the Sierra, Timekeepers M/C Club, Salinas Ramblers M/C Club, 4X4 in Motion, San Diego Adventure Riders, as well as Cal4 and AMA D36, and many others. In a serendipitous manner, Kenny Deeg from the Timekeepers had also been looking into a lawsuit, and we joined forces and invited everyone else to come. Some did, some didn't, and their decisions are all valid.

Starting last year, we had searched out attorneys to solicit their opinions, we had three attorneys already weigh in, and 2 agreed that we had sufficient cause for a lawsuit (although one deferred from wanting to take this case on, because he said we would do well to hire a larger law firm, one with solid credentials and expertise), one said that we had a pretty good case, but she wasn't experienced enough in constitutional law, nor associated with an "important" law firm, one that would make the state "sit up and take notice".

When told that BRC's attorney, located in Idaho, had expressed an opinion that there is no cause for action, I requested a brief, a short memo, requesting his reasons for saying this, and never received anything. I've worked with Paul Turke before, and am currently a declarant on the intervention Cal4 and BRC filed in support of the Stanislaus National Forest. When informed that David Hubbard had also expressed that opinion, I requested the brief, or any analysis, even a phone call, to explain his reasoning, and how he came to this conclusion. I received nothing. I value both their opinions, and wouldn't dream of diminishing their efforts on behalf of the OHV community, and would certainly incorporate their opinions into the analysis.

The reason for the analysis is clear - in this case the constitutional law that is involved goes back to the 1930's, and case law has to be evaluated to determine the likely outcome. Lawsuits are extremely expensive, and should we need to take this case through an appeal, which would be likely if the state loses the first go round - they will appeal that ruling; we have to be sure that we have a solid base on which to stand. The firm wants the same - their names and reputation are on the line as well, and they want a 'win'. In the larger scheme, $15,000 is a small amount to pay to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the case - we have to know what the state will throw at us in court. We also want to evaluate both the negative and positive consequences of the lawsuit, as well as expectations.

Some have posited that the state will never return the money, but I question if the court can force that action. In either case, we have to go in knowing these answers. If we prevail, our costs will be reimbursed by the state.

Lawsuits have to be managed, or they can spin out of control. In this case, the terms are very clear, the protections to the community in place, as best as we can determine to make sure this doesn't happen. In either case, we will have the correct information on which to base our next decisions.

We have a board helping make all these decisions made up of people many may know, or some may not know: Richard Brightman, Roberta Woods, Kenny Deeg, John Arenz, Ed Stovin, Steve Cowdrey, Bob Ham, Joe Sand and myself. We hail from Northern to Southern California, participate in everything from M/C, 4WD, ATV and snowmobiles. There is a larger advisory committee that includes many highly qualified and knowledgeable people.

Two of us researched law firms independently, and looked for a firm based on win/lose percentages, areas of expertise, ratings (yes, lawyers have a rating system) and appropriate experience with constitutional law cases. Both of us came up with the same firm, Baker, Manock and Jensen, located in Fresno. Part of this was based on their recent win in the First 5 case serving as the lead attorneys for 10 counties. None of the lawyers we talked with earlier, or Mr. Turke or Mr. Hubbard, have this depth of experience in California constitutional law. In regards to Mr Turke and Mr. Hubbard, their experience in land use is admirable.

I have no illusions that this explanation will set all minds at ease, but hopefully will answer some concerns. This post is not intended to inflame, only to inform. In this time of attack, it serves little purpose to constantly pick away and criticize. At that point it becomes destructive rather than constructive, and does not serve the OHV community or the greater good.

As I always say, (and none have done), give me a call and I will be pleased to address your concerns further, as will Joe Sand, the Project Manager. We have both posted our numbers and contact info previously, if need be, please send a pm.

Sincerely
Amy
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:40 PM   #144 (permalink)
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In response to Trailguru - I have worked with Steve and value his opinion. He does belong to CORVA, and helped with numerous NEPA documents as well as participated in our CORVA Comments Project Workshop.

Regardless of what profession one finds themselves employed in at the current time, all work that is done with integrity deserves to be honored. In these difficult economic times, any and all positions are to be treasured, not trashed. My husband is an electrical engineer with a degree from Cal Poly, yet is working as a mechanic. Neither positions indicate a greater status than another. I can honestly say that some of my best friends are parts people at dealerships, including my son!

It is a wise society that honors all their participants and contributors, whether from 20 years ago, or yesterday. Some start with a greater understanding, and some take more time to develop their expertise, it matters little, if not at all.

Work is honorable, participation is welcome, and communication should be given with respect and consideration.
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Old 05-15-2012, 06:55 PM   #145 (permalink)
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In regards to the lawsuit, please check the 2011 Strategic Report, the history of the OHV loans as well as repayments start on page 8:http://ohv.parks.ca.gov/pages/1140/f...0final-web.pdf

The state (LAO) has already announced that they will take the entire amount allocated to the OHV Trust Fund in due time that is initiated with the gas user fee. Starting with $10 million last year and continuing until there is nothing left. Then we have no program. Many if not most of the OHV programs in the forests will close, the Rubicon may be forced to close because the county won't have the money to comply with the terms of the clean-up and abatement order, since most, if not all, of that funding comes from the OHV Grant Program.

Extreme organizations will take advantage of this circumstance, because they can force federal agencies to close off-road opportunities. Federal agencies can only keep open those trails they can afford to maintain, with grant funding gone, we have nothing to argue to keep them open. Road budgets in the Forest Service have decreased by 60%-70% in recent years. Metcalf OHV Park, Frank Raines, Jawbone....all those areas will most probably be closed. It's a nightmare in the making.

When faced with that choice, CORVA chose to pursue the option of a lawsuit, and determine if we had a sufficiently strong case to ask for support from the entire community. Many have proceeded to support this analysis, including Rubicon Trail Foundation, Stewards of the Sequoia, Stewards of the Sierra, Timekeepers M/C Club, Salinas Ramblers M/C Club, 4X4 in Motion, San Diego Adventure Riders, as well as Cal4 and AMA D36, and many others. In a serendipitous manner, Kenny Deeg from the Timekeepers had also been looking into a lawsuit, and we joined forces and invited everyone else to come. Some did, some didn't, and their decisions are all valid.

Starting last year, we had searched out attorneys to solicit their opinions, we had three attorneys already weigh in, and 2 agreed that we had sufficient cause for a lawsuit (although one deferred from wanting to take this case on, because he said we would do well to hire a larger law firm, one with solid credentials and expertise), one said that we had a pretty good case, but she wasn't experienced enough in constitutional law, nor associated with an "important" law firm, one that would make the state "sit up and take notice".

When told that BRC's attorney, located in Idaho, had expressed an opinion that there is no cause for action, I requested a brief, a short memo, requesting his reasons for saying this, and never received anything. I've worked with Paul Turke before, and am currently a declarant on the intervention Cal4 and BRC filed in support of the Stanislaus National Forest. When informed that David Hubbard had also expressed that opinion, I requested the brief, or any analysis, even a phone call, to explain his reasoning, and how he came to this conclusion. I received nothing. I value both their opinions, and wouldn't dream of diminishing their efforts on behalf of the OHV community, and would certainly incorporate their opinions into the analysis.

The reason for the analysis is clear - in this case the constitutional law that is involved goes back to the 1930's, and case law has to be evaluated to determine the likely outcome. Lawsuits are extremely expensive, and should we need to take this case through an appeal, which would be likely if the state loses the first go round - they will appeal that ruling; we have to be sure that we have a solid base on which to stand. The firm wants the same - their names and reputation are on the line as well, and they want a 'win'. In the larger scheme, $15,000 is a small amount to pay to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the case - we have to know what the state will throw at us in court. We also want to evaluate both the negative and positive consequences of the lawsuit, as well as expectations.

Some have posited that the state will never return the money, but I question if the court can force that action. In either case, we have to go in knowing these answers. If we prevail, our costs will be reimbursed by the state.

Lawsuits have to be managed, or they can spin out of control. In this case, the terms are very clear, the protections to the community in place, as best as we can determine to make sure this doesn't happen. In either case, we will have the correct information on which to base our next decisions.

We have a board helping make all these decisions made up of people many may know, or some may not know: Richard Brightman, Roberta Woods, Kenny Deeg, John Arenz, Ed Stovin, Steve Cowdrey, Bob Ham, and myself. We hail from Northern to Southern California, participate in everything from M/C, 4WD, ATV and snowmobiles. There is a larger advisory committee that includes many highly qualified and knowledgeable people.

Two of us researched law firms independently, and looked for a firm based on win/lose percentages, areas of expertise, ratings (yes, lawyers have a rating system) and appropriate experience with constitutional law cases. Both of us came up with the same firm, Baker, Manock and Jensen, located in Fresno. Part of this was based on their recent win in the First 5 case serving as the lead attorneys for 10 counties. None of the lawyers we talked with earlier, or Mr. Turke or Mr. Hubbard, have this depth of experience in California constitutional law. In regards to Mr Turke and Mr. Hubbard, their experience in land use is admirable.

I have no illusions that this explanation will set all minds at ease, but hopefully will answer some concerns. This post is not intended to inflame, only to inform. In this time of attack, it serves little purpose to constantly pick away and criticize. At that point it becomes destructive rather than constructive, and does not serve the OHV community or the greater good.

As I always say, (and none have done), give me a call and I will be pleased to address your concerns further, as will Joe Sand, the Project Manager. We have both posted our numbers and contact info previously, if need be, please send a pm.

Sincerely
Amy
Excellent - well said Amy.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:20 PM   #146 (permalink)
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I haven't been on Pirate in a long time, but for the most part, it is like I never left. The same small group of people, especially the Duck, are still throwing rock at folks who actually get involved and take a stand on behalf of the OHV community.

Regarding suing California, I am not sure that is a winner. Even if you were to be successful, getting a favorable judgement is one thing, actually getting the cash is another as evidenced by the 1996 case where only a portion of the judgement was actually re-paid California is in such an incredibly deep financial hole that I don't see how we will ever get anything back. I am also not clear on the concept of paying lawyers to see if you have a case. I have been on the legal review committee of a major OHV organization, as well as an officer in several other OHV organizations that have filed multiple lawsuits, and I have never seen significant payment to see if a case is feasible.

BTW, for the record, that earlier lawsuit was filed by Richard Fine, an anti-tax attorney in LA. Kurt actually didn't have anything to do with initiating the lawsuit, he was the most convienently located OHV organization officer to Fine's office, I think he was CORVA VP at the time. Fine recently got out of jail after serving 14 months for a contempt citation over his legal activism. Fine didn't charge anything for this lawsuit, as he got a percentage of the winnings.

The Ecologic and BRC attorneys have both looked at this situation, and neither see a winning case here. Duck has poo-pooed both of them, as he does almost everybody else in the OHV leadership community, saying they aren't "constitutional" lawyers, therefore they can't understand the law. Well, they may not be "Supreme Court" candidates, but I respect their opinions more than a one term CORVA president from over 20 years ago who spends half his day at work as a parts guy for a Yamaha dealer on the computer instead of actually working. All he does is throw rocks at people and tell us how much he knows and does (did many years ago), he doesn't actually go to meeting or write letters, or heaven forbid, actually belong to ANY OHV organization today or make any donations to ANY cause. He talks about writing big NEPA document responses, but I haven't seen one in over 20 years, and I have been involved in scores of NEPA documents. Yeah, he did good work on the Sequoia 20 years ago, but in the end, we still got screwed. The "mediated settlement" he is so proud of was never actually implemented. But the Duck left the battlefield decades ago and now just sits on the sidelines criticizing today's leaders

I am glad to see Jeff Knoll's posts and learn about his work. I also understand why he got frustrated and backed off somewhat, as debating with some on this forum is a waste of time.

Happy Trails
TrailGuru
Well... we now have a "one hit wonder" (new to post under this name) that likes to throw rocks a me on a personal basis and challenge my work. I suspect that this person does not even hail from where he/she provides in their profile.

As to meetings, you are correct. I don't attend them (for the most part) any longer. As to comments to planning efforts, I send them on behalf of organizations to the responsible agency. So that is why you don't see them.

I pick and chose what issues I have time to work on. I'm usually asked by organization's leadership to become involved. I may write the entire document or just parts of it. It all depends on the situation.

I'm also involved to some degree with dealer franchise legislation and rule-making.

In the end, I have limited time to continue to give to off-highway motorized recreation. But I do continue to give.

Donations? You have no clue to what and who I send donations to.

I have in the past (for more years than I care to remember), and continue to donate a heck of a lot of my time to the cause. Is this not enough?

If you call bringing "sunshine" to the decisions of some in the "off-road leadership" then call it what you want. I'm attempting to bring perspecitve, background, an my opinion to the public. Unless I'm asked to keep matters off the message boards, I attempt to allow those who read the same (members or not of organizations) informed on the issues.

I really cannot think I'm doing any wrong. Why do you couch what I'm doing as somehow wrong?

As to the legal firm chose to do this work, they specialize in this type of law.
I never "poo pooed" either firm in this matter. I disagree with their assessments. Do your research and find out the credentials of the firm hired in this current effort. Then, go back and look at the firms you believe have their act together on the matter. Has either firm, advocating for their OHV clients, ever filed a lawsuit under the constitution of the State of California?

As to the way this group dealing with this issue is operating, I see it as a very prudent way of doing business. Why not have a set budget to hire a firm to provide a legal opinion BEFORE moving forward with a matter that might not hold legal muster? In the corporate business world, this approach is often taken so that the management that is responsible to its shareholders
has adequate foundation for spending corporate funds.

As to collecting funds after a favorable judgement is rendered, there is a number of ways for a successful law firm to obtain the funds in the judgement.

As to the 1990's case, what does it really matter on who did what and how the attorney got paid. Further, what does it really matter as to Mr. Fine's time in jail?

The bottom line here is that Mr. Hathaway and Mr Fine got a judgement against the State.

You are mistaken as to my term as president of CORVA. I served two terms.

You are incorrect as to not being a member of any organizations. I'm a life member of CORVA. I believe in their work and made my choice to support the work of the same.

I'm also a member of the Partnership for Johnson Valley.

As to the Mediated Settlement Agreement, it has - by in large been followed by the Forest. Other than the Monument that was declared, the trail system (especially on the Kern Plateu) is the same as it was when the Agreement was signed.

As to my job and how I work, you have no eff'en clue as to what my job description is/was and what the owner wants from me. When hired, I was asked by him to get my essential work done and after that, work on the issues I see fit to become involved in and he will pay my wages. I don't see too many employers out there giving the employee time to work on land access issues on their nickel.

Finally, why is it that someone just has to come on this forum and make a personal attack on me and take this thread "off topic"?

Please, this thread is not about me. If you have a gripe about me, contact me via PM. I'll be happy to respond.

Lets move forward on the topic.
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Old 05-15-2012, 07:45 PM   #147 (permalink)
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personal attacks are done. TrailGuru got a 7 day ban because I don't yet know who he is because like many of you he chooses to hide behind a screen name for whatever the reason.

anyone else issuing a personal attack in this thread from this point forward gets a 30 day vacation, no questions asked or second chances.


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Old 05-15-2012, 08:39 PM   #148 (permalink)
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What will happen to the donated funds should the initial goal of $15k not be met?

When the $15k goal is met the investigation launches and proves a case either exists or doesn’t. When the call to move forward comes, what will the monetary goal be for launching the lawsuit? What will happen to the funds donated should we fall short of that goal?

If all goals are met and the lawsuit moves forward, what will happen if more funding is required along the way?

When the lawsuit is successful, what will become of the legal fees reimbursed by the State?
The investigation started a couple of months ago, and is nearly complete... we have a meeting with the lawyers next week where we will be getting a summary of the work that's been done so far. The billing is monthly, and so far income has kept up with expenditures.

The rest of your questions are answered by understanding why we have formed the OHVDC. It's initial purpose, and the catalyst that got the ball rolling is the recent Trust Fund diversion, however my intention is that this organization continue to exist in perpetuity.

Do a google search on "legal foundation." You will find that nearly any area of interest large enough to have organizations representing it also have a legal foundation to support it... except for us. A legal foundation is either a tax exempt law firm that fights for a particular cause, or a non profit that litigates on behalf of a cause. It has been on my radar for several years that it was critical to the future of our sport to be able to litigate without starting from scratch every time. That's what a legal foundation does.

The plan is for the OHV Defense Council to become this legal foundation, and as such would continue to raise funds that can stand ready when needed. Not only is this an absolutely necessary to "play the game", it is one of the tools we need to be taken seriously enough to get a seat at the table, and perhaps not HAVE to sue. Government agencies cave in to environmental groups not just because they threaten to sue, but because they CAN sue without having to reinvent the wheel each time.

This may seem like a lofty goal, but I think we need to set our sites a bit higher than we have in the past if we are ever to tally wins rather than lose after lose after lose...

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Old 05-15-2012, 10:16 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Well... we now have a "one hit wonder" (new to post under this name) that likes to throw rocks a me on a personal basis and challenge my work. I suspect that this person does not even hail from where he/she provides in their profile.



Lets move forward on the topic.
I suspect it is Bill Dart. At least the email seems like it.
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Old 05-15-2012, 10:47 PM   #150 (permalink)
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I suspect it is Bill Dart. At least the email seems like it.
You know... I suspected the very same thing.

But, considering that back in the day - I was the first in the OHV leadership of the day to reach out to him and Wade Tuma to help them with their plight with the Freal Peak trail closure in South Lake Tahoe and some other issues in the day. I believe that he would have never slammed me publically.

Bill and I have had our differences, but I've always had respect and admiration for his efforts.

Considering the above, I would hope this was not Bill as I suspect the respect is mutual.

If indeed it is/was, I'm saddened by what posted to this forum.
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