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Old 07-28-2011, 07:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Jeep Miller Trail Closure Take Action!

I received a email from Terry Work Pt Mugu Club President

Everyone I received a call today from Amy Granat that it was found out today that Miller Jeep trail & Lockwood Valley are on a new list for closure - and while this is a "used" trail it is list due to outher non used trails that connect What is needis for everyone to email John Stewart tonight and let him know that we oppose this closure! the Meeting is tomorrow and our input is needed now!

Orginal email from Amy:


Looking over the scoring in advance of the meeting Thurs is depressing. If they get into prioritizing the system trails for closure we stand to lose some of the best trails on the MPRD. Near the top of the hit list are:


Snowy 19W04

Halfmoon-Kinkaid/ Piru Creek 20W07

Arrastra - 20W05

Miller Jeep/Lockwood Valley - 20W06


and these are just a few. It's really confusing because you have to track down every route on the list and then find it on the map and the route numbers aren't always consistent with older maps.There isn't much to do at this point because it's a "consensus agreement" and part of the stipulated settlement. I'm hoping they stick to non-system routes, but I've been concerned about the terms of the agreement from the beginning because they include system routes. This is far worse than a wilderness bill ( they usually leave established OHV routes alone) and far worse than Travel Management ( they did not look at system routes).



I confess I don't know what trails the other routes, but we need to get the message out to John that there is no compromise on the Miller, and the best people to do this are the clubs and club members who value the trail. Please send this out to everyone you know who is involved, and perhaps contact Mark to make sure he understands the importance of this trail to the Southern District.

John's contact info:

John Stewart

Natural Resources Consultant - South

jstewart@cox.net. or john@muirnet.net.

Telephone: 619-390-8747

Thanks everyone
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Please make ABSOLUTELY sure you keep Dan (Bronchole) in the loop as Yellowjacket is our adopt-a-trail!! PM me if you don't have his contact info, but I think you do

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Old 07-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the heads up. I'm sure I'll be talking to lots of people about this one.

I don't quite understand the reason for this; I'm sure more info may come out after this meeting that is spoke of.
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Old 07-28-2011, 08:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Before everyone blows this out of proportion....

For starters, I am well aware of theMiller-Lockwook Trail and its importance to OHV recreation.

Next, there is an apparent misunderstanding as to what is happening.

First, go back a few years to when the California Attorney General filed suit against the Southern California Enterprise Forest Plan that covered the Los Padres, Angles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland NFs.

At that time, BlueRibbon Coalition brought together a coalition (AMA D36 and CA4WDC) to file as intervenors. At that time, NO OTHER group was interested in joining the lawsuit.

As a result of the litigation, a "settlement" was reached and the decision was announced in fall of 2010. That settlement called for the litigant parties to establish a collaborative team to determine a list of routes within Inventoried Roadless Areas for decommissioning and closure action. And, all proposed actions are to be subjected to a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for final disposition.

That team has been meeting since April. The result of the team discussions has been to establish a means of providing a "score" to the routes based on resource issues and access potential. I have participated in each team meeting.

A number of issues have arisen trying to work through that process. Most important, the quality (and quantity) of data held within Forest Service records. Basically, there are a number of glaring holes in the Forest Service data. Many of the routes on the list (over 2,700) have no data points at all.

Of these routes, virtually all of them are segments. Some segments join system designated routes. Other segments join with an isolated system designated route.

Throughout this process, I have pushed to include all routes within the Forest Service records knowing full well that some will be system designated routes. As I know that some of the segments are classified as Unknown or Non-System actually are part of a designated system, I wanted to ensure that the segments were treated as part of an existing system route and the data is actually a mis-classification within the Forest Service records.

Keep in mind, the team direction is to develop a list of routes for further disposition action. NO ACTION will be taken based on the results of the team collaborative process. All actions are subject to NEPA analysis where the final disposition of the route segment will be to keep it as it is an integral part of the existing route system or decommission it.

Keep in mind that the wilderness bill for the Los Padres NF being proposed by Rep Galegly encompasses several if the Inventoried Roadless Areas which will also have an impact on the Miller-Lockwood Trail.

There is a high level of interest by the environmental community in the Los Padres NF; especially the area due west of Hungry Valley SVRA.

The final result of the collaborative team process will be a list of routes for action. At this point in time, routes that have a system designation (Forest Service route number) will be omitted from the priority list. However, there may well be a segment of that "designated" trail has is listed as Unknown or Non-System. My hope is that those segments will be easy to resolve as part of the existing trail system
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

I was just about to post this up,
Thanks John as you can tell we are passionate about our trails and we are very close with our fellow wheelers.
We need these trails not only for us but for our future offroaders like my daughter who is 19 and leads her friends thru Lockwood Miller.
Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf6zpl View Post

Keep in mind that the wilderness bill for the Los Padres NF being proposed by Rep Galegly encompasses several if the Inventoried Roadless Areas which will also have an impact on the Miller-Lockwood Trail.

Let me preface this by saying that I moved out of hte state around the middle of Feb and haven't kept up on this, but it's my understanding that Gallegly was opposed to this.

http://blog.gallegly.house.gov/2011/...ild-lands.html

Quote:
Question of the Week: Wild Lands
By Pfeifer, Thomas on February 4, 2011 3:43 PM | 1 Comment

These questions are culled from phone calls, letters, faxes and e-mails sent to Rep. Gallegly's Thousand Oaks, Solvang, and Washington offices. Each week Rep. Gallegly adds another question and answer. Please add your comments.

Week ending February 4, 2011

Question: I am concerned with Department of Interior Secretary Salazar's new land-use designation called "Wild Lands" on Bureau of Land Management public lands. What are you doing about this?

Answer: As you may know, on December 23, 2010, Interior Secretary Salazar issued Secretarial Order 3310. This order implements a sweeping new wilderness policy for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands without congressional input. This has the potential to put an end to many traditional BLM land uses while setting aside vast areas of the American West as de facto wilderness. I believe this directive will significantly impact western economies and rural communities, which depend on multiple-use access to federal lands.

In response to my concerns, I joined 58 of my colleagues in the House and Senate by sending the attached letter to Secretary Salazar expressing our concerns over this new management policy and urging him to immediately withdraw Secretarial Order 3310. I will continue to monitor this situation and fight for multiple-use access to our federal lands.
January 28, 2011

The Honorable Ken Salazar
Secretary
Department of Interior
1849 C St., NW
Washington, DC 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

We are writing to express a number of concerns with the Department of Interior’s (DOI) recent issuance of Secretarial Order No. 3310. This new order implements a sweeping new wilderness policy for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands without congressional input. It has the potential to put an end to many traditional BLM land uses while setting aside vast areas of the American West as de facto wilderness. This directive will significantly impact western economies and rural communities which depend on multiple-use access to federal lands.

The timing of the Order’s decision is suspect, as it was announced the day after Congress adjourned and the day before Christmas Eve. Choosing to announce such a significant decision on such an unusual date raises the question whether the intent was to escape both congressional and public scrutiny.

We are also concerned that because this action was taken without input from impacted Members of Congress and local officials, any gains made toward a cooperative working relationship have been damaged. As best we can tell, Congress was left in the dark regarding any process the DOI may have undertaken in the preparation of this decision. We are also unaware of any effort to reach out to Members until the day the announcement was made. Unfortunately, the DOI is sowing the same seeds that led to the distrust and contention that necessitated the Norton-Leavitt agreement you now seek to undo.

The Secretarial Order, done without following the legal process to enact such sweeping changes, gives the BLM immediate authority to "designate appropriate areas with wilderness characteristics under its jurisdiction as 'Wild Lands' and to manage them to protect their wilderness values." In our estimation, this Order represents a considerable departure from the method for designating lands as "Wilderness Areas" specified in the Wilderness Act of 1964.

As you know, the Wilderness Act gives the U.S. Congress – and only the U.S. Congress – the power to designate public lands as protected "Wilderness Areas." In our estimation, Secretarial Order 3310 appears to be an underhanded attempt by DOI to circumvent Congress and the federal regulatory process by designating potentially millions of acres of publicly owned lands in western states as de facto wilderness under a new, loosely defined "wild lands" category.

The directive states, “In accordance with Section 201 of FLPMA, the BLM shall maintain a current inventory of land under its jurisdiction and identify within that inventory lands with wilderness characteristics that are outside of the areas designated as Wilderness Study Areas and that are pending before Congress or units of the National Wilderness Preservation System.” In fact, Section 201 of FLPMA directs an inventory of all resources and resource values on BLM lands and does not single out wilderness. By singling out wilderness characteristics, and ignoring other resources, Secretarial Order No. 3310 appears to be intentionally stacking the deck against multiple-use management. If a re-inventory is going to occur, we suggest all multiple use resources be included so a rational and responsible decision can be made on tradeoffs in management to best serve the public interest.

We believe public lands should be managed in a way which provides the greatest benefit to the public. The multiple-use philosophy – which encourages the environmentally responsible use of public lands for conservation, recreation, and economic purposes – is the best way to accomplish that goal. Multiple-use has been the sustaining bedrock for many rural western economies for decades.

Conversely, an ambiguous “wild lands” designation based on “wilderness characteristics” is not a good management approach. History shows this sort of arbitrary executive decision breeds conflict and acrimony and deters compromise. Indeed, we are convinced that proceeding with this order will only serve to create greater uncertainty, invite litigation, and create further division among the various public land stakeholders, environmental groups, and local communities.

We believe wilderness protection and economic activity can be accommodated — as Congress has done in Clark County, Nev., and Washington County, Utah. But discussion and compromise take time. If a portion of land is deserving of wilderness designation, the Administration should engage Congress, not attempt to work around it. This new “wild lands” policy introduces more uncertainty and will arbitrarily delay the reasonable use and development of our public lands. In order to prevent a collapse of several rural economies in the West and forestall continued uncertainty and job loss in western public land states, we urge you to withdraw Secretarial Order 3310 and to work with Congress to devise balanced policies for our public lands.
###

For previous Questions of the Week chronologically and by topic, please see my Questions of the Week page.

Has he proposed his own deal or has he changed position?


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Old 07-28-2011, 06:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I find myself VERY concerned about this issue.

I've spoke to a few in the OHV leadership and while the overall issue has been on the radar of some, others don't know a thing about it.

At this moment, there are far more questions than answers.

From what I can tell here, we are VERY likely to have HUGE issues with the 4WD and motorcycle trails on the Mt. Pinos Ranger District.

I did find the settlement agreement online today that is driving this issue.

http://www.resources.ca.gov/docs/set..._agreement.pdf
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Old 07-28-2011, 07:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Meeting notes from Web-Ex/conference call of the SoCal Roadless Collaborative Team on July 28, 2011

From the beginning, this has been a no-win situation.

The settlement agreement stipulated that all routes within Inventoried Roadless Areas would be listed and prioritized for decommissioning and restoration. Early agreement did note that designated system routes were not targeted for closure; however, as part of Travel Management Sub-part A, those routes would be subject to evaluation under "route minimization" discussion.

The base prioritization was to be determined by resource issues and value for access. And, that data was to come from existing Forest Service data/GIS data.

From the initial list of criteria, a number of identified resource issues were eliminated because the data/GIS layer did not exist.

With respect to the access criteria, it was noted early that existing data was sparse to non-existent. As a result, many routes have a zero or one for an access score. That score does not accurately reflect the importance for that route to recreation. Additionally, the Forest Service has no data criteria that measures or reflects the importance of a route to recreation.

For perspective, the inventory of routes number just over 2,700 and most are short segments .5 miles to 3 miles in length. Some of the segments are part of an existing designated route.

Forest Service did attempt to correct errors found within the data recorded. However, there remain a large number of blanks where data is missing along with a number of potential errors.

The analysis approach was to add the individual criteria score per route to determine a per route raw score. From there, the raw scores were used to determine a percentage ranking factor. In theory, a route with high resource concerns would receive a high raw score and it would be ranked relative to the other routes based on score. With resource issues, this process yielded a fairly well distributed ranking of routes. However, when the access scores were calculated, they did not yield a distributed ranking of routes due to clustering resulting from the number of routes with zero and one scores.

As a result, the final prioritized list contains a resource score and and access score for each route. From my detailed statistical analysis, I am comfortable with the distribution of the data for resource issues in that it yields a list with reasonable distribution and expectation of priority that is reasonable when compared to other routes. I cannot state with confidence the same for the reasonable distribution of routes based on access scores.

Overall, I have argued against the environmental community introducing new or additional data that is not substantiated by existing Forest Service data. This process was to determine a list of prioritized routes for site-specific analysis within a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

And, I have insisted (it appears it will stand) that the prioritized list be a snapshot of a point in time that reflects the data available as of that data. And, that list needs to be able to be replicated at any future date.

As this list is a tool the land mangers can use to prioritize their workload, I am open to them having the ability to fill in missing data and correct data errors. However, the integrity of the original list developed as a result of the collaborative process needs to be retained.

My stance throughout the discussions is that no on-ground actions will occur that are not part of a NEPA analysis. The list in and of itself is not a substitute for planning nor is it a decision document that defines actions to implement.

My hope is the site-specific NEPA analysis will substantiate the need for the route to be retained as part of the designated system. As some routes have a system designation, there is a potential they could found to be duplicate and subject to proposed closure based on Travel Management Sub-part A.

Looking forward, the list does provide a known entity to begin ground-truthing the routes prior to the SEIS comment period. The SEIS will be a critical time to bring forth the importance of routes for recreation.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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John, each of the 4 routes subject to closure on the Los Padres have under gone extensitive NEPA processes through-out the years. I go WAY back on these routes including but not limited to the previous Forest Plan and the Condor Range and Rivers Act that looked at all the 4 routes both by the Forest Service and Congress.

Each of these routes were deemed by the above as OHV routes.

All are on the routes of the Forest System.

There should be no doubt about the existince of these routes prior to any of this new planning.

Now, it seems that the Forest has sent their management to the Court.

Which leads me to ask why the attorney for the groups a party to this agreement signed this agreement?

It sure looks to me like a VERY bad decision.
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Old 07-28-2011, 09:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Below is a hopefully clearer description to describe what is happening.

For starters, there is no “hit list” for trails in the Los Padres National Forest. There is a list of routes that are within Inventoried Roadless Areas within the four southern California forests (Los Padres, Angles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland).

To understand what is happening, I need to review a little history. In 2006, the California Attorney General filed suit against the Southern California Enterprise Forest Plan that covered the Los Padres, Angles, San Bernardino, and Cleveland NFs.

At that time, BlueRibbon Coalition brought together a coalition (AMA D36 and CA4WDC) to file as intervenors. At that time, NO OTHER group was interested in joining the lawsuit.

As a result of the litigation, a "settlement" was reached and the decision was announced in fall of 2010. That settlement called for the litigant parties to establish a collaborative team to determine a prioritized list of routes within Inventoried Roadless Areas for decommissioning and restoration action. And, all proposed actions are to be subjected to a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for final disposition.

That list contains all of the routes (slightly over 2,700) within the 85 Inventoried Roadless Areas within the four southern California forests. The list does contain some designated system trails such as Snowy 19W04, Halfmoon-Kinkaid/Piru Creek 20W07, Arrastra - 20W05, Miller Jeep/Lockwood Valley - 20W06 and a few others.

That team has been meeting since April, 2011. The result of the team discussions has been to establish a means of providing a "score" for the routes based on resource issues and access potential. I have participated in each team meeting.

A number of issues have arisen trying to work through that process. Most important, the quality (and quantity) of data held within Forest Service records. Basically, there are a number of glaring holes in the Forest Service data. Many of the routes on the list (over 2,700) have no data points at all.

Of these routes, virtually all of them are segments. Some segments join system designated routes. Other segments join with an isolated system designated route.

Keep in mind, the team direction was to develop a prioritized list of routes for further disposition action. NO ACTION will be taken based on the results of the collaborative team process. All actions are subject to NEPA analysis where the final disposition of the route segment will be to keep it as it is an integral part of the existing route system or decommission it.

Overall, I have argued against the environmental community introducing new or additional data that is not substantiated by existing Forest Service data. This process was to determine a list of prioritized routes for site-specific analysis within a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

And, I have insisted (it appears it will stand) that the prioritized list be a snapshot at a point in time that reflects the data available as of that date. And, that list needs to be able to be replicated at any future date.

As this list is a tool the land mangers can use to prioritize their workload, I am open to them having the ability to fill in missing data and correct data errors. However, the integrity of the original list developed as a result of the collaborative process needs to be retained.

My stance throughout the discussions is that no “on-ground” actions will occur that are not part of a NEPA analysis. The list in and of itself is not a substitute for planning nor is it a decision document that defines actions to implement.

My hope is the site-specific NEPA analysis will substantiate the need for the route to be retained as part of the designated system. As some routes have a system designation, there is a potential they could found to be duplicate and subject to proposed closure based on Travel Management Sub-part A.

Looking forward, the list does provide a known entity to begin ground-truthing the routes prior to the SEIS comment period. The SEIS will be a critical time to bring forth the importance of routes for recreation.

The “list” will be available for public review first week of August. The list will contain the Inventoried Roadless Area name, route identifier, and other data elements and can be sorted as necessary.

In preparing for the SEIS, it will be necessary to create sub-lists from the main list that identify the routes within Inventoried Roadless Areas. Each one of those routes needs to have an on-the-ground review that can determine the validity of the data listed for the route. At this point in time, the Los Padres and San Bernardino have the most routes involved.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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so these "litigant parties" reached a settlement and have formed this "collaborative team". does that include representation from ohv groups that intervened, or just the CAG and USFS?

If I read you right, there was a lawsuit, then a settlement that required the forming of a special team to then do whatever with "ratings", then the NEPA process will ultimately be used like it should have in the first place?

If these trails were on the "closure list" why was and still currently is the USFS soliciting trail work via the adopt-a-trail program on trails on that list? Did we get these trails rehabbed and fix all the erosion issues so we can get locked out of them?

granted I don't have all the info, but this smells like a total failure on multiple fronts, by all groups involved. Maybe instead of treating it as a simple " no-win situation" somebody should have said we're done compromising and started kicking ass.. I'm so done with all these groups I give money to "compromising" my rights and lands away. From the NRA to all the OHV groups, does no one have a sense of pride or a backbone anymore?


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Old 07-29-2011, 08:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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John... thanks for attempting to clear things up, but I'm still foggy on this.

All the routes on the Los Padres you provide are LONG TIME system routes that have been under the NEPA microscope at least two times each. There is NOT DOUBT that the Forest knows of these routes and even puts them on their maps as OHV routes.

How and who do we ask for the rational for these routes to be included in the upcoming NEPA process?

We all know that its best to put these trails at risk of closure and to eliminate this potential BEFORE we get to this process.
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Old 07-29-2011, 08:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kf6zpl View Post

As a result of the litigation, a "settlement" was reached and the decision was announced in fall of 2010. That settlement called for the litigant parties to establish a collaborative team to determine a prioritized list of routes within Inventoried Roadless Areas for decommissioning and restoration action. And, all proposed actions are to be subjected to a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for final disposition.

That list contains all of the routes (slightly over 2,700) within the 85 Inventoried Roadless Areas within the four southern California forests. The list does contain some designated system trails such as Snowy 19W04, Halfmoon-Kinkaid/Piru Creek 20W07, Arrastra - 20W05, Miller Jeep/Lockwood Valley - 20W06 and a few others.

If there are 31.76 Routes , on average per Roadless area - how did any of these areas even become a "Roadless Area"? Hopefully this is the question on somebody's lips and the reference you made to discrepancies in FS Data


I think if High Value Trails are in a Roadless area, then a) it shouldn't have been made a Roadless Area and, b) it should be held as a non negotiable. NO COMPROMISE. Cherry Stem, Cherry Stem, Cherry Stem.

I understand no compromise is not exactly an element in progressive problem solving, but some times we HAVE to push back on these greedy land grabbers.

We have lost enough!

I remember a Judge offering the same type of Judgment in the Eldorado case, a collaborative group - hopefully there are no high value trails in the Enviro-Mentalists path. :fingerscrossed:
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:56 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Hey guys,

As you know, the So Cal Roadless suit is complicated. In layman’s terms here is the deal.


Enviro Goal – Create a non-NEPA/bastard land classification process that would front-load the forest planning process with new Wilderness areas and non-motorized land classifications created behind closed doors with the court having the final say if the agency “created” enough non-motorized land classifications BEFORE it was day-lighted to the public.



Intervenor Goal – Head the bastard land classification process off at the pass. I believe that goal was accomplished via a collaborative process with routes that have to be vetted through site-specific analysis.



It is a perfect process? NO. But IMHO, we did the best we could via the limited intervenor status that the court granted us.

I also believe Stewart (as the point person appointed by the intervenors) has been doing a great job.


Thanks,

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Old 07-30-2011, 07:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So Don, what is the criteria the FS is going to use to make decisions regarding routes? I hear this was discussed at the conference call of the parties of the suit.
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Partnership for Johnson Valley - A Division of CTUC
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aphantomduck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2012, 09:45 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Is there any updated info on all of this???
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