Website: http://www.gettinoff4x4.com . We meet monthly, every 2nd Tuesday in the patio area at Antonella’s Ristorante, 1701 Park Avenue, San Jose , CA 95126 (408) 279-4922. Park on Naglee Ave or in the parking lot across from the restaurant. Meeting minutes are distributed a few days after each club meeting.
7:00 PM – BUFFET DINNER: Salad, Pasta, Pizza, Bread & Soft drinks ($10). Attendees are encouraged to enjoy the buffet dinner or order from the menu to help Antonella’s recover the cost of using the patio area.
7:30 PM – Meeting start
WELCOME and BOARD REPORTS
President – Terry: Welcomed all members & guests. Each attending introduced themselves, their vehicle & mods, years in the club, city of residence, occupation, etc. Very nice.
Vice President – Brian: Unable to attend. To bring club Patches/Stickers next meeting for new members.
Treasurer – Don: Brought T-shirts for new members.
Secretary – Paul: Some updates in the “Saving Our Trails” section below.
Members Attending – Aaron, Alicia, Don, Eric, Gary, Grant, Joe, Jon, Lyle, Mario, Matt, Michael, Paul E, Paul H, Randy, Roger, Ron, Terry
Brand New Members this month –
Guests Attending – Josh, Stan, Kiran L., Brian M.
NEWS, ACTIONS & IDEAS
1) Stanislaus Nat’l Forest to have ranger to speak with all Adopt-A-Trail clubs. Terry said the FS will meet with our club at a nearby FS office or at the trailhead. Our trail is in the Sourgrass Recreation Area (aka “Rattlesnake Creek Road” route, 5N02R.
2) We are updating the the members list. If you joined in the the last year or two, or need to update old data, Don our treasurer says: “Gang…the Board is working to create an updated listing of members’ phone numbers, cities of residence, and of course being sure your current email address is, uh, current. Feel free to email me the pertinent data (you may use my personal email of email@example.com, and I will update our records. Your info remains in strictest confidence; only the King of Nigeria shares my data….”
3) Terry also announced that Board Nominations are coming in April and elections in May. You may nominate yourself, and it may require a 2nd (I think). Great way to ‘step up to the plate’ and contribute to the club’s success.
VEHICLE PAINS & PROJECTS, STUFF FOR SALE
1) Paul E. – Crankcase breather (PCV) to intake blocked – probably been blocked for years. Rubicon Express Track bar needs maintenance again, this design is too finicky. The good news is after some significant web searching, found all the replacement parts for this stuff.
2) Roger: Electrical gremlins, battery draining & eventually ruined. (Roger, I have the same problem; contact Paul E.)
3) Joe: After too many months of fault codes, intake/vaccuum/valve/who knows? issues….Joe has decided to build a 4.6 L Stroker engine. This is a pretty big deal, both in time & $$. He said it is hard find complete, technical & accurate info on this rebuild project, but at least it has been done many times before in the jeeping community.
4) Aaron – Bronco nearly complete. Pinion gear issue.
5) Grant – New diff gearing installed by Gear Masters (local shop). but may need to change again (?).
6) John – After wheeling in in Panamint, steering became sloppy and found the.sway bar came loose & control arms bolts fell out. Whoa!….To everyone: check those bolts!
7) For Sale – 2007 Infiniti Sedan, 3.5L V6, auto, white, 109K miles, contact Paul E.
RECENT RUNS & ‘CHANCES TO LOCK AXLES’
1) February 12,13,14,15 – Overnight run to Panamint Valley and explore trails & mines. Arrive Thurs night and leave Monday, or set your own arrive/depart schedule. Trails were to include Defense Mine, Goler Wash on Saturday & Sunday. Camped at Area 53 along Slate Range Road off of Nadeau Rd at N 36°07.552′ W 117°19.250′. Matt stayed in Ridgecrest. A few camped near or at Area 53 or Area 52. If tenting, bring very long tent stakes due to high afternoon winds. Looks like about 4 rigs attended. But Don got to see Minietta Cabin & Mine near area 52, and hang out with some ‘weapons experts’ from Huntington Beach for the afternoon. Don reports Goler Wash is a ‘freeway’ now (due to wildflower viewers, or ?). Matt reported he visited World Beater Mine, Pleasant Canyon and over Roger’s Pass. He camped at area 53 & motelled. Also met Rocky at Ballerrat. Jon – something about target practice, and lots of mules & donkeys
Apparently there were few missed connections on this run. Noted at the meeting was that all club runs must call out, at least several hours (if not several days) in advance: 1) trails expected to run for each day, and 2) driver’s meet up time for each run. Even if the planned trail is found to be closed or the daily itinerary needs to change, at least drivers know where & when to meet in the morning.
2) Feb 20 – Hollister Hills – A few brave folks went anyway, after some rain & expected muddy conditions: Michael, Jon went to Upper Ranch, ran Fremontia Rd, and others, but said the mud was not too bad actually. Glad to hear it went well !
1) March 12 – Snow Run II – Just when I (Terry) was about to call off the upcoming snow run due to a lack of snow, we are saved with a series of storms coming through the area. The meeting place is the same as in Jan, 9:30 a.m. in Placerville. Exit # 44B to Forney Road, Meet at the ARCO station. And all are invited to spend Sat night in Tahoe if you wish. So far we have Terry, Alberto, Eric, Jon, Stan, Alberto, and a few others possibly. Look for email updates.
2) April 23 – Hollister Hills II – 2nd chance for those who didn’t make it last time.
3) April 19 to 24 – MOAB! Grant is heading to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari with some folks from Currie Enterprises. All are welcome join in. Details to follow. Via US 50 in Nevada.
4) May 14 – Adopt-A-Trail. This time one of the Stanislaus rangers wants to meet the club (I won’t miss this, ed.). Hwy 4 protocol: Meet at Arco in Tracy off of Grant Line Road at 7:30am, Angels Camp Burger King at 9:30am, or the Sourgrass trailhead about 11am.
5) May 27-30 Cal 4 Wheel Hi Desert Round-Up; SLASH X Resort, South of Barstow. Runs & signup: http://cal4wheel.com/hi-desert-run-descriptions
8:15 PM – Meeting adjourns
If there are any corrections, clarifications or updates, please chime-in. If you are an active member your name should be on this list:
Aaron, Alicia, Brad, Brian, Chris W, Chris S, Dimas, Don, Eric, Gary, Genna, Jon, Joe, Lyle, Marco, Mario, Matt, Michael, Paul E, Paul H, Rahul, Randy, Roger, Ron, Steve, Terry, Tom K, Tom W.
Campfire Permits are available at http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/ for fires at developed & undeveloped camping spots. You must also check with the current local forest rules-in-force also.
SAVING OUR TRAILS
Updates and New info in BOLD type. If you have new information feel free to send out an update. Though some are several months old, they are still active projects waiting for an official decision or completion.
1) Even though Eldorado NF promised to repair and re-open these routes to the public, these SNC people never give up (or like to carry a big “chip on their shoulder”) http://www.sierranevadaconservation.org/action-alert-meadows-in-jeopardy-again/. Anyway, keep writing Eldorado NF in support of these trails:
1) 17E24 “Carson Emigrant Trail”
2) 16E26 “Hungaleti Ridge Trail”
3) 17E28 “Long Valley Trail”
4) 16E27 (10N21) “Long Canyon 4WD Trail”
5) 19E01 (09N83) “Clover Valley/Deer Valley Trail”
6) 17E73 (10N13) “Strawberry 4WD Trail”
7) 09N01 “Blue Lakes/Meadow Lake Road”
(among several others, see http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd492205.pdf)
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to (nicely) tell them you want these long established forest routes re-opened to the public sometime this year. Or snail mail: Cindy Oswald, Eldorado National Forest, 100 Forni Road, Placerville, CA 95667.
2) Plumas National Forest lawsuit. (for details see previous editions of “Saving Our Trails” and go to Corva.org) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jN3Xdy0CKM&feature=youtu.be and http://www.corva.org/FS.Lawsuit Court hearing in San Francisco this week Feb 8-12 ! Maybe Pirate4x4 will have latest info (?)
4) Tahoe Nat’l Forest Lawsuit – Groups of OHVer’s sued Tahoe Nat’l Forest for not considering or evaluating 90% of user created routes (about 800 miles) for consideration into the official designated route system. Tahoe Nat’l Forest declined to include all but about 100 miles. The judges ruled in favor of the Tahoe Nat’l Forest. This was a big blow to the OHV community. More info at http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/land-use-issues/1773161-need-help-tahoe-group-lawsuit-3.html
5) California Desert: OBAMA & FEINSTEIN have indeed FULFILLED their THREAT and Made UNILATERAL EXECUTIVE PROCLAMATIONS and created new NATIONAL MONUMENTS. This could close several OHV routes. Info:
Action Link: http://cqrcengage.com/cal4wheel/app/onestep-write-a-letter?11&engagementId=136354
BRC:(BRC is using ARRA’s action alert page for this) https://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2015/10/08/urgent-letters-needed-oppose-going-forward-designation
6) Lake Tahoe Basin OHV. There are lots of OHV trails around and overlooking Lake Tahoe. The Forest Service is looking for public comments on future projects and management for the LTBMU, forested areas. You secretary has traveled many Lake Tahoe OHV trails with family, friends and the club. There are some real gems out there, with great views of the Lake, etc., besides the Rubicon.
Best to send comments before Jan 22, but later comments are just fine too. Check:
http://www.cal4wheel.com/access-issues/northern-california-access-issues/675-input-on-eldorado-due-january-22 , and
http://www.corva.org/news/3746425 , and https://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2016/01/05/california-send-comment-letters-fs-improving-ohv-recreation-ltbmu
7) Jeb Bush – bowed out. Was potentially the best presidential candidate for public lands recreation & access — Only one who has formally stated any favorable federal public land & recreation policy at:
https://jeb2016.com/western-land-resource-management/?lang=en If you know any other remaining candidates with a similar public lands statements, let us know.
8) Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area near Livermore: Calif Dept of Parks, OHV Division, was to Vote Feb 5 on expanding Carnegie, but delayed the vote, for some unpublished reason. I take this as a “political capital” move, and they will probably vote NOT to expand the park, to save what little political capital they have left for a future park somewhere else, with less community opposition, such as So. Cal. or possibly far northern Calif. Carnegie is too close to the “politically correct ” Bay Area, unfortunately. Hope I’m wrong.
There have been attempts in the past to close it, but the riding public, CORVA, local Carnegie groups, and the Calif Dept of Parks-OHV Div have persisted to keep it open. A few years ago a new 4×4 obstacle course was created. Now, they plan to open up a new area, adding about 3000 acres with dozens of miles of new trails for motorcycles and 4x4s added to the existing 900 acres. CORVA created an entire web page for the expansion, which is chalk full of great resources and information: http://www.corva.org/Carnegie-SVRA-Expansion . It’s hard to know if this will be litigated, but it is moving that direction. Negative votes by Livermore & Alameda County were promulgated by the East Bay Regional Park District who set up a false public expectation that this land could be acquired by them and converted to another regional (non-motorized) park. EPRPD has 120,000 park acres in Alameda & Contra Costa Counties, while Carnegie is the only motorized park in thse counties, at only 900 acres; (hopefully to be ~3900 acres). The Calif State Parks SVRA owns the land, purchased by money from the OHV Trust fund, which comes from a tiny fraction of gasoline taxes and from green sticker fees.
Know your Anti-Access Organizations – a sampler:
CSNC is the group that sued Eldorado National Forest and successfully convinced a judge to force ENF to close and/or repair trails. One of CSNC’s primary goals is to limit OHV. Website http://www.sierranevadaconservation.org/achievements/. While we generally have no issue repairing or re-routing routes around what have recently been identified as ‘sensitive’ areas, there was no need to close the entire lengths of all 42 routes for 2, 3 years or more. Many have re-opened, but many of the best still remain closed to public access until only small sections are repaired.
CBD is one of the most notorious and powerful anti-access organizations. They often tend to lump motorized recreation access in with all forms of habitat interference, even though 99% of OHV use causes very little or virtually zero affect on animal habitat & popluation. Sample: “… cumulative threats from our changing climate, predation, drought, disease, and off-road recreation; and other threats all support an endangered listing….” re: http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/species/birds/Gunnison_sage_grouse/pdfs/Gunnison_sage_grouse_NOI.pdf and http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/public_lands/off-road_vehicles/index.html. It’s very interesting they almost never mention other causes of habitat interferences such as: hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, camping, hunting, wildfires, highways, fences, etc. But apparently off-road recreation is “equal” with climate change, predation, drought & disease ! CBD are also well known for launching a plethora of lawsuits, using the “Sue & Settle” tactic, thus taking millions of taxpayer dollars from the Forest Service & BLM to pay their attorneys: http://naturalresources.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=301242
PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) http://www.peer.org/campaigns/public-lands/off-road-wreckreation/news-releases.html and http://www.peer.org/news/news-releases/2013/01/07/court-orders-tighter-off-road-plan-for-stanislaus-forest/
Let Amazon.com contribute a 0.5% of your purchase amounts to the Blue Ribbon Coalition. Costs virtually zero $. How do you sign up? 1) Sign-in to your Amazon account. 2) On another tab/window, go to http://www.sharetrails.org/content/support-brc-while-shopping-online to read how it works. 3) Click on http://smile.amazon.com/, and you will see short list of charities. For BRC, type in “BlueRibbon Coalition” exactly as shown here, in the search box. The result should be “Blueribbon Coalition Inc” and “Categories: Natural Resource Conservation and Protection” and “Location: Pocatello, ID”. (Be careful–there are dozens of other ‘Blue Ribbon xxxx’ charities out there, be sure you have the right one.) 4) Click OK to sign-up, and BRC will receive 0.5% of your purchase amounts at no cost to you. To automatically donate, shop only at the “Smile” web address: https://smile.amazon.com/ (if you use Amazon’s normal web address, no donations are made). You can change charities or cancel anytime.
There are dozens of other, mostly irrational public land & road closures in the works by the enviro-left/elite, so we encourage everyone to check Blue Ribbon Coalition, Cal4wheel, Corva.org, and Pirate4x4 websites for the latest access news. Contact land managers and government officials and tell them public land is for everyone. The info above can help with the ‘why, who & how’ to contact.