GETTIN’ OFF 4WD Off-Road Club – Sept 8 2015 Meeting Minutes
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 starts NOTE: the actual meeting start is 7:30 PM (not 8PM from the yahoo groups automatic reminder email).
WELCOME and BOARD REPORTS
President – Terry: Welcomed guests, spoke about recent & upcoming runs, held donations election.
Vice President – Brian: (away)
Treasurer – Don: brought T-Shirts ! (new members get a shirt & decal included with initial membership). 27 paid members.
Secretary – Paul: Spoke about the goals Cal4Wheel, CORVA, BRC and why we should support them.
Members Attending – Aaron, Chris W, Chris S(?), Dimas, Don, Eric, Gary, Jon, Lyle, Marco, Paul E, Paul H, Randy, Roger, Ron, Terry, Tom K.
Brand New Members this month –
Guests Attending – Alberto (JK) has attended a few runs & meetings. Liz & Mike (CJ-5), Josh (GM fullsize). Welcome returning & new guests!
(If I missed anyone who attended please let me know.)
CLUB NEWS, ONGOING ACTIONS & IDEAS
1) Some of our Yahoogroups recipients are not getting emails from the server (Chris W. (all) & Terry (not receiving Agenda/Minutes); CHECK Your Spam Folders !!
2) Yahoo’s auto-emails need to change our meeting start time from 8 PM to 7:30 PM (7PM dinner).
3) Fire Permits, when allowed, are needed for any fire or stove used outside of improved campgrounds in National Forest or BLM areas. Suggest http://www.preventwildfireca.org/Campfire-Permit/ .
4) Like last year, we elected to make our annual donations to CORVA, CAL4, and BRC. Paul spoke briefly about each group. Our funds will be mostly targeted to the groups’ legal accounts related to keeping Sierra trails open.
VEHICLE PAINS & PROJECTS, STUFF FOR SALE
1) Chris: Steering wheel alignment “slipping”; changed Pittman arm. Could also be steering box.
2) Aaron: Front section of Jeep all welded-up & repaired.
3) Paul: 15Amp running lights & dashboard circuit blows when headlight switch activated – headlights always ok. Happens 1 of every ~50 attempts! Replaced headlight switch – little or no effect. Went through the related wire harness and lamp sockets I could get to, nothing found. Well known on internet; but only solution is “replace fuse”. Doh!
RECENT RUNS & ‘CHANCES TO LOCK AXLES’
1) August 14,15,16 BBQ Run: Bear Valley Loop Trail. A few arrived Thursday to reserve campsites, and by Friday evening nearly everyone had arrived. That evening most of the group drove up Sardine Peak for a gorgeous view and to appreciate the fantastic restoration of the Sardine Peak Fire Lookout. It can be rented this year for free from Tahoe Nat’l Forest. On Sat morning we ran most but not the last few miles the 20-mile Bear Valley Loop trail, avoiding most of the manzanita, but ended up with little brush rash anyway. It’s a moderately difficult route overall, with a few bypasses at the steep spots. The 2nd winch hill caught a few rigs who needed the winch, mostly for traction but also to keep rigs on all fours. Other than the few winch-ups, a tricky rock garden or two, & Matt’s steering box leak (later fixed) the run went without a hitch. A young deer running nearly slammed into my front fender, as I only crawling along up a hill.
The BBQ went very well with plenty of great food. Deep fried twinkies were a favorite. For the Door prizes, the folding chair & slingshot were traded the most. A big thanks to every one for helping at the BBQ set up, cooking & clean up. Tim (Paul H’s buddy) and I were the last to leave the campground, and one of the bow-hunters camped nearby had to ‘shake our hands’ for cleaning the campsites so well. So kudos to everyone!
On Sunday we had a bonus run to Snake Lake. Tim & I ran just part of the trail, since it took some time to get to the trailhead using the Gold Lake lakeshore route on the south side. Yes it is a PITA because there are several stock pickups tip-toeing over the rocks & boulders trying to get back to the highway. It’s a beautiful place to camp along the Gold Lake shore. We saw great views along the way up to Snake Lake. We arrived at Snake Lake Loop at 12:30 pm and made it to Little Deer Lake about 1 hour later, about 1/4 of total the loop. Other than winch hill 2 at Bear Valley Loop, Snake Lake trail is rougher, with more steep climbs and rock-crawling. At 2 PM we headed back, and located the short cut route back to the Gold Lake highway, that (other Tim?) from Diablo Valley 4-Wheelers described. It’s much faster but has several turns. We got home about 8.
Photos of the 2 runs, with a descriptions of how to access Snake Lake is here: https://4door4x4.smugmug.com/Off-Road-Trips-1/Bear-Valley-Loop-BBQ-Snake/n-TBWq7z
(hint: use Sardine Road, a left turn off of Gold Lake Highway, about 1 mile before Gold Lake. Avoid the bumpy route via the OHV campground on weekends).
1) Sept 12 -13 – Deer Valley & Twin Peaks trails. We’ll run the Twin Peaks route near Sawmill Pond , and parts of the Tahoe side of the Rubicon on Saturday. You can stay Friday & Saturday nights at Terry’s new place in South Tahoe off Hwy 89. 33″+ tires & 1 locker recommended. Arrive at Terry’s Friday evening or early Sat morning. Most are arriving Friday eve. Contact Terry for directions if you did not raise your hand Tuesday.
2) NEW DATES: Sept 18-19 – Run the Rubicon with Chris W. Contact Chris directly; and perhaps cc: yahoo club email too: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Sept 26-27 – Barrett Lake Trail is open! See http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3847114. This will be an overnight run. Camp at Wrights Lake Friday night, On Saturday run Barrett Lake one way and camp there Sat night. Run the trail back out Sunday morning. There are other options that are possible. This run needs a trail boss & final plan. 33s & rear locker minimum.
3) October 17 or 24 – Sourgrass Adopt-A-Trail run. Hwy 4 Protocol (per the Adopt-A-Trail run) .
4) November 25-29 – Death Valley / Panamint or somewhere else in the desert run (Calico Hills & area?).
5) December – Toys for Tots & Christmas dinner.
***Summer season: It is possible certain National Forests may “close” OHV mid-to-late summer due to fire hazard***.
8:30 PM – Meeting adjourned.
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 ?, 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.
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 outcome or completion.
*:-w waiting Here’s the latest on our cherished yet closed Eldorado trails, direct from Jeff Blewett, Cal4 Wheel’s Natural Resource Consultant for No. Calif.. Cal4 appears overly optimistic , while ENF has just published its own status.
Deer/Clover Valley- Cal4: “late summer” ENF: “Fall 2016 or Summer 2016”
Pardoe’s/Squaw Ridge(‘Squaw’ renamed ‘Hungaleti Ridge Trail’) Cal4: “by the FS it is open”; ENF “mitigation work starts Fall 2016 or Summer 2016.
Strawberry Ridge- Cal4: “Summer 2016”; ENF “Summer 2017”
*:D big grin Barrett Lake- Cal4: OPEN !! – Finally…See http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/news-events/?cid=STELPRD3847114
ENF’s overall route status is at : http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/home/?cid=fsbdev7_019037
Finally a June 2015 update on the 42 Routes initially closed is at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3843438.pdf
Many lessor-known routes are re-opened, but the best remain closed. Some of the route status in this update appear to be in conflict with Cal4’s assessments:
There are apparently no “public” links from the ENF Home webpage to the 42 Route Project web page, but it’s at: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/eldorado/home/?cid=stelprdb5362046
*:-h waveCarnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area near Livermore. It has been controversial from a “greenie/enviro” perspective. 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. A city council meeting in Livermore held an advisory (non-binding) vote on wheather the city will support the expansion or not. I sent my comments to the entire Livermore City coucil (though Livermore residents carry more “sway”). Three voted against the expansion and two voted in favor. 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 . BRC’s Don Amador has a blog too: http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/2015/05/code-red-carnegie-action-alert-update.html . Dan A, Cal4 & CORVA also asked us also to contact the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to vote in favor of the expansion and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement contracted out by the Calif Dept of Park, OHV Divsion. I did. The county supervisors voted 100% against the DEIS and expansion of Carnegie SVRA on an advisory vote. It’s hard to know if this will be litigated, but it is moving that direction. In part these 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 Cos, while Carnegie is the only motorized park and only 900 acres; hopefully to be 3900 acres. The SVRA owns the land, purchased by money from the OHV Trust fund, which comes from a tiny fraction of gasoline taxes and green/yellow sticker fees.
*~X( at wits’ endKnow your Anti-Access Organizations, a sampler:
1. 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 still remain closed to public access until only small sections are repaired.
2. 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 and http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/staff/
3. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) 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/
Moab: (for details see previous Saving Our Trails) and https://www.sharetrails.org/alerts/2015/03/23/national-call-to-action-help-save-moabs-trails & http://www.cal4wheel.com/access-issues/22-other-states-access-issues/610-moab-trails-need-your-letter-of-support
Plumas National Forest lawsuit. (for details see previous 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
Deer Valley Route closures from Jan to July 31 due to Yosemite Toad (see previous Saving Our Trails and latest Eldorado 42 Routes closure news above) http://cal4wheel.com/access-issues/northern-california-access-issues/541-forest-service-proposing-seasonal-closure-on-deer-valley-trail & http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/land-use-issues/1909145-forest-service-proposing-seasonal-closure-deer-valley-trail-yosemite-toad.html
Oceano Dunes “air pollution” (for details see previous Saving Our Trails) and: http://cal4wheel.com/access-issues/central-california-access-issues/595-urgent-comments-needed-on-oceano-svra and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Friends-of-Oceano-Dunes/141393079248971 .
Amazon.com has a charity program where they contribute a 0.5% of your purchases to a charity of your choice. One of the charities is Blue Ribbon Coalition, a 501(c)(3) organization. It costs you virtually zero $. So 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 info and a 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: at 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, and contact land managers and government officials and tell them public land is for everyone.