The U.S. Forest Service announced last week that San Bernardino National Forest recreation managers will be seeking public comments on their proposals for the 2013-14 State of California Off-Highway Vehicle grant program.
Specifically, these grant proposals would be for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division. The national forest staff is encouraging the public to provide it with constructive criticism and/or suggestions that will enable it to better its program.
According to state requirements, public comments can be submitted from Tuesday, March 4, through Monday, April 7.
The state now uses a three-step application process to allow public comment and feedback before final submittal. In February, the Forest Service solicited, received and considered public recommendations regarding the development of preliminary applications.
The preliminary grant applications were due March 3. This opens the second public review and comment period. The Forest Service will review and consider the public comments and then submit its final grant applications on May 5. The state is using an online grant application process as the means to apply for state funding.
The Forest Service will be submitting three preliminary grant applications. The grants include projects for ground operations (trail/facilities maintenance, trail/habitat monitoring and erosion/sediment control), law enforcement (patrols and safety/regulatory equipment), and the Baldy Mesa Trails and Staging Area Development (trail construction/staging area improvements). The preliminary applications will be available online at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov. Hard copies may be requested by contacting Deveree Kopp at 909-382-2831 or [email protected]
The Division’s website will provide detailed instructions for accessing the preliminary application and submitting comments. Comments must be submitted via email to both the OHMVD and the SBNF. Comments to the SBNF should be submitted to Al Colby at [email protected] and to California State Parks by using the “Grants” tab on its website at www.ohv.parks.ca.gov.
State regulations require annual public participation in this fund allocation process. The agreements support OHV management activities on the national forest, including operations and maintenance, restoration, law enforcement, education and safety. The State of California Department of Parks and Recreation and the SBNF have maintained a partnership for more than 28 years, with funding assistance for well-managed OHV recreation on national forest lands.
In 2013, the SBNF was successful in obtaining more than $500,000 in grant funds to provide the public with OHV recreation opportunities.