I don’t think there were any winners today with this outcome. Thank you to Don for fighting the good fight and for Assemblyman Jones for his support.
CA LEGISLATURE VOTES TO GUT OHV GRANTS PROGRAM TO FEDERAL AND LOCAL PARTNERS
SACRAMENTO (May 31, 2012) – Earlier today, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation voted to steal up to $31 million dollars from the California Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund and transfer it to non-OHV related programs. This pilfering of user-pay funding is part of the “Sustainable Parks Proposal” being championed by the California Parks Foundation, other anti-OHV organizations, and California State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto).
Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D- Petaluma) argued strongly in favor of the plan which he knows will directly impact destination OHV areas throughout the state including nearby units on the Mendocino and Six Rivers National Forests, the BLM Cow Mountain Recreation near Ukiah, and the BLM Samoa Dunes Recreation Area near Eureka. Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee) was the lone voice on the committee that opposed the continued theft of trust funds monies.
Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Huffman has apparently joined ranks with the anti-OHV community in their ongoing efforts to defund the OHV grants program via fiscal schemes such as the Sustainable Parks plan.”
“After witnessing today’s vote, it is clear to me that urban legislators have made the conscious decision to engage in political warfare against rural interests, economies, and local elected officials. It also daylights the false promises made to special “user fee” programs (e.g. OHV, boating and waterways, special license plates, etc.) that their dedicated funds are protected. Rather, it points to the fact that those funds will be raided in perpetuity to help mitigate the legislature’s failure to substantively address the state’s fiscal crisis,” Amador continues.
“It is also interesting to note that not one of the Sustainable Parks Program’s proponents had the courage to show up and speak in favor of the plan at today’s hearing. Equally disappointing was that State Park leadership sat in stone cold silence while this issue was being discussed. It is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in California,” Amador concludes.
Representatives from the following organizations attended and spoke at the hearing. Those groups include the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, American Motorcyclist Association, American Motorcyclist Association District 36, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, and the BlueRibbon Coalition.
This is my second year attending the Easter Jeep Safari out in Moab. Last year I flew out to Denver and rode with my friend Mike. After experiencing the adventure as a passenger I decided to bring my rig out and try my hand behind the wheel. As an added bonus my oldest daughter Lexi wanted to join me.
I spent months getting the Jeep ready; tuning, tweeking, tightening, adjusting and replacing stuff to be ready. I have to say that I don’t know the Jeep has ever been this dialed in and ready to go.
Lexi and I headed out of San Jose early on Saturday with the intention of stopping in Vegas for two nights. It’s the perfect half way stay over and we wanted to do some sight seeing. We saw the sights and caught a show (Mystre at Treasure Island) on Sunday night. Vegas is not the best place for a 15 year old young lady. Looking forward to bringing her back for her 21st birthday. Monday morning we headed out to Moab.
Tuesday – Wheeling with Warn
We won a Facebook drawing to go wheeling with the Warn crew. The run was on Tuesday for Sevenmile canyon with 20 other winners. The Warn crew included their spokesperson Jessi Combs. Jessi was driving the Warn Jeep dragging a Warn trailer. The trail is scenic and not terribly challenging. Some tight squeezes, some interesting obstacles, some crazy off camber stuff and a couple of challenging water falls to traverse. As with the other rim runs there is a crazy view of the valley from the top of the rim.
Warn provided lunch and that gave me an opportunity to introduce Lexi to Jessi. Jessi was very approachable and was so cool to talk to. She is a strong confident articulate independent capable woman. Just the type of person that I want Lexi to get exposure to. We talked about Jessi’s projects and her passion in female empowerment through the programs she supports. My favorite quote from her: “I love my life”.
After lunch we continued on the trail and hit some intense water falls. We took the bypass but some of the rigs were playing around. Jessi tried to take the Jeep/Trailer up the falls. The Warn guys stopped her. They did not want her dragging the trailer up the obstacle. Personally I was too scared to take the Jeep up the falls. Jessi wanted to play so I gave her the keys to my Jeep. She took the Scrambler (with my daughter) up the Falls. It was kinda crazy to see her confidence and what my Jeep is capable of.
My buddy Mike from Colorado Springs rolled in on Tuesday night to join the adventure. Wednesday we did Metal Masher as a registered event. We were the 39th and 40th rigs in the group of 40 rigs. Not the place you want to be in an open jeep with no top or doors. It was dusty and dirty and the going was unbelievable slow. A beautiful Bronco in the middle of the group lost their rear end and needed help getting through the trail in front wheel drive. We had some time to play on some side trails and had lunch looking over the valley. I love that view.
We bailed on the trail group at the evacuation exit. We were tired of the dust. We headed over to Fins and Things, baby lions back and potato salad hill. It was a great end to the day.
Thursday – BFE
Thursday we had an open day and planned to check out BFE and take product shots for the web site. BFE is a big drive from town. We headed out there and tooled around on some obstacles; pretty intense obstacles. They were prepping the grounds for a competition event on Saturday. We started to do Heldorado falls. I got through the first part but could not make it through the squeeze. Mike went on without me. That is where Lexi shot this video.
After BFE we checked out the vendors and then went back up to Fins and things for some product shots. Mike and Lexi look like cold, dirty professional models. pi
Friday – Pritchet Canyon
It’s about this time that we realized that we screwed up our trail assignments. While we were screwing around on Thursday we were supposed to have been on the organized Pritchet Canyon run. We screwed up. Since Friday did not have any organized trail runs on Pritchet canyon, we grabbed lunches, topped off the tanks and headed out to tackle it. It was just the two rigs. After we got started on the trail we hooked up with a couple of guys from Nevada (these dudes know how to wheel) and we were later joined by some Utah kids (they were a lot of fun). With the big holiday weekend there were a number of rigs out there. There was some traffic but overall we moved at a good clip. The canyon was very pretty. The trail itself was the hardest fricking thing I have ever attempted. The climbs, the ledges, the drops, the waterfalls were crazy. By far I was in over my head. I had never done anything this hard before. Thankfully the group included several outstanding spotters, they were patient and on more than one occasion I threw out the winch line.
On the long (15 miles of dirt road) drive out of the back of the canyon I lost the bearings in the driver front wheel. Wheel locked up. Wheel barely hanging on, we left the Jeep on the dirt road and retrieved it with the trailer. We ended up missing the raffle drawing that night.
On big Saturday we were supposed to run Hell’s Revenge. By Saturday I was toast. The Jeep was broken and Lexi was ready to be home. We skipped out on our trail run. We shopped and watched the Jeeps head out of downtown on the morning of Big Saturday. Saw some cool Scramblers and hundreds of other cool Jeeps. We packed up and headed home. We made it to the CA/NV state line on our first day. We grabbed a room at some dive hotel. Lexi went to bed while I headed down to the casino to win $1,000 on a video poker machine. I figure that almost pays for gas for the trip. Got home late Easter Sunday, tired, dirty and broken.
It was an amazing adventure. It was so cool to share the time and the adventure with my eldest daughter. I learned more about what I am capable of as a driver and what my Jeep is capable of. It was a hoot meeting Jessi. It was refreshing to meet her and confirm that she is as cool in person as her on-screen persona. Also as the father of two daughters it was great to have Lexi exposed to such a strong, capable positive passionate driven female role-model.
Will be looking to book my room for next year in the next month or so. Who’s in?
GET YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS AND COME TO LIVERMORE FOR THE ANSWER.
PLEASE ATTEND A MEETING OF THE CA OHV COMMISSION FEB 24/25 with Carnegie Forever, Inc.
Carnegie main gate Friday Feb. 24 at 12 noon. Join with us for a tour of the park and “creek” with the OHV Commissioners and officials.
This is the “BIGGIE”. Attend a Commission meeting Saturday Feb. 25th at 9:00 AM. It starts at 9AM – DOUBLE TREE MOTEL, 720 Los Flores Rd., Livermore. This is on the North Side of 580 at First St. exit. Come early, be sure to get your “I Own Carnegie” button as you enter. Also fill out a speaker’s card in the lobby SO YOU CAN SPEAK YOUR MIND!!
COPY AND POST THIS MESSAGE AT CYCLE SHOPS AND OTHER LOCATIONS, FORWARD TO FRIENDS, ETC.
Yo Yo Yo … If you are planning to make Easter Jeep Safari 2012 the good news is that the participant newspapers went out this afternoon!!! If you are on the list you should get the materials in the next week or so. Red Rock 4-wheelers announced today that the newspapers (registration packets) were mailed today.
Hennessey has announced limited production of an 805 hp Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8 for 2013. Not sure that’s the crazy part. I think the crazy part is the $235,000 expected price tag. So for the $235,000 price tag you get a beefy ass 7.0 liter engine hooked up with twin turbo chargers, lowers the suspension, 20 inch wheels, some carbon finber body work and upgrades the brakes. The resulting performance is 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. That is fast as hell for a Jeep.
They are hoping to produce a couple of dozen for 2013.