Is your favorite off-road area near San Diego open?

Corral Canyon in Cleveland National Forest is open.
Ocotillo Wells is open for riding and camping.
All BLM areas are open for riding and camping.

It is always a good idea to check with the appropriate agency prior to heading out:
Corral Canyon: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/cleveland/recreation/ohv/recarea/?recid=78497&actid=68
Ocotillo Wells: http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1217
BLM El Centro Field Office: https://www.blm.gov/office/el-centro-field-office

SDORC submitted strong comments criticizing the BLM’s Grand View Travel Management Plan in Idaho. The plan proposed to close hundreds of miles of trail and with the help of our comments (and many others) the BLM reversed its plan and is going back to the drawing board. From the BLM: “Due to a large volume of public comments regarding Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use and demand for access, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Boise District is cancelling the Grand View Travel Management Plan Environmental Assessment to reassess information and validate route inventory.” To read SDORC’s comments, click here

President’s Message

June Update

SDORC readers, this column goes to S&S Off Road Magazine each month.

First, I want to thank editor Sherri for allowing my column to be late. I broke a bone in my hand in an exhibition vintage motocross race at the San Diego County Fair. I tipped over and my hand hit another rider’s wheel and cracked the second metacarpal, so I’m typing one-handed.

Years back, Roy Denner used to do land use for SDORC and he was known as Doomsday Denner because he always brought bad news. This month there is less trouble than usual, but not all is good. I have been working on and stressing over a project I am not quite ready to go public with. Give me a month or two and we will share all about it.

There has been an interesting twist on the legislative front. We have been closely tracking three bills this year, vets and active service getting free or cheaper access to parks, a ban on PFAS chemicals, and the red sticker bill. A new bill has emerged as what is known as a gut and amend bill. The first two bills have died, as both would have cost the state money in a time when the state has not enough money. The red sticker bill, which was “held” in committee last year may come out of that same committee this year (the committee received a new chair this year). The gut and amend bill is SB632 and its old language was cut out and added in was language allowing Red Rock State Park to have a combined use road longer than three miles. Red Rock State Park had a management plan update recently and OHV use in the park was ended. While this in itself was bad, another frustration is that now OHVs cannot travel from Jawbone north to Dove Springs. Current law allows a designation for OHV use on public roads up to three miles in length. This bill would allow Sierra View Road to share OHV use for its full length in a pilot study. Our state lobbyist has been working on this and I believe CORVA’s Amy Granat will be testifying in committee hearings on this bill.

Water Board
The California Central Valley Water Board has released a draft plan to manage development of nonpoint source (diffuse contamination of water or air that does not originate from a single discrete source) permits for federal lands managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. This state plan wants to hold these federal agencies responsible for anything that puts sediment in the water. This includes OHV and naturally occurring events like landslides. Amy Granat wrote some excellent comments exposing why a state agency should not be mandating how federal agencies manage their land.

San Diego County OHV Park
San Diego County has been working on opening an off-road vehicle park since 2021 with Supervisor Joel Anderson driving the effort. SDORC has been working with the supervisor on the project from the start and the County has just released questions and answers from the last public meeting. We have not been promoting the project excessively, as we don’t want to attract more haters. It is genuinely possible we could get a park of our own in the not-too-distant future. Of course, we have to deal with the folks who don’t like us. Some questions have hatred of OHV written all over them. “How are greenhouse gas emissions from an OHV park consistent with the County’s Climate Action Plan?” “How can an OHV Park ‘protect and enhance wildlife habitat’, when by its very nature it is destructive to the environment?”

Click here for the park project page, and click here for the Q&A report.

As the project moves forward, we will need off-roaders to chime in and drown out the haters. If you would like to be added to the list for project updates, email [email protected] and ask to be put on the list.

Lost Lizard 
We have been having planning meetings for the upcoming Lost Lizard Fun Run. Expect it to be similar to previous events, but who knows what to expect at the checkpoints. We are talking about adding a sixth checkpoint where you can discard and draw new cards, like in draw poker. A harder “Red Route” should be included this year going up into the sand of Superstition Mountain. Our base camp will be right off Huff Rd again at The Dip. There will food and off-road product vendors in the base camp so come join us at our big fundraiser November 9 and help us find Max, the lost lizard. Click here to sign up online.

Ed Stovin

Read past President’s Messages

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