I recently retired…
…from my full-time job and am about to leave for a long trip. It’s called the Trans America Trail, and I am heading up to Oregon on my DR650 to start. If all goes well, I will arrive in South Carolina in early-mid October. I will be taking notes and pics on the trail.

Weekly radio show
We will be cutting back on our weekly radio show, maybe temporarily, maybe for good. We have been talking to a state lobbyist for some time and I believe we will sign a contract soon. The radio show has been costing us money and we feel that money would be better spent on a lobbyist. While I love being on the radio, I find the prospect of having quality representation in Sacramento very exciting and will be sharing with you as we progress.

Desert Advisory Council (DAC)
I just received word that I have been re-appointed to the DAC. This is a group of people which gives advice to the Bureau of Land Management on the California Desert District. My first appointment was cut short by Covid, so I look forward to participating more thoroughly this time.

Big Bear
A restoration project (click here) was started in 2021 and completed in May of 2023 by the San Bernardino National Forest. The forest kept the project quiet and advocates like me didn’t hear about it until it was completed. A number of people I have spoken to are upset with the forest over this. In the project they want to work on 13,000 acres directly north of Big Bear Lake, as far as Holcomb Valley. In the project document they want to reduce fuel load, close about 10 shorter street legal routes and open 47 miles of singletrack for Class One ebikes. Class One is the lowest level with pedal assist and less than 20 mph. We just learned that as of May 2023, when the project paperwork was finished, they closed the routes, but did not authorize the singletrack. Worse, two of the routes closed were adopted trails. The adopters were never told and are angry. A local mountain bike advocate I know is upset, feels sold out because of the singletrack not being opened. I am upset that routes were closed, and I never heard about it. In the document it says the public was told through the paper “Big Bear Grizzly,” which is a very small newspaper. This sets a bad precedent for the forest. Why would anyone want to adopt a trail, when that trail could be closed with no word from the forest?

There have been problems with side-by-sides on the wrong trails near Big Bear. There was a real problem with them by Lake Silverwood also. Law enforcement did a big crackdown over there and wrote a lot of citations. If you want to go up there, make sure you are on legal routes. There are green sticker routes north and east of Lake Arrowhead. The Owlshead map app is a very good way to know where to go. I recommend downloading it.

Lost Lizard
Our big fundraiser is coming fast, and pre-entry is open (click here).  Please join us for this fun event. It’s a great way to start the desert season and will help us with our work to keep the desert open for off-road vehicle use.

Ed Stovin
President, SDORC