San Bernardino County officials keep law restricting off-roading

  • Posted on: 22 August 2007
  • By: admin

San Bernardino County officials keep law restricting off-roading

By DUANE W. GANG - 8/22/07
The Press-Enterprise


The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to keep a year-old law restricting the use of motorcycles and other off-road vehicles intact.

The supervisors will reconsider a provision requiring a $155 permit for 10 or more people to gather and operate off-highway vehicles.

No date has been set to take up the law again.

Off-highway vehicle use is popular in San Bernardino County, especially with the vast stretches of open space available in the largest county in the lower 48 states.

Off-road-vehicle use has often drawn complaints from residents about noise, dust and trespassing. Supervisors last year approved the law and agreed to reconsider the issue in a year.

"This issue is really resolved best by good manners, good manners on both sides," Supervisor Dennis Hansberger said.

The rules, approved in April 2006, require riders on private property to have written permission from the owners, to apply for a temporary-event permit when 10 or more riders gather, and to use vehicles that meet state noise standards.

Riders also are subject to laws that make it illegal to disturb the peace and quiet of a residential area.

Off-highway-vehicle enthusiasts said the law should be repealed or revised. They argued that only a small number of riders are problems, while the law infringes on a person's private-property rights by requiring the permit for 10 or more riders. The permit was their biggest concern.

Supervisor Brad Mitzelfelt, who, along with Hansberger, represents most of the areas popular with off-road vehicles, said the permit process must be streamlined. But he said he was unwilling to alter the law immediately.

"I think three weeks to get a permit for staging for OHV activity is too long," he said. "For all the good the ordinance has done, that may be beyond what the board's intent was."

With more than 100 people voicing their views to supervisors, the hearing lasted all afternoon. The board began taking public comment at about 1:30 p.m. and didn't wrap up until 5:40 p.m.

Jenny Doling, a Yucca Valley lawyer and off-highway-vehicle rider, said special permits are typically for large events such as concerts, not riding motorcycles.

"This is why we are here today, to correct a wrong," Doling said.

Supporters of the law, carrying signs reading "Stop ORV Outlaws," "Dust Noise Trespass Harassment," and "No Trespassing on My Land," gathered in front of the County Government Center in San Bernardino before the start of Tuesday's meeting to urge supervisors not to tinker with the restrictions.

"It is already a fair and effective document and should be upheld and renewed," said Chris Carraher, a Wonder Valley resident and founding member of the group OHV Watch.

County code enforcement officials said the law is proving effective. It provides specific measures that can be used for enforcement, said Randy Rogers, head of county code enforcement.

Rogers said any time a local government attempts to regulate a person's leisure activities, the move will prove controversial. But this law was not developed in a vacuum, he said. Both sides were present during the debate and had input, Rogers said.

Sheriff Gary Penrod said deputies needed the law to deal with riders on private property.

"We need to have some kind of enforcement tool," he said.

Strict off-road rules are upheld by SB Board of Supervisors

  • Posted on: 22 August 2007
  • By: admin

From the LA Times 8/22/07

Strict off-road rules are upheld

By Sara Lin August 22, 2007


Spurred by desert homeowners tired of noise and dust, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to uphold an ordinance that clamps down on off-road riders gathering in groups or trespassing on private land.

Analysis of Friends of Giant Rock Proposal Regarding the ORV Ordinance

  • Posted on: 2 July 2007
  • By: admin



Community ORV Watch - July 2007


The Friends of Giant Rock proposal to revise San Bernardino County off-road vehicle Ordinance 3973 is not a proposal simply to revise that important Ordinance; it is a radical proposal to destroy that Ordinance. The removal of the trespass and staging provisions would gut the law and render it close to useless, sending us back to the conflict, lawlessness, and wasted enforcement resources that prevailed before the Ordinance went into effect. It would set the clock in reverse and blast us back to the “sand age.”

Reckless off-roaders called scourge

  • Posted on: 29 June 2007
  • By: admin

From the LA Times, June 29, 2007:

Riders who stray from legal trails damage watersheds, help spread invasive species and contribute to fire hazards, a group says.
By Alison Williams, Times Staff Writer
June 29, 2007

A new group of retired land managers and forest rangers said Thursday that reckless off-road vehicle recreation was the No. 1 threat to public lands in the West.

The 13-member Rangers for Responsible Recreation said it was voicing the concerns of many federal land management employees in the West, including in California, who report that an increasing number of riders and the growing power of the vehicles are endangering natural resources and public safety.

Spokesmen for the group were participating in a teleconference from Tucson that was arranged by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. PEER, which describes itself as an "alliance of local, state and federal resource professionals," helped found the new organization.

Damage from off-road vehicles is worst when riders leave designated routes and head into sensitive areas such as fragile desert and riparian zones, members of the new group said.

Read the whole story here.

Goto the PEER site and send a message to your representative.

Read an editorial from the Salt Lake Tribune supporting the PEER efforts, that concludes:

"ATV groups rightly say peer enforcement is key, but obviously that isn't enough. Only tough laws that are enforced can keep ATV scofflaws on the straight and narrow."

San Bernardino County Resolution to Address Aggravated Trespass, Intimidation and Harassment by Off-Road Vehicles

  • Posted on: 28 April 2007
  • By: admin

We will present the following resolution to the San Bernardino Board of Supervisors at the hearing where they will consider renewal of the ORV ordinance passed last year:

Whereas the sales of off-road vehicles have increased dramatically over the last few years …

Whereas city, county and federal law enforcement agencies report the growing problem of illegal off-road-vehicle activities in San Bernardino County…

Officers hear fewer off-road complaints this holiday

  • Posted on: 21 February 2007
  • By: admin

From the Hi-Desert Star

By Mark Wheeler / Hi-Desert Star
Tuesday, February 20, 2007 10:53 PM PST

MORONGO BASIN - The Presidents' Day weekend was, by law-enforcement accounts, reasonably uneventful on the off-road vehicle front this year. Historically, the occasion has ranked second only to Thanksgiving weekend for citizen complaints about ORV activity in the Basin, but a pre-planned increase in enforcement presence this year seems to have had results.

Off-road trespass, vandalism getting worse

  • Posted on: 10 February 2007
  • By: admin

Published in the Hi-Desert Star:

By Phil Klasky / Wonder Valley
Friday, February 9, 2007 11:08 PM PST

Hi-Desert residents didn't have much of a chance to celebrate the new county ordinance that helps curb off-road-vehicle trespass and destruction of our communities before a push back by riders that has made things worse. Just ask your local sheriff and homeowner.

Site Stewardship Workshop Open to COW Members

  • Posted on: 18 January 2007
  • By: admin

The Bureau of Land Management is offering a workshop in archeological site stewardship to learn about history, natural resources, archeology and field methods. Site stewardship is also a way to reclaim lands from ORV and other abuse and engender a sense of connection to place.

COW has adopted the Post Homestead cultural and ecological site for stewardship and we would benefit from our members taking the workshop and guiding us on how to best protect it.

COW will pay the $25 fee for up to four members who would like to take the course.