MEETING: BLM Quarterly Report for WEMO

Please attend one of these meetings if you can. This will be an opportunity to hear from the BLM on the status of the WEMO process and to give your feedback.

BLM will be hosting two public open-house format meetings to gather public input on a proposal to temporarily restrict use to street legal vehicles on 148 miles of routes located on public lands within San Bernardino County that are maintained by the County of San Bernardino Public Works Department.  Segments of these routes under County maintenance are managed as limited to street legal only vehicles.  This proposal to temporarily limit the use of the route segments on public lands will allow BLM to analyze and determine if consistent management of these routes across the two jurisdictions is in the public interest.  These public meetings are scheduled for:

Wednesday, April 19, 2017 (5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)   Yucca Valley Community Center (Yucca Conference Room)  57090 Twentynine Palms Highway  Yucca Valley, CA 92284

Thursday, April 20, 2017 (5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.)  Barstow Field Office (Main Conference Room)  2601 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA 92311

A third meeting has been scheduled as follows:
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.)
Barstow Field Office
(Main Conference Room)
2601 Barstow Rd, Barstow, CA 92311

The BLM’s Proposal To Delay Resolving Problems With WEMO

Following from our community’s work to submit comments on the BLM’s flawed 2015 WEMO plan we have been waiting for the BLM to respond to our significant input and criticism regarding their proposals. The BLM’s response has been to try and kick the can down the road and not substantively improve the shortcomings of the plan. We are actively working with the Alliance for Responsible Recreation and other concerned entities to respond to this delay and most importantly to limit further damage to the desert.

Please read this article, “Anatomy Of A Successful Grass Roots Campaign”, published in the June 2016 issue of Desert Report, for a history of the process and details of where things stand.

From the article:

The deadline for the BLM to release the WEMO Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed Travel Management Plans was April 29th, 2016 and November 30th, 2016 was the deadline for the BLM to finalize the WEMO decisions and publish the official Record of Decision (ROD) on the TMPs. In fact, the agency has asked the courts for an extension. We were disturbed to learn that the BLM proposes to delay the process until 2020! First, they want the public to do their work for them by commenting on specific routes in a flawed document, and now they want to delay the process another four years. Every day that the agency’s ORV policy remains unclear or confusing, illegal routes will proliferate and, given the BLM’s inability to enforce the law, there will be no consequences for riders who are in violation. The desert cannot survive four more years of uncontrolled and unmanaged ORV abuse. In the meantime, constant threats to the desert continue to be challenged by a growing network of skilled and activated people who love our precious lands and are prepared
to defend them.