The Stanislaus National Forest recently completed three off-highway vehicle (OHV) grant applications for more than $1.3 million. Drafted to fund maintenance and patrol projects, grant proposals were submitted to the California State Parks Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, according to Diana Fredlund, a public information officer with the Stanislaus National Forest.
If awarded, funds would be received around the beginning of the fiscal year in October.
Public comments may be submitted from March 5 to May 6, 2019.
With two additional grants for law enforcement and ground operations, forest recreation specialists and OHV managers are requesting twice as much as they applied for last year, primarily due to trail damage from extreme weather events and delays in maintenance projects during the federal government shutdown, according to Miguel Macias, a public service staff officer with the Summit Ranger District.
The ground operations grant will fund maintenance of OHV campground facilities – including taking out trash and cleaning bathrooms – in addition to restoring eroded trails, clearing fallen logs and unclogging breached culverts.
The restoration grant will cover repair costs for vehicle damage on undesignated forest routes.
Oftentimes when drivers approach a dead end on a designated Forest Service road, “OHVers might want to find another route,” Macias told the Enterprise in a phone interview Tuesday. “They’ll go explore and that causes impacts to the forest.”
Work will include hand crews removing tracks, and placing boulders, bollards and signs to mark the ends of routes.
The third grant aims to increase patrol presence to discourage drivers from traveling on undesignated forest land as well.
Forest protection officers are authorized to write citations based on state OHV regulations, but much of the work involves educating visitors and ensuring safety on trails, Macias said.
“These grants are vital for a successful OHV program on the forest,” said Beth Martinez, public service staff officer for the Stanislaus National Forest in a recent press release. “Equally important is input from the OHV community that enjoys off-highway recreation. Their input on the program helps us provide quality recreation.”
Visit the OHV grant applications webpage to submit a comment.
For more information, contact Martinez at (209) 288-6307.