Outdoor News - August 3, 2018
Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative
On Wednesday, Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, announced that Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) had awarded more than $120,000 in funds and equipment to eight grant and scholarship recipients from applications submitted in the fourth quarter of 2017 and first quarter of 2018. The combined funding cycle is highlighted by a wide variety of projects supporting access to trails and riding areas for off-highway vehicles (OHV) and outdoor enthusiasts alike.
“We continue to promote and see growth and diversity in the Outdoor Access Initiative, which now has a decade of supporting responsible, sustainable access under its belt,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha ATV / Side-by-Side (SxS) group marketing manager. “These last two quarters have been a great example, with projects addressing a wide-range of use from single-track trails to sand dunes and back-country areas for the enjoyment of OHVs of all types: motorcycles, ATVs, Side-by-Side vehicles, and snowmobiles.”
As the powersports industry’s leading land access advocate protecting the interests of those who work and play outdoors, OAI supports off-highway vehicle riders, as well as those who rely on land access to camp, hunt, fish, farm, and more. The latest Yamaha OAI grant recipients are:
- The Capital Trails Vehicle Association, Helena, MT
- The Off Road Business Association
- Twin Cities Trail Riders, Jordan, MN
- Crested Butte Avalanche Center, Crested Butte, CO
- Wonders of Wildlife/National Hunting and Fishing Day Live It! Grant Program
- Range Riders ATV Club, Nashwauk, MN
- Save the Rider’s Dunes, North Bend, OR
- Voyageur Country ATV Club, Grand Rapids, MN
This latest funding also featured OAI’s continuing support of National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as six scholarships to university students as part of the Yamaha Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) program.
“We believe everyone should be able to experience the outdoors and all of the incredible opportunities our public lands have to offer,” Nessl said. “Working through like-minded partners like National Hunting and Fishing Day, as well as seeding appropriate safety and land stewardship messaging with future influencers and professional communicators via the ACT program, helps ensure we’ll all be able to enjoy the outdoors for generations to come.”
Find the details, including how to apply for a grant, at the Outdoor Access Initiative website.
Wilderness Legislation Introduced
Last Friday, Rep. Jared Huffman (California 2nd District) introduced legislation to guard communities against wildfires, provide local jobs, restore lands impaired by illegal marijuana growing operations, and protect many of Northwest California’s spectacular wild places and pristine streams.
Huffman’s Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act would restore national forest land and fish habitat, stimulate local economies through forest stewardship programs, enhance recreational opportunities including through trails and visitor centers, and reduce fire danger. The legislation would not limit hunting or fishing, close any legally open roads or trails to vehicles, or affect access to or the use of private property.
“From the majestic Smith River to the ancient redwoods and old-growth forests, and the rugged mountains in between, our public lands are worth protecting and restoring for future generations to enjoy,” said Rep. Huffman. “Today, some of these landscapes are not fully protected, and others are not managed to their full potential: we can do more to ensure fire resilience, support healthy wildlife, and spur outdoor recreation. After hearing from countless constituents and stakeholders on my draft legislation to address these issues, I’m introducing the Northwest California Wilderness, Recreation, and Working Forests Act, a carefully developed bill to protect the communities and lands we value the most. I’m grateful for all the constituents who took the time to share their thoughts and innovative ideas, which ultimately shaped the bill I introduced today.”
During this process, Rep. Huffman consulted with many stakeholders including: dozens of community leaders, tourism organizations, outdoor recreation groups, restoration specialists, tribes, county supervisors, conservation groups, timber industry, forestry experts, fisheries scientists, fire ecologists, and business owners.
Huffman’s office has received over 200 letters of support and heard from constituents at four public meetings in Eureka, Crescent City, Weaverville, and Ukiah.
Interested individuals can explore a map of these proposals.
Wyoming Offers Recreation Funds
On Wednesday, the Wyoming Division of State Parks, Historic Sites and Trails, through the National Park Service, announced that it is offering recreational funding for projects throughout the State of Wyoming.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program is a 50% reimbursable grant program. To be eligible, the project site must be maintained for public outdoor recreation for perpetuity, and the applicant must be a municipality, county, school district or recreation district.
Historically, this program has funded various recreational projects throughout the State including playground equipment and upgrades, sports fields, shooting ranges, and associated facilities. Congress has appropriated approximately $836,000.00 for the State of Wyoming this year.
For additional information including applications, Guidelines and deadlines, please visit the website: http://wyoparks.state.wy.us/index.php/learn/recreation-grants or contact Tracy J. Williams at Tracy.Williams@wyo.gov or 307-777-8681.
If you aren't in Wyoming, check with the recreation agency in your state for details as they vary a bit from state to state.
Keep Long Valley Green Campaign
On Wednesday, Mammoth Lakes Recreation announced that the group is going to battle. The opponent; the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
This past March, the agency notified leaseholders in Long and Little Round Valleys, that it would be eliminating their irrigation allotments. Historically leaseholders have been allotted up to 5 acre feet per acre annually for irrigation. The leaseholders, who rely on the water to irrigate pastureland, also play a key role in maintaining wetland habitat, which in turn supports a vibrant ecosystem, including brooding grounds for the bi-state sage grouse – a California species of special concern.
Long Valley also supports a variety of outdoor recreation – most notably, two world-class fisheries: Hot Creek and the Upper Owens River. Local fishing guides and tackle shop owners have expressed concern over how the loss of wetland habitat will affect the fishing resources in the area.
“There simply hasn’t been enough studies conducted as to how dewatering the wetlands will impact the landscape,” says Matt McClain, Executive Director for Mammoth Lakes Recreation. “At the very least, an Environmental Impact Report should be completed before LADWP are allowed to take such a drastic step.”
“In addition to the direct impacts on recreational activities such as fishing, hunting and camping, dewatering the landscape in Long and Little Round Valleys will also impact winter sports as well,” says McClain. “Wetlands are one of the most efficient mechanisms for CO2 exchange. In destroying these wetlands, LADWP is opening the door for invasive plant species like cheatgrass to move in, which changes that landscape, perpetuating climatological changes that already impacting glacial fields in the Sierras.”
Mammoth Lakes Recreation has written letters to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Board Chair Mel Levine, outlining its concerns and asking for the immediate reinstatement of the historical water allotments to lessees until a full environmental study on the land can be completed.
For more information on Mammoth Lakes Recreation’s “Keep Long Valley Green” campaign, go to their website: www.mammothlakesrecreation.org.
Yosemite Remains Closed
On Tuesday, Yosemite National Park announced that Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, Hetch Hetchy, and other areas will remain closed to all visitors through Sunday, August 5, 2018 due to continued unhealthy smoke impacts and ongoing firefighting operations. The park will continue to assess conditions and reevaluate all closures on Sunday, August 5.
Yosemite Valley has been temporarily closed since July 25 due to smoke impacts and for firefighting operations along El Portal Road and the Wawona Road due to the Ferguson Fire.
The Big Oak Flat Road (Highway 120 West) to Crane Flat and Tioga Road (Highway 120 East) from Crane Flat to Tioga Pass remain open to all visitors and vehicles. Visitors are advised to drive with caution, as smoke impacts may vary. All trails and campgrounds along Tioga Road, including the Tuolumne Meadows Campground remain open. All visitor services along Tioga Road, including the High Sierra Camps and visitor services near Tuolumne Meadows remain open.
Since the Ferguson Fire began on Friday, July 13, several other park facilities and roads have been closed due to fire impacts and the need to support firefighting operations. These closures include Glacier Point Road, Bridalveil Creek Campground, Wawona Campground, and the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias.
Yosemite National Park continues to work closely with the Incident Management Team and continues to assess park conditions daily.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at www.nps.gov/yose and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page.
Special Savings for Our Readers
As of last evening the fire was over 69.000 acres and 41% contained.
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Video of the Week
Bikepacking is a great way to explore the outdoors. You can explore on paved roads, gravel roads and even single track trails. In this week's video 14 friends, including a couple of videographers, take on a four-day adventure in the mountains of central Idaho. Enjoy!
Bikepacking Might Kill You on Vimeo