Mixing Business and Pleasure in the Plumas National Forest

Share on Facebook
by Jack Raudy,
Consultant to the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program

For people who love the outdoors, and especially the opportunity to see the back country on an off-highway or over-the-snow vehicle, California's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation commissioners may have the best positions imaginable.

Recently, five OHV commissioners from throughout California assembled in the small town of La Porte, population 53, for what proved to be an informative and rewarding two-day visit.
Hosted by the La Porte Snowmobile Club and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, the commissioners were afforded the opportunity ride a snowmobile through some of the most breathtaking forests in northern California.

"OHV commissioners are vital to our program as they deliberate on tough OHV issues and review and approve our budget," said Cliff Glidden, deputy director of the state's OHV Division, "so it is absolutely essential that we afford them opportunities to participate in all facets of the program." Glidden explained that the commissioners represent not only the OHV community, but also biological sciences, rural landowners, soil scientists, and environmental protection organizations.

First stop on the La Porte commission tour was the Frank C. Reilly Museum, where they were treated to coffee and doughnuts and the opportunity to learn more about this historic mining town.

The next stop provided an opportunity for the commissioners to see a snow-grooming machine in action. Barry Jones, winter recreation specialist for the OHV Division, told the commissioners that this grooming machine was one of 14 state-purchased machines for grooming throughout the Sierra. Jones said there are 65 miles of groomed trails in the La Porte area; however, there are more than 1,700 miles of groomed trails in California.

"While we pay for the grooming machines," Jones said, "they are maintained by the U.S. Forest Service and the actual grooming is conducted by forest service personnel and volunteers from local clubs such as the La Porte club here." Jones explained groomed trails are used not only by snowmobilers, but also cross-country skiers, dog sledders, and snow-shoe enthusiasts.

After a hot lunch in the staging area warming hut, the real test was about to begin. Neal Peart, a member of the La Porte Snowmobile Club, provided the commissioners with a lesson in Snowmobiling 101 and the group began their 28-mile round trip ride to Onion Valley.

"This is really a thrilling experience for me," said Commissioner Curley Nobles of Fullerton. "The majority of my off-highway riding is in southern California and the desert, so this is a completely different world."

Commission chairman, Don Amador, of Oakley, appeared to be a very skilled rider, however, he admitted that he didn't have that much experience. "I have ridden off-highway motorcycles my entire life," Amador said, "so I think it gives me a sense of balance and confidence that is required to operate one of these machines."

In order to keep the group together, Peart kept speeds down to 25 to 30 m.p.h., but he said some of the newer models were capable of speeds up to 80 m.p.h. "We are very family-oriented and safety conscious in our club," Peart said, "so we watch our speed and operate our machines within our personal capabilities." Peart also serves as the safety director for the California-Nevada Snowmobile Association.

After a fun-filled day of snowmobiling, members of the La Porte club hosted commissioners and other guests to a progressive dinner at the homes of several members. The cabins were accessible only by snowmobile.

"I am very appreciative of the entire La Porte Snowmobile Club for their untiring efforts to make this a first-class event," said Commissioner Jan McGarvie, of El Cajon. McGarvie, who made the trip with her husband, Jim, is an avid all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and motorcycle enthusiast who usually rides in the California desert.

Ron Rawlings, president of the California-Nevada Snowmobile Association, told the commissioners that snowmobiling really became a managed sport and generally accepted by the public about 1971. "We were the first group to reduce noise levels on our machines," Rawlings said, "and we began promoting responsible use and controlling use of snowmobiles with the concept of a planned trail system."

Rawlings said that today, snowmobiling is the third fastest growing sport in America and more than 14,000 machines are registered in California.

For more information on the California winter recreation program, contact Barry Jones at (916) 324-4442 or for more information on the California-Nevada Snowmobile Association, contact Ron Rawlings at (209) 295-7852.

February 17, 2015 12:19 PM
(BRC Board of Directors)
This award was presented to the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) by SnowWest.

GOLDEN, CO (February 17, 2015) -- On January 30th and 31st SnoWest Magazine hosted a major event to Celebrate 40 years of the magazine's history. The weekend featured a number of events and brought several hundred riders to West Yellowstone. The attendees came from all over the U.S, and Canada.

The included a number of fun activities, such as demo rides of the latest snowmobile models, a poker run, a donation ride challenge, vintage snowmobile races, a video contest and much more.

Read more...
February 11, 2015 3:12 PM
(BRC Ambassador)

POCATELLO, ID (February 9, 2015) - "Blue Star" members of Pirate4x4.com, the "largest off-roading website in the world,"  have once again stepped up to support BRC in its efforts to protect recreation access. This most recent contribution from the Blue Star program brought in $5,230 for trails.

Read more...
February 11, 2015 6:13 AM

ATTENTION! -- The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) requests your support for our fourth annual Silent Auction at the Reno Off-Road & Motorsports Expo, March 20-22, 2015 in Reno, NV.  This Auction replaces BRC’s previous Christmas Auction that was used as a primary fund-raiser for trails. Please consider a product donation to help make this a successful event to help keep outdoor sports alive and well, nationwide; all sports; all trails. The last couple of years have been very successful, and this year BRC would like to rock the records -- with your help!!

Read more...
January 26, 2015 10:24 AM
(Announcement)
(BRC Western Representative)
December 17, 2014 12:48 PM
(Announcement)
December 9, 2014 3:36 PM
(Press Release)
November 25, 2014 11:00 AM
(Staff Column)
(BRC Western Representative)