[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
67°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 24
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]


Commentary by Linda Castro
| Thursday, Nov 19, 2015
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

LindaCastroI recently had a conversation with somebody who has driven and ridden in off-road vehicle areas maintained by the Bureau of Land Management for more than 20 years. This person was confident he knew and understood the rules that applied to various types of OHV areas. But as our discussion progressed, it became apparent he did not. This conversation caused me to think that other people who use those areas may not fully know or understand these rules.

Why is it important to know and obey these rules? One of the most obvious reasons is that driving or riding in areas where you are not allowed is a Class-A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and-or one year imprisonment. Another fairly obvious reason is that it can harm plants and animals and their habitat as well as areas that are important for historical and cultural reasons.

Other reasons are not quite as obvious. If you drive or ride in an off-limits area, you might pick up and spread seeds of non-native grasses. Non-native grass seeds can be spread inadvertently from one area to another when they attach to shoes, clothing, vehicles and pets. Fires occur more frequently in areas that have non-native grasses, because these grasses are easier to ignite and provide more continuous fuel for the fire.

Public perception is an additional reason to make sure you are following the OHV rules. If off-roaders violate the rules, they give a bad name to those who follow the rules. The public typically hears only about the off-roaders who do not follow the rules and who, as a result, end up killing a desert tortoise or destroying a Native American petroglyph. The public then assumes all off-roaders are breaking the rules and wreaking havoc in our deserts.

1-OpenArea

Fig. 1: Open Area

There are three types of BLM areas in which riding and driving off road are permitted. When you enter one of these areas, there will be signage telling you what type of area you are entering.

In Open Areas, you are allowed to operate a motorized vehicle anywhere your vehicle and skill can go, within the boundaries of the Open Area. Some examples of Open Areas are Jawbone Canyon OHV Area and Spangler Hills OHV Area. The BLM signage for an Open Area is shown in Fig. 1.

In Limited Use Areas that allow use of existing routes, motorized vehicle travel is restricted to existing routes. An existing route is any road or trail that is at least 24 inches wide and shows some previous use. Desert washes are also considered to be existing routes, even if floods have erased all evidence of their previous use.

Fig. 2: Limited Use-Existing Routes

Fig. 2: Limited Use-Existing Routes

All cross-country travel is prohibited in these areas. You may only use existing routes – all other trails are closed – even if you do not see a barricade or red “closed” sign.

Some examples of this type of Limited Use Area are the El Paso Mountains and the Panamint Valley. When entering this type of area, you will see the BLM sign shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 3: Limited Use-Designated Routes

Fig. 3: Limited Use-Designated Routes

In Limited Use Areas that allow use of designated routes, motorized vehicle travel is restricted to a specific designated route network, in order to protect natural and cultural resources.

Designated routes are those marked with brown trail markers and white route numbers. All cross-country travel is prohibited in these areas. You may use only the designated route network – all other trails are closed – even if you do not see a red “closed” sign.

Fig. 4: Closed Area

Fig. 4: Closed Area

An example of this type of Limited Use Area is Jawbone-Butterbredt Area of Critical Environmental Concern. The BLM signage for this type of Limited Use Area is shown in Fig. 3.

The BLM also has Closed Areas. Motor vehicles are completely prohibited in these areas. Examples of these areas include all “wilderness” areas, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Desert Tortoise Natural Area. A Closed Area will be marked with the BLM sign shown in Fig. 4.

It is important that we all respect and protect our deserts so that our children and their children will be able to enjoy what we are able to enjoy today. One excellent way to do that is to learn about and obey the BLM’s OHV rules.

 

 

Linda Castro is a nature enthusiast and animal lover.  She is the Desert Field Organizer for the California Wilderness Coalition and serves on the board of the SCV-based Community Hiking Club.  Her commentaries relate to California’s deserts.

 

 

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

12 Comments

  1. Randy Worth says:

    Linda,
    Thank you for spreading awareness regarding responsible off-roading.

    I am the president of the LA County Trailcrew 4×4 Club. One of the functions our club does is volunteer and sponsor OHV trails. We do clean ups at Rhower Flats OHV area currently and we are always looking for other local trails to adopt.

    For all those wanting to get into off-roading but not knowing where to start, please feel free to come to our monthly meeting at the Marie Calendars in SCV on Dec 1st. Our guest speaker will be Terry Dean with Cal4Wheel. You can visit our website at: thetrailcrew.com

    Enjoy the outdoors and remember to “tread lightly”.

    -Randy

    Responsible off-roading through stewardship and education.

    • Linda says:

      I’ve signed up for your newsletter. I belong to a 4×4 club in the AV. I’d like to talk to you more about these areas.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      The BLM is the federal government. Most federal lands are held by the BLM, the Forest Service or the Park Service.

  2. Javi says:

    Scvtv guy/gal

    The Constitution does NOT allow for that. The Feds only own 10 square miles which is Washington DC. Yes military bases etc can be bought but they DO NOT OWN blm land. That’s why they are called “Land Managers”.

  3. Javi says:

    Its also important to understand that the highest power in the land is the ELECTED SHERIFF OF THE COUNTY. The President cannot trump his local authority. We need a constitutional Sherriff HERE IN LOS ANGELES.

  4. Figure 2 and 3 are the same??, is this a mistake?

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Friday, Sep 14, 2018
Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage have different benefits and costs that you should consider based on your personal needs. Medicare open enrollment season runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, and it’s a good idea to know how the two types of Medicare work before you select one.
Wednesday, Sep 5, 2018
In his September column, Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin outlines the city's 'Heads up' safety campaign against distracted driving and walking.
Tuesday, Sep 4, 2018
Nestled between the sports fields and hiking trails at Central Park is a grove of tree stumps.
Wednesday, Aug 22, 2018
If we can secure U.S. Rep. Steve Knight’s leadership, we have the chance to improve recreational opportunities and protect open space in the mountains that flank and define the Santa Clarita Valley.
Thursday, Aug 2, 2018
City Manager Ken Striplin notes that a lot has changed in Santa Clarita since the 1970s, except the SCV Sheriff's Station, which opened 46 years ago and will finally be replaced by a brand-new 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art, centrally located Sheriff’s Station on Golden Valley Road.
Wednesday, Aug 1, 2018
​There are many things that make our City the unique and special place it is.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
Three individuals and one writing team have been selected as winners of the 2018 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting competition.
Academy Reveals 2018’s Winning Nicholl Screenwriters
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation will present an art show, a pow-wow, a series of country music concerts and a pet adoption fair at William S. Hart Regional Park in September and October.
Art Shows, Pow-Wow, Country Concerts, Pet Fair Coming to Hart Park
East meets West in legendary playwright Stan Lai’s new original work, "Nightwalk in the Chinese Garden," co-produced by CalArts' Center for New Performance and The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.
CalArts Center for New Performance Stages New Stan Lai Play at Huntington
The College of the Canyons theatre department will open its season with a production of 'Our House,' running Oct. 5-14 at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center's Black Box Theatre.
Oct. 5-14: COC Theatre to Present ‘Our House’ at Black Box
The Master's University women's volleyball team continued its best start to a season since 2012 on Saturday night in El Cajon, sweeping San Diego Christian.
Mustangs Volleyball Team Wins Another Conference Sweep
The TMU Mustangs women's volleyball team went on the road to face Life Pacific College on Friday in San Dimas and won 3-1 by scores of 20-25, 25-18, 27-25 and 25-17.
TMU Women’s Volleyball Wins on the Road at Life Pacific
The Charlie Fire near Castaic remains at 3,380 acres burned but is 30 percent contained, according to an update from the fire's Incident Commander just before 7 a.m. Monday.
Firefighters Hold Charlie Fire to 3,380 Acres; 30 Percent Contained
The Saugus High School music program's new salsa band will stage its first fundraiser at Dario's restaurant in Canyon Country on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Sept. 25: Fundraiser for Saugus Salsa Band at Dario’s
Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell announced the official launch of the LASD “Surviving an Active Shooter” brochure which is being made available to the 70 school districts composed of 1.7 million students in the county.
Sheriff Unveils Active Shooter Brochure for County Schools
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Monday published its list of upcoming submission deadlines for 91st Academy Awards consideration.
Oct. 1, Nov. 15: Submission Deadlines for 2018 Oscars
Top California policymakers testified Monday in strong opposition to the Trump Administration’s proposed rule rolling back existing cleaner cars standards.
California Officials Blast Feds’ Proposed Cleaner Car Standards Rollback
Separate hearings in Los Angeles Superior Court and before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will address a lawsuit and an appeal against the Newhall Ranch and NorthLake mixed-use developments, respectively, in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Sept. 25: County Hearings on Newhall Ranch, NorthLake Developments
The renowned Chinese Warriors of Peking troupe will bring its astounding martial arts and acrobatics performances to the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons on Saturday, Oct. 6 starting at 4 p.m.
Oct. 6: Chinese Warriors of Peking Bring Martial Arts, Acrobatics to PAC
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its public safety and crime information report for Newhall (Zone 6) for the week of Sept. 10-16.
Crime Blotter: Grand Theft, Domestic Violence in Newhall
On the heels of the Global Climate Action Summit, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. Monday called for accelerated climate action at all levels and sectors of society in remarks at the opening of Climate Week NYC.
Brown Opens Climate Week NYC with Heads of State, UN Officials
The Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station has released its public safety and crime information report for Valencia (Zone 5) for the week of Sept. 10-16.
Crime Blotter: GTA, Assault with Deadly Weapon in Valencia
While still a sellers’ market, the inventory of homes and condos listed for sale in the Santa Clarita Valley increased for the third consecutive month in August, rising to its highest level since September 2014.
SCV Home, Condo Resale Prices Near Record Highs in August
California gets mixed reviews from the personal-finance website WalletHub in its report on 2018’s "Best and Worst States for Teachers."
California Gets Mixed Reviews in WalletHub Teachers Study
1855 - Sanford & Cyrus Lyon establish Lyon's Station (for stagecoaches) near today's Sierra Hwy & Newhall Ave [story]
1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
Los Angeles County firefighters, along with Angeles National Forest Service, are battling the "Charlie Fire" in Castaic.
Charlie Fire in Castaic Grows to 3,380 acres, 10% Contained Sunday
1969 - College of the Canyons opens with first class of students in temporary quarters at Hart High School [story]
The contemporary art journal X-TRA and the Broad Museum in Downtown Los Angeles will present "The Un-Private Collection Workshop: Edgar Arceneaux" by the CalArts grad on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Sept. 22: Edgar Arceneaux Holds Financial Workshop at The Broad
The Master's University men's basketball team, which finished 29-3 last season, has released its 2018-19 schedule.
TMU Men’s Basketball Team Releases 2018-19 Schedule
The Los Angeles County Fire Department has launched an updated "Ready! Set! Go!" program to assist residents living in wildfire-prone areas.
Get Your Personal Ready! Set! Go! Wildfire Action Plan
The William S. Hart Union School District Board of Governors will recognize the district's 2018-2019 Teachers of the Year at the board's next regular meeting Wednesday night, Sept. 26.
Sept. 26: Hart Board to Honor District Teachers of the Year
The next regular meeting of the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District is set for Wednesday, Sept. 26.
Sept. 26: Hart District Governing Board Regular Meeting
The intersection of Newhall Ranch Road and McBean Parkway will be closed Tuesday, Sept. 25, from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m., for the Federal Overlay Project being completed by the city of Santa Clarita to resurface the road.
Newhall Ranch Road, McBean Parkway Intersection to Close Tuesday Night
The California High-Speed Rail Authority has set an open house meeting in Agua Dulce on Saturday, Sept. 29 to gather public comment on the Palmdale to Burbank project section, which would closely follow Highway 14 through the Santa Clarita Valley.
Sept. 29: Open House on Proposed High-Speed Rail Route Thru SCV
Among the bills recently passed by California lawmakers and signed into law Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown was Assembly Bill 3212, designed to strengthen the state's consumer protections for service members and military families, including California National Guard soldiers and airmen.
Brown Signs Bill Boosting Consumer Protection for Service Members
TMU All-American senior Benji Tembo scored in overtime, handing The Master's a 3-2 victory over the visiting Flames on Reese Field on Thursday.
Tembo, Mangan Lead Mustangs to OT Victory
College of the Canyons has opened registration for a series of free, short-term career skills classes this fall in the afternoons, evenings and online.
COC Offers No-Cost Skills Classes Afternoons, Evenings, Online
A roundtable discussion about a proposed Los Angeles County fee-based business registration program is set for the Stevenson Ranch Library on Tuesday, Sept. 25 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sept. 25: Roundtable on County’s Proposed Business Registration Fee
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, Sept. 25, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Sept. 25: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
The city of Santa Clarita has received the District Transparency Certificate of Excellence by the Special District Leadership Foundation in recognition of its outstanding efforts to promote transparency and good governance.
City Awarded Transparency Certificate of Excellence