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Positive Payload 2019 Winter Winners Announced

$4,000 in Grants Awarded to Hardworking Non-Profits

PAOLI, Pa. (Jan 31, 2019) – AmericanTrucks.com (AT) setup the Positive Payload program to support non-profit organizations using pickup trucks in field work that leverages the building trades.

This January, the aftermarket auto parts retailer has selected two more charities to receive a $2,000 award through their grant program. Established in 2017, the list of organizations benefiting from the program has grown to include Habitat for Humanity’s Philadelphia chapter, and Water Mission International.

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Go Exploring

I speak a lot about being fully prepared for the 4WD experience. Knowing where you’re going, what you’ll need along the way, and when you’ll be back. That’s all well and good. But sometimes a little adventure is called for. You yearn to try something new. To go out exploring (overlanding, as four-wheelers call it).

You still need to prepare properly, but the trip has a more spontaneous nature to it. The thought pops into your head while driving on the road. You spot an interesting trail off in the distance. Or cross over one while on a highway. Sometimes you’ll hear of an intriguing drive from a buddy. (Or read of one here on my website.)

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It appears that hostile political forces in Sacramento are on the verge of functionally eliminating the CA Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) which includes OHV-related grant funding to the Forest Service, BLM, counties, local sheriffs’ departments, non-profit trail and conservation groups, and other partners.

The State Parks Transformation Team is recommending that OHMVRD, which is a separate and highly specialized department, is moved back into the offices of the CA Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).

In the early 1990s when OHMVRD was located at/in DPR, the OHV program languished in obscurity and irrelevancy while trying to operate under the oppressive bureaucratic thumb of apathetic and/or anti-OHV Resource Agency and DPR leadership.

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Desert Safari 2014
(photo credit: John Stewart)
The Recreation HQ is issuing a special ACTION ALERT urging OHV recreationists and related businesses to send in a comment letter on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.
SVRA Plan Link
This hybrid planning effort by State Parks and the BLM will guide management and OHV use at the SVRA for the next 10-20 years.
The HQ believes it is important for the OHV community to weigh on this planning effort in a large numbers to show support for continued OHV recreation at the park.
Please take a few minutes to utilize the some or all of the comments below in a personal letter to the agencies.  It will make a difference!!!
Tina Robinson
General Plan Project Manager
5172 Highway 78, #10
Borrego Springs, CA 92004
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Carrie Simmons
BLM, El Centro Field Office,
661 S. 4th Street
El Centro, CA 92243
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dear Planning Team:
Please accept my comments on the Draft Preferred Alternative/Proposed Action (PA) for Ocotillo Wells State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Notice of Intent (NOI) to conduct an environmental review for the Ocotillo Wells Recreation Area in Imperial County.
I am concerned with the plan’s “trails-only” focus in an area that has historically offered an important mix of trails and open riding opportunities.  I urge State Parks and the BLM to include “Open” designations where appropriate in the final plan.
I believe the agencies should develop a streamlined event permitting process to expedite the approval of competitive and other permitted events that are well-known, historic, and reoccurring. This can be accomplished through known “pre-approved” routes or areas from which an event organizer can choose.
I support the SVRA’s already outstanding efforts to educate the public regarding the many important values and resources that exist in the project area. I also support efforts by State Parks and the BLM to acquire non-public lands to further enhance and consolidate recreational opportunities in the project area.
I am concerned about the focus on “primitive” camping.  Historically, the term primitive camping is limited to tent camping.  I believe the term as currently interpreted could result in a functional ban of trailer/RV camping throughout most of the project area.  I urge the planning team to review historic trailer/RV/tent camping patterns and adjust the final plan to accommodate, to the maximum extent possible, trailer and RV developed and dispersed camping.
I am concerned the proposed plan indicates areas will be identified where OHV events MAY be allowed in future planning efforts.  I believe that permitted events should be granted the same status and areas that are authorized in the plan for “California State Parks Sponsored Special Events Only”.
Thanks in advance for reviewing my comments and I look forward to working with the SVRA and BLM on this project.
Respectfully submitted,
Thanks for taking time to send in a letter.  Please forward to your riding network.
Original author: Don Amador

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The Forgotten Items!

One constant in four-wheeling is the need to pack properly. Because we’re off on our own – away from the conveniences of city life – we have to be self-sufficient. Not only do we prepare for the expected (camping, cookouts, and such), we must try to prepare for the unexpected.  All that in addition to a full complement of automotive and camping gear.

Over the years I’ve realized the need for many other incidentals. Some seem obvious; others not so. But all serve a very good purpose. Considering adding many (or all) of the following to your preparation checklists.

1. Emergency cash. Even deep into the Digital Age, there are times when cash is the only currency. Many people these days don’t even  carry enough cash for a cup of coffee. You might need it to cover a tow or an after-hour’s repair at the mechanic’s house.

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