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May 4, 2011     Indian Valley Record
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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, May4, 2011 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE $ # # tton The restriction to park with- WHERE I STAND in one vehicle length of the CORKY LAZZARINO SIERRA ACCESS COALITION For the past six years, Sier- ra Access Coalition (SAC) has been attempting to work with the Plumas National Forest re- garding the Travel Manage- ment Plan. On the positive side, we be- lieve the environmental is- sues raised in the Environ- mental Impact Statement re- garding wildlife, clean water and other concerns have been addressed and mitigated. However, as the Forest Ser- vice Travel Management deci- sion shows, we have not been very successful in preserving the forest access that SAC's 1,100 members and the county residents need. We filed an ap- peal, along with the California Off-Road Vehicle Association, and our appeal was denied on all points. In our appeal, SAC didn't simply complain that we didn't like the plan. We tried to be proactive and took the time to develop seven key solutions for improving the Travel Manage- ment Plan. The Forest Service appeals committee rejected each of our solutions: road is dangerous and inade- quate for everyone who trav- els roads in the forest, which includes non-motorized recre- ation after a person parks their vehicle (i.e., equestrians, hikers, skiers, fishermen, bi- cyclists, miners, motorhome users, etc.). This restriction makes many historical family campsites -- that have been used for generations -- inac- cessible by vehicles. In re- sponse to this need, SAC pro- posed details for a Dispersed Camping Permit Program, which was rejected by the ap- peals committee. Considerations need to be made for the disabled and el- derly. SAC proposed a detailed Motorized Mobility Program, which was rejected by the ap- peals committee. County residents need to have the ability to drive their trucks off the road more than one vehicle length to load their firewood. SAC made pro- posals to modify the existing fuelwood permits to allow one trip in and one trip out to retrieve firewood, but it was rejected by the appeals committee. Hunters need to have the ability to drive their vehicles off the road more than one ve- hicle length to retrieve their game. SAC proposed an amended permit to allow this, but it was rejected by the ap- peals committee. SAC demonstrated that the GIS map data used to make de- cisions were very inaccurate, which led to the unnecessary elimination of many routes. SAC asked the Forest Service to fix their data and reanalyze the affected routes, but this re- quest was rejected by the ap- peals committee. The Travel Management Plan was made without proper coordination with the coun- ties, which is required by law. The Board of Supervisors holds an enormous amount of power on this issue. The fail- ure to coordinate on local is- sues has an impact on county citizens and landowners, but the appeals committee reject- ed this point. SAC asked the Forest Ser- vice to analyze routes using county roads to provide a seamless transportation sys- tem with forest roads, to pro- vide good loop opportunities for recreation, and to allow green-sticker vehicles on maintenance level 3 main gravel roads. This request was rejected by the appeals com- mittee. The denial of our appeal leaves SAC members with on- ly two options. We can either accept the plan as is, or we can take the Forest Service to court and litigate the decision. Since the plan is unaccept- able to the SAC members whom we represent, we have no option left except to liti- gate. Litigation isn't some- thing anybody wants to do, but the consensus of SAC members is that we must take this case to court to lift the un- reasonable restrictions that are being imposed on our pub- lic lands, on our heritage and on our way of life. The counties are in a simi- lar situation. The Board of Su- pervisors represents the citi- zens of its county, and it has been extremely supportive of our position regarding travel management. Now is the time for them to carry their sup- port to the next level. Time and again, the needs , of county residents have been disregarded and rejected by the Forest Service. We believe there is no aRernative left except to litigate the For- est Service decision. With the huge decline in the timber industry, the Forest Service promised to support the local economy by replac- ing logging with recreation. The Travel Management Plan decision is not consistent with that promise. It is critical that changes be made to the Travel Management Plan to provide economic support for our county by encouraging recre- ation use. Historically, the Forest Ser- vice has been taking away the ability of the counties to make their own decisions. Tom Tid- well, chief of the Forest Ser- vice, in Washington, D.C., has a vision called the "All Lands Approach" for land manage- ment. This approach extends across private property boundaries, potentially affect- ing what landowners can do .with'their own land. This can- not continue in out county. Our rights are being taken away one piece at a time, and the cumulative effect is huge. SAC is very serious about litigation. We have already started our fundraising campaign. Our major fundraiser is planned for July 23 with a Snowmobile Grass Drags event at the fairgrounds in Quincy. See the website at quincysledwars.com for infor- mation. There are Plans being made for three other smaller fundraisers. Since our appeal was de- nied, contributions to SAC have increased steadily, demonstrating community support. We are asking businesses, citizens and other groups to join us. For more information, see our website at sierraac- cess.com. We are a 501(c)(3} nonprofit group run by un- paid volunteers, and all con- tributions are used 100 per- cent for legal defense. Your support is important to our county and to the gener- ations that follow us. If people aren't able to go in- to the forest, they won't care about the forest. And if they don't care about it, they won't care about managing it for the future. Sierra Access Coali- tion is committed to caring for and managing our forest for future generations. WHERE I STAND JOHN STEFFANIC FAIR MANAGER PLUMAS-SIERRA COUNTY FAIR Are fairs and fairgrounds relevant anymore? We all start asking ques- tions like that when our bud- get gets strained. Do we really need that subscription to Sports Illustrated? I guess the real answer is no. We would survive without that subscrip- tion, and we could survive without a fair: Btit that wasn't the question, was it? Are any of those things relevant to our county? Some would say time is up for our fairgrounds. It is an apparently expensive piece of . property to maintain and it doesn't generate enough cash to pay for itself. Maybe the problem is efficiency. Maybe this is just another govern- ment facility that is running fat and the time has come to cut the fat? All are valid ques- ' tions that should be asked. Let me try to answer them. The existence of the Plumas- Sierra County Fair and the 0 fairgrounds is absolutely rele- vant. If from only a traditional point of view, they are rele- vant. This is the one event and location in Plumas County that represents every community, industry and person of the en- tire county. It has done so for most of our lifetimes. Whether we know it or not, every time we walk under those logs at the front gate, we are acknowledg- ing the reasons we exist as a county. When you drive along Lee Road and see those barns andcorrals, you are seeing a representation of a still vi- brant lifestyle in places like Sierra and Indian valleys. We have a building called the Min- eral Building. There's a reason for that. Just because we take these signs for granted, doesn't mean they are not relevant. Each community in Plumas County has something to be proud of. But name something unique to the whole county that we are all proud of. It's a short list, but any list is going to have our fairgrounds on it. Folks, I've been to many fair- grounds, ours is a gem. All of us who have spent any # ty # amount of time at our fair- floods. Where does a commu- might not have the time to get restrooms, has tables and grounds hav to have felt that nity take animals in those sit- those off the ground. As for do- chairs set up and then cleans pride as they walked down the uations? Even people, where nations; well, our community up for the next tenant. This lane by the family gardens un- do several hundred people go has always been generous but goes on seven days a week, all der a canopy of leafy trees, in an emergency situation? we all know this isn't the best year long. Meanwhile, lawns Most will agree that the fair- The fairgrounds have bath, time to be out panhandling, get mowed, weeds trimmed, grounds are a wonderful rep- room facilities, showers, even That leaves the county, repairs made, horse arenas resentation of the natural a.kitchen. When you need that The fairgrounds are not the groomed, manure shoveled beauty of Plumas County. sort of facility at that time, only entity looking to the and bathrooms cleaned. Some- As an event center, it can you don't have to ask about county for funding. Our Board times we get inmate help or hold up to facilities much larg- relevancy, of Supervisors has a long list community service workers, er. If an ongoing economic I guess the real question is, of programs it has to consider, but a staff of one does all this goal of our county is to lure "Is it worth it?" These fair- The board, and the public, with a positive attitude. So visitors here, we are way grounds generate a huge wants to know if its money is yes, the public's money is be- amount of money, but not all being spent frugally. Over the ..... ing spent frugally. I,can tell of it goes to the fairgrounds, past two years, the fair- ~ you, there's no fat on the fair- ahead of the curve with the fairgrounds. Events at the fairgrounds draw tens of thou- I've shared the figures before: grounds have become the sands of visitors to Plumas over million in total eco- poster child for frugal. Consid- County. Four major meeting nomic activity, the equivalent er: as recently as 10 years ago, halls, barns and stalls for hun- of 79 full-time jobs, $96,000 in this fairground had a mainte- dreds of animals, large open direct tax benefit to the coun- nance staff of three full-time grassy areas, a large horse ty and state. However, in rev- employees with 12 seasonal arena, a covered arena, a enues and hard cash, it comes workers. We currently have 3,000-seat grandstand with up short. In the past, the state one full-time maintenance racetrack, and parking for has made up that shortage, person and maybe two season- hundreds of ears. Oh yeah, a but that resource is now in se- al workers. What's even more couple hundred RV and camp- rious doubt. That leaves three interesting: we generate more ing sites. Wait! We have a go- other sources: the county, do- revenue now. Anyone who kart track too. And some cool nations and increased rev- rents any part of our fair- historical buildings, enue. I can assure everyone grounds is given personalat- All right, I'll stop there. Let I've worked non-stop on ideas tention, which means some- me take just one aspect of to improve our revenue. We one (by that I mean Oran those assets. We've had natur- have some real exciting pro- Morrison) usually meets al disasters before ---, fires and jects in the works, but we just them, opens any buildings or ground's bones. But that still doesn't answer the question, "Is it worth it?" What do you think? If we have a valuable facility that is be- ing run as efficiently as possi- ble, but still needs financial help, do we spend the money? I will tell you, we have some ideas -- almost all of them are ways to generate more rev- enue. Even then, it is a very slim chance the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds will be self-sufficient, at least in the next few years. I would like to see that happen, but we need more time, and time is money. L E T T E R S T o T.H E E D I T O R Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an ad- dress and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, gent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed to mail@plumasnews.com. Boondoggle A week ago I got an info- pack from PG&E in my mail- box saying the utility is going to be installing new "Smart- Meters" (SMs) in our area. I looked up the subject on the Net. In my opinion, those of us on fixed incomes may be fac- ing a nightmare of epic scale. PG&E went to the Califor- nia Public Utilities Commis- sion (CPUC) for a rate hike of $2.2 billion from ratepayers for this "green" program. Now PG&E rates have skyrocketed to some of the highest in the country. This is a boondoggle! The alleged savings could only be realized once a microwave network is completed and an' active power-management module is installed inside your home. These two ele- is studied. Let's raise taxes? ments are not included in the This fun and educational Inflation is hardest on those foreseeable future. Once the presentation is brought to the with fixed incomes; cost of liv- meter goes in the new rate . students by our new district ing increases have been ig- schedule will apply! attorney, David Hollister, who nored by Obama's administra- More than 100 outraged onhis owntime and own dimetion over the last two years. members of the public packed has paid for the movie rental Obama did give $25 million to a recent CPUC meeting in San and rental of the Town Hall Brazil to'help them drill for off- Francisco-- a perfect storm of Theatre. shore oil; and he started a $400 outrage against PG&E over Special thanks to DA Hollis- million war in Libya. Senior San Bruno, Diablo Canyon, ter for his generous and patri- cost of living is stagnant, but new rate hikes and especially otic contribution to Plumas we spend millions building the "smart" meter debacle -- County children! trails and giving money to con- the company had an opportu- With enthusiasm for what servationists so they can close nity to redeem itself. PG&E DA Hollister is doing, private down our national forests. failed miserably, citizens, out of their own re- The United States cannot The SMs were installed by a sources, will be contributing continue to print "worthless" Texas utility that has installed copies of the Declaration of In- money (QE l&2) to pay its nearly 800,000 of these meters dependence to each fifth grad- debt. Imagine owning your and insists that they are high- er. These beautiful and color- own business, lending your ly accurate. An example: "My ful pamphlets containing the wife dollars to spend at your bills averaged between 1,500 Declaration of Independence store, then counting her pur- and 2,000 kilowatt-hours, and also contain the full U.S Con- chases as a profit to pay your it goes up a little more in the stitution and will convenient- bills. Obama believes he can spend his way out of this bad summer, the first month with ly fit in a pocket, economy with the Federal Re- the SmartMeter was 4,383 kilo- Sherry Halverson serve's "monopoly" money; watt-hours." Plumas County Watchdog shovel ready jobs anybody? What is to fear? Privacy Committee Plumas County's unemploy- gone, liability shifted to cus- Portola ment is 22 percent or higher. tomers, billing errors galore, Cut spending on all "non-es- hack-able networks, more big Adolescent sential" programs and entitle- brother! If you place social justice ments for illegals. Cut funding Call 3rd District Assembly- ahead of economic reality, you to all foreign governments that man Dan Logue, 895'4217. are a "liberal adolescent" in are not allies or pro-American. Glenn Odell California. Bring home all the troops in QuincyLiberal elitists in California Germany and Bosnia. Stop all know businesses are in exo- federal/state grants involved Patriotic dus to other states; now the so- with the environment, rede- All fifth graders in Plumas cialists are running out of oth- velopment, parks, recreation County will be treated to a er people's money. Yet, new and arts. Drop all social pro- special musical presentation contracts for California prison grams not related to the health about the Declaration of guards include an extra $130 or welfare of seniors or dis- Independence on May 19. Fifth per month if they make an abled. We should maintain the grade is when this important "annual" appointment with infrastructure, police, emer- part of American history their doctor for a physical, gency services and military at current levels only. We must promote private enterprise, self-reliance, stop new spend- ing and pay down our national debt. Dr. Trent Saxton Lake Davis Stage 1 I attended a significant pub- lic meeting last week put on by the California Office of Court Construction and Management, concerning the location and building of a new courthouse in Quincy. The project manager outlined the four-stage, five- year process involved. Last week's gathering pri- marily concerned Stage 1, the site selection and acquisition process. The project manager made it clear that while two particular properties were to be discussed (Dame Shirley and the nearby Highway 70 swamp), no final decision was near and local public input was seriously desired. The architectural team gave an excellent presentation and responded to audience ques- tions and suggestions. Superi- or Court Judges Kaufman and Hilde participated knowl- edgably. Supervisor Lori Simpson clarified a number of issues. The audience chimed in with great passion. A fine meeting. Except: A woman whom I took to be the state's real estate representa- tive sat in a back corner of the courtroom and seemed reluctant to respond to any questions regarding her province. The few responses she did offer were vague, bringing me to my primary concern: While the state management team seems serious about making the whole project transparent and "local friend- ly," the site selection process seems about as clear as Span- ish Creek at flood stage. Sup- posedly 32 (or 39) properties were considered, and then winnowed down to the afore- mentioned pair, both having serious warts. These, and oth- er concerns, were touched up- on during the open discussion segment of the meeting, but lack of time precluded their being fully explored. With due respect to the sin- cere, dedicated people saddled with the thankless chore of picking a site, I strongly feel that the process should be re- addressed, beginning with a well-publicized public meeting at a venue large enough for all interested parties to partici- pate, allowing enough time to thrash out the myriad isstles -- parking, traffic congestion, effects upon local businesses, downtown vs. East-town, etc. Afterwards, hopefully, we can unite as a community and move on to face the really im- portant question of the day -- is Donald Trump really the love-child of the Dali Lama and Mother Teresa? Win Youens Meadow Valley ......... IIIIIIIIII ......III III ...........,i