|Inyo County Local Transportation Commission|
Assembly Bill 628 and Senate Bill 1345 Monitoring and Reporting (Adventure Trails of the Eastern Sierra)
All County maintained streets and roads (paved or dirt) are considered to be ‘highways’ under the California Vehicle Code. Currently, the combined-use of County maintained roads by OHV is only allowed on the three approved combined-use routes described below. The project proponents who proposed these combined-use routes refer to the routes as "Adventure Trails."
At a public hearing on January 22, 2015 the Board of Supervisors approved 7 combined-use routes. On July 14, 2015, the Independence No. 1 combined use route was opened for combined use by qualifying OHVs. On July 24, 2015, the Lone Pine No. 1 combined use route also opened for qualifying vehicles. Bishop No. 15 was opened for combined use on August 5, 2015. Maps showing those routes can be viewed by following the corresponding links. The County has reached an agreement with LADWP for four other approved routes in the Bishop area that have start points on LADWP land and anticipates opening these routes for combined-use in September or October 2016.
Public Comments: The concerned public can comment via e-mail on any issues surrounding the designated combined-use routes at email@example.com. Section 14(f) of the Inyo County Implementing Procedures state that:
The Public Works Department shall maintain a website that is a central hub for collecting public and public agency comments and complaints on the combined-use routes which shall include all correspondence from the public and public agencies regarding all combined use segments.
This website serves this purpose and is a central hub for receiving comments.
Reporting: On December 8, 2015 the Inyo County Board of Supervisors provided initial feedback on a report to the Californa Legislature (see pages 91-137 of the Board agenda packet). The staff report includes a traffic count completed for two locations along each combined-use route. The Board approved submittal of the Legislative Report at a public hearing at December 15, 2015. There were minor changes made to the draft report in response to public comments at the meeting on December 8. The draft report to the Legislature can be viewed on pages 139-186 of the Board Agenda packet pdf document. The Final Report (4,765 KB) was forwarded to the California Legislature.
The table below is a summary of public comment the County has received on the combine-use pilot project. As of December 3, 2015, the County has only received one comment on the pilot project. Additional comments received at the public hearing can be viewed in the Final Report to the Legislature (see above).
Future State Parks Grant: The Inyo County Public Works Department submitted a preliminary grant request to the California State Parks Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division in early March 2016. The grant application requests monies to fund the completion of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document evaluating potential environmental impacts resulting from jurisdictional agreement(s) between Inyo County and the Inyo National Forest for those County roads part of the Inyo County Maintained Mileage System that cross Inyo National Forest land and are proposed for combined use. The Agenda Request considered by the Board of Supervisors regarding this grant application can be viewed at the corresponding link. On July 19, 2016, the County chose not to proceed with this grant as the FY 2015-2016 grant was only partially funded (see Agenda Request). County staff intend to bring this back to the Board of Supervisors to apply for funds in FY 2016-2017 when the call for projects is released in the winter.
Assembly Bill 628 and then Senate Bill 1345 made revisions to the California Vehicle Code establishing a pilot project allowing Inyo County to designate specific County highways (streets and roads) as combined-use routes. The future designation of combined use routes would allow the use of County streets and roads by Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV). On May 8, 2012, the Board of Supervisors adopted implementing procedures for the designation of combined-use routes. Follow the link to view a list of County maintained roads and the combined-use application.
Assembly Bill 628 and then Senate Bill 1345 authorizes the County of Inyo to establish a pilot project to designate combined-use highways on unincorporated county roads for no more than 10 miles. The combined-use highways can be used to link existing off-highway motor vehicle trails and trailheads on federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) or United States Forest Service lands in order to provide a unified linkage of trail systems for off-highway motor vehicles. Other goals for the project are to preserve traffic safety, improve natural resource protection, reduce off-highway vehicle trespass on private land, and minimize impacts on county residents. The provisions of SB 1345 sunset January 1, 2020. The County is required to submit a report for SB 1345 to the Califoria Legislature before January 1, 2019.
OHV users on all combined-use routes must:
Environmental Review: Inyo County released a Draft Environmental Impact Report for the consideration of a proposed system of combined-use roads known collectively as the Adventure Trails System of the Eastern Sierra. The Notice of Preparation and other documents related to the CEQA review of this project can be viewed at http://inyoplanning.org/projects/AdventureTrails.htm. Scoping meetings were held in late October 2013 in Independence and Bishop. The public comment period ran from July 17, 2014 to September 2, 2014. The Notice of Availability for public review can be viewed by following the corresponding link.
A Final Environmental Impact Report was released on October 29, 2014. The Inyo County Planning Commission made a recommendation to the Board of Supervisors 1) to certify the FEIR, 2) to provide direction to staff on which combined-use routes to recommend to the Board, and 3) to revise the Implementing Procedures at a special November 5, 2014 meeting at 5:00 p.m. in Independence. The staff report and accompanying material can be viewed online. The Board of Supervisors considered the project at a special 10:00 a.m. January 22, 2015 meeting in Independence. At the January 22nd meeting, the Board of Supervisors approved 7 routes and deferred consideration of other routes. The Board also amended the Implementing Procedures.
Existing OHV Facilities: Note that maps to existing OHV recreation in the Owens Valley area can be viewed at:
Combined Use Applications - The County has received combined-use applications from the Eastern Sierra Adventure Trails organization for a network of combined-use routes connecting OHV trail segments on BLM and Inyo National Forest land with service facilities in Owens Valley communities. These applications have been forwarded to 1) the California Highway Patrol who makes a safety determination, 2) California Department of Transportation who approves the proposed signage and approves any proposed crossings of the State Highway system, 3) the Bishop BLM office and the Inyo National Forest who confirm whether or not the OHV trails and roads being linked to are in fact legal for use by green sticker vehicles, and 4) the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) since several routes connect to facilities leased from LADWP and because LADWP owns a major portion of the Owens Valley floor and the proposed routes on County maintained roads cross LADWP land. The County has received responses from the Bishop Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management, Inyo National Forest, California Highway Patrol, and Caltrans. Additional correspondence has been received from the California Highway Patrol regarding Bishop area Routes No. 1, 2, 3, & 4.
To view vicinity maps of the proposed combined-use routes, applications, CHP Safety Determination requests, and other related background material, please e-mail Inyo County staff.