|Inyo County Local Transportation Commission|
Assembly Bill 628 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."
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 will also open for qualifying vehicles. Bishop No. 15 was opened for combined use on August 5, 2015. Maps showing those routes are available on this website. Four other routes in the Bishop area were approved by the Board but have not been opened and are pending further approval from LADWP.
Monitoring and Reporting: The concerned public can comment via e-mail on any issues surrounding the designated combined-use routes at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
Assembly Bill 628 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 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 AB 628 sunset January 1, 2017. The County will not consider any additional combined-use routes (besides the 7 routes that were approved on January 22, 2015) until after the end of the pilot program.
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 runs 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 will consider making 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. The routes will not be open to combined-use until the County has collected baseline information set forth in the Implementing Procedures and Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program and all required signage is in place - this is estimated to take 3 to 6 months.
March 5, 2013 - Input Sought on California Department of Parks and Recreation Off Highway Motor Vehicle division grant - the Inyo County Public Works Department is applying for a two phase grant application to the State. The first phase will be for the CEQA evaluation of the combined use applications described below. The second phase is completely dependent on the approval of the proposed combined-use routes and the CEQA document by the County of Inyo and the City of Bishop. The second phase will be for road equipment to continue maintaining any roadways that are designated for combined use. The County's application will be available to view and to comment on after March 5, 2013 on the State Parks website at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov and by following links related to grants. The public is encouraged to comment on the preliminary application during the comment period from March 5, 2013 to April 1, 2013. If you have questions regarding this grant application, please contact Inyo County Public Works Department staff at the highlighted link.
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.