Inyo County Local Transportation Commission Moonset and sunrise over the Center Basin Crags 

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Assembly Bill 628 Implementation Update

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Disclaimer

Assembly Bill 628 Implementation Update

Division Creek lupine fieldsAll 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 OHVs is not permitted.

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 will tentatively consider the project at their December 2, 2014 meeting.

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.

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:

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AB 628 Implementation Continued - 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.  

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.