Community meeting

Pat Flanagan, left, who represents Desert Heights on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council, discusses the BLM's plans while Teresa Sitz, who represents Wonder Valley on the council, looks on.

WONDER VALLEY —Keep off-highway vehicles off of residential streets was one of the rallying cries at a public meeting held Saturday, May 23, at the Wonder Valley Community Center.

The morning session was organized and facilitated by Teresa Sitz, who represents Wonder Valley on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council, a Basin-wide panel that advises the San Bernardino County board or supervisors on issues affecting the Basin.

The meeting, which drew some 30 residents to the community center, was led by Pat Flanagan, who represents Desert Heights on the advisory council.

At the top of the meeting, Sitz noted that Bureau of Land Management officials had been invited to take part in the meeting but had declined the invitation.

She noted that no action was set to be taken at the meeting.

“We are just neighbors getting together and talking about the issues,” she said.

At issue at the meeting was a BLM plan which addresses, among other things, off-highway vehicle use on and around BLM land in San Bernardino County.

The plan, Flanagan warned, would add thousands of miles of routes to those available to use by off-highway vehicles. This, she said, would effect communities across the Morongo Basin.

Flanagan said she urged opposition to the plan in part because it makes use of county roads to link off-highway vehicle routes on BLM land and in part because it might attract even more off-highway vehicle users to the Morongo Basin.

“Remember how close we are to Los Angeles for getting people in here to ride,” she said.

What she wanted, she said, was a plan that would keep non-street legal vehicles off of residential streets.

She worried about the effect of off-highway vehicle use on air quality, noise levels, visual resources, wildlife and plants.

She urged those at the meeting to send comments to the BLM in time for the June 4 comment deadline.

Comments may be submitted by email to cawemopa@blm.gov or by mail to:

Bureau of Land Management California Desert District, Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, California, 92553.

Speaking from the audience, Chris Carraher urged residents to also send comments on the plan to the county board of supervisors.

Resident Paul Pearson spoke to trouble he had recently with off-highway vehicle users and the frustration he felt trying to get sheriff’s deputies to respond to his calls for help.

“They are just cruishing habitat, crushing little critters,” resident Donna Landry said.

(3) comments

Branson Hunter

What is Pat Flangan doing for Desert Heights? WE have issues too.

Victor_S

The Copper Mountain area is likewise getting crushed by ORV'ers. Best we ALL pitch in and write letters to the BLM to STOP off road vehicles in residential areas. ORVs translate into particulates and exhaust spewed in the air, incessant noise, and complete disrespect for private property or ecosystems. These people ride rampant and illegally over anything unguarded - whether No Trespassing signs are up or not. I've reported them many times to the sheriff.

People buy in the Basin for peace and quiet, not noise, pollution, and trespassing. The whole reason the county started seizing delinquent properties around the Basin and selling them was to improve the area - make it more residential (and tax-paying!) Letting ORV'ers ride these same areas completely undermines that plan, making these areas less attractive to homeowners, and lowering property values. Send your letter by June 4th!

Pat29

Hi Branson,
Desert Heights is filled with these BLM routes linked together by our dirt roads. Nine of these routes, each about 330 feet long are imbedded in over 9 miles of Mesa Drive to make the OHV connection through Twentynine Palms to Wonder Valley. That road is bad enough as is and additional OHV traffic will make it worse. The level there now is not a problem.

If you have additional issues for Desert Heights that the MAC should work on please attend the meetings to be heard. See you there.

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