Minutes of the
January 20, 2016 Adopt-A-Trail Meeting
Greg welcomed the group and led us all in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Next AAT Meeting: The next AAT meeting is scheduled for April 20, 2016, at the Sizzler in Corona with dinner starting around 6:00 P.M. and the meeting again running from 7:00-9:00 P.M.
Opening remarks: Greg reminded everyone about the significance of participation by all AAT members and that without that participation access to back roads would be very limited. He said AAT is helping to manage public lands, manage our roads, and manage our area. Greg indicated the importance of club support is growing due to the significant increase in public use of areas supported by AAT.
Possible new AAT members: Greg Hoffman welcomed Greg Smith of the Overlanders. Mr. Smith said the Overlanders are based in Wrightwood and are considering becoming involved in the AAT program. The Trailmasters were also present and said they are CORVA members, have their roots in the 1970s, and are involved with buggies, bikes, and rocks. The Trailmasters are also considering getting involved with AAT. Greg said he has many more roads available for adoption by existing or interested new clubs and he welcomed both clubs to the meeting.
Awards: Greg announced that the winner for the most hours worked during fiscal year ending September 30, 2015, as announced at the BBQ, was Lost Jeeps with more than 3,300 hours which is the most hours ever recorded by a club. Runners-up were My Jeep Rocks and Inland Empire 4 Wheelers, both with more than 900 hours.
National Park Passes or Adventure Passes were also awarded for significant individual contribution to Ted Kalil, Steve Gardiner, Fredrica Morlet, Rene Morlet Richard Clark, Tanya Clark Tami Riviera, Wally Crandall, Zack Whelan, Danny Bogner, Tony Brown, and Quinn Thomas.
Roll Call: Kim Harlow led the roll call Approximately 18 clubs responded to the roll call with an estimated total attendance of 80 people.
Volunteer Service Agreements: Each club should have an agreement on file and these Agreements should be sent directly to Greg. We were reminded that changes in club presidents along with contact information should be reported to Greg.
Use of Adopt-A-Trail signs and logos: AAT signs and logos should not be displayed unless we are on official AAT business as these signs and logos represent official identification of doing work as a US Forest Service Volunteer.
Enhanced Reporting of Activity: Greg reported that activity levels in the forest are increasing at such a rate that more information is needed to show the high activity levels being experienced; therefore, Greg has asked that we use our time reporting forms to show how many people we see when we are reporting our hours. We should show our estimate in parentheses () as to how many people we see using the forest during our work sessions. As an example if we work 20 hours and see 6 people during that time, then our forms should show 20 hours total and (6) next to it.
Land Abuse Reporting: If we see individuals tearing up the landscape then we should advise Greg so the activity can be reported to a Law Enforcement Officer. We are to get a license plate if possible. If we report such activity to Dispatch then it is very helpful to report latitude and longitude and identify ourselves with a phrase such as, AI am an official USFS Volunteer@. Then explain the situation. If we think our issue is not receiving proper recognition by the Dispatcher then we are to ask to speak to the supervisor and push to get our issue recognized. The SBNF dispatch # is 909-383-5654.
Upcoming public meetings: Greg announced there would be one or two public meetings scheduled in February to receive ideas on to better manage and operate the forest and to discuss grant potentials. Dates to be announced by Greg.
California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs Report: Steve Gardiner gave a report on Cal4Wheel activity and reported Cal4Wheel will be giving away a Jeep at their annual convention in California on February 20, 2016. Tickets are on sale on the Cal4Wheel website for $5.00 each. (cal4wheel.com/store/win-a-jeep-tickets)
Cal4Wheel Hi Desert Round-Up is scheduled to take place May 27-30, 2016, at the camp location behind Slash X in Barstow, CA.
Cal4Wheel volunteers will be helping out at the King of the Hammers at the welcome gate to collect entrance fees and are asking for assistance from volunteers. Shifts will be 4 to 5 hours each.
SBNF Friends: Ted Kalil reported a balance of $10,042.76 in the bank and thanked everyone for helping SBNF Friends to continue its mission of assisting the SBNF. Donations can be made to support Friends on the AAT website (http://www.sbnf-adopt-a-trail.com/). More information about Friends is on their website http://sbnf-adopt-a-trail.com/sbnffriends.html.
Annual BBQ: The date is set for October 29, 2016, and there is an effort to try to get Glen Helen Park this year. The event may be combined with the Southern California Mountains Foundation volunteers. Details being worked on. The theme will be Halloween.
New Reporting Rules for Work Hours: We are to keep track of hours actually on the adopted trail versus travel time hours. This is a common accounting practice and is helpful to AAT in getting matching grant funds from the State. We are to use the current hours reporting form and make it look like this example: Trail hours 6 hrs Travel hours 4 hours Total hours 10 for each person and the total, plus the total of all hours for the group.
Situational Awareness and Personal Safety: Greg advised us to always keep our personal safety first as we come across questionable behavior in the forest. We need to know what is going on all around us. We should use common sense and consider the entire situation and its context of individuals, observable weapons, equipment, weather, sobriety, animals, environment, and other factors as we approach a situation. It might be safer to remove ourselves and advise Dispatch or other Law Enforcement Officers. There were more than 22,700 reported incidents last year and more than 2,000 already this year.
Trail Maintenance Plans: This year Greg or Greg=s designee must participate with the development of all plans. This participating may require each club arranging time with Greg or his designeee to ride along each trail to prepare the plan. Plans must be completed prior to June 1, 2016. The period covered by the plans has been changed from the Forest Service fiscal year to the calendar year running from January to December.
Good First Aid and Safety Practice: Greg reminded us that we should all check the dates on the supplies in our first aid kits and that we should carry a supply of medications we might need in the event we are stuck somewhere and cannot get home as planned. We should also all check all straps and tie-downs for deterioration, and it is a good idea to check zip ties that are exposed on roofs or inside engine compartments for damage from the sun or heat. Inexpensive zips are often not rated for those applications and only last a few months before becoming brittle and breaking. It is also best to have fast access to equipment such as winch controllers, D-rings, and recovery straps so that we do not have to dig them out in the event we have an emergency situation. Safely secured in the cab is a good place for those items.
Vehicle Recovery: When we come across vehicles that are stuck and require recovery, it is up to us to use our judgement as to whether we want to attempt the recovery or not. It is always best to get agreement from the one who is stuck and preferably in front of witnesses if the individual requests recovery. If the stuck rig is stuck above the axles, or experienced a roll or flop, then you should make sure you have the ability to help. If it is a simple pull then it usually is no problem.
Special Help for Pipes Canyon: Greg advised us that the recent fire and subsequent rains have done significant damage to the Pipes Canyon trail that a special work party will be required to address recovery of this area. More information is to follow. This will likely be an invitation to all clubs to help out.
AAT Web Site: There was a request to change the color scheme of the AAT web site to make some portions of the site more readable. There was also a request to make the minutes capable of being copied and pasted elsewhere. It was unclear why this was an issue as the site already has the copy/paste capabiltiy. There was no follow-up suggested regarding changing the color scheme.
Engineering Department & Buildings: Greg reported that this group received a budget increase from $5,000 to $10,000 this year that can be used to further AAT; however, no details were provided.
Tractor Projects: Greg told us that any projects that require heavy equipment such as tractors or the dozers have to be planned well in advance with Greg so that he can arrange the necessary environmental clearances and coordinate calendars as needed. A few days notice is not sufficient.
New Mini Excavator: Greg reported that he is in the process of procuring a new mini excavator. No time line for delivery or availability was mentioned.
Importance of Pictures: We were reminded that the important of visual evidence in the form of before and after pictures significantly improves our chances for funding. Greg suggested that a person in charge of photography be assigned for each work detail to make sure the pictures are properly done. Greg only need one before and one after for each item of work. The pictures should be taken from the same position if possible to show the evidence of change. The pictures should include the date, location, and club name. It would be even better if the pictures are Geo-tagged. Also, we were asked to try to keep the size of the pictures under 250K per picture so that the pictures can be used in Greg=s MS Word documents. Multi-meg files are not useful.
New Roads and Trails: There will be 23 miles of new ATV trails built in the Baldy Mesa next to Hesperia in the Phelan Area. Two new staging areas are being developed: one by Cleghorn and one in Miller Canyon. The Rattlesnake project opened 20 miles of new motorcycle trails. There will also be a small staging area build in the Big Pine camp area.
Free Camp Sites: Greg reminded us that he gives all the clubs free access to group camp sites in the Arrowhead and other areas. All we have to do is ask him and schedule it.
Upcoming Club Events: Various members in the audience mentioned the following upcoming events: 15th annual Ford Bronco event in Big Bear in the Brownie parking lot from July 6-10. April 9 there will a Dual Sport ride for kids at Glen Helen park. The Jeep Jamboree will be May 13 & 14. The Beaumont Dual Sport Charity Ride in the San Jacinto Mountains will be Saturday, May 14, 2016.
Conclusion: The meeting concluded at 9:00 PM.