PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Thursday, February 16, 2012

Los Padres Seeks Comment on OHV Grant Application

Los Padres National Forest officials announced that recreation managers will be seeking public comments on proposals for the 2011/2012 State of California Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) grant program. According to state requirements, public comments can be submitted from March 6 through April 2, 2012.

A two-step application process is used by the State to allow public comment and feedback before final submittal. The preliminary application is due March 5, 2012. This will open a public review and comment period and will follow with final applications due May 7, 2012. The State is using an Internet-based “On-Line Grant Application” process as the means to apply for State funding.

Los Padres National Forest is soliciting public input specific to the Forest’s 2011/2012 grant application proposals for Cooperative Agreements with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division. The Forest will be submitting two grant applications. The first grant includes projects for ground operations along with a planning grant. The second grant is for law enforcement activities. The preliminary application will be available online by visiting the California State OHV Grants and Cooperative Agreements program at Hard copies may be requested by contacting Jeff Bensen at (805) 961-5744.

Los Padres National Forest officials are providing an opportunity for interested parties to discuss the grant applications and submit public comments. An open house will be held February 16, 2012, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at the Santa Lucia Ranger Station located at 1616 N. Carlotti Drive in Santa Maria.

State regulations require annual public participation in this fund allocation process. The agreements support OHV management activities on the national forest, including operations and maintenance, restoration, law enforcement, education and safety. The “operations and maintenance” category is divided into four project types: acquisition, development, ground operations, and planning, with the emphasis on projects that sustain existing OHV recreation.

The State of California Department of Parks and Recreation and the Los Padres National Forest have maintained a successful partnership for more than 26 years, with funding assistance for well-managed OHV recreation on National Forest lands. In 2011, the Forest was successful in obtaining $435,447 in grant funds to provide the public with world-class OHV recreation opportunities.

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