El Dorado National Forest

  • Seasonal Road & Trail Closure Extension
    on March 31, 2023 at 5:00 am

    The Seasonal Roads and Trail closure has been extended. This closure prohibits motorized vehicle use on road and trails that are seasonally designated on the MVUM %3AMotor Vehicle Use Map%3A. See Forest Order 03-23-04.

  • 11 Pines Road CLOSED due to road failure.
    on February 2, 2023 at 6:00 am

    ALERT: Road failure on 11 Pines road from the January storm system. The road has been barricaded at Wentworth Springs road and 11 pines intersection for public safety.

Tahoe National Forest

  • 2023-24 OHV Grant Applications Notice of Public Review and Comment Opportunity
    on February 28, 2023 at 6:00 am

    TNF will be submitting applications for: %3Aul%3A %3Ali%3AGround Operations %3AOHV trails & facilities maintenance%3A%3A/li%3A %3Ali%3ALaw Enforcement%3A/li%3A %3Ali%3AEducation & Safety – Focused education at TNF OHV “Hotspots” %3A/li%3A %3Ali%3ADevelopment – Construction of an OHV trailhead near Packer Saddle %3Anorth of Sierra City%3A%3A/li%3A %3Ali%3ARestoration – Enhance the existing boulder barriers along Buckeye Road crossing & enhance signage in Greenhorn Creek.%3A/li%3A %3Ali%3ARestoration %3Aplanning%3A – Develop & analyze a proposal to rehabilitate riparian & sensitive species habitat in Greenhorn Creek.%3A/li%3A %3A/ul%3A The TNF OHV Preliminary Grant Applications available for public review & comment 3/7 to 5/1/23 at Comments need to be submitted to both the Tahoe National Forest & the OHMVR, info on how to comment are on the OHMVR’s web.

  • Mosquito Fire Area, Road and Trail Closure
    on January 1, 2023 at 6:00 am

    Forest Order No. 17-23-01 Mosquito Fire Area, Road and Trail Closure

  • Tree Removal in Campgrounds Around Sugar Pine Reservoir
    on June 18, 2022 at 5:00 am

    Starting June 21st, removal of dead trees will be taking palce in Sugar Pine Reservoir campgrounds to enhance forest health and public safety. Due to the extended drought, trees have had a reduced ability fend off bark beetle attacks. Work will take place in only one campground at a time so that visitors will still have access to camping sites at the reservoir. Giant Gap campground will be first, closing portions of the campground temporarily to visitors. Work will take place during the week, leaving weekends free of noise exposure. “The safety of visitors is our top priority,” said Mary Grim, District Ranger of the American River Ranger District. “We appreciate the public’s patience during this temporary disruption so we can make these improvements to these popular sites.” The dates for the tree removal in Shirttail Creek and Forbes Creek campgrounds will be shared in the coming days.

  • Dispersed Camping Restrictions along HWY 20 on Tahoe National Forest lands
    on April 29, 2022 at 5:00 am

    To protect natural and cultural resources, and to provide for public safety, dispersed camping will be restricted on Tahoe National Forests lands along Highway 20 from May 2nd, 2022 – May 2nd, 2025. These restrictions are for dispersed camping only and do not apply to developed campgrounds.

  • Sugar Pine Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Wet Weather Management Plan
    on November 6, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Beginning fall of 2020, the Sugar Pine Off-Highway Vehicle %3AOHV%3A Wet Weather Management Plan will be implemented for OHV Roads and Trails on American River Ranger District. This will increase OHV riding opportunities by adopting a more flexible open/close strategy for riding in Foresthill CA. This soil-moisture condition-based approach will help Trail Managers determine when existing OHV roads and trails should be opened or closed in the Sugar Pine Motorized Trail System area. The associated operating plan will minimize resource damage caused by travel during wet weather periods. The removal of the fixed wet weather seasonal closure dates are expected to reduce future sediment delivery and improve water quality. Up to date closure status can be found at the voicemail %3A530%3A-478-6254 x228. During fall and winter months, please check this number frequently to get up to date OHV riding opportunities and closure status


  • Update from the president - March 8, 2023
    by [email protected] (Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President) on March 8, 2023 at 6:44 pm

    I hope everyone that is reading this is in great health and survived the crazy late winter weather that decimated pretty much all of California. Here in the south, we have been getting record rain and snow! Nothing like what all the folks in the north are getting for snow — man, lots, and lots of snow. I am getting back from traveling up and down the state with the awesome Convention 2023 and this past weekend at Tierra Del Sol’s 60th Desert Safari! Convention 2023 was awesome in almost every way! I want to thank Amy Cave for her incredible work and to all the volunteers that worked their butts off to make this year’s convention an incredible experience! It takes a village, as they say, and I’m so proud of this village and more so when I was able to break free a few times and walk around the property to see all the rich history of this association and the clubs that were displayed in the halls as well as the incredible vendor show and huge car show in the parking lot. Thank you to all the clubs who came and set up a table during hospitality on Friday evening and a special thanks to all that came and supported those tables and even more so to those that may have over supported those tables and had a hard time Saturday concentrating during general session. Of course, there were some setbacks, you know, like the hotel being sold during this past year and some reservations, like mine, that were lost and so on, but overall, I think the hotel staff and management did an incredible job overcoming these hurdles and provided a great venue to celebrate 64 years of Convention! The board and I are working on ideas to improve your experience for next year’s extravagant 65th Convention and I would love to hear what you loved and hated over the past years so I can present those to the committee for Convention 2024. Please send an email to [email protected] with your thoughts, great times you have had in the past and ideas you would like to see implemented or taken away to make your experience more enjoyable for you and others. Convention is a time of celebration and acknowledgement of all the hard work over the past year, a time to reflect and appreciate all that is there and to brainstorm on how to make everything better. What where your highs? Lows? What would you love to see next year? I was sorry to have missed the Kingsburg Snow run this past weekend but attended the 60th Desert Safari in the mud hills of Truck Haven near Salton Sea, California. I was able to work the booth with Don Rybarczyk and Keith Graham Saturday and get to talk to other organizations, vendors, members, and prospective members of Cal4Wheel! The weather was great up until Saturday afternoon when the precarious wind picked up and turned the area into a large dust bowl where we retreated to camp and enjoyed the evening. I want to thank the hospitality of all the great people at Tierra Del Sol and the even greater hospitality of Debbie and Bill who run the Sea View Estates who over fed everyone during the weekend and kept the doors open longer for those of us who were running late. The Sea View Estates is where we held Operation Desert Fun this past year and will be holding for the foreseeable future! There are a couple of important things I need to get out to everyone. If you haven’t noticed, registration for Sierra Trek and Hi Desert Round-Up has opened! Both are looking for volunteers to help here and there and if have any time during those events to help out, please reach out to me and I’ll get you in contact with the person to need to talk to. If you don’t have the time to help, you can still register, which is also helping! Being from the south, Trek is a long drive, and I never had any intention to go, then I went. I must go every year now! It’s amazing, beautiful, and awe-inspiring. I’m sure those of you from the north are looking at Hi Desert Round-Up thinking about the drive, that long drive… I promise you if you come out, you’ll have an equally incredible time, don’t hesitate, register now, and prepare an excuse to be sick from work. The newest In Gear will be coming out soon — which is Suzy’s second to last one and we are still looking for a new editor to take over the helm. If you have any interest in taking on this (paying) position, please reach out to me so we can talk about it some more! You’ll see some Request for Proposals (RFP’s) in the In Gear and online with this update for several positions. I am eager to talk to anyone a little interested. ‘Til the next update…

  • Update from the president - February 8, 2023
    by [email protected] (Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President) on February 8, 2023 at 7:20 pm

    President Update 2/8/2023 Happy New Year! It’s amazing how fast time can get away from you. Since my last update it’s been pretty much a whirlwind of highs and lows and like too many of us, time just kept marching along and here we are, February! DISTRICT VP ELECTIONS I want to take a minute and congratulate Chris Silveira, Don Rybarczyk and David Rocha II on their elections to Vice President. I was able to attend the elections in the North and Central Districts in person at their January meetings. Unfortunately, when making the schedule last year, we overlooked the fact that the South District and the Central District had their meetings on the same day, so Don, my apologies for not being there to congratulate you. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS There has been a tremendous amount of work done since my last update regarding land use, association business, and the like. As we travel into this new year, I have a better feeling of work accomplished and the path to travel forward. I have been working with a committee I formed with Past Presidents Robert Reed, David Douglas, and Don Spuhler to clean up a slew of loose ends in the association and to make your association more effective and more efficient. I can’t thank these three men enough – I have been secretly referring to them as the three wisemen. Bob, Dave and Don – thank you for your incredible insight, work and support, you guys are incredible. If you haven’t noticed, Request for Proposals has been published for In Gear editor, web page editor, database administrator and QuickBooks analyst. Suzy Johnson is a powerhouse of a woman and has continually gone above and beyond for this association for a very long time and when she announced that she was favoring retirement over continuing to work, I knew we had to start this process immediately. Six months ago, when this committee started to peel the layers of this onion back to get a clear and concise picture of what our contractors and employees do, it was perplexing and maybe even overwhelming. I was apprehensive to say the least, but I can now say that we have made incredible progress and have a clear picture and plan moving forward with tons of data, which makes me feel better about the future of this association than I ever felt. I am excited for what this New Year brings, and I am very excited about the future of this great association. I’ll be talking more in detail about all of this at Convention in a couple of weeks at the Lamp Liter Inn in Visalia – speaking of which, do you have your tickets yet? CONVENTION COMING UP Amy Cave, this year’s Convention chair has been going above and beyond to make this year’s Convention awesome! Amy and her group of volunteers have all sorts of exciting and fun things to come and check out from seminars, vendor shows, and car shows. Friday night is the infamous hospitality night which each district will be fighting for your love/support as they whip up some incredible cocktails and food while you can roam around the room and talk to other illustrious members of this association. The whole weekend is jam-packed with awesome things to do and see and if you haven’t got your tickets to attend, why not? I beg of you to change your plans and come down for a day – you don’t have to be a delegate, just a member of Cal4Wheel and I promise you, one day at convention will make you yearn for next year’s convention and bring a broader, brighter vision and love for this great association. Please, don’t be shy and cancel whatever other plans you have and come on down – look for me and I’ll introduce you to some people and after a few minutes, you’ll feel like you’re at home with a family you never knew you had. Not to mention, Saturday evening, I’ll be picking the winning ticket for this year’s incredible Raffle Vehicle built by Varozza Off Road and spearheaded by our awesome, newly elected North District Vice President, Chris Silveira! We will also be unveiling this year’s new Raffle Vehicle and will be selling tickets for it so you can win that in February of 2024! Registration for Convention closes today (February 8, 2023) at 5PM PST. Go to for all the details. Speaking of Convention, we’ll be electing a state treasurer this year and if you’re thinking about getting more involved in Cal4 and have a great understanding of accounting/bookkeeping, this would be awesome for you and the association. The committee and I are working on cleaning up the financial side, as in how we do business and will ultimately make the state treasurer’s job a million times easier. There are no bylaws this year to vote on and I’m looking forward to seeing all the members and delegates at general session on Saturday to reflect back on this past year and plans moving forward into this new year and more importantly, getting to talk to each and every one of you in person and seeing how I can better help you and your club and how I can improve to be a better president to all of you. Truth be told, being your president over the past year has been one of the most gratifying experiences I have ever done and I couldn’t be more proud to be here promoting Cal4Wheel and having the great support of not only the board of directors, but the entire membership of this incredible association. Thank you for this incredible opportunity and if there is anything I can do for you, don’t hesitate to ask. I could write a novel about land use issues going on and if you have been at the district meetings or on social media, you have (hopefully) read our incredible Natural Resource Consultant Rose Winn’s reports. There are issues all over this state and throughout the country that are starting to get to the point where we’ll need your help and support with writing letters, making phone calls and such coming up soon. Over the past year, I have been working closely with other land use organizations, bringing unity to all of us which is very encouraging because working together makes us stronger and stronger keeps public lands public. I am going to keep this short as my ‘whirlwind’ of tasks keeps coming as I am packing up and heading out this weekend for my club’s 75th anniversary! I hope you get some time to get out of the house and go enjoy the outdoors this weekend and I look forward to seeing each and every one of the following week at Convention! ‘Til the next update…

  • Cal4Wheel state treasurer's report for January 2023
    by [email protected] (Russ Chung, Cal4Wheel State Treasurer) on January 17, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    I am pleased to report that the association’s finances are in a strong position as a result of the funds raised at our recent events including Sierra Trek, High Sierra Poker Run, Operation Desert Fun, and Panamint Valley Days, as well as funds from the advance registration for Winter Fun Festival and ticket sales for the Win-A-Jeep raffle.  Our strong finances allowed us to fund a Natural Resource Consultant and even purchase the next raffle vehicle for cash without the need to borrow from the Life Member Fund or any other fund as we sometimes had to do in the past.  It is the Association’s policy that I do not publish financial details in a public forum such as In Gear.  I will present detailed information at the Annual Meeting on February 18, 2023 in Visalia. Misstatement in October 2022 Treasurer’s Report I made a misstatement made in my Treasurer’s Report in the October 2022 In Gear regarding a proposed joint Cal4Wheel/Mojave Desert Heritage & Cultural Museum event. At the August, 2022 Board of Directors meeting, I had submitted a motion to hold an event based at the MDHCA facility in Goffs, CA. Billy Creech, the president of the MDHCA was a guest. After discussion, I withdrew the motion because there were too many unresolved issues. Josh suggested as an alternative: that we continue to discuss and work with the MDHCA to resolve the issues. These discussions may lead to a scaled down event, an event at a different time, or no event at all. My article implied that this event is a board-approved event when it is not. I apologize for my mistake; I did not intend to mislead anyone on the status of this proposed event. I hope that we will continue to build a strong relationship with the MDHCA because such an alliance will have many benefits for members of both associations and for all “desert rats”. Duties and Responsibilities of State Treasurer Recently, Josh, the board of directors and I have had discussions on the roles and responsibilities of the state treasurer. Josh’s opinions can be summed up in one sentence, “I think you’re overwhelmed.” I would prefer to use an analogy that I’m sure every member of this association will understand. I hope you will bear with me when I compare our accounting system to a vintage, classic off road vehicle. When I became state treasurer in February, 2020, I felt like the proud owner of an old but dependable Jeep CJ-5. This Jeep was in pristine condition inside and outside and had been lovingly cared for by about a dozen previous owners, each of whom had upgraded various systems such as the engine, powertrain, wheels, tires, sound systems, and other accessories. Some of the recent owners replaced or upgraded some of the upgrades of previous owners. As a result, when I open the hood, there is a maze of wires, hoses, and relays, many of which are no longer needed or in use. There are switches on the instrument panel that have no labels and I don’t know what they are for. Fortunately for me, there are two experienced mechanics who have taken care of all the routine maintenance on this CJ-5. Unfortunately for me, one of the mechanics has announced that she will be retiring and the other is nearing her retirement. I need to learn how everything works and bring order to the mess under the hood. Josh and the board decided to appoint a committee to work to bring more order to the duties and responsibilities of the state treasurer and in light of the retirement of Suzy Johnson, the overall financial management of the association. I have already begun by drafting a proposed SOP that will be a start to this process. I have made some recommendations to simplify the accounting systems and I will work with the committee to identify additional tasks and priorities.

  • Request for proposals announced for association contractors
    by [email protected] (Cal4Wheel Board of Directors) on January 11, 2023 at 5:48 pm

    Request for Proposals Overview Founded in 1959, California Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc.  is a non-profit organization and has actively promoted the advancement of vehicle-oriented outdoor recreation. We are the largest organization of this type in California and represent owners of all makes and models of 4WD vehicles, as well as non-owners who support responsible vehicle-oriented recreation and advocating to keep public lands public. The California Four Wheel Drive Association (C4WDA) hereinafter referred to as the Association is accepting proposals for its contracted support. These contracts currently include: In Gear Editor Web Page Editor Database Administrator QuickBooks Consultant Natural Resources Consultant Each contract is for up to a one-year term commencing on or about July 1, 2023. Written proposals should be submitted no later than April 15, 2023, to the attention of the President of C4WDA at 8120 36th Ave. Sacramento, CA 95824. Questions and requests for additional information should be submitted in writing to the President of the Association at 8120 36th Ave. Sacramento, CA 95824, or by e-mail to [email protected] Proposals should address: Qualifications to execute contract Fees and payment schedule to execute contract Specific services to be performed under the proposal (as a minimum address the points included in the requirements for each position) Notes for applicant This is posted as a contract, not for employment Contractor shall provide their own office, computers, software and any tools necessary for executing the contract Contractor shall  be licensed as a small business, LLC or equivalent. Contractor shall have appropriate software licenses for any software that is used Contractor shall carry general liability/automotive insurance Contractor shall be responsible for all tax withholding, etc. Here are the requirements:Full RFPs

  • North District membership chair - 2022 in review
    by [email protected] (Kitten Chapman, North District Membership Chair) on January 7, 2023 at 3:09 am

    Hello to everyone who enjoys the all the different ways of wheeling whether it be vehicle, razors, UTV, ATV’s, overlanders, on-line trail runners, and any other form of wheeling I did not mention. I had been on the board of directors as the North District secretary/treasurer for many years, as well as volunteering to haul trailers and the raffle vehicle to many places. I began selling merchandise in the North District when the ever so missed Mr. Steve Gardiner was our state merchandise chair. Late 2021 I decided I wanted a different board position and ran for ND Membership Chair. I was very happy when I was able to begin fulfilling my position at the February Convention in 2022. I have been busy attending club meetings, events, and shows in the ND and I continued to sell merchandise, as it made sense since I was in attendance of many types of gatherings. I have also started teaching a program called Hug-A-Tree where I teach informative survival techniques. This is a program not only for children, but many adults have stated they had no idea the simple things they can do to survive in the wilderness whether due to a wheeling breakdown or being lost — for the guys who think they never get lost — let’s call it ‘misplaced’. Okay maybe you didn’t find that funny, no worries my husband doesn’t laugh or smile at any of my jokes either. Not only have I attended all the ND and board meetings, I managed to stay quite busy visiting several of our clubs and meeting truly awesome members whether at the club meetings or at an event or show. I was looking at my calendar for the 2022 year and I was astonished how much I have traveled. I have made trips to Scotts Valley, Tahoe, Santa Rosa, Sacramento and surrounding areas, Red Bluff, Hollister, Grass Valley, and Sonora. For a quick rundown here are the wonderful things that kept me busy in 2022:Aside from picking up and dropping off the raffle vehicle and trailers I worked Winter Fun Fest membership, merchandise, and making Saturday night dinner along with Sunday clean up with the Motherlode Rockcrawlers, Cal4Wheel convention, RSE (Redding Sportsman’s expo), Carnegie Appreciation Day (Motorcycles count too), July 4th parade, Thompsons Jeep Meet, Amador County Derby Pulls, Jeepers Jamboree, Jeep Jamboree, Sierra Trek, Skillz Day by Metalcloak. At all the shows and events, with the exception of convention and jamborees, many became annual members and quite a few became life members. Many thousands of dollars were brought in by membership. People loved the Gladiator Win-A-Jeep and were more than happy to try their luck at winning the awesome vehicle, but if not, then they were equally excited about possibly winning the other great raffle items. That made the tickets easy to sell. Much to my disappointment there were a couple months I was unable to make any visits due to the horrendous fire in Amador County known as the Electra fire. I volunteer with an organization called ACART who takes in, and cares for, all types of evacuees’ animals due such disasters. However, I am delighted to report I did have the opportunity to meet with a few. I feel honored, lucky, and appreciative that you were all so willing to let me attend your meetings and speak to all your wonderful members. Thank you to: Joaquin Jeepers, Tuscan 4x4, Trailbusters 4x4, Boonie Bouncers, Tahoe Off Road Crew, Hi-Landers, Santa Cruz, Mud Sweat & Gears, Motherlode Rockcrawlers, Santa Rosa 4x4, Esprit De Four, and Sierra Treasure Hunters. I learned so much from all of you and especially enjoyed all the wheeling stories you have all experienced, some were funny and others informative on how to fix our ‘oops should have taken of that before wheeling’ excursions. I am still encouraging you all to write about them for the In Gear. Give our readers the incentive to write themselves, it’s entertaining and provides the knowledge of how things can be either fixed on the trail or at the least make it possible to limp your ride home. I hope you all learned something from me as well. Regarding the ND merchandise, I was forced to surrender all ND merchandise and it is now in the hands of Mr. Shawn Bell, our Merchandise Chair in southern California. I was very disheartened that I had to give up this region’s merchandise as I had invested many hours to inventorying, packing, traveling, selling then re-inventorying and enjoyed every minute of it. Needless to say, I had brought in thousands of dollars selling our products and there are many opportunities this coming year to sell even more, but sometimes I guess as a volunteer you just have to reluctantly say c’est la vie to a passion. My thank you’s go out to: all the clubs and members for supporting Cal4Wheel, all the volunteers who put your all into it, event chairs who work endlessly to ensure our events are great. Suzy our webmaster and editor where do I begin? I’ll start with you’re amazing, quick, forever helpful just to name a few, but the list goes on and on, you will definitely be missed. The office staff who work many hard hours and have to answer the never-ending ringing phone, my BOD peers for facing and making the most difficult decisions, our raffle vehicle builders for putting in so much time and effort to build our incredible vehicles, and all our sponsors for donating all you do for our raffles, which would not exist if it weren’t for you. A big thank you to the Cal4wheel Conservation and Education Foundation for approving my grant request to teach the Hug-A-Tree program. My plan now until next convention: to get out there and see more clubs, meet new people, bring in more members whether annual, life, or associate members, and attend the many shows and events as 2022 and perhaps even more. Until I write again, please get out there and volunteer even if it’s for only a day, we could use your help. Write articles about your adventures; we’d love to read about them. If you pack it in, pack it out, educate those on the trails that could use it, or need it, whether they’re a friend or a stranger. Take the time to help those who have broken down, remember we all have something in common and it could be you some day. Teach and practice safety and trail etiquette, stay on the trails, have fun, and the most important of all PLEASE do not drink and drive, remember it’s against the law.

  • Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division announces grant workshop January 9-10
    by [email protected] (California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division) on December 29, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    California State Parks’ Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division invites entities that provide off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation opportunities to a two-day grant workshop in Bakersfield on January 9-10. In-person and virtual opportunities will be available. Participants will be informed on the various motorized grants available and how to apply for them.   The workshop is being hosted by OHMVR Division’s Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program (Grants Program). The program began in the early 1970s and has provided over $769 million to agencies and organizations that develop, maintain, operate, expand, support, or contribute to environmentally friendly, well-managed, and high-quality OHV recreation areas, roads, and trails. Also, the program seeks to responsibly maintain the wildlife, soils, and habitat of project areas in a manner that will sustain long-term OHV recreation. Eligible applicants include cities and counties, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, other federal agencies, federally and state-recognized Native American Tribes, educational institutions, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, districts, and certified community conservation corps. Entities interested in the program are encouraged to attend the OHV Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program workshop: WHEN:  January 9 and 10, starting at 8:30 a.m. WHERE:  Registration is required to participate in either the virtual or in-person workshop. To register, please visit the webinar registration webpage. In person: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, 3100 Camino Del Rio Court, Bakersfield, CA 93308. For more information on grants available by the OHMVR Division, please visit its Grants Program webpage or send an email to [email protected] California State Parks and the recreational programs supported by its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Historic Preservation and Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation provide the opportunity for families, friends, and communities to connect. Off-highway motor vehicle recreation, boating activities, horseback riding, cycling, hiking, camping, rock climbing, tours, hikes, school group enrichment, and special events are just some of the activities enjoyed in 279 park units organized into 21 field districts throughout the state. Learn more at

  • Update from the president - December 5, 2022
    by [email protected] (Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President) on December 5, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Hello all! I hope you made it through Thanksgiving unscathed and didn’t break your rigs or get stuck too bad. Unfortunately, I caught a head cold and have been on the road to recovery, however, without a voice. I’m sure there are some that are happy with that but slowly, it’s coming back but unfortunately, I am not ready to do a video update along with this written report.   Board of Directors Meeting A lot has been going on since my last update! We had our quarterly board of directors meeting a couple of weeks ago in Sacramento at our office and got a lot accomplished! We tried to get it done in a day but sometimes, like this meeting, we ended up working Sunday for a few hours to finish the long list of items that needed to be discussed and worked through. Again, I have to thank my board of directors for their awesome work before, during and after the meeting and without these rockstars, I’m not sure how we could have handled everything that was on our plate. Upcoming Request for Proposals In the coming weeks, you will be seeing Request for Proposals (RFP’s) for the webmaster position and In Gear editor position. Suzy has decided that retirement is more important than us and decided it’s time to enjoy the finer things in life, like camping, Jeeping and grandchildren and maybe her cats. Not that I blame her and often think about retirement myself but I have a few more years before that happens. The BOD and I have been working with Suzy for a hopefully a seamless transition but as we work more into this, we are finding a slew of loose ends that haven’t been tied up for quite a while throughout the association. Luckily, I was able to get a committee formed to help resolve all this mess and have enlisted the help of Past Presidents Robert Reed, Dave Douglas and Don Spuhler, who have been awesome to work with and step-by-step we’re getting this all fixed up, so to say. I’ll have some more information on this soon and some other news on how we plan to streamline some of the operation in house and take a metric crap load of work off our office staff and current/future contractors. This has not been easy and continues to grow daily as we work into this, but I am confident that my committee and I will have some great suggestions to bring to the BOD and get all of this taken care of, sooner than later. Win-A-Jeep program At the BOD meeting we approved the purchase of next year’s raffle vehicle and personally, I’m excited to see what direction we end up going. Our current Raffle Vehicle Chairman Chris Silveira has done an awesome job with the last two vehicles and has been working behind the scenes working on a master builder and sponsor for this new vehicle. The BOD and I have been tersely working on getting Chris to take on this job for one more year but there has been some resistance with excuses like work, family and other cheesy cop-outs so do us all a favor and let Chris know how great of a job he’s doing and how excited you all would be for him to take on one more year! Or two but don’t let him know about that just yet, concentrate on this upcoming year for the time being. In all seriousness though, thank you very much Chris (and his wife, Jessica, who probably does most of the work) for all your hard work and sacrifices to bring this incredible Win-A-Jeep to life. As you all read this, you should have gotten the annual Win-A-Jeep mailers with tickets for you to purchase and send back to the office. Since the last BOD meeting there hasn’t been too much going on other than a great time I had with my club in Salton Sea where I ate too much, caught a stupid head cold, did some incredible off-roading, saw my middle daughter turn 12 and overall had a great weekend of some much need relaxation, well, until that stupid head cold deal got a little worse and slowed me down a little, which put me farther behind. Red Rock Canyon Last week, we had a joint Zoom meeting with our friends over at CORVA regarding the Red Rock State Park issue going on now. The meeting was a joint venture between Cal4Wheel and CORVA, which invited other organizations from all over California and Nevada to work on a plan to fight the proposed closures in the area. I have to say, I was impressed by the immense amount of information to come out of this meeting and was pleasantly surprised how well we all worked together during, and even continuing after the meeting. This is a huge deal for us here in the south and should be equally important to everyone all over California. For a few hours, everyone worked together and presented facts about the closures and how we can work together to fight this. I have been saying this for years and I’ll say in again here, we are stronger in numbers, we are stronger when we work together and if we can continue to work like this moving forward, I am very excited to see what we can accomplish working together, rather than working against each other. I’ll keep you posted with any updates and I’m also sure there will be something coming from our very own Rose Winn regarding Red Rock State Park as well. There will be a time coming up very soon where I’ll be asking all of you, people you know, your neighbors, friends of friends and so on to sign and write letters opposing these closures. I get asked all the time, “What can I do to help?” Well, this is it. We need one, large, unified voice and this is the first step of many to do what we do, keep public lands public. There was a tremendous amount of information provided in this meeting and I am beaming with excitement for how we put all this together and even more excited for the future of land use organizations working together. Working together is what we need to do. This is what the other side of the fence has been doing for years and you can see how much land we have lost to this -- this is the time to put down your distaste for other land use organizations and let’s fight together! In closing this update, I hope you are all healthy and stay that way throughout the holidays and are hip-deep in doing whatever you do that makes you happy. From my family to all of yours, Happy Holidays! ‘Til the next update…

  • Update from the president - November 17, 2022
    by [email protected] (Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President) on November 19, 2022 at 7:20 pm

    Hello all!  I hope you are enjoying yourselves and have had a great time wheeling out in your favorite playground or have been getting caught up on projects around the home.  Personally, I have been running, for what feels like non-stop for the past month and have finally had a little bit of time to sit down and relax this past weekend at Panamint Valley Days which I’ll get to in a just a few. Since my last update, I have attended the North, Central and South district meetings, well, I attended the Central and South District meetings in person and attended the North District meeting virtually. The Central District meeting was awesome and hosted by the Bakersfield Trailblazers. I left early in the morning to get to the meeting location a little early for breakfast, but typical traffic and accidents got me there just about the start of the meeting which was fine since most of the participants ate and did meeting stuff at the same time. Nominations were opened up for Central District Vice President as Mark Cave will be stepping down and taking some time for himself – Mark, thank you very much for your time on the BOD this past year.  It has been my sincere pleasure to work with you these past few years and I look forward to working with you as you move into a non-BOD position.  Davey Rocha II was nominated and Davey accepted the nomination – Congratulations Davey! At the South district meeting, nominations were also opened up for South District Vice President and Don Rybarczyk, Shawn Bell (current Corporate Sponsor chairman) and Terry Dean (former SD Membership chair) were nominated, all of which accepted the nominations. I wasn’t in the room at this time, as, I was in my Jeep in the parking lot trying to get on the North District Meeting where aside from some technical issues, I was able to present my report to the membership and learned that when the nominations were opened up for the North District Vice President position, Chris Silveira was nominated and he accepted the nomination – Congratulations Chris.  I want to also mention that sadly, Jim Bramham, your current North District Vice President will not be seeking re-election and I want to publically thank Jim for all that you have done and all that you continue to do. I have enjoyed learning from you and working with you over these past few years and I will sorely miss you at the BOD meetings but know you will always be there for support for Cal4Wheel and the future NDVP, whomever that may be as nominations will open back up in January where we will vote in a new Vice President for the North and Central district and a potential new SDVP if Don doesn’t win and since I’m talking about Don Rybarczyk, Don, thank you for stepping up and taking over my seat when I was elected President of this incredible organization. It has been a real pleasure working with you. Before and since the District meetings, I have been working with a committee I formed with Robert Reed, Don Spuhler and Dave Douglas to clean up a slew of loose ends around the association. This has turned from what seemed like a pretty simple idea to what is almost a full time job. I’ll get into greater detail later once we have compiled our lists and have had time to go over it with each other in greater detail but the premise is to plan for the future of Cal4Wheel and simplify how we do business and the overall organization of this association.  We, as an Association are very lucky to have three great past presidents to have the ability to work with and I want to publicly thank these three guys for helping me tackle this. I recently got back from SEMA which was very nice. I had every intention of attending the Off Road Hall Of Fame dinner Sunday evening before the show and had left early from a previous camping trip for my club where I packed my bags for Vegas and jumped into the new 392 Jeep and headed up the 15 where I found every bit of traffic, severe accidents and the like and put me in Vegas way too late to attend but was able to get some sleep and get up early for the NAMRC meeting hosted by the infamous Todd Ockert Monday morning. This was my first year in attendance of the NAMRC meeting and even though I have heard of it I was unsure what to expect or how to prepare. So I did my best, got there entirely way too early and saw the empty halls of SEMA which was crazy to think that these halls would be littered with thousands of people in 24 hours. Once I finally made it to the meeting room and sat down and had an incredible experience conversing with land use advocates/organizations from all over the United States and it was a great meeting with incredible points of interest and over all, I learned a lot and found that all of our small efforts are working as in working together as one which is the whole point of this.  We were able to discuss items of concern from all over and get different perspectives. Special thanks to Todd for hosting this and thank you to all that attended! I was able to put faces to names from emails and social media and had a great time talking about land use and Cal4Wheel.  Unfortunately, I had some issues come up at work and had to leave early.  Overall, the Win-A-Jeep was well received and had a slew of people stop by and was able to educate them on land use and Cal4Wheel. This was my first year since they added the ‘West Hall’ and was surprised how many more vehicles there were over all and the attendance was way up. Panamint Valley Days 2022 is officially in the books!  I had a spectacular time this year and was able to attend a Historic run on Friday where we explored the local area and had a great time learning about the rich history.  I’m a little bit of a history buff and just soaked as much up as I possibly could.  Saturday we did more of the same and did the Golier Canyon run where we explored canyons and even the infamous Barker Ranch.  We were able to get back in time for dinner and get ready for the raffle, by the way, was spectacular!  Thank you Dirk Starksen for the hard work putting that together. The weather was awesome the entire weekend till the wind decided to come in Sunday as we were all leaving. I want to send a special thanks to Bonnie Ferguson and Jeff Godde who chaired this year's event and to the countless volunteers who went above and beyond to show everyone a great time on the trails and in camp.  I say it all the time and I’ll say it again here – without volunteers, we couldn’t do any of this. I don’t mention names because I don’t want to leave anyone out by mistake (and I’m horrible with names) you know who you are and you have my greatest gratitude I can give, thank you. As I write this update, I’m preparing for the November Board Of Directors meeting this weekend in Sacramento at the Office.  I’m honestly, looking forward to seeing all the board members and getting to work.  We have a lot to accomplish this weekend but luckily, we have been working together between the board meetings as to be as productive as possible.  If I don’t talk to you before hand, I hope you and yours have a great Thanksgiving and please, be safe out there no matter what you are doing. ‘Til the next update…

  • Update from the president - October 21, 2022
    by [email protected] (Josh Epstein, Cal4Wheel President) on October 21, 2022 at 6:20 pm

    Yes, I’m still here. I profusely apologize for not getting an update out before now. It’s been a whirlwind of events, meetings and general life stuff and I have been pretty busy. I had every intention on getting this out earlier but every time I started, I wanted to get more information out and alas, here we are. The older I get, the faster time seems to go by. High Sierra Poker Run With my last report, I spoke about leading a run, more specifically, leading the Mirror Lake run at High Sierra Poker Run this year, well, I did it. HSPR was a phenomenal event this year and had zero fires! Almost started a fire leaving but I’ll get to that in a few. Being from here in the south, our off road`ing is a little different than up north where you have trees and large boulders and the like. The Mirror Lake Trail is a relatively easy trail that has tremendous amounts of beautiful scenery — all up to a point where the last 100 yards or so is pretty difficult, as far as rocks, trees, some more rocks and few awesome placed trees (insert sarcastic tone) all of which you go down (the easy part) and then meander around some more trees to a campsite where you come into Mirror Lake proper and my, what a sight to behold. I could have stayed there all day but had to work my way back out and that’s when I found out my lockers were not operating and luckily, there were some strategically placed winch points where I used the holy hell out of my winch and eventually got up that hard part and headed back to camp. After trying to find the issue with my lockers and not feeling confident that I had in fact fixed the issue, we decided that I would still lead the run, however, I would stay at the top of that hard part and David Rocha, along with other support would take the group down and bring them back up (thanks Davey!) the day of the run. I want to thank all the volunteers that went above and beyond to put on a great event! I want to thank Paul Brady and Steve Peckham for chairing this event for putting on a great time! The raffle turned out awesome. Ben Burr from Blue Ribbon Coalition came and even provided a little speech – thank you for coming Ben! Our very own Natural Resource Consultant Rose Winn attended as well. I left early Sunday morning to hang out with the family that I haven’t seen in a while and on my way out, with my 40’ motorhome and 20’ trailer, I didn’t pull wide enough on the first bridge leaving base camp and almost lost my trailer in a creek. Luckily, I saved that somehow and continued down the road where I met up with my nemesis, the ‘4-lane’. For those of you that know, you know. For those that don’t, the 4-lane coming down or up sucks. It’s steep, it’s long and I found out that even at 35-ish mph, slight tapping my brakes with my engine brake on is still no match for the brakes on my motorhome as I started to see smoke coming out of the rear of my coach. As I contemplated abandoning ship with whatever I could grab not knowing if I was on fire or the brakes or? I finally stopped in a turn out and ran back to find it was only brakes and it was about that time I made friends with the local Sheriff and fire department since they were on their way to up the hill, saw me coming down, couldn’t see behind me and decided I might need help to put out the creek fire #2 I was potentially setting. Couple of fire trucks later, two Sheriffs, some nervous laughter from all of us on scene and some time to cool it all down, I continued down the road at a blistering 10-15 mph where the rest of my trip was uneventful. Meetings I attended a slew of Zoom meetings for AAT, OHMVR, post Sierra Trek meeting, Coastal Commission, foundation meeting and others. I recently was up at the Central District meeting in Bakersfield hosted by the Bakersfield Trailblazers where they presented Vice President Mark Cave a donation in the amount of $2000! Thank you, Jeremy Rowell, president of Bakersfield Trailblazers for the hospitality and thank you to the entire Central District that either made it in person or via Zoom — I’m starting to see more attendance at the meetings, and I love it! During this meeting, David Rocha was nominated for Central District Vice President. Nominations will open back up in January for all districts, so, if you are looking to run, or looking to vote for Davey, this will be your time. Operation Desert Fun I’m just now getting back to normal life after spending the past few days in Truckhaven/Salton Sea California for the 20th Annual Operation Desert Fun! Man, what a weekend of stories to tell, however, I’ll keep it simple here. Angela Cook, Chair of ODF for the past 20 years was apprehensive moving the event from Ocotillo Wells to Salton Sea but after the event, it seems like we should have done this years ago and everyone seemed to have a great time, well, other than the 100-year flood (maybe not that bad) that started early Saturday afternoon and lasted into Sunday morning. Luckily, our new digs had a clubhouse to keep everyone undercover during the rainstorm ensuing outside. I will say, it was a little weird to be inside, with adequate lighting to check tickets and no weather/wind to contend with. I want to say thank you to Angela Cook and David Mauer who chaired this event and to every volunteer who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to go above and beyond to have a spectacular event. As always, the raffle did awesome, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America Cal-Diego Chapter will have quite a bit of money to help paralyzed veterans. Thank you to all who contributed to the raffle with either prizes or just buying tickets. I also want to thank Debbie and her husband for all the great food, the great atmosphere and for going above and beyond for us in any manner they could. District meetings tomorrow As I finish this update, I’m getting ready for the South and North district meetings this coming Saturday, both of which will have open nominations for district vice presidents. I’ll be at the South District meeting in person and plan to be at the next North District meeting in person — maybe Jim can choose a date that doesn’t conflict (just poking the bear...)? Panamint Valley Days PVD is right around the corner, and they are looking for your support! I personally plan to bring most of the loot I won at ODF to PVD’s raffle, and I hope you can both make it to the event and help support the raffle. I hear that Bonnie Ferguson has ordered better weather than ODF and I am excited to go to my other favorite event in two weeks. If you have not registered yet, there is still time to call in sick and get ready for a fantastic weekend of runs, unbelievable scenery, and an awesome raffle! Last day to register online is October 26 — I hope to see you all around the campfire sooner than later as the weather cools off and the official Jeeping season down south starts! ‘Til the next update…

  • Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division encourages "Trail for the Trail" during OHV Safety Awareness Week
    by [email protected] (California State Parks) on October 13, 2022 at 6:03 pm

    California State Parks’ Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division and partners welcome the return of the second OHV Safety Awareness Week this year from October 15–23, with the theme “Train for the Trail.” As part of the safety awareness week, the OHMVR Division and partners will hold several FREE safety training courses and events throughout California’s state vehicular recreation areas (SVRAs). New and experienced off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation enthusiasts can learn something new by taking classes while riding in all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), dirt bikes and recreational off-highway vehicles or side-by-side vehicles (ROVs). Additionally, as part of the weeklong celebration, Prairie City SVRA will hold a visitor appreciation and safety day this Saturday, October 15, starting at 10 a.m. Visitors can—for free—spend the weekend enjoying overnight camping in the main staging and day-use areas. Local OHV businesses will be on-site to talk about customizations, do-it-yourself remedies and safety tips. On Saturday, October 22, visitors can help keep Hollister Hills SVRA spotless with its annual Clean Wheeling trash pick-up event. Starting at 8 a.m., this free, family-friendly four-wheeling event is held in the Upper Ranch and Hudner Ranch. Free day-use pass and lunch will be provided by the Hollister Hills Off-Road Association. Participants are advised to bring gloves, water, sunblock and a hat. “Visitor safety is the division’s number one priority,” said OHMVR Deputy Director Sarah Miggins. “While enjoying the thousands of acres of beautiful trails, roads, dunes and other approved riding areas on all-terrain vehicles, four-wheelers, dirt bikes, motorcycles, trail bikes and snowmobiles, please consider and follow our safety tips while having fun outdoors.” Practicing responsible OHV recreation safety measures such as taking a safety course, learning the rules of riding, planning travel routes in advance, using required equipment and treading lightly help promote safety in the SVRAs and protect the natural resources that make these public outdoor spaces special. Below are eight safety tips for new and experienced riders: Take a Safety Course: Learn the fundamentals of operating off-highway vehicles by taking a training course, which can help you become a more experienced rider. Become familiar with the laws governing off-highway recreation on public lands and safety courses by visiting the webpage of your outdoor destination prior to leaving home. Buckle It Up: Know which gear is required for your type of recreation to prevent injury. Secure all harnesses and safety equipment. Helmets and restraint devices are most effective when following the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure they are securely and always buckled. Always wear protective gear, including a safe, well-fitting helmet. Ride Respectfully: Community is the foundation for maintaining off-highway recreation. Respecting natural resources, wildlife and other off-highway recreators, and following off-highway regulations help preserve the natural landscapes for generations to come. Be Prepared: Know which supplies you need for a successful ride. Be prepared with a first aid kit, extra water and food, maps, a tool kit and extra fuel. File a Riding Plan: Tell a responsible person back at camp or at home where you are going and when you plan on returning. Ask that person to notify local law enforcement if you do not return on time. Scout Your Route: Because each vehicular recreation area has a vast and diverse mixture of geology for riders exploring on their motorcycle, ATV, dune buggy or 4x4, learn about the various trail experience levels and terrain prior to your visit to avoid emergencies. Stay to the right and yield to oncoming vehicles. Never Ride Alone: Always ride with at least one other person, but preferably in groups of three. If one rider is hurt, someone can stay with the rider while the other one gets help. Never move an injured rider. Tread Lightly: Know where to ride, and ride only on designated routes and trails. Be sure to check ahead for open trails. Remember, wildlife has the right-of-way. In October 2020, the California OHMVR Commission passed a resolution dedicating the third weeks of May and October as an OHV Safety Awareness Week to promote and focus on safe and responsible OHV practices. Working together with Tread Lightly!, California Highway Patrol, California Outdoor Recreation Foundation (CORF), Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, ATV Safety Institute, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association and Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the OHMVR Division will provide safety education for the public during OHV Safety Awareness Week. Activity schedules and sign-ups for the free trainings can found on the CORF website at California’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program was created in 1971 out of the critical need to better manage the growing demands for off-highway recreation, while fostering respect for private property rights and protecting the state’s natural and cultural resources. Since that time, more than $770 million in grants, managed by the OHMVR Division, have been awarded to federal and local partners, funding acquisition and development, resource protection, safety and education, and law enforcement for OHV recreation. Today, there are nine state vehicular recreation areas across California: Carnegie, Clay Pit, Eastern Kern County Onyx Ranch, Heber Dunes, Hollister Hills, Hungry Valley, Oceano Dunes, Ocotillo Wells and Prairie City. These public lands provide recreational opportunities on approximately 145,000 acres of lands with more than 600 miles of designated OHV trails and terrain. Some SVRAs also feature camping, swimming and other recreational opportunities. A variety of wildlife, sensitive habitats, plants and animal species call them home. For more information about the OHMVR Division, including grant and volunteer opportunities, please visit