Please accept for your consideration the following comments on 4 agenda items for your meeting tomorrow:
Agenda item 10 a: draft grant application
The draft application appears to comply with the very detailed directions spelled out in the law, especially with the inclusion of the form for the land managers clearance of the project (where/when applicable). We will be interested to learn the conclusion of the LCB re compliance with the law.
Agenda item 11: alternative grant application
It is difficult to comment on an alternative application given there is no draft as yet available to the public. That said, we will be interested to learn if a grant can be expedited while still containing all the legal direction spelled out in the law.
We recognize that any grant application is likely to be frustratingly time-consuming at best. Having participated in the crafting of the legislation, I can say that the level of detail required was intended to save the commission time and money by having applicants first clear all agency legal hurdles.
Agenda item 12: non-voting advisors
We encourage you to fully and frequently utilize the legal and scientific expertise of your advisers as this was the intent of the legislation. Doing so will increase public confidence in your decisions and minimize any challenges to those decisions.
Agenda item 15: sage grouse
The intent of this item is obscure from the agenda description, though sage grouse and its habitat are timely topics. We have endeavored to "brainstorm" some actions the Commission could take which would be proactive in SG habitat conservation and/or restoration. Here is our list for potential discussion:
A. Encourage grant applications which would have a positive effect on Sage grouse habitat, such as:
1. Education re: impact of ORVs on SG and SG habitat, primarily route density, density of traffic and level of noise in SG management areas.
2. Route mapping for TMP processes in SGMAs with the goal of motor travel on designated routes.
3. Restoration of routes designated by TMPs for closure within SGMAs.
4. Prioritize enforcement funding within SGMAs.
B. Encourage the federal land agencies (through the Commission's advisors?) to prioritize completion of TMPs in SGMAs.
C. Encourage the constituents of each Commissioner to participate in the TMP processes with a goal, within SGMAs, of reducing route density, traffic and noise where it will have the most positive effect on SG while assuring adequate ORV opportunities.
Thank you for your consideration of these comments.