From Stewards of the Sequoia... Stewards Awarded Grant to Help Maintain Trails-but Blocked by Audubon <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o> GREAT NEWS Stewards have been approved for two grants this year totaling about $23,000. Until now Stewards has self funded our incredibly successful Trail Appreciation program maintaining almost 2000 miles of trail in Sequoia.<o></o> However in order to receive the funding Stewards members will need to provide about $38,000 in matching volunteers and equipment. This means we will need more volunteers than ever for these trail projects, but it also means every hour you volunteer will help fund even more trail work. Hope you can help out.<o></o> HOWEVER THERE IS A DARK CLOUD. The Kern Audubon Society filed a letter apparently objecting to funding one project because these trails allow all forms of recreation including motorized use. So the funding will be contingent on legal counsel determining if there is any basis for Audubon's objections. <o></o> Actually this funding comes from the self funded OHV registration fees, so it clearly should be spent on trals that allow motorized use, but Audubon's meddling brings up many important issues.<o></o> <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" oreferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><vath o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></vath><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape style="Z-INDEX: 251658240; POSITION: absolute; TEXT-ALIGN: left; MARGIN-TOP: 0px; WIDTH: 150pt; HEIGHT: 126.75pt; MARGIN-LEFT: 110pt; LEFT: 0px; mso-wrap-distance-left: 0; mso-wrap-distance-top: 0; mso-wrap-distance-right: 0; mso-wrap-distance-bottom: 0; mso-position-horizontal: right; mso-position-horizontal-relative: text; mso-position-vertical-relative: line" id=_x0000_s1026 href="http://cts.vresp.com/c/?StewardsoftheSequoia/eb46c1c39b/82132fbcf5/181287b8c4/utm_content=chrisbrown77%40att.net&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=&utm_campaign=SOS-Sequoia%20Trail%20Grant%20Blocked%20by%20Audubon" o:button="t" o:allowoverlap="f" target='"_blank"' alt="Audubon Blocks Trail Maintenance" type="#_x0000_t75"><v:imagedata src="http://pr.ak.vresp.com/c733f32ed/www.stewardsofthesequoia.org/images/AudubonBlocks200s.jpg"></v:imagedata><?xml:namespace prefix = w ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comffice:word" /><w:wrap type="square"></w:wrap></v:shape>Audubon is a conservation organization so why are they objecting to Stewards doing conservation projects which would reduce the impacts of recreation trails and keep trails open and enjoyable for everyone. Seems like Audubon should be supporting Stewards award winning conservation efforts like the Forest Service, BLM, State and County do. <o></o> It is pretty clear that Audubon has an agenda to restrict recreation access to your public lands.<o></o> Why is a publicly funded organization like Audubon blocking trail maintenance on public lands?<o></o> According to Audubon's tax return they made $1 billion dollars last year with an increase in $130 million in assets. With that kind of money one would hope Audubon could be funding trail conservation programs like Stewards of the Sequoia.<o></o> Give Audubon Society a call 800-542-2748 and politely let them know what you think about Kern Audubon Society blocking non profit conservation organizations like Stewards of the Sequoia from getting funding to augment our vollunteer programs on public lands. Post your thoughts on their Facebook page for their members to see. <o></o> The public has a right to recreate on their public lands. Why is Kern Audubon Society attempting to increase impacts by blocking trail maintenance on your public lands? ********************************************** Perhaps we could get some California ADVr's to make some phone calls??? .