Feed aggregator

Forest Service Makes it Easier for Visitors to Enjoy National Forests and Grasslands

4x4 Wire - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:14
Announces Steps to Modernize Recreation Permitting Process

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell today announced steps to make it easier for outfitters, guides, schools, non-profits and other partners to take groups out to enjoy outdoor activities on national forests and grasslands. By streamlining the approach to special-use permitting for national forests and grasslands, our natural resources will be even more accessible to Americans.

Categories: Legislation

Forest Service Survey Finds Record 66 Million Dead Trees in Southern Sierra Nevada

MuirNet - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 16:08

VALLEJO, CALIF., JUNE 22, 2016 AT 2:30 PM EDT -The U.S. Forest Service today announced that it has identified an additional 26 million trees dead in California since October 2015. These trees are located in six counties across 760,000 acres in the southern Sierra Nevada region of the state, and are in addition to the 40 million trees that died statewide from 2010 to October 2015, bringing the total to at least 66 million dead trees. Four consecutive years of severe drought in California, a dramatic rise in bark beetle infestation and warmer temperatures are leading to historic levels of tree die-off.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

BLM Brings Awareness to Human Caused Fires

4x4 Wire - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 15:52

Winnemucca, Nev. – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Winnemucca District, would like to remind everyone that fire danger is on the rise as we enter summer. A fairly wet winter and early spring warming has contributed to higher fuel loadings of cheat grass for most areas within the Winnemucca District. At this time, fuel loadings are 43% above the historical average (from 1998-2015). 

Categories: Legislation

10 Duties of a 4WD Tail End

Badlands Off Road Adventures - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 00:00
10 Duties of a 4WD Tail End Alstrom Point - Lake Powell
(Click picture for a larger image.) A great Trail Leader is invaluable for any four wheeling experience. We reviewed that position in “10 Qualities of a Great Trail Leader” . Though he could be anywhere in the group, the Trail Leader is often in the first vehicle.

The vehicle at the end of the line is also very important. Sometimes called Tail End Charlie, The Sweep, Drag, or Caboose (although I don’t normally use any of those term), the Tail end is an integral part of every 4WD trip. Tail End Charlie is slang from World War II for the rear gunner in a bomber. Many of the expressions we use come from the military both for their ability to convey a thought concisely and the colorful expressions. A trail helper in the middle of the group is called a mid-gunner. Qualifications When selecting a Tail End, I start with someone well qualified in four wheeling. This person has driven with me before, knows the trail and routine well and has great people skills. In a nutshell, he or she is someone I can trust. The Tail End might be called upon to fill in for me at some point.

Ideally, the Tail End complements the Trail Leader by bringing skills in which the Leader is less knowledgable. These can include expert mechanical skills, knowledge of rocks and minerals, an ability to ID plants and flowers, and so forth.

It’s helpful if the person is a ham radio operator. FRS and CB radios are fine for communicating between vehicles. Because the vehicles can get strung out during a trip, it’s nice to be in ham radio contact with the Tail End. Plus, we can use that radio for private conversations. For example, the Tail End may wonder why we aren’t taking a particular route this time. Or, perhaps I forget a step. In either case, I don’t mind if my Tail End chimes in. He should use our private frequency so as not to confuse everyone else.

As for specific duties, the Tail End: 1. Informs the guide when the group has cleared key turns. Sometimes a driver misses a turn and strays off-course. The Trail Leader can only see a vehicle or two behind, whereas the Tail End has a much better perspective.

2. Accounts for all the vehicles when starting up again. This is after breaking camp or making any sort of pit stop (10-100, taking pictures, and such). Because he’s in the back—just sitting there—he can count everyone. Since we usually do a radio check only at the start of the trip (or day) to make sure all are working, the count process works well. Once in a while, we pick up a few strays!

3. As the last one out of camp, he can spot any major item overlooked like stuff left behind, a camp fire not satisfactorily extinguished, or some remaining trash.

4. Advises Trail Leader on issues the Leader isn’t aware of. Being at the rear, the Tail End has a better view of the entire group. (Although heavy dust cuts visibility at times.) The Tail End can advise of a need to stop or slow down due to large gaps in the group, cargo dropping off, mechanical problems or a manifold burrito in the middle of the road.

5. Helps with spotting. Being at the back of the line, the Tail End can quickly provide spotting to the vehicles in the rear. When everyone needs to be spotted, the Tail End can relieve the Trail Leader, so the Leader can pull his vehicle further up the trail to make room for the group. And heaven forbid, when the Trail Leader needs a qualified spotter, the Tail End can walk all the way up to the front and make sure the Trail Leader gets through without embarrassing himself.

6. Assists with vehicle issues. Perhaps some gear needs to be strapped down. Or a vehicle suffers a minor breakdown. If the damage is too severe (but the vehicle is drivable), the Tail End can escort that driver back to the road. If the Trail Leader elects to do that, the Tail End is often tapped to take over as Leader to complete the course.

7. Informs the group about vehicles overtaking them. Very valuable, because everyone else is focused on the trail ahead. If appropriate, the Tail End suggests how and where to pull over.

8. Thanks oncoming vehicles that stopped to let the group go by and let them know he is the last one. It’s a simple gesture, but means a lot to the other group. And the Tail End continues the longstanding tradition of gentlemanly behavior that is such an important part of four wheeling.

Speaking of saying “thanks,” remember to offer your gratitude to any landowners whose property you drive on. And, of course, take good care of their property.

9. Waits for late guests. Having a Tail End who knows the trail and the plan comes in handy when a guest is late. The Tail End can wait at the meeting point for the late guest. They will likely catchup at the air down spot. We discourage splitting up the group, unless absolutely necessary. The most common case is either a machine problem or the need for some vehicles to take a detour. In those cases, the Tail End provides guidance to one or the other group.

10. The End (just being).

Benefits of Being Tail End
  • You get to go on a trip!
  • Work does not involve sitting in a cubicle.
  • People think of you as a hero when you plug their tire.
  • You can take a 10-100 anytime you want and you don't have to walk too far.
  • You can blame the Trail Leader if the group is lost.
  • No one see you if you mess up.
  • You have a front row seat to everything that happens.
  • On the job training to become a Trail Leader.
  • You get to eat dust for the whole trip. Which means the Tequila will taste even better when the day's driving is done.
Even though the Tail End is the last vehicle in the group, it’s an extremely important position. This driver is often as skilled as the Trail Leader, and has the added responsibilities inherent in being placed last in line. But it’s a good role to aspire to. As you develop your 4WD skills and experience, plan for the day when you will step up and volunteer to be a Tail End. ##########################
Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article?

May 5, 2016 - ALL COLORS BACK in STOCK
Click for higher resolution image We now have all six colors of our winch bandana back in stock!

The Orange and Red went fast last time with blue not far behind so if you want a specific color order now while we have them all available.

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull.

Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready.

Warning – the Bandana is not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in the Winching Recovery Bandana at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.

The original press release with larger graphics is on the website Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Serpent Crossing the road - Borrego Springs, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.) With just over 2 months before the Rubicon Trail trip, now is the time to sign up and make the commitment that this is the year you will "do the Con". 3 months will give you time to, schedule vacation, make those upgrades you need, get in a Rocks Clinic or two and prepare for an epic trip. Check the schedule below to sign up for Rock clinics and the Rubicon.

Summary of upcoming events. ########################## Rock Clinic June 18 and July 09

Rocks

If you are planning on doing the Rubicon, this is a good "shake down" or if you prefer a "warm up" clinic. It is great introduction to rocks even if you don't plan to do the Rubicon. The Class will be in Johnson Valley. It is an introduction to Rock crawling but it is not on "baby" rocks. We take our time and stress careful wheel placement. We use spotters for difficult sections. You learn by inspecting the obstacle and predicting the line; by watching others try their line; by experiencing it yourself; and by the coaching. We recommend you repeat the training several times. You will be much more relaxed the second time over the same obstacles and you will pick up on little details missed the first time. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rocks


Rubicon Trail Adventure August 15- 18, 2016

The Rubicon Trail is the stuff of legends. It is considered the Grand Daddy of trails. If your vehicle has a weakness, it will find it. Any serious four-wheeler needs to "Do the 'Con" at least once. There is no guarantee of avoiding vehicle damage. Even the most skilled driver can succumb to the fatigue of 12 unrelenting miles of rocks. Just bring a good attitude and the best prepared vehicle you can. This could be a once in a lifetime trip but a lifelong of bragging rights. More Details


You need to register now so you have time to prepare. Register directly at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rubicon


It comes in many colors.
(Click picture for a larger image.) Jack Covers Have you ever broken a tire bead while 4- wheeling and found that the hi-lift jack was barely operational due to dust, dirt and mud packed into the operating mechanism? Not only is it frustrating but dangerous as well. Since most of us bolt our hi-lift on the outside of the vehicle, it is not uncommon to find the mechanism less than functional.

A simple boot over the working parts of the jack to protect it and keep it clean is an idea that has been around for a while. The current offerings have not been very successful. At TDS this week, I discovered a new product for the hi-lift jack cover that looks promising.

Adam Woods has built a better “mouse trap” which he market under the name www.jackcovers.com The new cover marries a neoprene inner liner with a marine grade vinyl shell on the outside. It has a heavy duty - #10 Marine grade zipper, treated for mildew and antimicrobial, and available in 20 + colors. Since the product covers a number of holes on the jack upright, Adam explained to me he analyzed which holes most of us use to mount a hi-lift and offers two sizes of the cover - 11" and 15”- to allow several mounting combinations.

73
KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2016, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

BRC QUESTIONS OHV RESTRICTIONS IN BI-STATE SAGE GROUSE DECISION

4x4 Wire - Tue, 05/31/2016 - 20:23

BOISE, ID (May 31) -- Sharetrails.org/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), a national trail-based recreation group, today slammed recent decisions that would severely restrict off-highway vehicle (OHV) events and trail improvements in many areas in eastern California and Nevada.  The changes, in the name of sage grouse management, were demanded by a handful of preservationist special interest groups.

Categories: Legislation

Prevention of human caused fires urged

4x4 Wire - Sun, 05/29/2016 - 10:33

With Memorial Day weekend upon us and the season for more outings on public lands, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), Western Nevada Agency, would like to remind the community to be aware of the increased chance of wildfire due to drying conditions and increased fuels from the wet spring. 

Categories: Legislation

BLM Releases Solar Energy Monitoring Strategy

MuirNet - Thu, 05/26/2016 - 12:43

The Bureau of Land Management released today the final strategy for monitoring the impacts of solar energy development in eastern Riverside County. Public comments from the October draft strategy were considered into this final strategy which is part of the implementation of the Western Solar Plan.

The Riverside East Long Term Monitoring Strategy will help the BLM understand solar energy development's broad-scale effects on resources such as vegetation, hydrology, and air quality. The information generated through the strategy will help the BLM permit future solar energy projects.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

Cherry-Picked Science and Non-Transparent Tactics used to Justify Overreaching Agenda

MuirNet - Mon, 05/23/2016 - 10:10
Panel: Obama Administration Relies on Cherry-Picked Science and Non-Transparent Tactics to Justify Overreaching Agenda

Washington, D.C. -- Today (May 19, 2016), the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources held an oversight hearing to examine deficiencies in regulatory transparency at the Department of the Interior (DOI).

Transparency is the cornerstone of a participatory democracy, but there are glaring failures from the increasing use of executive orders and questionable science from the self-proclaimed “most transparent Administration.” Regulations have insufficient public comment periods, lack independently verifiable supporting data and the cumulative impacts are never assessed.  Time after time, access to supporting scientific studies and agency data are unavailable to the public.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

Forest Service and Partners Gear Up for Significant 2016 Wildfire Season

MuirNet - Tue, 05/17/2016 - 16:12
Current Outlook Underscores Need to Reform Wildfire Funding

WASHINGTON, May 17, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell met today with Forest Service Regional Foresters to discuss preparations for anticipated significant wildland fire potential in 2016. The briefing comes as the 2016 fire season has begun with five times more acres already burned than this time last year, following 2015's record-setting fire season.

"The 2016 wildfire season is off to a worrisome start. Southern California, the Great Basin in Nevada, portions of the southwest, and even Florida and Hawaii are particularly vulnerable this year. In California, more than 40 million trees have died, becoming dry fuel for wildfire," said Vilsack. "Congress must take action now to ensure that we, and, ultimately the firefighters we ask so much of, have the resources to do the restoration and wildfire prevention work necessary to keep our forests healthy."

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

Safe Departure Point and Other End Trip Stuff

4x4 Wire - Mon, 05/16/2016 - 11:56

Last month we reviewed the 10 qualities of a great trail leader. That article took us from the planning and preparations stages to the conclusion of a 4WD trip. This month’s article discusses what you as a Trail Leader need to do once everyone has reached the departure point. Even though the ride is over, several additional steps are needed to bring that enjoyable event to a successful conclusion. This is riveting information if you are a trail guide!

Categories: Legislation

Safe Departure Point

Badlands Off Road Adventures - Sun, 05/15/2016 - 00:00
Safe Departure Point & Other End Trip Stuff
(Click picture for a larger image.) Last month we reviewed the 10 qualities of a great trail leader. That article took us from the planning and preparations stages to the conclusion of a 4WD trip. This month’s article discusses what you as a Trail Leader need to do once everyone has reached the departure point. Even though the ride is over, several additional steps are needed to bring that enjoyable event to a successful conclusion. This is riveting information if you are a trail guide! 1. Departure Point Selection But before we arrive at the departure place, let's review the selection of the departure point and the time-of-day goal to end the trip.

Can you have them back on pavement early enough, to drive home that day? 2:30 or 3:00 p.m. is OK when the return trip is 200 – 300 miles. It will be a late arrival for them but still gives a very full day on the trail. If it is the last day of a long holiday weekend, you can be sure most guests will be anxious about getting out ahead of the traffic. You should plan to have them on pavement by noon.

Pick a safe place to allow the vehicles to be aired up, anti-sway bars to be reconnected and people to say goodbye. It should be near a major road home. The departure point need not be right when the dirt ends. Continue to lead the group until it is a simple matter to head home. A great location has a trash bins nearby. Everyone wants to unload their trash as soon as possible. Access to fuel is a plus after a long off-road trip. An ideal location has available flush toilets (or at least pit toilets). You need to identify the closest car wash for situations when it is imperative the mud comes off as soon as possible. 2. Get your guests back on the road Your fellow four wheelers will be eager to get going. But you need to ensure that each driver and vehicle is ready to go. Drivers should inspect their vehicles to make sure they are road worthy. Visit each driver and ask, “Everything all right?” If anyone needs assistance, either lend a hand or ask others to help. If not obvious by their comments, make sure every driver is clear about the route home. Retrieve any gear or equipment (radios, shovels, etc.) you lent out.

You should always be the last to leave the departure area. You never want to leave anyone behind. Be especially patient with newer four wheelers. They often take a little longer to get prepared.

This is a good time to collect the evaluation forms. Incidentally, those should be handed out just prior to arriving at the departure point. Stop about a half-mile out and distribute the forms. If you wait until the departure point, drivers will be too distracted and anxious to get going.

You could mail them later, but don’t expect much of a response. It’s better to approach the drivers while they’re still on the trail.

3. Clean your 4WD vehicle and restock your equipment This is an important step. Even though you’re probably tired and eager to put your feet up, take time to properly deal with your vehicle, equipment and supplies. If you put it off for more than a day you will forget the issues you had with the vehicle and supplies that were used up. Clean and restock any fluids or gear (including medical supplies, spare parts, and fire extinguisher) you used or that became damaged (such as recovery straps). Create a list of repairs and other actions action items during the trip or on the way home while it is still fresh in your mind. Make sure you put back all the essential items, and that your vehicle is tidy and prepared for your next trip. We covered these and others in 10 Important Tasks After Driving Off-Road.

4. Update your notes, records With the four wheeling experience still fresh in your mind, update your trip notes, journal/log or other document. (In fact, I recommend taking notes during the trip. Sometimes it’s possible; other times not.) Record what worked and what could be improved upon. Refer to the evaluation forms for valuable insight.

In addition to your main journal, you should have an equipment list, emergency packet, tour narratives and other resources. Update and replenish as needed. Use mapping software to save your GPS tracks. Edit those files to remove any wayward turns you made. Once cleaned up, that information will be invaluable the next time.

If you had to get a permit to access the area, you may need to send a post-trip report to the appropriate agency. Note any issues or problems you encountered that officials could remedy (broken signs, vandalized rest area, landslide and such).

Now that you’re accumulating notes and related stuff, you need a filing system.

5. Set up a filing system A filing system is really handy. Containing both electronic and paper documents, it helps you make sense of all the information you’ve collected and generated.

Store your maps, notes, checklists, brochures and other paper items to help with the next trip.

Think through your electronic storage, too. This contains navigation information, emergency number(s), handouts, tour narrative and other documents. Simply print out what you need next time. Take advantage of what you’ve learned to make your next trip more enjoyable

Trail Leader duties don’t end at the departure point. There are several more steps you need to take to wrap up that four wheeling experience. Doing so ensures that your guests get on their way properly and that you’re prepared for your next 4WD adventure.

##########################
Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures Did you miss the previous article?

May 5, 2016 - ALL COLORS BACK in STOCK
Click for higher resolution image We now have all six colors of our winch bandana back in stock!

The Orange and Red went fast last time with blue not far behind so if you want a specific color order now while we have them all available.

The Bandana layout follows the “Vehicle Recovery Plan” with pathways to more detail. A unique section of the Bandana, gives the steps for a “Winch Rigging Check: Walk through” so that you verify every element of the rigging before you commit to the pull.

Stuff this in your recovery kit and you will always be ready.

Warning – the Bandana is not a substitute for proper training and use of quality equipment used within the bounds of their safe working load. We advise you to use the information provided in the Winching Recovery Bandana at your own risk. We cannot control the quality and specifications of the equipment used and the methods actually employed.

The original press release with larger graphics is on the website Some Upcoming Events

(click on the link for details)

Serpent Crossing the road - Borrego Springs, CA
(Click picture for a larger image.) With just about 3 months before the Rubicon Trail trip, now is the time to sign up and make the commitment that this is the year you will "do the Con". 3 months will give you time to, schedule vacation, make those upgrades you need, get in a Rocks Clinic or two and prepare for an epic trip. Check the schedule below to sign up for Rock clinics and the Rubicon.

Summary of upcoming events. ########################## Rock Clinic June 18 and July 09

Rocks

If you are planning on doing the Rubicon, this is a good "shake down" or if you prefer a "warm up" clinic. It is great introduction to rocks even if you don't plan to do the Rubicon. The Class will be in Johnson Valley. It is an introduction to Rock crawling but it is not on "baby" rocks. We take our time and stress careful wheel placement. We use spotters for difficult sections. You learn by inspecting the obstacle and predicting the line; by watching others try their line; by experiencing it yourself; and by the coaching. We recommend you repeat the training several times. You will be much more relaxed the second time over the same obstacles and you will pick up on little details missed the first time. More Details...


You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rocks


Rubicon Trail Adventure August 15- 18, 2016

The Rubicon Trail is the stuff of legends. It is considered the Grand Daddy of trails. If your vehicle has a weakness, it will find it. Any serious four-wheeler needs to "Do the 'Con" at least once. There is no guarantee of avoiding vehicle damage. Even the most skilled driver can succumb to the fatigue of 12 unrelenting miles of rocks. Just bring a good attitude and the best prepared vehicle you can. This could be a once in a lifetime trip but a lifelong of bragging rights. More Details


You need to register now so you have time to prepare. Register directly at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Rubicon


It comes in many colors.
(Click picture for a larger image.) Jack Covers Have you ever broken a tire bead while 4- wheeling and found that the hi-lift jack was barely operational due to dust, dirt and mud packed into the operating mechanism? Not only is it frustrating but dangerous as well. Since most of us bolt our hi-lift on the outside of the vehicle, it is not uncommon to find the mechanism less than functional.

A simple boot over the working parts of the jack to protect it and keep it clean is an idea that has been around for a while. The current offerings have not been very successful. At TDS this week, I discovered a new product for the hi-lift jack cover that looks promising.

Adam Woods has built a better “mouse trap” which he market under the name www.jackcovers.com The new cover marries a neoprene inner liner with a marine grade vinyl shell on the outside. It has a heavy duty - #10 Marine grade zipper, treated for mildew and antimicrobial, and available in 20 + colors. Since the product covers a number of holes on the jack upright, Adam explained to me he analyzed which holes most of us use to mount a hi-lift and offers two sizes of the cover - 11" and 15”- to allow several mounting combinations.

73
KI6FHA
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-613-5473
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2016, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.

Life with a Jeep - Just another mod...

4x4 Wire - Sat, 05/14/2016 - 14:34

Okay, it started with a gasket replacement and escalated from there. Gasket replaced, thermostat housing replaced, fan belt replaced and manual throttle control installed.  And, everything works.

The paint dried and I reinstalled the floor panel over the transmission. That lead to another small item - new transmission shifter boot covering. The original was barely big enough and it was showing signs of stress - the rubber boot was in three pieces. Luckily, the local Pep Boys has the next larger size of universal covering in stock.  Perfect fit.

Categories: Legislation

Wild Horse and Burro Populations Increase

MuirNet - Fri, 05/13/2016 - 11:06
Wild Horses and Burros on Public Rangelands Now 2.5 Times Greater than 1971 when Protection Law Was Passed

BLM seeks to expand initiatives to address problems with new legislative authority

  • 46,000 Horses Already Being Cared for Off-Range
  • Off-Range Care of Unadopted Horses Would Exceed $1 Billion
  • Necessary Horse Gathers Exceed Available Space and Funding

The Bureau of Land Management announced today that as of March 1, 2016, more than 67,000 wild horses and burros are roaming Western public rangelands – a 15 percent increase over the estimated 2015 population.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

My Pajero "Evolution" - Finding a Unicorn

4x4 Wire - Fri, 05/13/2016 - 09:09

My decision to begin a search for the rare and unique Pajero Evolution was fraught with peril. Being a limited production homologation model, with only 2500 ever produced, were there actually any parts that crossed over to the mass-market Pajero, beyond the obvious things like sheetmetal and glass? Beyond this pressing question, could I still find one in decent shape, 18 years on, that was ready for export? Finally, would I have to pay a king's ransom to actually ensnare the beast?

Some of the parts compatibilities have still yet to be answered, but, in a virtual sense, I was able to cross over some part numbers to the "normal" Pajero/Montero, such as maintenance items on the MIVEC 3.5L. I also found out that the front brakes were the same ones that the third generation model used. A few hits like this convinced me that my search wasn't entirely irresponsible, and I began my search in earnest, anxious to discover answers to my last two questions - availability and affordability.

After watching the JDM auctions for six months or so, several things became crystal clear: 

A. I wasn't going to have the pick of the litter. Of the 80 to 100 pajeros available in a given week, there might be ONE PajEvo, or none, depending on the moon cycle and the shape of the clouds hovering over Mount Fuji. 

B. Procuring a manual transmission model (my secret yearning) was going to be almost impossible. If the slushbox was rare, it was downright ubiquitous alongside its three-pedalled sister, of which I saw exactly two in all the time I was looking.

...
Categories: Legislation

Life with a Jeep

4x4 Wire - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 12:32

While cycling through vehicles to check fluid levels, hoses, and belt condition, I noted seepage from the thermostat housing on my YJ. No problem, I had a couple gaskets and it was time to swap the stock housing for the hi-flow thermostat housing that has been taking up shelf space for several years. And, while I'm at it, a new fan belt as the one on is cracking and showing signs of wear.

Categories: Legislation

Historic Drought Helps Predict How Climate Change Might Affect an Endangered Species

MuirNet - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 10:09
Extreme 2012-2014 drought a "crystal ball" into future climate change

The Bureau of Land Management, the University of California at Santa Cruz, and The Nature Conservancy announce the release of a new study documenting the negative effects of the 2012-2014 drought, the most severe multi-year drought in southwestern North America in the past 1200 years, on an endangered lizard in the San Joaquin Desert of California. The results provide a unique glimpse into the potential effects of future droughts expected in California as a result of climate change, and provide guidance on how to buffer these negative effects to avoid species extinction.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

Tourism to Mojave National Preserve Creates Nearly 43 million in Economic Benefits in 2015

MuirNet - Wed, 05/11/2016 - 09:34

A new National Park Service (NPS) reports shows that 589,156 visitors to Mojave National Preserve spent $33,720,400 in communities near the park in 2015. That spending supported 486 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $42,746,200.

"Mojave National Preserve welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," Superintendent Todd Suess said. "We are delighted to share the story of this place and the experiences it provides. We feature the park as a way to introduce our visitors to this part of the country and all that it offers."

Superintendent Suess said the report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy, returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service, and that this spending is a big factor in the local economy as well. "We appreciate the partnership and support of our neighbors, and we are glad to be able to give back by helping to sustain local communities," he said.

Read More ...

Categories: Legislation

My Pajero "Evolution"

4x4 Wire - Thu, 05/05/2016 - 20:17

I began my Mitsubishi 4x4 obsession in 1995 with a 4 cylinder, 1988 Dodge Raider (a badge-engineered Mitsubishi Montero SWB). This was after years of admiring its unique, boxy form, in a country (Canada) where they were a virtual unknown. Over the next 20 years I would own many variants of this theme: an 89 V6 Raider, followed by a long wheelbase Montero of the same year, and then two JDM import diesels. The first was a second generation SWB Pajero 2.5 diesel, and then a 93 2.8 LWB diesel. My sixth one took me upmarket to a North American 3rd generation Montero, which my wife promptly claimed as "her truck". Additionally, my satisfaction with Mitsubishi reliability lead me to branch out into cars as well, having six cars in this time.

  

All these vehicles ticked different boxes, from bushwackers, to tow vehicles, to rock crawlers to daily drivers, as well as people, bike and kayak haulers. 

I was ready to tick another box.

Categories: Legislation

Bears Follow their Noses, so You Should Follow these Tips

4x4 Wire - Wed, 05/04/2016 - 10:09

May 3, 2016 - With an estimated 35,000 bears, California has a healthy and growing black bear population. In spring hibernating bears emerge from their winter slumber and begin an almost perpetual search for food. It is not uncommon for a black bear to consume up to 20,000 calories a day. Unfortunately, this search can sometimes lead bears into populated areas and conflicts with humans.

Categories: Legislation

Win a Complete Wrangler Overhaul worth $15,000 in Fully Installed Modifications

4x4 Wire - Mon, 05/02/2016 - 11:18

ExtemeTerrain is giving one lucky winner the ability to completely overhauling their rig by providing both game-changing parts and a complete installation

MALVERN, Pa. (April 26, 2016) – ExtremetTerrain.com, a leading aftermarket Jeep Wrangler parts supplier, is celebrating the change of seasons with their biggest overhaul prize pack ever. They are giving one lucky winner the ability to reinvent their Wrangler from the ground up, creating a dream build. Participants can enter weekly at http://www.extremeterrain.com/custom-jeep-wrangler-build-sweepstakes.html now through the end of August, 2016.

Categories: Legislation

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