News (blog)

Welcome to HHORA news, updates, articles and other information relevant to the off road community.
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  • Thursday, July 14, 2022 6:36 PM | Danielle Garcia (Administrator)

    My brother, Tom, was riding his new Husky 350 at the park between 9:30AM and 11:30AM and didn't come home for lunch.  His wife and daughter went up to the park about 2pm and called my son TJ.  He told them to go inform the rangers.  TJ called Greg (also my son), Topper (my husband), Jason Gonzales, Danny Bawdon, Jake Mahler while Greg called Brad Reichers, John Montes, Trevor Guerra, Harry Tapley, Kelley Ghione, and Austin Underwood.  Kathy Hensley who was at the park also volunteered.  When I was told he was missing, I called the park about 2:30PM and told the park aid that he likes to ride the troll trails and the Renz.

    Sgt. Ranger Scott Struckman started the search with Chris Silverberg, District Special Event Coordinator, and Ranger Adam Lucero on bikes while he was in a side-by-side.  They started in the Renz.  Off duty riding rangers Eric Hanson and Jesse Norton were called in and Kyle McClaflin, park employee, rode with them.  They headed for the troll trails.  It took most of the people that were called about an hour to get to the park.  All had come and got radios along with areas to search by about 4pm from Jen Grady, an off duty ranger that was called in by Scott Struckman.

    While I was sitting at the entrance of the park, to point the volunteers to the HHORA building where the command center was set up, I spoke with Wes Gray, Dist. Natural Resource Manager.  I told him that Tom liked to ride the area at the end of North Canyon, so Wes took a crew of about three of his employees and walked that area.  I don't ride anymore, so I jus talked with park visitors to see if any had seen him and relayed information to Tom's wife and daughter.  Carla Bawdon was with me supporting the effort.

    Honestly I thought that everything was moving too slowly, but I soon realized that slowing down to have a good plan was actually saving time in finding Tom.  Ranger Jen Grady and Sgt. Scott Struckman were fantastic.  They had great training and showed areas to search, gave each team a radio and instructions on how to report where he was found so they would have G.P.S. coordinates.  They called for CHP air support.  They even had someone trying to locate Tom's cell phone and satellite emergency device.  Eddie Gauracha, Park Superintendent, was observing and he should be very proud of all the park staff's performance.

    Tom was found by Trevor and Kathy on Mystic trail about 5:30PM.  He had to have been there, without water, for at least six hours.  His water had leaked out on the ground.  He was sitting in the shade and his bike was on its stand.  He said that he had worked to get the bike back on the trail after going off and then felt his heart racing.  He did have heart medication and took it, but then realized he had suffered a stroke.  When they found him he had slurred speech and couldn't use his right arm.  He had his phone and device but was unable to get to them and they were turned off.  Ranger Jen Grady took the AMR paramedic to him ASAP.  The CHP helicopter refueled and then came back to lift him out of the steep terrain.  They landed on the TT track and the Medical helicopter landed to pick him up.  He is home now doing well.  His speech is back and is doing physical therapy for his hand.

    THANK YOU everyone at the park and all the volunteers that came to help.  This was great TEAMWORK! 


    Margie Ghione

  • Wednesday, March 01, 2017 4:27 PM | Danielle Garcia (Administrator)

    This question has been asked more frequently by park visitors recently, and for good reason. Over the past year, the park’s trail crew has been installing gates along specific trails throughout the park (Olive Orchard, Lake, Rancho Road, etc). The gates are not meant to close trails permanently, but are used to limit public access to trails when they are being maintained, either with heavy equipment or by the park’s trail crew, or to close trails during wet weather. The ability to effectively close trails during maintenance activities is essential to promoting safety for park visitors and park employees. Maintenance activities can vary from one piece of heavy equipment, like a road grader or bull dozer, to a whole crew of workers brushing a trail. Being able to close the trail allows work to be carried out safely and efficiently. Wet weather closures are integral to the management of the trail system at the park. Due to the local geology, the park is split into two main soil types. Trails that are predominately clay-based are closed during wet weather. Clay-based trails are nearly impassable when wet, even with small amounts of rain.  Of paramount concern is public safety. If a rider wrecks and is in need of medical attention, wet or muddy trail conditions can significantly delay or even endanger the first responders. Additionally, riding on muddy trails damages the tread surface which causes the trail to hold water for a longer duration in ruts and low spots.


    Scott Soares

    Environmental Scientist

    California State Parks

    San Andreas District

    Hollister Hills Sector

  • Tuesday, April 05, 2016 12:43 PM | Danielle Garcia (Administrator)

    L to R: Don Bastien, USFS (former DPR ranger); Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell; Rick LeFlore, DPR; Donna McGuire, DPR; Don Schmidt, DPR (Photo by: U.S. Department of the Interior)

    The dedication of a new national monument is a momentous occasion, the culmination of years of hard work and preservation. Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument was recognized with a formal dedication ceremony on March 19, 2016 at the Bureau of Land Management’s Cowboy Camp.

    In attendance were many local and national dignitaries including U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, U.S. Representatives Mike Thompson and John Garamendi, California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird, along with hundreds of conservation leaders and supporters. Designated by President Obama in July 2015, the newest national monument balances resource protection with multi-use recreation.  It took years of cooperative efforts among many different public agencies and private partnerships, including California State Parks, to protect this beautiful slice of California as a national monument for all of us.

    The event organizers invited the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHV) to provide an interpretive booth in order to highlight the continued OHV recreational opportunities previously established in this area. Approximately 700 people visited the centrally-located booth and participated in interactive programs to learn about safe and responsible off-highway vehicle recreation. The OHV staff had the pleasure to give Secretary Jewell a personal tour of the booth that supports the efforts of this newly designated public land. 

  • Thursday, April 23, 2015 9:51 PM | Anonymous
    Everyone knows that Mother Nature’s northwestern wind has created the vast sand dunes in Central California over thousands of years ago, but did you know that these sand dunes are also one of the main attractions for the relatively new and rapidly growing sport of kite-surfing? Every spring, the warming inland temperatures create a natural condition of strong onshore wind that is legendary and anticipated by many on the Central Coast. Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) sees less Off Highway Vehicle activity during these windy periods as the park is visited by another type of recreational enthusiast taking advantage of the predictable winds. Over the last two weekends, Oceano Dunes SVRA has hosted kite surfing special events including safe kiting seminars, product demonstrations, and classes. This yearhe event drew big name sponsor Red Bull and was very well attended. Park employees were on hand to ensure that the visitors had a safe and enjoyable recreational experience.  kite 6 Photo taken by State Park Peace Officer Ranger Robert Mullins while on patrol kite 4 Photo courtesy State Park Peace Officer Ranger Robert Mullins 

  • Saturday, April 11, 2015 6:00 PM | Anonymous
    Hollister Hills SVRA staff celebrated volunteers and Hollister Hills Off-Road Association Board Members at the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner and Awards Ceremony April 11. For years, employees have cooked and served dinner to the parks’ volunteers to show our deep appreciation for all the 4,644 hours of hard work they do throughout the year. Volunteers serve as: Trail Patrol, assisting park staff with first aid , searching for missing riders and vehicle recovery,Trail Watch,  monitoring trail conditions, and assisting with trail repairs and improvements as well as Interpretation and Education. Volunteers also help with special events. In addition, Local eagle scouts built several new picnic ramadas in the park. Hollister Hills Off-Road Association board members also attended the event after an entire day of working to put on one of their four annual events to raise money for the park and  providing family fun for  visitors. The funds raised from these events provide the funds to pay for the dinner and awards each year. 2014 Volunteer of the Year Awards:Danny Gray for Trail PatrolBlair Rothwell for Trail WatchDes Hughes for Interpretation and Education Special Recognition: Joe and Dee GomesSpecial Recognition Silver Dirt Bike Charm: Matthew Allen, Acting Sector Superintendent; Hollister Hills SVRA From all of the staff at Hollister Hills SVRA we would like to once again thank our volunteers for their tireless work in helping make Hollister Hills the fantastic park it is. DSC_0231 Pictured from left to right: Supervising Ranger Jeff Reed; Danny Gray, Trail Patrol volunteer; Wes Gray Sr. Environmental Scientist (acting); Blair Rothwell, Trail Watch Volunteer; Des Hughes, Interpretation and Education Volunteer; and Debi Cable, Hollister Hills SVRA Volunteer Coordinator

  • Wednesday, January 14, 2015 6:41 PM | Anonymous
    We hope you enjoy reading this article. We work hard to provide family friendly events. Proud moment for HHORA. Happy reading! Read full article (pages 40-41)
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014 12:52 PM | Anonymous

    Family-Themed Huckfest Happens Without a Hitch

    Huckfest photoThousands of spectators and off-highway racers gathered at Oceano Dunes SVRA for the 6th annual truck-jumping contest known as “Huckfest.” The event, held on October 17 and 18, 2014, was a huge success.

    Huckfest started in 2008 as a small dune jumping competition amongst truck enthusiasts. Organized by brothers Manuel and Johnny Garner from Nipomo, CA, Huckfest draws fans and competitors from around the world. As the event became more popular, the organizers added live music, concessions, vendors, and exhibitions. The event is especially popular with families, who camp out, barbeque, and enjoy the festivities all weekend.

    Bands kicked off the event on Friday. On Saturday morning, competitors test-drove their vehicles to prepare for the afternoon contest. Each competitor performed three measured jumps off a sand dune ramp. The vehicle with the longest recorded jump won the highly-coveted bragging rights. During breaks, monster truck and motorcycle exhibitions kept the crowd entertained. Mike Higgins of Michigan was the overall winner with a distance of 146 feet.

    Huckfest PhotoWhile the growing popularity of Huckfest provides an economic boon to the region, it puts a strain on park resources and the community. This year, a multiagency planning team worked over a 10-month period to address concerns about traffic, environmental compliance, and visitor expectations. The extra planning efforts paid off and resulted in a safe and fun-filled event that created a wealth of community support and interest. [10/29/14] 

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    The 4th Annual Carnegie SVRA Visitor Appreciation Day was a great success. Approximately 980 visitors attended the family-friendly event, which was filled with fun activities, special rides, and vendor displays.

    Sector Superintendent Randy Caldera kicked off the event on Saturday, October 18, 2014, with a night ride through the park. Riders and drivers enjoyed views of a spectacular night sky and the Central Valley lights from the Carnegie hills. On Sunday, San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott addressed event attendees and enjoyed the 4x4 hillclimb demonstrations. Visitors were treated to free raffle tickets for generous prizes.

    Carnegie SVRA staff and the California Off-Road Association (CORVA) hosted fun activities for kids and families. Programs focused on the TreadLightly!® principlesundefinedTravel Responsibly, Respect the Rights of Others, Educate Yourself, Avoid Sensitive Areas, Do Your Part. Activities included a safety gear relay race and an obstacle course for radio-controlled jeeps. Kids also rode the ATV safety simulator while at the OHMVR Division’s booth.

    Carnegie SVRA staff would like to thank our vendors for coming out, our partner support, and especially the raffle donations. We’re looking forward to doing this again next year! of Carnegie SVRA Visitor Appreciation Day
  • Sunday, October 12, 2014 1:00 PM | Anonymous

    Hollister Hills SVRA staff and our #iloveyoucabear "Hollister Bear" participated in the 25th Annual San Benito County Red Ribbon Run this past Saturday. Park staff did an awesome job in both the running and walking categories while Hollister Bear just posed for the camera.

  • Sunday, August 03, 2014 4:19 PM | Anonymous

    On July 12th, members of the 40 Plus Vintage Racing club volunteered their time to give Hollister Hills SVRA’s  donated motorcycles some much needed maintenance. 

    The bikes got their carbs cleaned, tires changed, and new hoses, cables and wires. 

    After learning that the bikes were going to be used in the upcoming Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) component of the San Benito County Police Athletic League Youth Leadership Program, Hollister Hills volunteer Frank Vest organized the bike work day with fellow club members. 

    When club member Brian Riley (pictured here) heard about these young kids who want to be future mentors and leaders to San Benito County youths, he felt it was important to come out and help out.  “It’s all about the kids” said Brian who also came out with his son. 

    Thank you to Hollister Hills Volunteer Frank and Paula Vest and the Vintage 40 Plus Racing Club for getting those bikes ready for the next Off Highway Police Athletic League (OHPAL) MSF class.

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