Supes approve resolution to designate The Strand for OHV use

At its Tuesday, March 26 meeting, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution designating Lassen County Road 247 — The Strand — for use by off-highway vehicles.

While several Spalding residents expressed concerns about the designation and an event scheduled for this May, two local law enforcement officials said they had reviewed the records and found no reason to oppose the designation.

A patriotic youngster rides his bike on The Strand during the Spalding 4th of July Parade.

The designation, if approved by the Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol, would allow combined use of 1.5 miles of paved Lassen County Road 247 by both motorized vehicles and OHV.

The commissioner could make the designation permanent or contingent upon the approval of the county on an as-needed basis. Lassen County is asking for a permanent designation.

An OHV on The Strand.

CHP Sgt. Mike Majors shared the CHP’s statistics regarding the road. He said since Jan. 1, 2022, there have been four crashes in the Eagle Lake area — one in Spalding, but that crash was unrelated to OHV usage. He said theCHP has received tow complaints regarding OHV events. He reported five incidents in Spalding, but they all involved passenger vehicles. He said there have been no DUI incidents regarding OHV use.

He noted the OHV use would be regulated by the California Vehicle Code and all participants would need to check in and display their OHV sticker. He said most OHV users would use The Strand Road to access other areas, but they would not be allowed to use Lakeview, the road into Spalding.

Another OHV on The Strand.

Lassen County Sheriff John McGarver said he didn’t have any safety concerns regarding the event, and “I don’t have any reason to say no, and I don’t have any concerns based on the law.”

He said the vehicles would be held to a 15 miles-per-hour speed limit.

Another OHV on The Strand during Lassen County’s only 4th of July Parade.

Ken Ward expressed his support for the event because it is good for the community. He said people would be staying in local hotels or in the casino and eight or nine planes frequently fly in for such events.

But Barbara Willard expressed her opposition. She said restroom facilities are not available. She said the marina is leased from the State Lands Authority, and she wondered if this would affect that lease.

William Turner said he lives on The Strand and there are children on tricycles side by side with OHVs, sometimes traveling 70 MPH when they hit the pavement. He also expressed a concern about night riders.

And another OHV on The Strand.

“Everybody in the community should have a say,” he said, and he encouraged the board members to take a look at the road so they could see its condition.

Cheryl Alvernaz said she wasn’t opposed to the event, but she had questions. She said such events tear up the roads and she’s seen several near misses. In addition, she said Spalding has a “Bandaid” on its sewer system and such an event could cause major health and safety issues if it fails.

Lorna Ward, Commander of American Legion Post 162 said she supported the permanent designation.

District 3 Supervisor Tom Neely called Eagle Lake one of the county’s jewels and said the Spalding community was created for recreation.

District 5 Supervisor Jason Ingram, District 2 Supervisor Gary Bridges also expressed their support of the resolution.