Off-Road Enforcement Team
Public Notice: The Sheriff's Office is requesting authorization to apply for grant funds to offset the cost of enforcement efforts on public and protected lands in the Knoxville Recreation Area of Northern Napa County. This area is commonly used by off-road vehicles, campers, hunters and trespassers. Such areas are inaccessible to conventional patrol vehicles and pose a significant delay in response time. This additional funding, if received, will enhance the current Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHV) Team in acting as first responders to medical emergencies in remote unincorporated areas and provide the ability to enforce laws on public and private lands pertaining to off-road vehicle use, trespassing, possession and use of illegal firearms and garbage dumping.
The grant award, in an amount up to $72,624, has a 25% match which is partially offset by approximately $14,000 in Off Highway Vehicle License Fees received annually. Grant funds will be used for reimbursement of salaries, benefits and overtime for law enforcement efforts this isolated area of the County, along with materials and supplies such as emergency equipment, water and servicing of current equipment. Matching funds can be used toward the purchase of protective equipment such as gloves, radio equipped helmets and riding boots and to send OHV team members to the California POST mandated 80-Hour Dual Sport Motorcycle Operator School.
The public comment period related to this funding commences on March 2, 2021 and ends on May 3, 2021. Please visit https://ohv.parks.ca.gov for further information or to provide feedback.
Personnel & Program Start
The Off-Road Enforcement Team comprises 9 Sheriff's Office personnel who patrol the rural public lands of Napa County on an overtime basis. Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission. Matching funds for the grant are provided by the Napa County Sheriff's Office yearly budget. The team was created in response to complaints received from the public regarding the criminal activity occurring on the public lands inside of Napa County, specifically the "lawless behavior" occurring on the public lands of the Knoxville Recreation Area.
The Off-Road Enforcement Team primarily focuses its patrol efforts on the public lands of the Knoxville Recreation Area. This is an isolated area located in the far northeast corner of Napa County and the southeast corner of Lake County. The Knoxville public lands are the only legal OHV area in Napa County. This land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management which is assisted by the Napa County Off-Road Enforcement Program. These lands are approximately two hours driving time from the City of Santa Rosa and ninety minutes from the City of Napa.
Knoxville contains more than sixty miles of roads and trails, many of which are suited for ATV and motorcycle use. Developed and dispersed camping is permitted on the public lands of Knoxville. These public lands are used by recreation enthusiast for hunting, off-road recreation, camping, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding. Conflicts sometimes arise between the different recreational groups.
The goal of the Napa County Sheriff's Office Off-Road Enforcement Team is to ensure public safety and environmental preservation of these lands. The Off-Road Enforcement Team accomplishes this by working closely with the Bureau of Land Management and the community.