California Huge OHV Victory
Future Secured by Bipartisan Legislation
BLUERIBBON COALITION/SHARETRAILS.ORG MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 19, 2017
Contact: Don Amador, 925-625-6287
FUTURE OF OHV RECREATION IN GOLDEN STATE SECURED BY PASSAGE OF BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION
POCATELLO, ID (September 19, 2017) – State lawmakers in Sacramento recently passed Senate Bill 249 that permanently reauthorizes the California OHV Program. This historic vote-which also included Senate Bill 159, a companion bill that contained the funding structure for the program-had precedent setting broad support from both the conservation and OHV communities.
The BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org (BRC) was part of a diverse OHV stakeholder group that championed the current OHV program managed by the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division (OHMVRD) that is an important member of the California State Park family.
Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org, stated, “As a member of the 2007 drafting team that helped create the SB 742-based current program, I believe passage of the new SB 249 legislation honors the spirit and intent of our program that has been heralded as a national model for environmentally responsible OHV recreation.”
“I believe a lot of credit goes to the thousands of OHV enthusiasts, partners such as county sheriffs, and non-profit conservation groups, who took time to write letters and/or make phone calls to legislators and the Governor stating their strong support for the current program that granted monies to maintain trails, support law enforcement, open new riding areas and trails, fund important restoration projects, and pay for valuable rider education programs,” Amador continued.
“Credit should also be given to Senator Ben Allen, author of SB 249, for listening to concerns voiced by the OHV coalition, partners, and rural communities about how changes needed to be made to the original bill as that early version was simply too costly because it imposed an unwarranted level of additional environmental studies, reviews, and reports. The OHV Commission and State Park leadership also had key roles in helping resolve contentious issues with early versions of SB 249,” Amador concluded.
The OHV community and our conservation partners should be proud of the passage of this legislation that finally removes the sunset and makes our OHV program a permanent fixture at State Parks. We look forward to Governor Brown signing these bills in the near future.
For those of you that are regular followers of this site, this upgrade is a direct result of the bear getting my food earlier this summer.
I picked up a trailer box from Harbor Freight, yeah I know not the best quality but I’m just going to abuse it. I have an unusually long bar for my hitch. Even with the box I can jack knife the Jeep and trailer and not hit the box.
I just bolted and welded up a couple of piece of angel iron for support and there she sits. I’ll pull it apart and clean the edges and paint it later.
So, as long as I have the trailer with me, I have a safe place to store my food. It’ll be good for storing tarps, tie downs and other stuff.
A little back story, the current system in place to provide funds for OHV trail maintenance, among other things, through green sticker funds was due to sunset or go away. The bill needed to be re-approved, preferably without a sunset date.
Before a pro-OHV bill could be drafted, the anti-OHV people got a bill (actually more than one) drafted dumping the program and benefitting their anti-OHV agenda.
Here is the latest on the possible loss of our OHV grant funding program…
Update on SB 249: with a lot of help and support from many members and supporters of the OHV community, something we initially thought may be impossible has actually been achieved!
Just a few short months ago, we never would have believed we could take out 90% of the objectionable components of SB 249, and rewrite the bill using current law as the basis moving forward. From that point on, our coalition worked with the OHMVR Division looking for improvements to environmental reporting and monitoring of SVRA’s, which will help defend our parks from frivolous lawsuits in the future. SB 249 now calls for removing the sunset, giving us a permanent OHMVR program and grants program both protected by statute!
All because of your calls and communications to your legislators, and justified anger at the original language in SB 249, we were able to convince the author and his sponsors to work collaboratively with us to craft an OHV bill. There is little left in the current SB 249 that was originally contained in the bill, although there are some compromises that won’t hurt the program but benefit the environmental community. We’ve evaluated every word in these bills to make sure there is no hidden language that could hurt our parks, our access or our grant funding to the best of our ability. It’s been a lot of hard work by a united OHV community that brought us to this point.
Now we need you to support both SB 249 and SB 159, the associated bill that renews the greensticker registration program. Call your legislators, and please ask them to support the current versions of these bills with amendments because the author worked collaboratively with OHV representatives to craft a bill the OHV community supports.
I’ve attached the two draft letters written in cooperation of the OHV community stating our united support for SB 249 and SB 159. I am asking all of you to use your contacts with local politicians, law enforcement and county government, along with your elected legislative officials ,and ask them to support both SB 249 and SB 159.
It is very important we get the votes in the legislature to pass both these bills so we get a permanent OHMVR program!
Please contact me with any questions or concerns. I wouldn’t pass along this request unless I firmly believed in these bills.
California Off-Road Vehicle Association
Draft letters attached
So here is where we need to support those working so hard to allow us to got wheeling. Email, write and call your elected officials. It doesn’t take much to figure out who your representatives are and to send them an email.
Send an email in your name, your spouse’s name, your kids names, your dog’s name. Flood their office with letter of support for these two bills.
It’s your right. Fight for it or lose it.
Yesterday, I received an email from a forest service employee boasting some great trail work on the Richardson Lake Trail up to Sourdough Hill. The only pictures he included were those of trails demolished and covered in trees and brush. I was horrified!
The series of pictures looked like this…
The next morning, I was up at 5:15am and out by 6:15am to get to the trail to see what the Forest Service had done to one of my trails.
Although the Forest Service had blocked off the last climb to the summit of Sourdough Hill, they had put in a switch back and more than a quarter mile of new trail.
For those of you who’ve never been there, here is a photo of the old route. This does not give you the idea of how steep this trail was originally. The ruts show previous wheel spinning and rain runoff causing erosion.
The old trail can be seen on the right side of the next picture, the new route goes from left to right in front of my Jeep. This reroute was warranted as the old route was a steep, loose, rocky, rutted trail that was causing erosion and was not safe as shown in the previous picture.
A better look up the trail after the switchback…
Here is another look up the blocked off ‘hill climb’…
Up from the switchback…
Back in to the trees. Note the trees cut down in order to create this new trail.
Nearing the summit. Those familiar with the trail should know the radio hut is to your left in this picture. You used to come up to the summit with the hut on your right.
The parking area is the same as before you just approach it from the bottom not the top.
Here is a shot of where the trail used to come up. (The radio hut to my left.)
Poser shot at the summit! A selfie if you count the shadow.
Views on the way down.
Hats off to the Forest Service for the reroute but I need to talk to my contact about communicating the entire story with more pictures.
Okay, honestly, I don’t need rock rings. My driving style, type of wheels and the trails I run don’t require rock rings.
But I met Tyler, of Total Metal Innovations, at Sierra Trek. He was a vendor selling his wares and supporting Cal4. He donated three fires rings to the raffle that were sold as a live auction. They brought in about $700. Well, he quoted me a price on a custom set of rings I couldn’t refuse. (I did not getting a deal because I’m posting this online. He has no idea I was going to do this.)
I picked up the rings at his shop in Oregon. I was up there for a wedding on the 19th with no idea there was an eclipse on the 21st. Luckily, I avoided most of the traffic on my way out of town.
Now I need to pick up a set of new wheels, have them welded up and re-powder coated. They might see the trail in 2018.
Tyler will be at future OHV events, look for him or give him a call if you need anything for your rig.