Interest To The Off Road Community
April 25, 2007
Senate Pushing A Bill To Impose Fees On Off-road Vehicles
State senators voted to require owners of off-road vehicles to pay a new
fee for operating the vehicles anywhere on public lands or roads. Bill, HB2443,
would require off-road, recreational and ATVs to have a license issued by the
Arizona Department of Transportation (this would include dirt bikes). The department
would set the fee, which is expected to be around $25 a year. It has been estimated that the new fees would
bring in $6 to $7 million a year in revenue when it is fully implemented in 2009.
County (AL) New Off-Road Park Is Ahead of Schedule
The proposed off-road park is moving forward and with some additional funding,
may actually open a year earlier than planned in 2008. County Attorney, Dan Willingham,
has been reported to say that the purchase of the acreage for the park has been
completed, and that t he county is now looking for funding from the Alabama Department
of Economic and Community Affairs. The money will be used for to develop a master
plan, build a kiosk, a park office where environmental and safety education will
take place, a maintenance building and a parking area.
Fair Is This? PIMA County, AZ Officials Outlaw Off-Road Tracks On Private Property
We thought that this was supposed to be a free country! According to this article,
Ricky Robinson and his sons have ridden their ATVs on a winding track on his 3.3-acre
lot in the Tanque Verde Valley for the last 15 years. Based on this Robinson assumed
he would be grandfathered in when Pima County adopted an ordinance in 2005 barring
off-road vehicle tracks on lots smaller than 10 acres. Well that wasn't the case
He now has found himself in a legal battle with Pima County that could determine
the fate of dozens of off-road enthusiasts who built tracks on their own property
before 2005. It is important to point out that these folks are not running businesses.
They are simply using their land for their own recreational purposes. As the article
points out "The pending lawsuit over his refusal to rip out the track also
calls into question how far government can go to regulate recreational activity
on private property. Is Robinson's track an "accessory use," no different from
riding horses or having a barbecue or any of a hundred activities not listed in
the zoning code that we assume we are allowed to do on our own property? Or is
it more like running an auto-repair shop out of your garage, a business that could
off-road anti's are really fuming mad over all of this. They have complained about
the insistent whine, the snort of revving engines, the dust, the extensive grading
and damage to the desert. And as the article goes on to say "That's how Patricia
Perry felt when she moved in next door to the Robinsons in July 2005. "I would
challenge anyone to come sit on my porch when they are riding and tell me that's
an appropriate use in a residential area," she said. "You could not be outside.""
To which we respond to Ms. Perry, Who was there first and why should you be able
to come in and tell them what to do now? There is something on the books called
property rights and the right of use, What nerve you have to do this. It is like
moving in after an airport is built then having the gall to complain about it!
State Forest (MA) Now Closed To Off-Road Vehicles
The state's decision to close Georgetown-Rowley State Forest to off-road vehicles
was applauded by horseback riders who hate the noise and the danger they report
comes with is, while ORV enthusiasts are upset and claim the closure to be elitist
and discriminatory. The shortage of places to ride in the northeast section of
the state and a shortage of trails to ride in the Georgetown-Rowley area have
helped to make this closure a pretty contentious issue. Riders from the two horse
farms sitting next to the forest have complained of the damage and noise from
ORVs using the trails they were sharing. How should land-use be determined? As
one person in a Letter To The Editor put it, "Look
at numbers to divide use".
National Forest Service Is Considering Closure Of Virtually All Off-Road Trails
in Coconino National Forest (AZ)
Coconino National Forest officials are reportedly considering closing almost all
off-road trails used by motorcycles and ATV vehicles by September 2009. This outrageous
proposed off-road vehicle ban stems from a wacko's interpretation of the national
Forest Service proposal to reportedly "control" motorized cross-country
travel in national forests. Call it what you want, we call it war! It's time for
the off-roaders in Arizona to start flooding their representatives' offices about
Cracking Down On Illegal Off-Roader in Prescott National Forest (AZ)
Law enforcement officials are coordinating several off-road patrols covering the
western part of the Prescott National Forest. They have been issuing tickets for
violations. On one recent Saturday, during impromptu stops, they issued six citations.
The Yavapai County Sheriff's office is conducting patrols in conjunction with
the US Forest Service. They have readily found violators, all of which is not
helping our "right to off-road cause". This does not make us a look
good. Clean it up people!
Road Rage By An Anti!
This is why we really need to police ourselves. If you let it up to those opposed,
they'll strip us of all of our riding privileges. We don't know what they laws
are like in CA, but here if the public has an easement, it has an easement and
the public at large can use it! We'd like to hear from some off-road friendly
Californians about this!
Officials Getting Pressure To Toughen ATV Laws
We say "Watch Out" whenever any official is going to do something to
"help" the safety and well-being of the general public. This article
is definitely pushing stronger laws. As it opens with "STRONGER off-road
laws could have prevented or reduced more than half of injuries reported among
young drivers and passengers of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles..."
We are all for improving safety and use of off-road machines, but do most of these
laws actually have the desired effect? Can you legislate intelligence any more
readily than you can morality?
Cop. Begins Pay-To-Play Plan For Idaho Properties
Corp. began a pay-to-play plan on April 1 on its Idaho land holdings. The fees
include $100 for an annual permit for a motor home, $10 per person per year for
walk-ins, bicyclists and others not covered under the $50 annual fee required
for a car/truck, SUV, camper or camp trailer. Access to the property via ATV,
motorcycle, snowmobile or horse will cost $25 per year. We don't mind companies
doing this as we certainly understand that there are cost issues involved with
having this many folks utilize land. We're just glad that the land will remain
open for use.
Lake (Maine) Concerns Proven Right!
while back we wrote about and linked to an article "Maine's Backcountry Threatened By Elitists and Government Agency" about
a battle in Maine where people were concerned that the bureaucrats sold out the
people's interests to wealthy ideologues. The concerned citizens appear to have
been right all along. As this article puts it "The Maine Legislature claimed
to serve the needs of sportsmen by designating a separate 2,000-acre parcel north
of the lake as public land open to hunting and snowmobiling, we literally can't
get there from here. It's a long ride over roads owned by several private landowners
to get to that 2,000 acres-- and no snowmobile trails will take you there."
Way to go Maine politicians! You really screwed your constituents over! You have
given them 2,000 acres of land to use without any access, and you had to have
known this all along. Maine taxpayers should be going ballistic over this.