Interest To The Off Road Community
June 26, 2007
ATV Riders Look For New Regulations
At least one news organization feels that all of the ATV related injuries and
deaths could lead to new laws banning ATV use by kids. As this article states
"Richland emergency room doctor Steven Kincaid supports banning children
from riding ATVs". In just one weekend in March this year , two children
were killed and there were 25 others injured. With those kinds of numbers, state
legislators are going to start looking into sterner regulations.
ATV Park for Kentucky?
southeastern Kentucky private land owners have been reported as having said that
they want to organize the largest ATV park in the nation. We think they may be
a little late! There is Black Mountain Recreation Area (approx. 6,000 acres) already
operating there and we have been told by state agents that there is a group of
16 Kentucky counties looking to create a multi-county OHV trail system that would
tie into the Black Mountain park as well as the Hatfield-McCoy trail system in
West Virginia eventually. This would definitely become the largest ATV trail system
in the nation. We just don't see how private landowners could compete with that!
Like We Said, ATVs Are Good For The Economy!
this article's title says "ATVs are boosting small town economies".
In West Virginia they are reaping the benefits of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System.
An economic impact study conducted by Marshall University found that between 2000
and 2005, the trail generated $7.2 million in direct spending and approximately
146 jobs in the nine-county area of the trail
a business and economic research executive at Marshall put it “We didn’t realize
until we got into this study about off road vehicles and how there is a phenomenal
growth in outdoor enthusiasts...The industry is literally exploding.” We've been
saying this for a couple of years now and we don't understand why some local politicians
fight it. It can be extremely good for your area! Go ATV.
Politician Says Forest Service Went To Far
US Forest Service's recently adopted new policy limiting ATV use to 40 miles of
designated trails in the Ouachita National Forest in LeFlore County drew some
fire from Senator Kenneth Corn. The Senator was reported saying, "Hunters
won't be able to park their four-wheelers on the road and walk to a hunting location,
and they won't be able to use a four-wheeler to drag a kill if it isn't on the
designated trail. The new policy presents plenty of problems and no apparent benefits.....The
fact that they didn't allow the public to have input into this policy decision
is just wrong...It's the public that keeps and preserves this forest - our tax
dollars enable the Ouachita National Forest to be maintained for the public to
enjoy. Any policy that has such a strong impact on how forest lands can be used
should be made only with the input of the public."
say here, here Senator! You now have earned our support and the support of those
in Oklahoma who believe the Forest Service has gotten ridiculous. Unfortunately,
this is being played out all over these United States. The Forest Service in some
cases is allowing public input before making their decisions, but we do not believe
it is truthful. We believe the decisions are already made and they are merely
putting on a show in an attempt to sell us that they were unbiased and fair.
RI May Get New ATV Park
Users Create Some Noise
the anti's want a say in how forest lands should be used then let them pay a fee
as well! Every time they want money to manage the land they want to pass fees
onto OHV users. As the article states we already pay fees. As the author puts
it "Williams and other "recreation purists" are so blinded by their anti-motorized
bias that they can't fathom why Colorado's motorheads would oppose new fee areas.
The reason is because OHV users are already paying a fee for using their vehicles
in Colorado. The fee is in the form of a registration paid to the Colorado state
Off-Highway Vehicle program. Combined with a portion of the gas tax OHV users
pay, these funds are made available to federal land managers to maintain the roads
and trails OHV users use. Unlike purists like Williams, who resent paying any
fee whatsoever, Colorado's OHV users have already paid, and we resent paying twice."
say to the "purists" put up your money or shut up!
BLM Area's Proposed Travel Management (See Trail Closures)
Four travel management alternatives for surrounding Bureau of Land Management
land, including one proposed option, were presented at a public meeting in Poncha
Springs. The 3-year-in-the-making
travel management plan outlines travel methods allowed on the 75 mile stretch
of BLM land between Canon City and Buena Vista for motorized and non-motorized
travel. The four alternatives range from no action (this is by far the one we
favor!), a supposedly high-impact alternative (we could live with this one), a
low impact (drastic trail reductions which we hate) and a between the two extremes
option (which we hate but not as much as the low-impact one). The public is invited
to provide written comment on the alternatives up to August 3, 2007. Let your
voice be heard! Following a month-long review period, BLM officials will then
issue their final decision. Why are they even asking? They have already made up
their minds and this is just a dog and pony show to temper reaction to it.
Under the no action alternative OHV use would be allowed to continue on existing
roads and trails and OHV open designation for the Grand Canyon Hills, Texas Creek,
Sand Gulch and Turkey Rock areas would remain. New routes proposed by OHV groups
would not be considered. This would continue to allow OHV use on approx. 232 miles
high impact option would keep all existing mapped trails but the OHV open designations
in the Grand Canyon Hills, Texas Creek and Sand Gulch areas would be changed to
OHV limited to designated roads, trails and vehicle type. New OHV areas would
be established at Turkey Rock and Reese Gulch for use by trail bikes only. This
option would add 7.3 miles of ATV/motorcycle trails and 11.8 miles of single-track
motorcycle trails north of Texas Creek. And this is high-impact? This option provides
219 miles of OHV trails. We lose 13 miles of trails and open designations in 3
main areas and it is considered high-impact?! I hate to tell you folks, but this
is the best that we can hope for in this mess and it doesn't look that good!
low-impact alternative, which is what I'm netting we get, changes the OHV open
designations in the Grand Canyon Hills, Texas Creek and Sand Gulch areas would
be changed to limited to designated roads and trails, and a number of existing
trails would be closed. This option provides 135 miles of OHV trails and no open
House Passes New ATV Regulations
new set of regulations is set to go into effect in 2014. The regulations includes
a permit process requiring adult ATV riders to pass a training course and obtain
a user permit before riding on public land, unless they have at least five years
experience and pass an equivalency test. The new regulations also will require
riders under 16 to go through training and obtain a permit beginning in 2009.
It also requires ATV riders under the age of 18 to fasten the chin straps on the
helmets they are required to wear by existing law. The proposed regulation is
now moving into the Senate for review. We look for a growing number of regulations
to come out of Oregon regarding ATV use.
Over ATV Use and Laws Wages On In Minnesota
this article puts it "Contentious, might be the best word to describe ATV
issues the past few years." We agree. The Minnesota legislature has been
busy this year battling over ways to control what ATV-antis have called runaway
environmental abuse (what do you expect form these people? Everything is going
to end the world! We ought to go out and by them signs that says "The End
of the World is Near!") by ATVs. The lawmakers made a new set of laws regarding
ATV use, but just about everyone is unhappy with the end result. ATV enthusiasts
wanted more while the critics laid some wild claims once again about how the laws
leave the forests vulnerable to severe damage (is there any other kind? Do you
ever get tired of listening to these wackos? If we weren't at the damaging end
of their ridiculous diatribes, it would be extremely entertaining.)
2005 law made it where ATV riders in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota could
only go on trails that were posted open, but in the northern 1/3 of the state
where almost 75% of the state forest land is located, ATVs could go on any existing
trail unless it was posted that it was closed. There was a loophole created by
this 2005 law, however. The loophole meant that in the northern state forests
people could ride on virtually any trail, even new trails made illegally. The
result in some forests was a fairly extensive network of new trails. So in 2006
the legislature set out to fix the problem, but produced a mess of a result. The
end result meant that starting in 2009 you could only ride on trails legally in
the north that were listed and mapped on a DNR-made map that would identify legal
trails. It was easily apparent to anyone with half a brain that this was not going
to work. Maps are hard enough to read regarding some rural roads, but to have
to read one to determine legal operating status on off-road trails would be extremely
difficult if not impossible.
after the new law was agreed upon. The DNR came forward with a sizable problem.
There hundreds of miles of trails that did not and would not appear on the DNR's
new map. They're access routes that cross over county or private land and these
routes connect to hunting land, logging sites or private property. For that reason,
the DNR doesn't want to publicize the trails by putting them on a map, but the
general public and landowners need for those unmapped trails to remain open and
legal. So a compromise was reached stating to that effect. The antis were immediately
up in arms about and in-the-know ATVers let out a small sigh of relief. Look for
more battles over ATV use in Minnesota next year.
A Journalist Sticks Up For Us!
Grass writer for the Desert Morning News wrote a very good article, which points
out the negative campaigns against OHV riders citing that there is no positive
news about OHV enthusiast or clubs from those for conservation with "supposedly
no ax to grind!" Mr. Grass may not be in our corner, but he at least has
given us a fair chance for a change. As he puts it about the Wildlands (a conservation
group based in Montana), "What struck me, too, was the whole report focused
on what it called "lawless" riders, yet its very likely at least two of the Utah
photos were taken where off-road riding is legal. What troubled me, too, were
the disclaimers. That all of the information collected was by phone and that there
was no on-the-ground follow-up, so some of the examples ... may not be exactly
indicative of conditions on the ground. .....Nowhere did I find a positive note
with respect to the good work of off-road riders, like trail restoration, re-vegetation
need to get the word out that these "unbiased" groups do have an ax
to grind and that the are not fair in their portrayals about is (OHVers) and all
of the good things we do for conservation. It doesn't help that most of the media
are nothing more than lapdogs sopping up every little piece of garbage these wackos
throw their way. Thank heavens for Mr. Grass!
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