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Important Info.
We feel that some articles and information are so important that they should always be accessible. We've listed them below and hope that everyone will read them.

Tellico ORV Area Under Attack

MOAB Under Attack!

US Forest Service Abusing programs and we're losing land use!

Editorial Article about the misuse of Recreation Site Facility Master Planning (RSFMP) program

National Forests Could See Large Closures - enough said!

California OHV Funding At Risk!

Informative Article About The US Government and the Recreation Site Facility Master Plan (RSFMP) program. - a must read!

Articles of Interest To The Off Road Community

August 21, 2007
San Bernadino Anti-ORV Ordinance Draws Fire
This ordinance became law in July of 2006, and it contains the following

  • a process where residents can seek judicial relief from nuisance and harassment (with ridiculous conditions on the ORV user)
  • a requirement that ORV staging (unofficial events) obtain a special use permit (this covers private property and groups of only 9 or more), and the permit application can be challenged by local residents
  • Riders must carry written permission on their person to ride on private property not their own
  • Strict limits on noise at the tailpipe
  • and the ordinance can be enforced by both code enforcement and the Sheriff's department

As one OHV enthusiast has pointed out - "It requires you to apply for a special event permit if you are going to have one OHV running on your property and you happen to have a group of 10 or more people there. The permit has to be applied for weeks in advance, and costs $155.00."

As another OHVer said in a Letter To The Editor of the Hi-Desert Star "Why should we repeal ordinance 3973? Simple answer: It is unconstitutional and preempted by state law. We are only standing up for a Constitutional principle and upholding California state law. It is even harder to figure why Community ORV Watch can’t understand our desire to uphold the law and the Constitution. There are already laws addressing trespass, noise, speed, disturbing the peace, curfew, drunkenness or any number of the problems people have with one another. It is not government’s responsibility to be your mom. Government has no business exercising the power of controlling private property. Private citizens best protect private property. This new 3973 ordinance is just plain wrong. Requiring a permit for a family to assemble on their own land … that’s un-American! Everybody’s goal should be to maintain our right to assemble as a family regardless of OHV activity or number of persons on our private property without government intervention, i.e. permits and inspections of property and vehicles by county code enforcement. I guess when this goes before the courts you and I will know who is right. I understand that several public policy law firms are standing in the wings ready to file suit..."

Under the heat from opponents of this ordinance the San Bernadino County Board of Supervisors is reconsidering Off Road Ordinance 3973 to determine if any modifications should be made.

Somerset County, ME Seeing Benefit of ATVs
The town of Jackman, ME has begun to see the beauty in dirt, that is ATV dirt. The reason is that that thousands of ATV enthusiasts throughout New England and beyond have begun showing up in growing numbers throughout the year and not just in the winter (as snowmobile enthusiasts). The attraction is the 300+ plus miles of designated ATV trails in the Jackman-Moose River region. A statewide effort of creating designated and mapped ATV trails has opened up the area to nonresidents. The rise n ATV tourism is a trend being seen throughout Maine, which has approximately 5,000 miles of designated ATV trails — more than all of the other New England states combined. And, ATV enthusiasts have been adding about a thousand miles of trails a year recently, according to industry sources. The number of ATVs registered in Maine has more than from 1998 to 2003, with over 66,000 ATVs in the state for 2003.

A 2005 analysis by the University of Maine’s Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center estimated that ATVs contribute more than $200 million to Maine’s economy. Many feel that the financial impact is largely due to the expanded trail system.

Unfortunately, not all Maine residents agree that all is well with the ATV tourism. They still cite ATV-related problems. There are trespassing issues on both private and public land. Acadia National Park officials have been battling illegal ATV riding in the park for several years. A small group of riders, believed to be mostly juveniles from local towns, have been making their own trails in the park, damaging small trees and vegetation. Last winter some people riding on ATVs smashed walkway lights in a campground and knocked down a privacy wall near a restroom, causing an estimated $2,000 damage. Local ATV industry groups quickly responded with $500 rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the vandals. Several large landowners remain opposed to ATVs because of persistent damage problems and liability concerns. ATV supporters say that these problems are merely growing pains and will be worked out as the industry and trail system mature.

This is another great example of the benefits of a community/area embracing the ATV community.

Idiots Among Us
Another editorial commentary. Just like every walk of life, the OHV community has a small contingent that act like jerks and bring us all problems. Unfortunately, we are not in a position today to simply ignore them. We must ride herd over them and see to it that they behave. Otherwise, we will deal with the results of their inappropriate actions. Here is just one example of such a deadweight. Recently we found this posting on a discussion forum: "Can I get away with just an ORV sticker and no insurance? .... I just bought a xxxxxxx (we're protecting this idiot for some reason) and I want to use it strictly as a trail rig. Can I just drive it on the road to and from trails without insurance and just an ORV sticker? It seems as though there are hazy laws concerning this."

This is the idiot that gives all of us a bad name.

What a ridiculous question! You know what the law is otherwise you wouldn't have posted (also your term "can I get away with" gives away the fact that you know it is against the law). Thankfully, some responsible individuals on the forum shot down his idea quickly for a number of reasons. And, that is what we all must do when confronted with numbskulls in our sport. Handle them and let them know that their behavior is not acceptable and that we will notify the proper authorities to see to it that they are punished if it continues. There is simply to much at stake to act otherwise. We are facing way to much criticism and negative publicity to allow the idiots to run wild. I know it is really not our jobs to deal with them, but in times of crisis things need to be handled differently. We are under attack from a worthy adversary who knows how to manipulate public opinion. We cannot afford to allow the baggage in our sport to hand them golden PR opportunities. We were glad to see that a number of true off-road enthusiasts replied quickly and without hesitation that his ridiculous proposal was not reasonable, acceptable or legal.

Some Problems Arising In WV on the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System
Residents of the Windmill Gap area have said they feel constantly harassed by irresponsible ATV riders while local business owners relying on ATV users said only a small percentage of riders cause problems. Concerns from both sides of the issue were heard recently during a public hearing in front of the Mercer County Commission. One concerned citizen was quoted as saying “In April 2006, members of the Windmill Gap community addressed the commission about problems with ATVs and dirt bikes....,In February we presented the commission a petition to stop the traffic...We have problems because of safety, insurance, speeding and being unable to hold church on Sundays because we’re unable to hear. We’ve had indecent expressions made to different residents when they asked them [riders] to slow down. They go on property and tear up property.” The citizen also reported that constant noise and other ATV issues bother residents constantly. Another resident stated that numerous ATVs pass through the town at one time. He was quoted as saying “I’ve counted 20 four-wheelers going by my house. That’s going back and forth, back and forth, and that’s three or four o’clock in the morning.”

Another resident told business owners that the community was not trying to stop visitors from hauling ATVs in trailers so they can reach trails, but that t hey were hoping to keep the riders from taking their ATVs onto the paved roadway. The resident was quoted saying “We’re not trying to ruin your business...“We just want peace of mind for us. They come into our yards, and this has been going on for two years straight. The only solution is to get them off the road, and if we have to we’ll go to Charleston (the State Capital).” A store owner said most ATV riders are responsible, but there are 10 percent who cause trouble. He was quoted as saying “Are you going to penalize that 90 percent who don’t do that?......I know how they aggravate people, and we tell them to keep the speed down; of course, you’ve got that 10 percent who won’t listen. Most of our trouble is from local four-wheelers. The people from North Carolina don’t drive 100 miles to tear up property.”

The ATV problems being seen in Mercer County are found in every county in West Virginia, according to Chief Deputy D.B. Bailey. One possible way to address irresponsible ATV use is to require owners to register their vehicles. ATV users do not have to have inspection tags, meet specific equipment requirements or have licenses. Law enforcement officials have no authority over ATVs other than traffic violations such as driving under the influence, reckless driving and speeding. County Commission President Joe Coburn said the commission has not decided what action to take, if any.

Here is a great example of 10% of the people creating problems for everyone, residents and respectful OHVers! What should be done? It is fairly simple to me. Don't penalize everyone. Institute ridiculously heavy fines so that even if you are caught only once, it hurts like hell. This will make the offenders stop and think before acting like idiots.

Pownal, VT Officials Consider Allowing Use of Roads by ATVs That Connect With Trail Systems
The Pownal Select Board is expected to make a decision soon on whether or not to allow legal access to ATVs to use certain town roads that would connect existing ATV trails into a large loop system. Some board members have indicated they favor the proposal from a regional ATV club, and town officials have sought comment from opponents. Emotions and concerns run high on this issue. The Select Board has stated that they will issue their decision soon, but gave no time frame for the announcement.

US Forest Service In Georgia Proposing Annual OHV Pass
The US Forest Service is looking at offering an annual pass for OHV users that visit one of the seven user-fee OHV trails in the Chattahoochee and Oconee National Forests in Georgia. The pass would become available in March 2008, and would allow users unlimited access to the 100+ miles of trails for a 12 month time frame. This would allow users to forgo the present $5.00 a day fee per trail. The Forest Service feels this would be a welcomed deal for heavy users of the OHV trail systems.

Detailed information and maps for the OHV trails can be found at the US Forest Service's website.

Bridgeport, TX Developing A New Off-Road Park
Bridgeport, TX has just recently began opening trails in Northwest Park, a 300 acre OHV and hiking trail park. When the park is completed, it will have , an area for motorized vehicles, an area for non-motorized vehicles such as mountain bikes, a hiking trail system, and a camping area. The city is looking for volunteers to assist in trail development.

Travel Management Plans Come To Texas National Forests and Grasslands In a Big Way!
Citing a projected increase in the use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on national forests and grasslands in years to come, National Forests and Grasslands in Texas Supervisor Fred Salinas is proposing to implement a Forest Service Travel Management Rule regulation on the Angelina, Davy Crockett and Sabine National forests, according to a recent report from the US Forest Service.

The OHV Travel Route Fiasco in Eldorado National Forest Was Impacted By a Lawsuit - Another Greenie Use of the Courts To Push Their Agenda!
As we reported earlier, the recently proposed travel management plan for the Eldorado National Forest has upset many off-road enthusiasts! The Forest Service has proposed a plan to close over 1,000+ miles of popular roads and off-road trails. The Environmental Impact Statement that came out of the Forest Service's study has laid out five possibilities for approximately 2,250 miles of the existing roads and trails. The statement cites resource protection and a proliferation of user-created trails as reasons for the alternatives presented. As stated in the report "In their enjoyment of the National Forest, motor vehicle users have created numerous unauthorized routes...The number of such routes continues to grow each year, with many new routes having environmental impacts and safety concerns that have not been addressed." As we have discussed previously, the trails were not illegally made! When a Forest is open without restriction that means that you can venture wherever you like! How is then doing it illegal?! This is Greenie language being used to make us look bad and turn overall political favor against us.

Every national forest has been instructed to draft a travel management plan, but the completion of Eldorado National Forest's plan was dramatically altered by a 2005 court order that came about from a lawsuit filed by the conservation groups Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, Center for Biological Diversity and the California Wilderness Coalition. The groups filed a challenge to the Forest Service's original analysis of the impact of motorized vehicles on the forest that was originally contained in the 1990 trail management plan. As we have said before, look for more and more of these lawsuits all across the country. The OHV community had better get a legal defense fund going.

Approximately 700 miles of roads and trails in the national forest have been closed since an Aug. 2005 forest supervisor's order. Naturally OHV enthusiasts are upset with these closures, as well as the additional closures and restrictions called for in the newly revised and proposed plan. The summary of the 5 alternatives are:

  • Alternative A (No Action Alternative) -- Use would continue on existing routes, no route designation would take place -- No prohibition on cross-country travel -- No seasonal closure
  • Alternative B -- Allow for public motor vehicle use on 1,121 miles of roads and 241 miles of trails -- Seasonal closure on designated roads and trails from Jan. 1 through March 31 -- Public, cross-country motor vehicle travel prohibited
  • Alternative C -- Allow for public wheeled motor vehicles use on 1,064 miles of roads and 177 miles of trails -- Seasonal closure on designated roads and trails from Nov. 1 through April 30 -- Public, cross-country motor vehicle travel prohibited
  • Alternative D (The Forest Service's preferred alternative) -- Allow for public motor vehicle use on 844 miles of roads and 217 miles of trails -- Seasonal closure on designated roads and trails from Dec. 1 through April 30 -- Public, cross-country motor vehicle travel prohibited
  • Alternative E -- Allow for public motor vehicles use on 752 miles of roads and 136 miles of trails -- Seasonal closure on designated system roads and trails from Jan. 1 through March 31 -- Public, cross-country motor vehicle travel prohibited.

According the Forest Service the final Travel Management Plan will be announced by December 2007 and a complete motor vehicle use map containing the officially designated travel routes will be released some time in 2008. Comments regarding the travel management plans will be accepted until September 4th. We urge you to send your comments to :

Ramiro Villalvazo, Forest Supervisor
100 Forni Road
Placerville, CA 95667
Tel: (530) 622-5061
Fax: (530) 621-5297

Minnesota ATV Training Required for 20 Year Olds* and Younger to Obtain a DNR Certificate
Youths who want to get a Department of Natural Resources certificate to ride ATVs must go through training. The child needs to be at least 11 years old when the class begins. Students will learn safety, riding methods, first aid and riding skills. Anyone born after July 1, 1987, must complete an ATV-CD course written test and field operating class before operating an ATV. Those 11 through 15 must also complete a written test and field operating class. To get a free CD-ROM, call 1-888-646-6367.

*Applies to anyone born after July 1, 1987.

Texas Redneck Games at Pool Ranch in Texas "Out of Control" According to Neighbors
We reported on the upcoming date of these games on our site a few weeks back and thought that the event might be a good time. Well, apparently it was to good of a time, at least according to officials, neighbors and critics. The event was attended by an estimated crowd of 6,000! One of the events was the Mattress Chuck where teams of two chug down a 12-pack of beer, get in a pickup truck and start driving to a designated spot, climb into the bed and throw a mattress as far as possible. According to the local Sheriff's office, by the time the event ended on Sunday, there were more than 54 arrests and citations ranging from charges ranging of public intoxication, speeding and a few others. According to local news media, the Henderson County Sheriff's Department are considering charges against the organizer and landowners where the event was held. Hey, I like a good time as much as anyone, but something like this gives us all a black eye!

Meeting Concerning OHV Use in Santa Fe National Forest Coming Up
Santa Fe National Forest began its third round of public discussions this month concerning the use of ORVs in the national forest. The last scheduled meeting is -

  • Sept. 6 in Los Alamos at Fuller Lodge, for both Española and Los Alamos residents

During these meetings, Forest Service staff members will host public meetings where participants will be able to review and make comment on maps showing trails, roads and current uses in the national forest. The maps were generated from public meetings last year. The U.S. Forest Service has required that all national forests create travel management plans for controlling motorized vehicle access to the lands. Once the roads and trails are formally designated for vehicles and ATVs, all other roads, trails and areas of national forests will be closed to motorized use. The rules will impact ORV e users as well as campers, hunters, fishermen, and others. Based on the outcome of the August public meetings (supposedly the Forest Service staff will listen to what we have to say), Forest Service personnel will draft a proposed list and map of motorized trails and roads. Officials report that this document should be ready for public review in October. New Mexico OHV users need to attend these meetings to make sure their voices are heard.

Other important offroad / OHV / Public Land articles!
Look over all of these important articles and happenings with public land battles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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