The Seventh Annual Carnegie Appropriation Day is coming up on October 22nd 2017

Be there or be square. This is your chance to celebrate Carnegie with friends. Good times… Below are some photos from past Carnegie Appreciation Days.

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The 92nd International Six Days Enduro in Brive-la-Gaillarde, France, where the United States Women’s team got second overall

For the first time, the USA Women’s World Trophy Team is included under the same structure and management as the World Trophy and Junior Trophy teams which is headed by USA ISDE Team Manager, Antti Kallonen. He was Kacy Martinez- Coy’s boss under the KTM banner in her races in the United States. Yes folks this is the big time and every effort was put into making these women competitive.

The Women’s Trophy Team was made up of a totally new set of riders with multiple AMA National Champions represented across the board. FMF KTM Factory Racing Team’s Kacy Martinez-Coy is a multi-time off-road racing champion in the GNCC Series, WORCS, National Enduro Series and X-Games who joined the Women’s team for the first time aboard a KTM 250 XC-F, while KTM-supported rider and defending GNCC Champion Becca Sheets also competed aboard a KTM 250 XC-F for her first time at the ISDE. Additionally, current WORCS points leader Brandy Richards (YAM) rounded out the three-member Women’s Trophy Team. This was the best team that the United States has ever sent of the ISDE.

Of the Americans, Brandy Richards made the biggest impression on the final day as she got a good start, then caught and passed Spanish star Laia Sanz for a rare U.S. moto victory. That helped her to finish the week third behind Sanz and Australia’s Tayla Jones.

Of the two other Americans, Kacy Martinez-Coy did slightly better, finishing fifth overall while Becca Sheets had to re-impound after a bike problem on the first day. In the moto, Sheets did better, though, finishing fifth while Martinez-Coy got taken out early in the day and had to fight back to eighth at the checkered flag.

The week ended fairly spectacularly for the U.S. Women’s World Trophy team. For the second day in a row, the three first-timers went faster, as a team, than the leading trio from Australia by nearly 14 seconds.

This was the first time that the United States women’s team have ever stood on the podium. The ISDE is the Olympics of off-road racing and endurance. And so we especially want to congratulate these three outstanding American athletes.


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Our enemies work unseen and undercover while we work in the open. We send letters and attend meetings where we express our views to the politicians who make the sausage (pass legislation). We have strong advocates to tell the truth to counter the lies spread by our enemies. Don Amador is one of the best and brightest. He spreads the word on his blog.

“Reauthorization of the CA OHV Program – OHV’s collective efforts over the last 7 months was acknowledged by legislative leads from State Parks and the Governor’s Office when they stated for the record that the administration could simply not support Senator Allen’s SB249 as written because it was too complex and had too many unachievable requirements.   Instead they are using the current SB742 language as the basis for reauthorization and meeting with Senator Allen to review potential language that might address his concerns without destroying the program.  We should see the results of this effort over the course of the next two weeks as the legislative sausage-making draws to a close for 2017.”


In the end the state legislature passed Senate Bill 159 that maintains funding for the California Off Highway Recreation Fund. This victory is a result of passionate off road enthusiasts who raised their voices making known their support of the state’s off highway  recreation program. See:

Don Amador who is the Western representative of Blue Ribbon Coalition has worked tirelessly to make our dream come true. He isn’t alone and there are others that lend their voices to the debate. If we want to defeat our adversaries it is essential that  we advocate for off highway recreation and support the people and organizations that represent us in Sacramento.

Please join the  AMA, CORVA, Blue Ribbon and others who represent our interests in Sacramento. They can’t be as effective as they are without our support. Check out this link:

Our governor, Jerry Brown, signed Senate Bill 159 into law on September 2nd and we don’t have to worry about losing the Division of Off Highway Vehicle Recreation from now on. SB 159 is now the law and there is no more sunset provision to worry about. It doesn’t have to be reauthorized ever again.


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A bicycle ride near the ocean

I went for a bicycle ride yesterday and ended up getting lost. Here are some pictures including the picture of the mountain side I climbed up with my bike by my side and a picture pf a church playing some beautiful blues music that I could hear from the outside. But mostly they are pictures of the Albany Bulb which is a thirty acre peninsular in the middle of nowhere. There used to be a homeless encampment there but the city of Albany agreed to pay $3,000 to 28 Bulb residents in exchange for vacating the area so it can be transformed into Sylvia McLaughlin Eastshore State Park. It still looks like a dump but not from the homeless. It is full of rocks, construction debris, road building materials and stuff dumped there by the city or some other government agency. They never bothered to clean it up and some former residents and other local artists made it into the wonderland it is today.

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Did I ever tell you that I am cautious? It comes with the territory.

At my age you have to make allowances and bravery is tempered by a little caution. I have noticed that I don’t heedlessly race around blind corners any more. Nor do I aim for the highest jumps or go up and down the steepest hills. Heck there are some trails I avoid altogether.  It isn’t just a question of losing my rhythm. I have a lot less strength and less stamina, and in addition I am less limber, and have slower reflexes. Let’s not even talk about my failing eyesight. It all adds up to a complete klutz.

OK so I was at Carnegie the other day leading a friend through some familiar singe track trails. Then the unexpected happened: After threading my way along the creek bed, I looked up to where I was going and to my horror saw a deep crevice with huge ruts carved into the hillside.

I didn’t have time to find a better line and I just gave it a handful of throttle in second gear and headed towards the only fragment of trail I could find winding through the ruts.  The only problem was that from the bottom I didn’t see the crevasse like opening I was racing towards. Again I gave it another handful and it floated over the ugly chasm. Then another and I was over top.

I was as proud as if I had won the Erzberg Rodeo on my little Yamaha WR-250F. I had made it and my friend was a little late. I didn’t want to go back and embarrass him so I waited at the top of the trail.

If I had looked at it first, I would have said to myself  “no way” and turned around.  But if I was trying to impress someone and had gotten up the courage to try it, I would have been too tentative with the throttle and I wouldn’t have made it to the top. That is how you are when you are cautious.

Funny thing about getting old….

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The California Off Road Vehicle Program is Still Under Threat Contact Your State Legislators and Tell them to Vote Against SB 249

The California OHV program is still facing a major threat from Senate Bill 249. This critical program, long seen as a model nationwide, is slated for renewal due to a sunset provision that was included in the previous OHV program authorization. Now SB 249 is designed to short change the very people that the ride off road in this state and which the California OHV program is designed to protect. By merging the OHV program into State Parks we loose all the provisions in the California OHV program which protects OHV recreation.

Despite good faith negotiations with the proponents of this bill the discussions have remained focused on defending the language in SB 249 as though it is the existing law (which it isn’t). While the proponents have made some minor concessions the bill remains so extreme that middle ground continues to undermine the discussions.

As written, SB 249 overlooks the important role the OHV program plays within state parks while serving all Californians. The program not only provides quality, sustainable, family oriented recreation for citizens and visitors alike, but also emphasizes environmental sustainability and protection, as well as public safety and partnerships with federal government agencies that provide OHV opportunities.

If adopted in its current form SB 249 would begin to dismantle decades of work and indeed mark the end of this nationally recognized and celebrated program.

AMA members and indeed all OHV recreationists must immediately contact their elected officials and remind them of the benefits the program provides to every citizen and visitor to California. It is important to remind them that the program uses no general fund monies and is in fact based on a user-pay, user-benefit style model. Monies used to pay for the program include those taxes collected on fuel, State Vehicle Recreation Areas (SVRAs) entrance fees and vehicle registrations (green and red stickers).

The public simply deserves better, and it is incumbent on the Legislature to deliver on the promises made during previous re-authorizations, that this and similar “user pay, user benefit” programs remain untouched. One idea that has been discussed among OHV groups is to simply extend the existing program sunset by a year while a formal stakeholder process is created.

The OHV community has long paid their own way and will continue to do so as long as these monies are used for their intended purpose. But now the enemies of Carnegie have sent e-mails and letters supporting SB 249 and unless we act right now we will be defeated and the legislature will vote for this bill which severely cripples the OHV program in California. They do this by merging the OHV program into state parks which has an entirely different agenda. Right now that solution is supported by the majority of letter writers. Please don’t let our enemies win by the sheer number of letters that they are submitting.

Begin by entering your information in the fields below and clicking on the red “Submit” button.

Now more than ever, it is crucial that you and your riding friends become members of the AMA to help protect our riding freedoms. More members mean more clout against the opponents of motorcycling. That support will help fight for your rights – on the road, trail and racetrack and in the halls of government.

Join the AMA at

Please follow the AMA on Twitter @AMA_Rights and like us on Facebook.

Vote no here:

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OP-ED – Rebuttal to CNPS’s Anti-OHV Political Campaign (SB 249) Article by Don Amador

sb 249 restoration pic carnegiess

July 12, 2017

By Don Amador

*Permission is hereby granted to reprint article

Rebuttal to CNPS Vol. 47 (July – Sept. 2017) Pro – SB 249 Political Campaign Article: Environmental Damage from OHV Activity is Outpacing California’s Ability to Repair It


This is a response to a recent California Native Plant Society (CNPS) anti-OHV political campaign (SB 249) article that was referenced (page 22) in the official California Department of Parks and Recreation Weekly Digest published on July 7, 2017.

SB 249 was crafted in the dark of night by the California Native Plant Society (CNPS) and a small group of extreme environmental groups over the course of the last two years without OHV involvement. At this time, not one OHV organization supports SB 249.

The bill fundamentally redirects this environmentally sound, highly successful and nationally acclaimed OHV program – with a recreation focus – to a non-OHV program with a preservation focus that relies on lawsuits and trail closures as primary “management” tools.

don amadorsb 249 engineered ohv trail

Since the creation of the California OHV program with the passage of the Chappie-Z’Berg OHV Act in 1971, OHV leaders have played an important role as stakeholders each time the program has come up for sunset review and reauthorization.  OHV leadership has a wide variety of expertise in all issues relating to OHV recreation, both technical and environmental, with specific knowledge on the interaction between state and federal land management processes.

don amadorsb 249 rubicon catch basin

Entire sections of SB 249 significantly alter priorities in ways that are obviously unacceptable to active California recreationists. There are also numerous examples of incorrect definitions, calls for unnecessary reports and demands for duplicative agency consultation that portray a lack of understanding of the interplay already required to create best management practices for areas that host OHV recreation.

donamador1sb 249 travel mang. sign.carnegie

It is clear that CNPS and partners crafted this bill with a goal of unduly hampering and purposely setting roadblocks to a program that is world renowned for its existing high standards with regards to both recreation opportunities and environmental conditions. They want the motorized parks to be held to an environmental standard equal to the non-motorized parks – an absurdity at every level.

donamadorsb 249 restoration tahoe

Furthermore there is no accountability for either reliably foreseen or unanticipated consequences of the drastic measures called for in the bill. Based on estimates from DPR and OHV experts, the magnitude of the costs to the state for land restoration and mitigation for federal, city and county lands, as called for by SB 249, could range from $11M to $20M per year.  Expected legal liability cost estimates could be in the tens of millions of dollars per year.

SB 249 focuses solely on management of natural and cultural resources while ignoring important recreation-related water quality and soil erosion mitigation measures and trail facility maintenance activities.

SB 249 contains errors in the description of adaptive management as it is used in conjunction with a monitoring program. To those experienced in land policy, adaptive management is an ongoing process of evaluation leading to changes in operations to improve on-the-ground conditions. Many components are part of this process, although the bill stresses solely natural and cultural resources.

donamadorsb 249 multi-use trail Eldorado

OHV stakeholders believe that water quality, erosion and sedimentation evaluations are equally critical, although none of these important issues are mentioned. Furthermore, natural and cultural resources are mentioned many times in the bill without adequate definition which will only lead to confusion in future decisions.

SB 249 seeks to prohibit use of existing roads in state vehicular recreation areas that were created by previous land owners. The bill would require the state to compile reports of accidents, citations and other infractions from all areas of the state, including federal lands, where off-road recreation occurs. This is a burden placed on no other unit of state parks, the information is not currently collected by state parks, nor is it required by any federal agency. Furthermore there is no justification for the need for this report, leading OHV leadership to conclude this is an unwarranted data collection effort that will be used by SB 249 proponents to discredit public land agencies and off-road recreationists.

SB 249 requires the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division to change its purpose from managing for sustainable off-road recreation to primarily managing for non-recreation focused on the protection of natural and cultural resources.

donamadorsb 249 carnegie engineered trail

SB 249 seeks to portray and require restoration work to be done in an absolute fashion and be fully mitigated no matter the cause of the damage. Wildfires, earthquakes, rain and other weather phenomena can cause considerable damage, yet the effect of this damage is not differentiated from ongoing maintenance due to OHV activities. Other state parks are not responsible for acts of Mother Nature and it is inappropriate to place that burden on this program and this division. Minimizing impact to land from all forms of human interaction, whether through motorized or non-motorized activities is a goal already undertaken by all park units to the extent possible.

SB 249 adds numerous agencies for consultation and written reports as requirements to be produced, which does nothing to improve environmental conditions on the ground. The redirected time will make performing environmental activities and restoration difficult, be extremely time consuming and add a considerable cost consideration for all entities concerned when there is no indication that anything is amiss in the current program.

donamadorsb 249 restoration sign.

The OHMVR Division does much more than manage State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs).  Its efforts include everything from law enforcement to supporting the economic viability of rural counties.  The program also supports OHV recreation on lands managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and counties.

Again, I believe the regulatory mandates and related compliance requirements place the entire program (SVRAs and units managed by the USFS/BLM/counties) in both legal and fiscal jeopardy.  The legislation creates a target rich environment for future litigation based on the alleged failure of the OHVMR Division and other units to comply with a host of new and unwarranted regulations and reporting schedules.

OHV organizations are urging legislators and the Governor to support reauthorization of the current program that was substantially improved upon 10 years ago in a bipartisan manner under the leadership of Senator Darrell Steinberg (SB 742).

Don Amador was a member of the 2007 bipartisan legislative team that drafted SB742 upon which the current OHV program is based.  Don works as a consultant to the BlueRibbon Coalition/  Don is president of Quiet Warrior Racing, a recreation consulting business.  Don is a 2016 inductee into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.  Don was also an OHMVR Commissioner (1994-2000) Don may be reached by email at:

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