The Chapter in the Public Resources Code that created the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) as a separate Division within California Parks and Recreation has a sunset clause that eliminates the Division if the legislature does not reauthorize it before January 1st 2018. It appears that our opponents have taken this opportunity to organize hostile political forces in Sacramento to eliminate the Division of OHMVR.
The state parks transformation team is recommending that OHMVD be moved back into the Offices of the Department of Parks and Recreation. This would eliminate the Division of Off Highway Motor Vehicles as a separate unit of State Parks and Recreation. It would include eliminating OHV-related grant funding to the Forest Service, BLM, counties, local sheriffs’ departments, non-profit trail and conservation groups as well as possibly limit funding for off-highway state parks.
Under this proposal the dedicated OHV funds raised from off road riders would be commingled with funds for the Department of Parks and Recreation and likely directed to non-OHV facilities and uses. These funds consist of our registration fees, entry fees and fuel taxes used in our off-road vehicles. Our enemies have long coveted our OHV trust funds. The program has been reauthorized in the past but now the opponents of OHV in California are using this provision to eliminate the program altogether and take our OHV Trust Funds for their own use.
Don Amador who is a tireless OHMV advocate says this about the proposal:
“Based on what I know today, I believe the Transformation Team’s proposal has nothing to do with improving government efficiency. Rather, it is a crass political maneuver to eviscerate the OHV program and lay the groundwork for permanently sunsetting the program on January 1, 2018.
The good news in the dark aforementioned potential future of OHV is that there are millions of motorized recreationists who can speak up as a strong political force against the Transformation Team’s plan.
Your loud voice was heard 20 years ago to save the CA OHV program and now government officials in Sacramento need to hear from you once again!”
What can we do specifically?
There will be an open house to allow stakeholders to comment on this proposal on Tuesday July 19, 2016 at 6:00 to 900 p.m. in the Resources Building Auditorium at 1496 9th Street, Sacramento, CA 945814. Stakeholders include OHV riders and adjacent land owners. Many of the conservationists who are opposed to OHV recreation in California are not stake holders.
The open house will provide a forum for the public to learn about what they refer to as the Organizational Structure Opportunities project, and for the Department to hear from the stakeholders. The members of the OHMV Commission have been invited to attend. Our opponents will be there and we need to do everything possible to make sure our voices are heard.
We also need to send letters to the committee, our representatives and Secretary Laird. See: http://www.savecaliforniaohv.org/
We have to raise our voices and be heard. This is too important to ignore if you ride off road in California. The future of off-highway recreation is in jeopardy and we must do everything to ensure that our voices are heard. Go to these sites and learn all you can about this proposal and how it will affect our right to ride. Then go to the meeting if you can and write letters to the people who are in charge. We have no time to lose!