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 americanmotorcyclist.com.

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

Vote no here: https://cqrcengage.com/amacycle/app/write-a-letter?6&engagementId=307053&lp=0

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