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John Stewart

Legislation List Available

http://www.muirnet.net/Public/ca4wdc/NRC-legislation/index.html

Compiled and maintained by John Stewart, Editor 4x4Wire.com, for the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, the list will be updated monthly and can be printed as desired.

The list is focused on legislation with a direct affect on California and not a comprehensive listing of all legislation that could limit recreation opportunities in other states.

Also included in the list is key legislation under consideration in the California State Assembly and Senate with current status. 

Additional information about Federal legislation can be found at: http://www.govtrack.us/

Additional information about California legislation can be found at: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/

 

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John Stewart

BLUERIBBON COALITION INVITED TO TESTIFY BEFORE CONGRESSIONAL SUBCOMMITTEE

"We are pleased Representative Bishop called on BRC to provide testimony on these important issues. BRC has been urging the Forest Service to steer its planning regulations back to the primary goals of efficiency and expediency in the Forest planning process," Mumm said. Mumm was also encouraged that Rep. Bishop included the recreation permit issue, noting that BRC has recently appealed to legislators to pass a bill that will modify and streamline the Special-use Permit process. "But perhaps most importantly," Mumm added, "Congressional oversight is needed regarding the agency's closure of tens of thousands of roads and trails over the last decade."

BRC has been concerned for some time that recreational access to lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are threatened by planning regulations that are, in the agency's own words, costly, complex, and procedurally burdensome. Sadly, the USFS has proposed new planning regulations that only make the situation worse. The new "Proposed Planning Rule" threatens to create a situation that will exacerbate, not resolve, the planning gridlock accelerating through the agency. (More information on the web)

Recreationists across the country, both motorized and non-motorized, have also been burdened by overly complex and expensive permit requirements. The recreation permit process as currently implemented on Bureau of Land Management and USFS managed lands is overly bureaucratic, expensive for both agencies and the public, and often applied in an unfair and arbitrary manner. Efforts to encourage the agencies to modify and streamline the process have failed, even when those efforts were supported by agency policy. The current Special-Use Permit process no longer serves the public interest or supports the goals and objectives of land use planning. (More info on the web)

BRC applauds Representative Bishop for including the Travel Management planning in this hearing. OHV users initially supported the process, however, in some areas it has been used to make landscape level changes to the Forest Plan and close a huge percentage of existing legal trails and even authorized routes. This is contrary to the regulation and has engendered opposition from motorized and non-motorized recreationists, sportsmen, campers and local communities. Recently, the same subcommittee held a field hearing in Northern California that was focused on trail access to federal timber lands. (More info on the web)

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

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John Stewart

California County Petitions Congress to Designate Clear Creek as a National Recreation Area

The BlueRibbon Coalition during its presentation to the supervisors urged use of the 2005 Clear Creek Travel Management Plan as the guiding document for the NRA.  The Plan identified about 243 miles of motorized roads and trails, 400 acres of open riding areas and authorized a number of permitted OHV events.

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, stated, "The San Benito County Board of Supervisors showed courage and determination today when they passed this Resolution asking Congress to bypass an unresponsive land agency.  The Board Chairman also said the Hollister Field Office continues to waste taxpayer funds by destroying existing OHV campgrounds."

Brian Hawthorne, Public Lands Policy Director for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said, "The public will not tolerate federal land managers using junk science to impose a political agenda.  And as more and more of our public lands are mismanaged, it is reasonable to assume the public will demand the sort of solution that San Benito County is proposing."

"I think we all understand the designation process could take several years. But left with the option of a permanent area closure, this legislative proposal is our only path," Amador concludes.

Link to Resolution
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/San_Benito_County_Resolution_10.4.11.pdf

Link to June 22 Congressional Testimony that includes NRA proposal
http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/testimony-amador-written-ccma-06-22-11.pdf

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The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. 1-800-BlueRib - www.sharetrails.org

 

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John Stewart

29 Palms Base expansion opposition efforts continue

The final base expansion EIS is scheduled for released in January 2012. Response to public comments will be included in the Final EIS, and the Marine Corps expressed first hand information that lead the group to believe that they are reading every one of the approximate 22,000 comments delivered to them during the comment period. The Final Record of Decision (ROD) is expected in April 2012.  From there, the EIS will be submitted to the Department of Interior and subsequent submission to Congress.  There is no estimated time frame for those actions.

The Marine Corps mission is to deliver a complete proposal to the Department of Defense regarding base expansion, and Alternative 6 (Expansion into the Johnson Valley OHV area) remains the preferred alternative. Chris Proudfoot represented the Marine Corps and expressed that due diligence regarding potential problems in Alternative 6 remained a priority for the Marine Corps. Seeing every problem within the preferred alternative, and management practices of the shared use area ranked as important issues for success.

What is the next step for the OHV community?

Each association in attendance will be reporting back to its membership, and Board of Directors to formulate its position. CAMRC hopes to coordinate this effort in a unified voice and direct its efforts to congress. The Marine Corps will execute its mission to completion, and deliver its findings to the Department of the Interior. The OHV community must now begin looking at spreading its message to members of congress and continue educating the public about this important issue.

CAMRC membership includes, The Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), California Association of 4 wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4Wheel), California Off-Highway Vehicle Association (CORVA), American Motorcyclists Association National (AMA), San Diego Off-Road Coalition (SDORC), American Sand Association (ASA), California Nevada Snow Mobile Association (CNSA) AMA D36, and AMA D37.

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John Stewart

House Natural Resources Committee Passes Legislation Protecting Sportsmen’s Access

H.R. 2834 passed the Committee with strong bipartisan support by a vote of 29-14. This vital piece of legislation would require fishing, hunting and recreational shooting to be included in all federal land planning documents and would fix numerous inconsistencies in federal law that are being exploited by litigious environmental groups to reduce hunting opportunities on federal land. This bill is strongly supported by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, Safari Club International, the National Rifle Association, and millions of sportsmen across the country.

“This legislation is vital given the Administration’s recent actions toward hunters and recreational sport shooters,” said Melissa Simpson, Director of Government Affairs for Safari Club International. “Sportsmen have repeatedly sought to collaborate with the federal agencies and have been greeted with proposed closures in areas such as the Sonoran Desert National Monument, where the BLM intends to close the entire one-half million acre national monument to shooters.  There are some 63 shooting sites within the monument, closure of which will end access for sportsmen.   Passage of H.R. 2834 is necessary to protect against these anti-hunting policies.”

“Sportsmen are increasingly facing attacks aimed at stopping them from using public land,” said Bud Pidgeon, President and CEO of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance.  “This bill closes the loopholes that anti-hunters have used time and time again to try to deny access for hunting, fishing and shooting.  Now is the time to put a stop to it.  We are extremely pleased and appreciative that the House Natural Resources Committee recognized the importance of this bill.” 


 

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