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John Stewart

California's popular Johnson Valley riding area may get reprieve from military base expansion

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Riders who use the popular Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Riding Area in California may not lose most of the area to a Marine base expansion after all, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The military is barred from spending money on expanding the Twentynine Palms military base into Johnson Valley until it completes a report on how the expansion would affect off-highway riding, under a military spending authorization bill approved by U.S. House and Senate conferees on Dec. 18.

"The report to Congress would cover the impact on off-highway vehicle recreation in the Johnson Valley region, along with alternatives for achieving the goals of the military and the OHV recreation communities," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations. "This report would allow for more time to, hopefully, come to a solution that meets the training needs of the military while maintaining access for motorized recreation."

The language, included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (H.R. 4310), was offered by Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) with support from Sens. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.). House and Senate negotiators worked out their differences over the bill in a conference committee and then sent it to their respective chambers for final approval. Once approved by both chambers, it goes to the president to be signed into law.

"The AMA, in partnership with the California Motorized Recreation Council and The Livingston Group in Washington, D.C., that was hired by the CMRC to move the legislation, worked long and hard to get this important report required before the base expansion can proceed," Allard said.

The California Motorized Recreation Council is a non-profit association comprised of the leadership of the largest off-highway vehicle recreation organizations in California. CMRC membership includes, the Off-Road Business Association, California Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, AMA national, American Sand Association, California-Nevada Snowmobile Association, AMA District 36 (Northern California, Northwestern Nevada) and AMA District 37 (Southern California) Off-Road.

"I particularly want to thank Rep. Bartlett and Sens. Feinstein and Udall for their efforts," Allard said.

"This was truly a team effort involving many southern California motorized groups and their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., as well as other representatives in Congress," Allard said.

In July, the Department of the Navy released a final environmental impact statement for the expansion of the Marine base. The preferred alternative would allow public use of only 40,000 acres of the 190,000-acre Johnson Valley OHV area, and for only 10 months a year.

It's all part of an effort by the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms to expand its land holdings to allow for more live-fire training. The Marine Corps is part of the Navy.

The proposed expansion needs congressional approval. The military had hoped to begin training on the land in 2014.

Several years ago, the Navy began the formal process to take over some 365,906 acres of public land near San Bernardino to use for live-fire training for the Marines.

At that time, the Navy filed an application with the U.S. Interior Department seeking control of the public land, which is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The Navy also wants priority for some 72,186 acres of non-federal land in case the federal government acquires it.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA honors the heroes and the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com.

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John Stewart

Winch Recovery Bandana

b2ap3_thumbnail_boa-winch.jpgRedondo Beach, CA (Nov 15, 2012) – Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc. has released a “Winching Recovery Bandana” that contains all the information required for a winch recovery operation in a soft foldable format, which can be stuffed in to your recovery bag.

According to Tom Severin, President of Badlands Off-Road Adventures, “the bandana is a fantastic supplement to the Badlands Off-road Adventure’s Basic to Advanced Winching and Recovery DVD. The Bandana is packed full of useful information and is a quick reference in the field when you do not have a DVD player nor time to watch the full comprehensive 81 minute DVD.”

A winch is a useful off-road tool that can quickly become dangerous and potentially lethal to the operator and spectators.  Proper use requires good working knowledge of safety procedures, safe riggings and inspection. Since winches are not used often, thorough training is a must to retain that knowledge.  The Bandana serves as a quick reminder of the details learned in the training class and watching the DVD.


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John Stewart

Yamaha Approves New GRANTs Funding OHV Projects in Six States

More than $75,000 in Yamaha GRANTs Support Local Efforts to Expand and Protect Safe, Responsible Access to OHV Riding Areas and Trails

CYPRESS, Calif. – November 19, 2012 – Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.’s, OHV Access Initiative – the industry leader in Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation’s Trails (GRANTs) – approved new funding last month that will help seven different organizations across six states.

These organizations are helping to implement Yamaha’s mission of supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas through a variety of projects on the ground level.  Since its inception in 2008, the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative has funded nearly 200 such projects across the country.

To date, Yamaha has funded projects in 36 states in pursuit of its goal to support OHV access projects nationwide.  This number continues to increase as Yamaha receives quality applications from around the country.  New Hampshire received its first Yamaha GRANT this cycle with funding provided to the North Country ATV club based in North Stratford.

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John Stewart

Arizona Game and Fish Department produces OHV safety movie

“One Short Ride” premiere is Nov. 1

The Arizona Game and Fish Department has made off-highway vehicle and driver safety a priority in 2012. In an effort to improve education and awareness on the trails and off, the department has produced a 28-minute film about OHV safety. In 2010, Arizona experienced eight off-highway vehicle fatalities and in 2011 that number rose to 29. The Arizona Game and Fish Department in cooperation with the Southwest Alliance for Recreational Safety (SWA4RS) have produced this movie to educate the public regarding OHV safety and to get the message out to all who participate in OHV recreation.

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John Stewart

Vice-President Nominee Keynotes Sportsmen’s Super-Rally

(Columbus, OH; Sep 29, 2012) – Before a sold-out audience of hunters, anglers, trappers and U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance members, 2012 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Congressman Paul Ryan let the gathered know—he’s one of them. He also had praise for the benefits of hunting and fishing.

“Hunters and anglers are the best conservationists. It is very critical that we pass it on to the next generation,” said Congressman Ryan.  “Youth learn such great life lessons when you take them hunting.”

Ryan spoke about his experience as a hunter, and how this influence helps him make critical conservation and natural resources decisions as an elected official. Plus, he noted how important the 2012 election is to sportsmen and women.

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