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John Stewart

Recreation Groups Join Efforts to Challenge New USFS Planning Regulations

Sacramento, CA (August 14, 2012) -- Recreation advocates yesterday joined with several other organizations in a legal challenge to new forest planning regulations promulgated by the U.S. Forest Service.

The BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) and the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4Wheel) joined forces with the other forest product and multiple use groups in filing a lawsuit to require the Forest Service to modify its new planning rule to avoid its devastating impacts on the health of the National Forests, recreational uses of the forests and communities located nearby. 

The U.S. Forest Service formally adopted new National Forest Planning rules on April 9, 2012. The new regulations shift the agency away from a jobs and ecosystem approach. Instead, the planning rule would cement the National Forests in endless litigation over single species management; an approach that even the agency admits has failed repeatedly in the last three decades.

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John Stewart

OHV Trust Fund and Local Assistance Grants

The California OHV Trust Fund and Local Assistance Grants program is emerging as a hot topic item for the coming legislative session, again. This political hot-potato is linked with the on-going scandal within California Department of Parks and Recreation.  That scandal involves at least $54 million in "hidden" funds during a time when State Parks was pleading for private funding and increased tax dollars to keep 70 State Park units open.  What is known is that at least $33.5 million of the "hidden" funds are part of the Off Highway Vehicle Trust Fund.

The ink is dry on the Fiscal Year 2013 California budget and details are coming into focus.  So, what about the OHV Program?  What about the future of OHV recreation in the state of California? The OHV Program budget is linked to the California State Parks budget. Now, for the rest of the story...

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John Stewart

Update on the AB 1595 Fix

(Sacramento, CA) - I want to provide everyone with an update on the status of the AB 1595 fix. We have a limited window to get any bill passed, so I have been working closely with the Senate and Assembly Transportation Committees on language that can be passed before the legislature adjourns on August 31. I believe I have been able to reach an agreement on two provisions that will guarantee that come January you will still be able to ride with your kids while using aftermarket seats. It will also provide time for a more complete legislative fix next year.

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John Stewart

Nielsen Comments On Off-Highway Vehicle Funds

(Sacramento, CA) – California Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) released the following statement today following the State Parks and Special Funds hearing at the State Capitol.

“The hearing today confirmed that many Californians are being overtaxed, which resulted in this vast accumulation of funds at the parks department. Of particular note is the 34 million dollars accumulated at the Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund. It is clear the money has not been used to accommodate those who paid these fees, or to open new recreation areas for off-highway vehicles.

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John Stewart

BRC Commends 112th Congress for Addressing TMR Related Closures

WASHINGTON DC (January 7, 2011) -- A national trail-based recreation group commends legislation that was introduced today to clarify the implementation and enforcement of Travel Management in California. This bill was introduced by Congressman Wally Herger and is cosponsored by Congressmen Tom McClintock, Kevin McCarthy, and Dan Lungren.

This bill will restrict funds for Forest Service implementation of Subpart B of its Travel Management Rule (TMR) until the agency has performed the project-level review under the Rule. The bill also addresses the very contentious issue of the Forest Service banning OHV use on dirt-covered and roughly graded logging roads in rural sections of the state.

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