Covering recreation and environmental issues within California

From the Landuse Frontlines (Dec 2019)

BLM - On its current trajectory, the BLM headquarters in Washington, D.C. will be liquidated, decentralized, and relocated by the end of March in 2020.

This move is part of a broader plan announced by the Department of Interior Secretary David Bernhardt in July, that affects the majority of the nearly 250 million acres managed by the Department of Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This plan has sparked controversy in the form of threats and proposed legislation limiting or reducing funding to impede the relocation of BLM’s headquarters.

For clarity, it is important to understand the scope of lands administered by the BLM. These are public lands managed by the federal government that are not otherwise set aside for a specific purpose, such as a National Park, Wildlife Refuge, military reservations, or National Forests. The BLM manages and controls about 12% of the total landmass in the United States, or an area slightly less than the size of Texas. The quality and use of these lands varies widely, ranging from national monuments and conservation areas to recreation lands; from wild, open spaces to forests and mountains; from rangelands to Arctic tundra; from wetlands and river valleys, to desert landscapes, to areas with vast and abundant mineral resources.

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From the Landuse Frontlines - California Recreational Trails Act of 1974

The below is research compiled from a number of sources over the past 10 years concerning the California Recreational Trails Act of 1974.  In the 1971 Chappie-Z’berg Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Law (the Law), the Legislature addressed the growing use of motorized vehicles off-highway by adopting requirements for the registration and operation of these vehicles. In addition, it provided funding for administration of the OHMVR Program along with facilities for OHV recreation. The Law was founded on the principle that "...effectively managed areas and adequate facilities for the use of OHVs and conservation and enforcement are essential for ecologically balanced recreation...” Since then, other laws have been enacted that revised the OHMVR program to: Expand, manage, and sustain existing OHV areas and support motorized off- highway access to non-motorized recreational opportunities;  Monitor, conserve, and maintain resources;  Establish the OHMVR Division within California State Parks to administer the OHMVR Program;  Increase funding to the OHV Trust Fund; and, Establish the OHMVR Program as a permanent Division within California Department of Parks and Recreation.

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OHV Program Renewed, Now Permanent

For months, a coalition of off-highway vehicle recreation associations (Coalition) representing off-road recreation enthusiasts throughout the state of California, have worked on legislation to provide reauthorization of the highly successful Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation program that is administered by the Department of Parks and Recreation. 
The State Assembly recently passed amended legislation that provides permanent status for the program.  The State Senate concurred and the legislation was submitted to the Governor for signature.  On October 3, 2017, the Governor signed legislation making the OHMVR program permanent.
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SB 249 Coalition Letter to Key Legislators

Save the California OHV Program has been a high level topic for several months.  Competing legislation has been introduced with State Senate and Assembly hearing held and more to come.

SB-249 was introduced.  The legislation (as introduced) is very punitive towards OHV recreation and would basically destroy the program.

AB-1077 was introduced.  This legislation seeks to renew the program, as is, making no substantial changes to a program that has functioned for more the 40 years.  With the periodic re-authorizations required (last one SB-742 in 2007), the program is well managed and always within its budget.

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OHMVR Program Renewal

At a public meeting in Sacramento on July 19, 2016, State Parks Director Mangat stated: "This OHV program is the national model. It's not just the great program in the State of California, it is the national model, and we recognize that."

The current California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program (OHMVR) has been in existence since 1971 (Chappi-Z’Berg Act), is a great success, and hailed as a national model providing for a statewide system of managed OHV recreational opportunities. The OHMVR Program assures that quality recreational opportunities remain available for future generations by providing education, conservation, and enforcement efforts that balance OHV recreation impact with programs that conserve and protect cultural and natural resources.

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OHMVR Grant Funding to Counties and Agencies

OHV LogoOHMVR Grants: Where does the funding go? -- to counties and agencies

The Off Highway Motor Vehicle Trust Fund was established under the California Vehicle Code 38000, Chappie-Z’berg Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Law of 1971 as a user funded program to provide for motorized recreation opportunities for the State of California.  The legislation established a "trust fund" that is controlled by Public Resources Code 5090 and California Code of Regulations 4970 to issue grants and cooperative agreements to local and federal agencies to provide for and manage motorized recreation opportunities.

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