Off Highway Vehicle advocates travel to Washington DC

Off Highway Vehicle advocates travel to Washington DC to meet with the National Director of the BLM regarding the Special Recreational Permit process.

In response to perceived changes in the national policy of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), a task force of Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) leadership lead by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) headed to Washington DC on March 30th, 2011 to meet with the National Director of the BLM, Bob Abbey. The task force was comprised of AMA District 37 President Jerry Grabow, AMA Senior Vice President, Government Relations Ed Moreland, Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) President Fred Wiley, and Jeff Knoll, representing the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC). Although National Director Abbey was summoned to the White house, the meeting allowed OHV leadership the opportunity to express the growing concern enthusiasts have regarding policy, safety, management, staffing, and Cost Recovery for Special Recreational Permits (SRPs) on BLM managed lands.

The primary focus of the meeting was to share best practices to the BLM regarding SRP management, and ask for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the various proactive event organizers that would ensure a continued reciprocating relationship that has fostered responsible use of public lands for over 40 years. Because of the long standing event history the group has to draw experience from; it was able to offer a different view of events from car, truck, and motorcycle racing, to slow speed motorcycle touring, family recreational 4-wheeling, rock crawling, and Utility terrain vehicles ( UTV) events. Spectator safety has remained the highest priority for the BLM regarding SRPs and the group offered additional suggestions based on experience to BLM leadership in an effort to create a national policy regarding enforcement of spectator boundaries.

The BLM has expressed a desire to continue this process and hopes to achieve additional strategies to better serve the public through its Desert Advisory Committee (DAC) in the California Desert District (CDD). A subcommittee to the DAC made up of OHV stakeholders is currently being formed on a fast track and will report to the DAC regarding best practices to help CDD management create the best possible management of SRP’s in the CDD.

The task force was created shortly after the California 200 tragedy, and is made up of event organizers in the CDD, and beyond. Thru unification of all the various OHV interests the group was able to offer solutions that find the balance between the unique needs of all activities in the CDD.

For more information or to interview various leadership, please contact:
Ed Moreland-AMA Senior Vice President Government Relations
Fred Wiley-ORBA President Off- road business interests
Jerry Grabow-AMA district 37 President Motorcycle racing/touring events
Jeff Knoll-California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs. Car/Truck racing, Rocksports, 4 wheel drive touring events.