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Old 05-21-2012, 11:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Tell state legislators to protect the "trust" in the ohv trust fund




YOUR voice is needed to STOP a proposal by two state senators to gut the OHV grant's program. Their plan to take $21 million from the OHV Trust Fund will basically zero out monies available for grants to maintain FS and BLM trails, to support local county sheriffs and other OHV-related law enforcement, to fund county OHV parks, and to restore degraded trails to a natural condition.

May 17 News Article on Trust Fund Raid

During the May 9 hearing on this issue, a large number of trail users, OHV organizations, rural interests, and outdoor recreation businesses expressed strong opposition to the current proposal by budget committee chairman, Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto). You and your friends must do the same thing for the hearing on May 23.

Here are some key bullet points to make when talking with your legislator:

•OHV Grant Program is a program that works. The clarity is such that we understand the funding; we know where the money is coming from and how that money is spent.

•It works and it works effectively.

•40 years ago, Republican and Democrat legislators realized that people within the Parks System did not appreciate off-highway vehicle recreation. Consequently, OHV was given some autonomy within Parks and an OHV Division was created.

•These visionary leaders wanted a strong, organized program that included law enforcement, the remediation of land and education with an understanding of where you can recreate legally. It works.

•It makes no sense to move the money from the OHV Trust Fund to Parks.

Ask your legislator to oppose Senator Simitian's proposal to take trust fund monies from the OHV Trust Fund. Remind them these are funds are generated 100% from the users who recreate off-road.

Our good friends at Cal4WD have created an easy to use alert where you may contact your state legislator.

Thanks for your attention to this matter.
Don Amador
Western Representative
BlueRibbon Coalition, Inc.
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Old 05-21-2012, 12:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks Don!
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks.... here is a letter I sent to Sen.s Smitian and Lowenthal. Bummer that this story repeats every year.
************************************************** *******

May 21, 2012

Senator Simitian
State Capitol
Sacramento, CA 92449

RE: Don’t Betray the “Trust” on the OHV Trust Fund

Dear Senator Simitian:

I write to you today as a California native and a strong supporter of the California Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program. And, I urge you not to betray the public “trust” by taking $21 million dollars of user-pay/user-benefit monies from the OHV Trust Fund and diverting it into State Parks.

As a teenager in the late 1960s-70s, I remember filling out a state gas tax refund form where I got a refund from the state treasurer based on the amount of fuel I used when driving my OHV off-road (non-paved dirt roads). I also remember the promise made to me by the proponents of the Chappie-Z’berg Act of 1971 (that established the California OHV Program) that they would use these dedicated “trust” funds to manage motorized recreation. I trusted them.

Over the years, that trust has been betrayed on a number of occasions by both Republican and Democrat officials. In fact, there have been two lawsuits filed by the OHV community that successfully challenged the state government’s legal authority to raid the OHV Trust Fund.

As a member of the negotiating team (OHV, environmentalists, legislature, Governor’s Office) that met throughout the summer of 2007 to hammer out SB742 (the new OHV Program), I remember the group worked hard to make sure that protecting the “trust” in the OHV Trust Fund was a key statutory tenet of that legislation.

Today, I urge your committee to not betray the public-trust again by taking OHV money that is not yours to take.



Don Amador
California Native
555 Honey Lane
Oakley, CA 94561
Phone: 925.625.6287
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Old 05-21-2012, 02:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That's a terrific letter!
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