MARK YOUR CALENDARS
11 - Moonshiner's 4x4 Swap Meet, Puyallup Fair Grounds
WOHVA Annual Membership Meeting, Spokane, WA
(date to be announced)
Greetings from WOHVA!
The New Year is upon us and we hope everyone had a safe & happy holiday. At our Annual Membership meeting last November we heard loud and clear that our membership wants to hear more from us. We really appreciate those that attended and are acting on their feedback ... your participation is critical. Here's our first venture down the communication trail - please let us know how this works for you!
WOHVA in 2012
Looking forward to 2012 we'll continue to be very active in Olympia starting with Discover Pass improvements, land owner liability reform, street-legality regulations, and NOVA funds protection. Then there are several USFS forests in our state updating plans along with the DNR work at Reiter, Tahuya/Green Mountain, the Snoqualmie Corridor, and four additional locations. And finally we're also working to make our own shop as effective as possible ... starting with a new website, improvements in the Where To Ride website, and membership communications like this. As many of you already know, we're a 100% volunteer effort. It's not our long-term plan, but it IS our current reality. So please consider pitching in. Your volunteer contributions in time and funding help get the work done.
A new year means another legislative session. Your WOHVA volunteers have been hard at work protecting your right to ride. We are constantly monitoring what is happening in Olympia and looking for opportunities to enhance & expand motorized recreation in Washington State.
Some things to watch out for this year:
• NOVA Funds – With this being another budget crisis year again, our NOVA funds are at risk again. If the Legislature does attempt to steal our money again it will be hidden deep in one of the budget bills and is likely not to be added until the last minute. They do that on purpose to make the move more difficult to fight, but we are watching closely.
• Discover Pass – So far 15 bills to modify the pass have been introduced, but at this time only two moved out of committee before their cutoff date. SB5977 and HB2373 are still in play. The key feature of both of these bills is two vehicle transferability, but they will likely continue to change by amendment up until one of them is passed into law.
• SB5366 – introduced last year and reintroduced in January 2012. It would allow limited ORV use on certain roads. Last year it was amended into an anti-ORV bill and we had to have it killed. This year the same thing happened, but we were able to get the anti-ORV criminal penalties removed by amendment before it was passed by the Senate. It has now been assigned to the House Transportation Committee. This bill still has flaws that concern us and we will be working to fix those. This will be challenging since the House Transportation Committee has some members that are less than ORV friendly.
• SB6080 (Landowner liability protection) - This bill would have helped protect landowners from getting sued if someone gets hurt on a hazard caused by road building or timber harvesting. While it wouldn't have caused gates to fly open, it is one piece of the puzzle leading to getting more access to private lands. This bill was written by WOHVA Political Action Committee staff and introduced at our request by Senator Haugen. Click this link (15 min) to view the video of Tod Petersen's testimony in Olympia. Unfortunately the Washington Association for Justice strongly opposed the bill and they kept it blocked from even getting a committee vote. The Washington Association for Justice represents the trial lawyers and this was a reminder of just how powerful they are in Olympia.
• SB5845 – Another bill from last year that was reintroduced this year. Along with opening up certain roads, it would address many ORV issues including correcting the gas tax allocation formula. This bill was not allowed a hearing this year and will continue to be an issue to work next year.
In early February, the Washington State Supreme Court has selected to hear our case against the State of Washington concerning the misappropriation of our Nonhighway and Offroad Activities (NOVA) Program fund in 2009. Although it will probably be a year before oral arguments are heard, there is already much work to do. Supreme Court cases are expensive adventures and WOHVA can definitely put donations to good use.
Last month (January) the Washington State Department of Licensing began sending out letters notifying some motorcycle owners that their registration was immediately revoked. The intention of the DOL was to target offroad motorcycles that in their eyes had been wrongly licensed in the past. While we strongly disagree with their policy, it is within their legal powers to do this. Where the DOL went doubly wrong was when they hired an outside consultant to create a list of what they thought were offroad motorcycles. The result was a list that included many factory dual sport street legal motorcycles. WOHVA joined forces with the Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA), the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), and others in an effort to get this action by the DOL reversed. To that end, we succeeded and letters are being sent out to owners of motorcycles that had their registrations wrongly revoked notifying them that their registration has been restored. More information on this blog page.
WHERE THE RUBBER MEETS THE DIRT
WOHVA AT YOUR GROUP – Interested in having a WOHVA representative attend one of your club or business meetings? Or maybe you have a ride or event coming up? Send an e-mail to info@WOHVA.org Please include date, location, and a point of contact!
MAILING LIST – To get on our mailing list, join WOHVA at www.WOHVA.org or join a WOHVA member club or organization.
WHERE TO RIDE – Looking for new places to ride in Washington State? Check out our WOHVA Where To Ride website for the latest info on areas, roads, trails, or MX Parks near you!
Got CLOUT? – Email email@example.com for more information on how to have a direct impact on events in Olympia.
WOHVA IS YOU – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – See something here that interests you? Did we strike a resonant chord? WOHVA is 100% volunteer and your efforts make a big difference. Please send an e-mail to info@WOHVA.org to let us know how you’d like to help.
YOUR WOHVA BOARD