WOHVA logo WOHVA Newsletter
October 2014
Fall is officially here and we're all planning our last few adventures before the snow hits. Here at WOHVA we've been tracking planning in the Teanaway Community Forest, our Governor's task force on parks and outdoor recreation, the upcoming elections, and follow-through from our prior legislative session. There's more on all that below, but first we want to remind you of our upcoming annual membership meeting on November 9th at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood, WA. You don't have to be a member to attend; we'll feed you lunch and we hope to see you all there!

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WOHVA's Annual Membership Meeting
By Bryan Peterson, WOHVA Communications Chair
Meeting graphic

Your right to ride on public lands is being attacked every legislative session. WOHVA is the organization fighting for your rights! Our Annual Membership Meeting is open to all! Come find out what we've been up to and what we have planned for the future! We have great speakers lined up for the meeting!
  • Ben Janin, our newest WOHVA Board member, and former BOD member of COHVCO (Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition), will be on hand to share his thoughts on OHV advocacy from a business perspective and why events like the Colorado 600 are the future to Saving Our Sports!
  • We'll also have our OHV representative from the Teanaway Community Forest (TCF) Advisory Committee, Mike Reimer, on hand to share his experiences & answer your questions.
  • Brock Milliern and Doug McClelland from the DNR will be there to help answer questions on OHV recreation in WA State including Teanaway Community Forest, the Discover Pass, Reiter Foothills, and the new Trail Standards work.
The meeting will be held on Sunday Nov 9th starting at 9 AM at the Clover Park Technical College in the Automotive Rotunda located in Building #3. Punch 4500 STEILACOOM BLVD SW LAKEWOOD WA 98499 into your GPS! (map of meeting location)

Email this link to all of your OHV friends: http://wohva.org/event-1705912
Contact us in advance if you're interested in presenting at this meeting!

WOHVA's Fall 2014 Legislative Endorsements
By Tod Petersen, WOHVA Political Action Committee Chair

Your Vote Counts graphic
Our sport has a serious problem getting people to volunteer their time for advocacy . . . they'd rather be riding or wheeling. One of the strongest volunteer actions you can take in support of motorized off road recreation is to vote responsibly. WOHVA has an IRS non-profit designation that allows us to advocate in elections . . . and we're going to do that right now. Please vote in the upcoming general elections on Tuesday 4th . . . and vote for these candidates in your area who support your sport. Thank you!

WOHVA's 2014 Political Endorsements
State Senate State House of Representatives
District 13Judith WarnickDistrict 4 Pos 2Matt Shea District 19 Pos 2Brian Blake
District 15Jim Honeyford District 10 Pos 1Norma Smith District 20 Pos 2Ed Orcutt
District 31Pam Roach District 10 Pos 2Dave Hayes District 38 Pos 2Mike Sells
District 35Tim Sheldon District 12 Pos 1Cary Condotta District 39 Pos 1Dan Kristiansen
District 42Doug Ericksen District 13 Pos 2Matt ManwellerDistrict 42 Pos 2Vincent Buys

Teanaway Community Forest Update
By Byron Stuck, WOHVA President

Teanaway Community Forest map
After a bumpy start with turnover in the one principal member with motorized recreation experience, the DNR planning process is under way in the Teanaway Community Forest. Mike Reimer is our current motorized recreationist sitting on the committee and he replaced Steve Justham who served on the committee for the first several meetings and then resigned.

Purchased by our State as an innovative opportunity to both preserve working forest lands and create more recreational opportunities, this 50,000 acre parcel north of Cle Elum is situated on the southern edge of USFS land. It is a truly beautiful area with high Cascade views and elevations, amazing topography . . . plus, it's relatively close to a large slice of our State’s population.

Our major concerns began with the DNR decision to not allow motorized use during the planning period, while other users could enjoy this new forest. The forest has many user-built trails and has long been enjoyed by local riders and motorized recreationists. But the DNR based their decision on conditions of the land purchase and have stuck to their guns to not permit motorized use during the planning period, even though enforcement is spread very thin. And the planning process continues . . .

What you can do to help advocate for motorized use AFTER the planning period is to submit your comments and requests to the DNR here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K82Q3RP. More information on public meetings and committee work can be found at the DNR Teanaway Community Forest Website: http://tinyurl.com/n9dvl2p. The DNR has committed to listen and utilize public comment and we will hold them to that commitment.

Governor's Task Force on Parks & Outdoor Recreation
By John Keates, WOHVA Land Action Committee Member

Outdoor Recreation logo One day last spring I received a phone call from WOHVA asking if I'd be willing to serve on Governor Inslee's Outdoor Recreation Task Force. I gladly accepted and began the process. My particular area of representation included off-highway vehicle recreation and local parks from my position as the Director of Mason County Parks and Facilities, in addition to my involvement with the Washington Recreation and Park Association. We had monthly meetings around Washington State from April through September, with a mid September deadline to have our work completed. This was a pretty quick turnaround for an effort of this magnitude.

The voting membership of the task force included 17 members including myself. The group included a wide diversity of backgrounds and interests. This included members who have backgrounds in tourism, government affairs, non-profit management, and military, along with additional non-voting members who primarily were employees of state agencies or state elected officials. The gentleman with a background most similar to me was an outfitter from eastern Washington.

At the first meeting in Olympia, Governor Inslee highlighted three areas that he was interested in seeing addressed:
  1. Growing and highlighting the outdoor economy in Washington
  2. Getting more young people into the outdoors, and
  3. Recommending stable long term funding for the Washington State Park system. The Task Force tackled those challenges and others.
So why focus on Outdoor Recreation?
  • Our State lacks strategies for transforming its approach to outdoor recreation
  • Our outdoor recreation opportunities and quality of life attract new businesses
  • Outdoor Recreation in Washington supports 227,000 jobs, $22.5 billion in consumer spending, and generates $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue
  • We want our children to experience Washington’s magnificent resources and become lifetime stewards
The Task Force met six times as I mentioned and the process lasted about six months before the issuance of a final report. The process consisted of the following:
  • 6-month active public engagement
  • 6 public meetings across the state
  • 3,700 public comments
  • 5 priority action areas
  • 12 high priority near-term actions
  • Recommendations for the future
There was almost universal concern about the Discover Pass. Many of the people who sent in public comment expressed disdain for the Discover Pass. The trouble is, the Task Force could not recommend a funding source to replace the Discover Pass. While the Discover Pass has not brought in the total level of funding that the state would like, it nonetheless has provided much needed revenue to State Parks, DNR, and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Right now, Discover Pass revenues are split 84% for state parks, 8% for DNR, and 8% for WDFW. Some comments I heard from people about the Discover Pass centered on the cost, which is about $30-$35 depending on where you buy it and concern about the administration of the pass and implementation. Right now, if you are a trail user on DNR land and you don’t visit state parks, you only receive an 8% return on your Discover Pass. One suggestion I had was to allow users to purchase the services they wanted, if you only used DNR recreation for example, then buy a pass for that use. The one size concept does not fit everyone.

When we actually had a vote on the Discover Pass, I voted against it. I was the sole dissenting vote and I knew there was little likelihood of the Discover Pass being eliminated. I voted against the pass primarily because ORV users for years have paid a "use fee" in the form of our ORV permits. Other users traditionally have not had to pay anything to use state land and federal land depending on where you parked. I just felt that the Discover Pass required ORV users to pay twice and I also did not like how the Discover Pass is administered.

In regard to ORV Recreation, the Task Force did recommend some ideas that could be beneficial in the future: These include:
  • Fund and protect current outdoor recreation grant programs (NOVA, Boating Program, Snowmobile Program are examples)
  • Remove 23-cent cap on portion of gas tax attributed to off-highway recreation
  • Short-term: Retain Discover Pass to maintain current programs. Long-term: Identify other sources
  • Continue improving administration of Discover Pass
Additionally, here are some other ideas I brought forward as suggestions for the task force:
  • Convene an advisory group of trail users to work with DNR staff on investigating best practices from other states regarding Outdoor Recreation. Oregon and Idaho in particular seem to do well with ORV recreation. This could happen in the form of recommendation #2: Establish an outdoor recreation coordinating council – likely with the Recreation and Conservation Office.
  • Modify Discover Pass so users can choose the access they want to buy. If you only use DNR land and not State Parks and WDFW, then you’d only pay for the DNR access.
  • Fund a comprehensive study of capital needs for outdoor recreation facilities. Thought here is the decayed state of many ORV facilities and huge shortage of lower elevation all season use trails.
  • Look at inventory of trail miles for all forms of recreation and compare that to expected population growth to determine need for new trail miles and future demand.
  • Complete a true economic impact study for ORV recreation
  • Improvement on public liability statute to hopefully encourage more access for outdoor recreation on private land.
  • Lastly, one of the biggest concerns from the Task Force and the public in general was centered on access to recreation land. Whether it was the Discover Pass fee in regard to State Parks or hunters concerned about access to private land or the public concerned about access to US Forest Service land, the thoughts were universal . . . Preserving access to the great outdoors. Hopefully the recommendations made by the Task Force will be able to address these and other issues related to outdoor recreation in the future. It's hoped that the establishment of an outdoor recreation coordinating council – or something similar, could improve access to state and federal land, and possibly even private land.
In closing, I know one of the reasons I like living in Washington is the great diversity and opportunity of Outdoor Recreation. We learned that outdoor recreation supports 227,000 jobs, $22.5 billion in consumer spending, and generates $1.6 billion in state and local tax revenue, so getting outdoors is a lot more than fun and games. As part of my participation on the Task Force, I did a survey of attendee's to the PSER Fun Run Memorial Day weekend. The results demonstrated a $228,602.40 estimated total economic impact to local Shelton area economy. Not bad for a two day motorcycle event! Plus getting outdoors has been proven to just plain be good for your mind and body. I hope these recommendations by the Task Force improve, enhance and expand outdoor recreation opportunities, particularly ORV recreation for the residents and visitors to our great state.

(Re)Registering Your ATV in Washington State
By Paul Yelk, WOHVA Land Action Committee Member

Wheeled All-Terrain Vehicle
Earlier this year there was meeting held in the WA Department of Licensing (DOL) offices in Olympia in an attempt to clear up the confusion as to what you should expect when you (re)register your ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) in WA State.

There is still confusion about what to expect when you go to a DOL office or sub-agent (re)register your ATV in the State of Washington. The DOL website contains the latest information about what you need in order to (re)register your ATV. However, what you receive from a DOL office or sub-agent may somewhat confuse you.

We have posted a document on our website that explains what to expect: http://tinyurl.com/ljbl6zq. Although the document is dated July 25, 2014, the information remains current.

Naneum Ridge to the Columbia River Recreation Plan
By Clay Graham, Eastern Washington Adventures

Naneum Ridge Recreation Planning Area On September 25th the state of Washington DNR and DFW released a public notice asking for comments on their recently completed Naneum/Columbia Basin Recreation and Access Plan. According to that press release:

"The recreation planning area for this project encompasses 229,000 acres that extend from the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range to the Columbia River. This includes Naneum Ridge State Forest, managed by DNR, and the Colockum Wildlife Area and the Quilomene and Whiskey Dick wildlife units, which are managed by WDFW. The plan, which will guide the project over the next 10 to 15 years, lays out objectives and strategies to guide recreation and public access."

Thanks to Clay Graham and Dan Huff, WOHVA and motorized recreation has had a voice in this planning and a chance to influence their recommendations. WOHVA sincerely thanks these volunteers for it's through efforts like theirs that we accomplish our mission.

Clay summarized the recommendations saying that most of the Green Dot roads will stay the same and keep the seasonal closure. They will add a Green Dot road to connect the Whiskey Dick and Quilomene areas. And they'll add one motorized trail and one non-motorized around Dot Creek to FS road 3521. Finally, they plan two new trail systems, again one motorized and one not, near Naneum Creek and are creating some non-motorized trails to an area NW of the Naneum Ridge State Forest. The group heard many concerns about conflict between Elk and motorized recreation from the DFW in an apparent attempt to close roads to motorized use. This is contrary to the experience of motorized users in the area where whole herds have been nearby as motorized groups passed through without any reaction or conflict. This is a key topic users could emphasize in their comments regarding road closures planned to mitigate this reported "conflict".

The planning group recommendations are being presented in public meetings in Wenatchee and Ellensburg as this issue goes to press. The review process is dictated by the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) to assure due process . . . and that your voice is heard. The required comment period on this plan has been extended two weeks to Friday Oct. 31st. Please make your needs known and your voice heard supporting motorized recreation by submitting comments at http://tinyurl.com/nro5cm9.

When your club belongs to WOHVA . . . So Do YOU!
By Bryan Peterson, WOHVA Communications Chair

WOHVA logo
WOHVA's success depends on keeping users informed about OHV issues in Washington State. We typically accomplish this through electronic communications, sent directly to our members. Do you receive these emails from WOHVA? Does your club belong to WOHVA as a supporting member?

If you answered NO, you are missing out on important OHV news! Soon WOHVA will be contacting clubs and businesses to offer them the ability to sign up ALL THEIR MEMBERS as WOHVA Associate Members . . . FOR FREE! It’s only available to clubs and businesses who have become full WOHVA members. Then, when your club belongs to WOHVA…so do YOU! Why depend on someone else to forward you the info, when you can have it sent directly to your inbox. Ask your club to join WOHVA . . . Associate memberships are coming!

WOHVA Shorts – Other OHV Topics We Thought You Should Know About
By Byron Stuck, WOHVA President

WOHVA Shorts Washington OHV Specialist Job Posting – (Yacolt/Jones Creek) We've heard about this but not seen the actual job posting. You can check ALL DNR job postings here: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/AboutDNR/Employment/Pages/Home.aspx
Oregon OHV Specialist Job Posting – (Tillamook) We've heard about this but not seen the actual job posting. You can check for ANY Oregon State job postings here: http://www.oregon.gov/jobs/Pages/index.aspx
Tread Lightly Education/Training Manager - http://tinyurl.com/po5eyot (PDF)
New Olympic Peninsula OHV Area Near Calawah - http://tinyurl.com/oge7ut2

WOHVA IS YOU – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – See something here that interests you? Did we strike a resonant chord? WOHVA is a 100% volunteer-led effort. 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.

Thank you,