Welcome to our WOHVA newsletter, May edition! The weather is turning warm, there’s still enough moisture that we’ve not yet hit the fire
season, and hopefully all your winter projects on your rig or bike or ATV are completed and you’re ready to roll. We've got updates for
you on the Legislative session (hold onto your wallets, they’re not done yet), Where To Ride using your smart phone, Forest Planning ...
and a pitch for volunteering and advocacy. We're aiming at the questions we frequently hear from you like " What's happening with my
sticker money in Olympia?", or "Where can I ride?", or "How do I get my favorite forest to provide more motorized
opportunities?". Please let us know if you have other questions, and also let us know how well we've hit on these ... read on ...
and enjoy yourself out there!
IN THIS ISSUE:
By Tod Petersen, WOHVA Political Action Committee Chairman
The Washington State 2015 Legislative regular session came to an end April 26th. They are now in special session to complete their budget responsibilities.
So far, all of our ORV gas tax and ORV permit money is safe for 2015-2016, but the Legislature has learned over the years to sneak bad stuff in at the very end when people don’t have time to react so we have to stay vigilant!
Grant Nelson, the NMA/WOHVA lobbyist in Olympia and I are keeping a close eye on the budget process.
Senate Bill 5987 (SB5987) will increase the gas tax by almost 12 cents a gallon and add other new fees. This bill is very likely to pass. While we are never keen on increasing taxes or fees, we were able to assure that the amount of gas tax money going into our Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activity (NOVA) account would include money from the overall increases in the gas tax.
To go along with that, SB5988 will take that over $3 million per biennium of new gas tax money and allocate it for ORV purposes.
A couple of other bills that may have a pro-OHV impact have been passed by the Legislature. House Bill 1817 (HB1817) will provide some liability protection for counties and cities that allow modified quads and side by sides to use their streets. HB5843 will direct the Governor to appoint a senior policy advisor for outdoor recreation. This is contingent on the budget legislation allocating funding for the position.
A few other pro-OHV bills that we supported failed to be passed by the Legislature. HB1160 would have increased the fines for dumping small quantities of litter on public land.
HB1918 would have clarified the process for getting an ORV title for vehicles without a standard VIN number. SB5617 would have lifted the 23 cents a gallon cap on the ORV gas tax allocation.
SB5205 would have allowed spouses to pool their volunteer hours for the purpose of earning a free Discover Pass. This bill was passed unanimously by the Senate and there was no opposition moving it out of the House Environment Committee either. Unfortunately it died in the House Rules Committee. Not because it had any opposition, but because it was such a small deal that it got skipped over in favor of bigger impact bills each day until time finally ran out. Senator Randy Becker was the prime sponsor and she has assured us that she will keep bringing this up until it gets passed.
Take Your Motor Vehicle Use Map With You on Your Mobile Device!
By Paul Yelk, Member, WOHVA Land Access Committee
Some Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs) are now available on mobile devices!
If you own a mobile device such as an iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, or Android (4.0.3 or newer), your favorite National Forest unit may have digitized your MVUM so you can take it with you into the field.
Here's how it works:
Article updated on June 30, 2015 to add QR code.
The NW Forest Plan – What is it?
By Paul Yelk, Member, WOHVA Land Access Committee
The NW Forest Plan (NWFP) is designed to assist federal land managers, primarily the US Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in managing their lands for the northern spotted owl as well as the barred owl and to control the West Nile virus.
In addition to the USFS and the BLM, other federal land managers in the area covered by the NW Forest Plan (NWFP) are required to ensure their land management plans are in compliance with the NWFP.
The NW Forest Plan impacts the forest plans of the following forests:
National Forests With Adopted Forest Plans:
National Forests wholly within the range of the northern spotted owl:
National Forests partially within the range of the northern spotted owl:
National Forests Without Forest Plans:
National Forests within the range of the northern spotted owl without approved forest plans:
More information about the NWFP can be found on this web page: http://tinyurl.com/nnec9l8.
This page contains additional documents pertaining to the NWFP: http://www.reo.gov/.
Many Hands Are Needed ... Are You Pitching In?
By Byron Stuck, President, WOHVA
There were over 80,000 ORV permits sold in our great state last year ... but how many of those permit purchasers do you think are pitching in to help promote motorized off road recreation?
How many 4x4 owners attend planning sessions for riding areas? How many dirt bikers write their legislator holding them accountable for representing them in Olympia? How many ATV enthusiasts belong to or contribute to organizations that advocate on their behalf for riding areas and responsible legislation? You already know the answer . . . not nearly enough!
When asking seasoned ORV advocates around the state what THEY think our biggest challenge is for our sport, I've heard a lot of answers. Topics like unreasonable politicians, hard-core green advocates, noise from our machines, and bad science come to mind as quick responses. But the response that resonates with me the most is "we just don't get enough advocacy from those who enjoy our sport". That means those 80,000 permit purchasers to be sure, as well as all the industry members who make money from our sport and should be investing a portion of that money in advocacy out of pure self-preservation. And it wouldn't be so bad if those opposing our sport didn't have MORE THAN their share of advocates who may rarely see a trail, or may only contribute for the tax advantage . . . or for whatever reason they "show up" much more. If you enjoy our sport but don’t pitch in . . . you’re essentially asking the few who do to carry your load.
If you're agreeing that this is an issue, and you're already volunteering for your sport, then thank you very much! But if you’re thinking you can do more, maybe the place to start isn't just writing more letters, or contributing more to advocacy (thank you very much), or even carrying that shovel or chainsaw more miles next weekend. We can't change our world by just "catching more fish" . . . we have to "teach our riding buddies to fish", to bend the old metaphor. Maybe the best use of that extra energy you're feeling is to get one or two (or more) of your riding buddies to do THEIR part to pitch in, to write and contribute . . . to show up.
With 80,000 voices in Olympia we'd turn the corner on our loss of riding areas. With 80,000 contributors to land use meetings, or advocacy organizations, our sport would be amazing. And to get to that point, it takes me, you and your buddies . . . that's all . . . but that's much more than we get now.
Woody Allen said it best "90% of success in life is just showing up". Please help get those who enjoy our sport to do that. Thank you.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know how you'd like to help.
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