• THE U.S. HOUSE OF Representatives recently passed SEMA-supported legislation that would permanently designate six existing OHV areas comprising 300,000 acres in San Bernardino County: Johnson Valley (expanded by 11,000 acres), Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes, and Stoddard Valley. HR 857, the “California OffRoad Recreation and Conservation Act,” expands some wilderness designations but prohibits the secretary of the interior from closing any roads or trails that are currently open for motorized recreational access. The bill now awaits consideration in the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.
• FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 15 years, CORVA is having to raise its membership fees. Ken Clarke, president of the off-road recreation advocacy group, cited rising operating costs (insurance in particular) and its employment of a lobbyist in Sacramento to help the group with legal issues. “We are now looking at how we can influence Congress to help our forests in California maintain our roads and trails and prevent the occurrence of catastrophic wildfire. As always, we continue to focus our work in California, but we also need to be heard in Washington as land use policies evolve. And even though we are on the forefront of off-road advocacy, we will always use our members’ funds in the most effective manner possible,” Clarke said. Effective August 1 membership in CORVA is $40. Visit corva.org to see how the organization fights for our rights.