EARTH WATCH

4 Wheel & Off Road - - DRIVELINES -

• 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.

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