EARTH WATCH

4 Wheel & Off Road - - DRIVELINES -

THE BLUERIBBON COALI­tion/ShareTrails.org an­nounced a new Vet­eran’s Pro­gram to “show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the many years of ded­i­cated ser­vice given to us by our vet­eran com­mu­nity,” said the land use ad­vo­cacy group. This new pro­gram was in­spired by Utah’s Honor Pass, is­sued by the Di­vi­sion of Utah State Parks and Recre­ation, which pro­vides free day-use ad­mis­sion to qual­i­fy­ing vet­er­ans (and up to seven guests in the same ve­hi­cle) to all Utah state parks. “Out­door recre­ation has been shown to im­prove PTSD in vet­er­ans,” noted the BRC. “We want to be ac­tive in help­ing our na­tional he­roes find health and hope in the great out­doors! We will be part­ner­ing with vet­eran ad­vo­cacy groups to find ways to im­prove trail ac­cess to dis­abled vet­er­ans and fund op­por­tu­ni­ties to get all vet­er­ans out­side and rid­ing the great Amer­i­can win­ter and sum­mer trails.” Learn more at sharetrails.org/vets.

AC­CORD­ING TO SEMA, THE U.S. Se­nate En­ergy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mit­tee passed SEMA-sup­ported leg­is­la­tion from U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) 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. While H.R.

857, the “Cal­i­for­nia Off-Road Recre­ation and Con­ser­va­tion Act,” ex­pands wilder­ness des­ig­na­tions in the Cal­i­for­nia desert, the bill pro­hibits the Sec­re­tary of the In­te­rior from clos­ing any roads or trails that are cur­rently open for mo­tor­ized recre­ational ac­cess. H.R. 857 al­ready passed the U.S. House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in June and now awaits ac­tion on the U.S. Se­nate floor. The Se­nate En­ergy & Nat­u­ral Re­sources Com­mit­tee also passed S. 32, the “Cal­i­for­nia Desert Protection and Recre­ation Act,” which is Sen. Dianne Fe­in­stein’s (D-CA) com­pan­ion bill to H.R. 857.

FIAT CHRYSLER’S ELEC­tri­fi­ca­tion plans in­clude a plugin hy­brid (PHEV) ver­sion of the Jeep Rene­gade, sched­uled to go on sale in 2020, a year be­fore the ex­pected launch of a PHEV Wran­gler. Au­toweek re­ports the PHEV Rene­gade will be built in Italy and based on the cur­rent ver­sion of the com­pact SUV. No de­tails of its propul­sion sys­tem have been re­leased, but AW said the most likely sce­nario will be elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of ei­ther the ex­ist­ing 2.4L Tiger­shark en­gine or the new 1.3L turbo four called the Fire­fly, which was in­tro­duced in the 2019 Rene­gade.

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