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.