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Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Reform Legislation Introduced

State Senator Ben Allen introduced SB 249, a bill to reform and modernize the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks. The legislation, which was introduced in February, seeks stronger protection for state park natural and cultural resources and greater accountability for the OHMVR Division. California Oaks is in support of this legislation.

California's OHMVR Program, set to sunset at the end of 2017, is designed to ensure residents can enjoy OHV recreation in a sustainable and safe manner. Since its inception, the Legislature has periodically assessed and reauthorized the program. The most recent extension, 10 years ago, sought to improve program administration, environmental protection and law enforcement via grants to non-state facilities. Today, the OHMVR Program needs to be reauthorized in a way that continues public use while aligning with the mission and general resource protection efforts of the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR).

One of the controversial provisions of the legislation, the Science Advisory Team, is a one-time effort, given up to five years, to help OHMVR scientists assemble best available science, and make recommendations on management guidelines needed to bring OHMVR Division up to date and more in line with their sister agencies. 

Please send a letter voicing your support for SB 249 to your State Senator. (To find your state senator follow the links provided by the Secretary of State's office.)

California Wildlife Foundation/California Oaks sent comments to California State Park Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division in June 2015 and October 2016 regarding the proposed expansion of the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area onto the property known as Tesla Park in eastern Alameda County.