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View Full Version : Guess who wants our OHV funds NOW!!?!


Red_Chili
01-22-2010, 12:29 PM
Oh brother. Another 'Common Sense' solution in their minds. If I hear that phrase one more time.... :rant:
Oh, and notice once again, 'ORV' instead of 'OHV'...

Dear Whozit,

We have an opportunity to impact off-road vehicle damage to our
public lands here in Colorado, but we need more folks to take
action and we're running out of time. Will you please take a
moment to send an email today?
http://linkdeleted (http://ferget it dude)

Colorado's National Forests and BLM lands have seen an explosion
in off-road vehicle (ORV) use in recent years with in-state ORV
registrations increasing 223% between 1995 and 2008, resulting
in over 133,000 ORVs registered each year. While some riders
take care to use their vehicles responsibly, many others
disregard signs and closures or go off trail. This creates
thousands of miles of illegal trails, destructive gullies and
erosion, spoiling the quiet backcountry experience sought by
hikers, backpackers, and other non-motorized recreationists and
damaging water sources and wildlife habitat.

It's time to rein in these abuses. One way to start is by
requiring ORV users to pay to fix some of the problems they've
caused. Click here to take immediate action:
http://link deleted (http://ferget it dude)

Current ORV registration fees managed by State Parks - some
$3.2 million annually - are used almost exclusively to promote
and expand ORV use on public lands without funding critical law
enforcement and habitat restoration. But The Wilderness Society
has joined with more than 40 other state organizations to demand
that a portion of these fees pay to restore public lands and
waters damaged by ORV users and to enforce their proper use.

Not surprisingly, the ORV lobby is rallying against this
common-sense approach. The Colorado State Parks Board that will
make this decision has gotten over a thousand letters and emails
from off-road vehicle users - now it's critical that the Parks
Board hears from conservationists:
http://link deleted (http://ferget it dude)

Please take action now. Ask the Colorado State Parks Board to
dedicate some funding from ORV fees to restoration and
enforcement in Colorado's National Forests and BLM lands:
http://link deleted (http://ferget it dude)

And, if you know other Coloradans who care about this issue,
please forward this email to them.

Thank you!

Kathy Kilmer
The Wilderness Society

MDH33
01-22-2010, 12:48 PM
Yup. I posted about this a few days ago in This (http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=11678) thread.

Looks like the wording is different, but same group. I used their automated email sender to send a Pro-OHV letter. ;)

Red_Chili
01-22-2010, 12:52 PM
DOH! Another repost cop car hubcap deep in wet concrete!!!!!!

DaveInDenver
01-22-2010, 01:06 PM
Explain what this means and what is being proposed for change by these groups. Describe how OHV fees are spent now, what sorts of projects are paid for with that money.

The way it sounds to me is the anti-OHV groups are petitioning the Board to change the formula for the OHV fee distribution. For example, I've read that they are asking that funds be dedicated as 40% for enforcement, 30% for new signs. Obviously those things are currently supported by those fees, as are other things. It would helpful to understand what is happening now and what they want to change.

FWIW, I happen to believe that OHV fees should support enforcement. Part of that silly notion that you should pay for what you use. I naturally also think asking non-using taxpayers to buy signs and pay rangers is not fair, either (i.e. HB1069 that deputizes DOW agents to write tickets). So if it costs $30 million to repair torn down signs, repair abused trails, put up new post-n-cables every year, pay a ranger or two, then there should be collected $30 million from OHV users.

I am not by any stretch advocating agreement with Responsible Trails America and the groups they are supporting. I mean a changed distribution would maybe pay for an extra ranger or two for the whole state, which isn't earth shaking, but it would definitely mean that little grants and projects for trail restoration would have less money to do real good. But I just want it pointed out what they are asking for here. I also know that what they say might even sound attractive and masks their real agenda.

Thing is I happen to fall in the middle here being that I spend more time non-motorized by far and honestly have been pissed off more than once by an ATV or snowmobile idiot. But I also do that volunteer patrol stuff for Pike NF and Jeffco Open Space, so see plenty of morons riding off trail on bikes, so it's pretty universal the level of dumbness.

Red_Chili
01-22-2010, 01:25 PM
http://cohvco.org/grantprojs.php

No changes needed IMHO. And CERTAINLY NOT AT THE BEHEST OF THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY.

MDH33
01-22-2010, 01:31 PM
http://cohvco.org/grantprojs.php

No changes needed IMHO. And CERTAINLY NOT AT THE BEHEST OF THE WILDERNESS SOCIETY.


Exactly, the funds are already used for trail maintenance, education, enforcement. The Wilderness Society is running a letter drive to get 100% of our OHV grant funds shifted from OHV recreation to "enforcement, restoration, education". Currently, these funds can be used for everything from trail construction, maintenance, and enforcement. If the criteria was changed in the manner suggested, there would be 0% allocated for new trail projects such as Left Hand Canyon.

DaveInDenver
01-22-2010, 01:44 PM
Exactly, the funds are already used for trail maintenance, education, enforcement. The Wilderness Society is running a letter drive to get 100% of our OHV grant funds shifted from OHV recreation to "enforcement, restoration, education". Currently, these funds can be used for everything from trail construction, maintenance, and enforcement. If the criteria was changed in the manner suggested, there would be 0% allocated for new trail projects such as Left Hand Canyon.
This is the backdoor agenda that they are pushing, if they hamstring restoration efforts then a place like LHC would get abused to the point of being closed.

Red_Chili
01-22-2010, 01:51 PM
PRECISELY. How's that for a 'Common Sense Solution'?

The ultragreen groups are masters at cynical, back door maneuvering. And then accusing everyone else of cynical tactics (literally, I see those precise words all the time in their action alerts, describing actions you and I know to be honest and heartfelt. They are the only honest, virtuous actors on the stage; theirs is the only moral high ground. They should start a religion. :rant:).

DOH! Chili shut trap now. :lmao:

MDH33
01-27-2010, 01:10 PM
Denver Post today regarding everyone trying to raid the OHV fund:

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14274745

denver and the west
Off-road-vehicle fees spent generously amid Colorado budget crisis
By Jessica Fender
The Denver Post
Posted: 01/27/2010 01:00:00 AM MST
Updated: 01/27/2010 08:50:15 AM MST

A State Parks subcommittee that in 2009 gave grant applicants hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they asked for has come under scrutiny as environmental groups, hunters and law enforcement agencies seek a share of annual off-road vehicle sticker fees.

The $3.2 million generated by annual ATV registration fees went mostly to federal land management agencies for motorized trail maintenance, signage, rider education and to purchase heavy equipment.

Trails officials say the grant overages about $525,000 more than applicants sought were unusual, but badly needed for the most trusted grant recipients to keep heavily traveled trails in good order.

One lawmaker, who last year considered taking some of the off-roaders' money to cope with a massive state budget hole, questioned whether the panel tried to spend down funds to make them a less likely target for future raids.

"They're not realizing the magnitude of what we're dealing with in this state," said Joint Budget Committee member Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver. "It doesn't seem responsible to overgrant money just because they would lose it if they didn't use it."

Unused grant money would have reverted back to the State Parks' budget, which itself took a $3.1 million cut last year, department officials said.

Critics from hunting and environmental communities are using the overages to ask the State Parks Board to dedicate 40 percent of the grant pool to law enforcement projects to keep riders on proper trails and another 30 percent to rehabilitate damaged habitat. The rest would go to the funds' current uses, which favor projects that expand riding opportunities.

"It's only right. Everybody else pays for their own enforcement, especially in light of the fact that they are a minority recreational community and cause the majority of problems out there," said David Petersen, co-chairman of Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

His group is one of three dozen pushing the new funding plan.

State Parks Board President Bill Kane, head of the body that ultimately approves the Off-Highway Vehicle Subcommittee's grant recommendations, said he only recently became aware of the overages. He plans to explore the issue and the coalition's proposal at a Thursday meeting.

The grant money comes from a $25.25 annual registration fee that ATV riders pay and, by statute, the money must go to maintenance, developing new trails, rider education and promoting off-road opportunities. Lawmakers have routinely swept similar cash funds to fill budget gaps.

The grant pool widened from $2 million in 2007 to $3.2 million in 2009 thanks to a steadily growing number of ATV enthusiasts.

Longtime OHV Subcommitte member Gene King said ATV riders get a bad rap even though his panel's funds go to help clear lumber from multi-use routes, put bridges over marshy areas and repair drainage problems. Those projects keep riders and others from cutting their own, illegal trails, he said.

"The environmentalists out there take a picture of one ATV rider doing damage and imply everyone is doing that," he said. "They're trying to fund their philosophy with our money."

A review of grant applications shows six of 36 projects were given more than organizers requested and another eight were given more than their projects' estimated costs.

The U.S. Forest Service Parks Ranger District received $357,800 more than three times cq the amount requested to bypass a mud bog on a trail that crossed the N. Platte River. State Trails Program Manager cq Tom Morrissey cq said the subcommittee suggested more reliable technology that was both less disruptive to wildlife and more expensive.

Eleven of the 14 over-funded applications went to applicants who are part of a "good management" program and care for heavily traveled trails of high importance, officials said.

Those groups were told the most they could receive in 2009 was $60,000. But the subcommittee in most cases awarded an additional $20,000 per applicant after complaints that fuel and employee costs had increased while federal budgets for trail maintenance were cut, Morrissey said.

Bureau of Land Management travel plan coordinator Jack Placchi, an advisor to the subcommittee, said the additional funds were important for trail maintenance.

"At some point, the committee said 'This is not enough. This is a good year. We've got a lot of money. Let's raise the cap,'" Placchi said. "It increased the amount of time they had crews on the ground. It's a good thing."

Critics point out that eight of 10 people on the subcommittee have ties to the ATV industry or enthusiast clubs, and some of their clubs received a combined $761,000 in 2009.

"This is literally a situation of the fox guarding the henhouse, people passing judgments on grants submitted by (their organizations)," Petersen said.

The bulk of that money - $491,000 - went to the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and its sister educational foundation, groups to which 5 of 10 subcommittee members have ties to.

The coalition's director, Jerry Abboud, called criticism of a conflict of interest "the greatest red herring I've seen in my life," saying that the subcommittee is supposed to have expertise in off-road issues and pointing out that leaders of Parks committees have frequently belonged to other outdoor groups.

Subcommittee chairwoman Debra Thorson said members are warned to recuse themselves in case of a conflict of interest.

The Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition and its sister group's requests this year include cash for signage programs, a workshop for ATV enthusiasts and an effort to help open some unsanctioned trails.

"We pay for signs. We pay for maintenance," Abboud said. "The irony of all this is, in some ways, we're picking up the tab so that more (Parks) money can be used for everything from wilderness to non-motorized trails."

Jessica Fender: 303-954-1244 or jfender@denverpost.com.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14274745#ixzz0dqEdIySz

SRT08BUS
01-27-2010, 02:32 PM
http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14274745

"It's only right. Everybody else pays for their own enforcement, especially in light of the fact that they are a minority recreational community and cause the majority of problems out there," said David Petersen, co-chairman of Colorado Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.

Read more: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14274745#ixzz0dqEdIySz[/QUOTE]

Maybe we should be going after the money generated by hunting lics. and tags for our use..and I find hunting just as much as a minority recreational community .......

Is there any data out there that has been put together to show how many trails (4x4,hiking,horse) are in use, have been used but closed. And how much land there is available per user and how much it has gone up or down over the past decade or two. Would something like this be worth trying to put together or better yet has it already been done.

Red_Chili
01-27-2010, 02:33 PM
Interesting comments, too... largely good.

Money attracts politicians like honey attracts flies. Gonna be a fight. Ritter doesn't seem to be deterred by public outcry.

From an article on 9news.com, Ritter pooh-poohs concerns from companies about to lose their software tax benefits, "think of the cuts the schools have to face".
Oh, sure... somebody please tell him no corporation pays taxes. Sure, their signature is on the check, but the money comes from those who buy the products... or lose their jobs to pay them.