CALIFORNIA Legislature Votes to Gut OHV Program!

SACRAMENTO (May 31, 2012) -  Earlier today, the Assembly Budget
Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation voted to steal up to $31
million dollars from the California Off-Highway Vehicle Trust Fund and
transfer it to non-OHV related programs.   This pilfering of
user-pay funding is part of the “Sustainable Parks Proposal” being championed
by the California Parks Foundation, other anti-OHV organizations, and
California State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo
Alto).
Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D- Petaluma) argued strongly in favor of the
plan which he knows will directly impact destination OHV areas throughout the
state including nearby units on the Mendocino and Six Rivers National
Forests,  the BLM Cow Mountain Recreation near Ukiah, and the BLM Samoa
Dunes Recreation Area near Eureka.  Assemblyman Brian Jones (R-Santee)
was the lone voice on the committee that opposed the continued theft of trust
funds monies.

Don Amador, Western Representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, states, “I
am extremely disappointed that Mr. Huffman has apparently joined ranks with
the anti-OHV community in their ongoing efforts to defund the OHV grants
program via fiscal schemes such as the Sustainable Parks plan.”
“After witnessing today’s vote, it is clear to me that urban legislators
have made the conscious decision to engage in political warfare against rural
interests, economies, and local elected officials.  It also daylights the
false promises made to special “user fee” programs (e.g. OHV, boating and
waterways, special license plates, etc.) that their dedicated funds are
protected.  Rather, it points to the fact that those funds will be raided
in perpetuity to help mitigate the legislature’s failure to substantively
address the state’s fiscal crisis,” Amador continues.
“It is also interesting to note that not one of the Sustainable Parks
Program’s proponents had the courage to show up and speak in favor of the plan
at today’s hearing.  Equally disappointing was that State Park leadership
sat in stone cold silence while this issue was being discussed.  It is a
sad commentary on the state of affairs in California,” Amador
concludes.
Representatives from the following organizations attended and spoke at the
hearing.  Those groups include the California Association of 4 Wheel
Drive Clubs, American Motorcyclist Association, American Motorcyclist
Association District 36, California Off-Road Vehicle Association, and the
BlueRibbon Coalition.