Monday, March 30, 2009

Comment on OHMVR Grants by April 6 - It's YOUR program

The April 6 deadline is rapidly approaching for submitting public comments on the OHMVR preliminary grants. As you know, in 2007 the OHV leadership and others were tasked with getting reauthorization of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle
Recreation Program. At stake was the sunsetting of the “Green Sticker” program which would have closed SVRAs, zeroed out funding to Forest Service and BLM OHV Areas, and impacted other important OHV efforts as well.

One of the many success stories in getting SB742 passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor was that it took the “politics” and “public theatrics” out of the grants process. The OHV grants process is now similar to other state park grant programs and is more business like and matter of fact.

The old “grants circus” -- which depended on approving grants at the tail end of the decision-making process – has been replaced with a new streamlined grants process that depends on quality information submitted by the grant applicants at the front-end of the process.

Part of the users’ responsibility is to review the grants online and then submit support or non-support comment letters or offer other critiques of the preliminary grants. There are some very good grants and some real stinkers.

The General is disappointed with an apparent lack of public participation so far via the small number of public comments currently posted online for display. The CA OHV Program is YOUR program. At the minimum, take some time and review grants that pertain to your local riding area. (Thank you if you have submitted comments!!!)

Unlike the last “7 years of lean” (remember that most trail funding to the FS and BLM had been zeroed out between 2001-2007), the current program has a substantive amount of monies for trails (i.e. ground operations, etc.). There is also a restoration funding pot that was designed to use OHV funds to restore OHV routes that have been closed in a legal manner via a public NEPA process or legislation. State and federal law enforcement agencies are also submitting grants. There is money for education and safety grants as well.

Funding Pots for the 2009 Grants Cycle
In 2009, $27.1 million will be available for distribution among four funding categories:
Operations & Maintenance - $13,000,000

Restoration - $7,600,000
Law Enforcement - $5,200,000
Education and Safety - $1,300,000

To Access the Grants Program and Specific Grants go to:

To Read Public Comments already submitted go to:

Remember this is your program. The General believes your involvement honors
the hard work and collaborative effort by OHV leadership, OHMVR Division, Governors Office, and OHV and Green Lobbyists to develop SB742 and to see it become law. It is YOUR duty to be involved – Do it today!

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