Thursday, February 24, 2011

DEFCON ONE Alert to CA OHV Community - Stop Weekend Raid on OHV Trust Fund


After the California Budget Conference Committee’s discussion today about the fiscal future of the CA OHV Program, the Recreation HQ is issuing its first DEFCON ONE ALERT.

Folks, the Committee postponed a vote to steal the money today but will be meeting between now and over the weekend until they decide how much money they want to take from the OHV Trust Fund. I heard from one government staffer who witnessed bogus testimony from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office staff about how they have a right to steal dedicated funds. This person said it was the most embarrassing display of bad government they had ever seen.

HQ believes these proposals to steal money from the OHV Program is a gross violation of the public trust and betrays both the spirit and intent of SB742. How can they ever ask the OHV community and OHV leaders to work with them in a collaborative manner if they do this? Nobody I know will ever trust them including me.

This DEFCON ONE ALERT is being issued because HQ believes that both the Grants Program (trails, restoration, law enforcement, and safety) and the Division (SVRAs, grant staff, scientists, other professionals) are now both equally at risk (before they had just talked about gutting the Division side of the program).

HQ is asking that you share this information with your local county supervisors, sheriffs, FS, BLM, and other grant recipients and ask them to contact the Budget Conference Committee Members AND their own Assembly members, State Senators, and Governor to petition them to honor the OHV Trust Fund. It will be the rural counties and users that get hurt the most if the OHV Trust Fund is sacked.

Key Budget Conference Committee Contacts


Bob Blumenfield - Chair Dem-40 (916) 319-2040

Felipe Fuentes Dem-39 (916) 319-2039

Diane L. Harkey Rep-73 916) 319-2073

Jim Nielsen Rep-2 (916) 319-2002

Nancy Skinner Dem-14 (916) 319-2114


Mark Leno – Vice Chair (916) 445-4722

Bill Emmerson Rep-37 (916) 327-2187

Bob Huff Rep-29 (916) 651-4036

Alan Lowenthal Dem-27 (916) 327-9113

Gloria Negrete McLeod Dem-32 (916) 445-0128

AMA Alert[capwiz:queue_id

HQ thanks all of you who have already sent in letters and made phone calls. However, we urge you to keep the pressure on through the weekend. Please share this information with your local elected officials. HQ will also be sending in additional letters and making phone calls over the next few days.

Thanks for your service!


  1. Thanks Don for all the work on this and the many issues we face! I gathered some info and contacts from you and added the email I sent today at this link and sent it to friends.

    Here's the email I sent today:

    Thanks for taking time to read this email.

    I am concerned about the possibility of a massive raid on OHV Park funds. There are only 8 of these parks in California. They are very popular with all kinds of users and include lots of families. They offer opportunities to enjoy the outdoors with camping and Off Highway Vehicle use. I have been a constant user of these parks for many many years and have seen them grow in use and popularity. While I enjoy a day on the trails and camping with friends I never smile more than when I see a mom and dad out on the trails with a kid or 2 behind them on a motorcycles or buckled in a 4 wheel drive jeep off for a few hours on a California OHV Park trail system.

    I always think of how many parents don't know or don't care where their kids are on a weekend. These parents do and the kids gain lots of confidence out riding around. I've seen many a kid grow up on a motorcycle both in skill and determination to go on the steeper and harder trails. It is really amazing who you see on some of those back roads. Often the rider is wearing a pink helmet and has a long ponytail sticking out. Yes girls ride too!

    I see riders respect trail closures at these parks and self police each other that "this is a closed trail." I have also seen and participated in trail work and clean up at these parks.

    The staff and users do a great job of keeping the parks open and in good shape. Add to that the OHV support program uses no general tax revenues and is paid for exclusively through OHV registration and fuel-related tax revenues and it is a great self sustaining park system. In fact I would say it is a model of how more things should work!

    My concern is that the Assembly approved to "borrow" $22 million from the OHV Trust Fund and to cut the OHV Division of State Park's annual budget by $27 million. When approved, the committee, at first, stated this reduction was a 20 percent cut to the program. However, because the reduction was calculated for the wrong fund amount, this cut actually represents a 40 percent reduction to the OHV support program. This amount will be transferred to the General Fund and is unclear whether this will result in the closure of any State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs).

    I think it would be a fantasy to think that such a massive cut wouldn't lead to park closures. And there are only 8 of these parks in the state.

    In the past 3 years, the state has "borrowed" from the OHV Trust Fund in the amount of $112 million. These "borrowed" funds have never been returned.

    As the Conference Committee meets in the State Capitol to iron out difference between the State Assembly and Senate Budget Committees please help save these parks that are so popular for users and families. They are an affordable way to spend time in the outdoors and have fun with friends and family. They are so popular that they are self funded by the users! Please don't punish us and keep these unique and affordable parks open and healthy for current and future users.


  2. this sucks we pay our funds for our sport and the state steals it from our funds account and their for you a bunch of political theifs , leave our funds alone so we can keep our sport alive , if you kill our sport the their will be no funds to steel either but this bullshit is just one more reason i am moving out of calif when property values come up some