Visit with Don (aka The General) on various land use issues. Find out what he thinks about current topics related to recreation, land use or the environment.
Friday, August 10, 2012
OHV Still Alive Budget Hearing Yesterday
Yesterday’s Assembly Budget Subcommittee #6’s informational hearing
mostly skirted talking directly about the OHV Trust Fund but rather focused on the
need for the legislature to be assured of agency accounting practices so
elected officials don’t look like fools and public trust is restored.
Pro-Access Subcommittee Member, Jim Nielsen, issued a
news release on the need for accountability with a special need to focus on
State Parks.I agree!
During the public comment period, it was a good thing
that AMA’s Nick Haris and BRC’s Don Amador were there to counter the two
representatives from the CA Parks Foundation and the Sierra Club who both
seemed to feel they remain entitled to most if not all of the OHV Trust
Fund.Haris pointed out to the committee
members that about 190 million dollars has been stolen from the OHV Trust Fund
over the last 30 years and that the grants program does indeed fund many
non-motorized projects such as improving trailhead access at multiple use
facilities restoration of OHV impacted lands.
Today on Special Funds - Please lift the
10M cap on the OHV Grants program and restore it to 26M
Dear Chairman Blumfield and Assembly Budget Subcommittee
# 6 Members:
AMA District 36
President, Dave Pickett, and I met with Chairman Gordon 2 weeks ago and urged
him to support removal of the 10M cap imposed on the OHV Local Assistance Grant
program.That program funds important
trail-related maintenance, restoration, and law enforcement at OHV areas that
are part of the state-wide OHV recreation matrix.We now know that 10M cap was based on false
information from State Parks, the California Parks Foundation, and the Public
Employees for Environmental Ethics.
As you know, I
was a member of the negotiating team (OHV, environmentalists, legislature,
Governor’s Office) that met throughout the summer of 2007 to hammer out SB742 (the
new OHV Program), I remember the group worked hard to make sure that protecting
the “trust” in the OHV Trust Fund was a key statutory tenet of that
Today, I urge
your committee to lift the 10M cap off the OHV Grants Program and restore it to
26M which makes the program sustainable and bring accountability back to State
Parks and the OHV Trust Fund.I am also
attaching letters from several counties stating just how important the OHV
grants program is to their area and economy.
Amador recounted the history of OHV being used as a “political
football” by Park leadership over the last 20 years and how that practice needs
to stop.He also requested that the 10M
legislative cap on the OHV grants program be lifted and restored to its historic
26M level now that the Parks Foundation and PEER’s State Parks Initiative cap
limit was not needed (it never was anything but a political hit).I think we made enough comments to keep the
issue in play as the hearings and debates continue
The next few weeks will be very busy with OHV meetings
related to the current budget crisis and developing strategies to stop OHV from
being tossed back and forth on the political field of play.
Thanks to all of you who sent in letters to the legislature.It helped a lot!
Don is owner of Quiet Warrior Racing, a recreation, land-use, and political consulting company. Don is also a consultant to the BlueRibbon Coalition and serves as their western representative. Don has over 23 years in the field of recreation and land-use advocacy. Don served as a commissioner on the California Department of Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission from 1994-2000. Don has also served on many recreation stakeholder groups and advisory committees. Don served on the USDA Region 5 Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (2009 - 2014). Don has a BA from St. Mary’s College of California and belongs to the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.