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!

# # #

Friday, March 27, 2009

24 Hours of Electricross - New Member of Off-road Family

Taking a break from all the OHV “bad news,” The General is happy to report on a very cool event that is happening in San Jose on the weekend of April 4-5, 2009.

I will be representing BRC at the first ever 24 Hours of Electricross endurance test for all electric OHVs. The event will be held at the 408 MX facilities at the San Jose fairgrounds. OHMVR will be there as well, plus a number of other partners and sponsors.

A number of teams both domestic and international will be putting their electric OHVs to the test. The Guinness Book of World Records will be there.
***** Don Amador on Zero Motorcycles Dirt Bike in photo at right of screen *****

Zero Motorcycles Info on Event. (includes info about Demo rides, quotes from Zero founder Neil Saiki, Daphne Greene, and Don Amador, plus other stuff etc.)

Zero Motorcycles Code of Ethics

March 27 Santa Cruz Sentinel Article
Fox Business Article Article

I believe that electric OHVs are or will become an important member of
the off-road family. I too share the sentiments of Deputy Director Greene (OHMVR Program) that having these products available increases our collective chance to site an urban/city OHV park so folks can ride close to home.

Don will be doing a post event story.

See ya there!

# # #

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Send Letters Supporting S. 608 to Fix CPSC Lead Ban

As the General told you last Wed. (March 18), there are both
Democrats and Republicans working on a congressional fix
to the CPSC ban on the sale of youth OHVs and related parts.

Over the last few weeks, there has been a number of House
and Senate bills (HR 968, etc.) offered to help fix the problem.
Some of you have asked why we need “another bill/fix?”

That is a good question. In the legislative process it is not uncommon
for a bill to be introduced and then blended into a similar bill or legislative
process. That is what is happening here.

Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) has introduced S. 608 and now we are asking you
to use MIC/ARRA’s website/letter generator to contact the Senate Commerce
Science and Transportation Committee and ask them to support S. 608.

MIC/ARRA letter generator

To read about Sen. Tester’s “Dirt-Bike Bill” go to:

Sending in letters today and getting your friends to do the same is the most important
thing you can do this week!!! The General has already sent his letters in.
Stay tuned for a similar effort soon on H.R. 1587.

Thanks for your service.

The General

# # #

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Congressional Fix is Only Solution to CPSC Ban of OHVs

The General agrees with the National Association of Manufacturers and their March 24 letter which describes the fiscal impacts of the CPSC ban on OHVs sales, and other products. They too call for a Congressional fix.

Click on Dear Colleague Letter to the right to
expand it.
NAM March 24 Letter

Currently various bills (H.R. 968, etc.) designed to fix the problem are making their way through Congress. However, it appears that a rather new bill H.R. 1587 (the Dirt-Bike Bill) may be our best chance to get a resolution to the OHV crisis. I continue to believe it was Congress that gave us a well-intended law that was filled with ambiguity which ultimately lead to unintended consequences such as the banning many legitimate “non-toy” products. (see Dear Colleague letter posted with blog)

Stay tuned as you may be asked to contact your local Member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor H.R. 1587.

Thanks for staying engaged!!!

The General

Monday, March 23, 2009

CPSC Cat Fight - Dueling Commissioners

As a former Chairman of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission at California State Parks (circa 1994-2000), I have been a witness to a ‘dueling commission.” In that case, it was often pro-access commissioners trying to defeat anti-OHV commissioners’ efforts to defund Forest Service and BLM trail projects between the years of 2000-2008.

In the case of the CPSC, it appears the 2 current members of the commission (they are waiting for a 3 member) are engaged in some sort of cat fight. In a March 20 letter to Congressman John Dingell, Commissioner Nancy Nord sends a 24 page document that offers suggestions upon which Congress could take immediate action;

Commissioner Nancy Nord’s 24 Page Letter

In an apparent response to the Nord letter, Commissioner Thomas Moore sends a 2 page letter that basically states the Commission (once a 3rd member is added) is best suited
to address the flaws and/or find solutions.

Commissioner Moore’s 2 Page Letter

Having read both letters, The General asks the question…”Is the OHV community and American public best served by supporting the ongoing efforts by Congress to address the functional ban of youth-OHVs or are we better waiting for an un-elected government body to decide our future?"

If you use the 2000-2008 OHMVR Commission as an example… the answer would be a clear NO!!!

However, given how slowly Congress acts on some issues… our children would be old and gray before the youth-OHV ban was overturned.

At this point, I am leaning towards giving the pro-access DEMS and GOPers in Congress the chance to address the unintended consequences of their 2008 legislation.

In the meantime, be sure and check the MIC website for daily updates on what you can do to help overturn the ban.

MIC OHV Ban Website
Also, speaking of the CA OHV Commission - ck out their letter to the CPSC on the issue - Thanks
OHV Commission!!!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

RTA - Trojan Horse or Skunk at the Party

A rider sent me an email not too long ago about some new eco-group’s attack on OHV and the BlueRibbon Coalition. My first thought was…”heck, what else is new?” Over the years, I have seen virtually an endless parade of attacks by anti-access organizations on BRC’s credibility or on the pastime of OHV recreation. When you are flying the lead plane in the battle to champion responsible recreation use of public lands, you are the first to get flack.

As a consultant to BRC, I work hard on their behalf to strongly defend legitimate OHV access to public lands and promote a responsible land ethic. In my many engagements with anti-access groups, I have found a worn-out tactic often employed by them to give the impression that a new broad-based OHV coalition or group now speaks for multiple-use interests and BRC is simply an extreme organization that should not be listened to or supported.

For example, in the early days of the debate on the Boxer/Thompson Wilderness Bill, the wilderness advocates said they had the support of OHV clubs and a mountain bike group for the bill. When asked for the names of the OHV groups – they could not give any. Also, the “mountain-bike” group turned out to be the owner of a small bicycle shop in Lake County.

It appears that Responsible Trails America is one of the newest shadow groups that are pretenders on the national stage of OHV.

See March 11, 2009 RTA News Release

Linked in that news release is an 11 page report “Ads, Rhetoric, Behavior” filled with some legitimate concerns about inappropriate advertising but mostly it ineffectively uses eco-dribble, distortions, and half truths to try and smear BRC.

Rather than join with BRC and help promote our trail ethic that supports riding on designated roads, trails, and areas or helping with our OHV sound programs or research projects, RTA pulls quotes from various BRC representatives to paint the organization as extreme.

They quote Del Abright as basically saying we (OHV) are in war because special interests are trying to take away our liberties. I guess Del bases his concerns on the infamous quote from the founder of Whole Earth Catalogue who said:

We have wished, we ecofreaks, for a disaster or for a social change to come and bomb us into Stone Age, where we might live like Indians in our valley, with our localism, our appropriate technology, our gardens, our homemade religion—guilt-free at last!"
—Stewart Brand (printed in the Whole Earth Catalogue)

The RTA report then makes a half-hearted attempt to smear Brian Hawthorne when they point out his views that basically eco-groups often have a blind allegiance to their ideology. He also states that he thinks it is fun to battle eco-groups ( I agree). I guess Brian based some of his concerns on the following statement from a green guru:

“We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects…. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of tens of millions of acres of presently settled land.”
—David Foreman, Earth First!

RTA then tries, but fails, to attack Ranier Huck because he feels that some eco-organizations are “hate groups.” Maybe Huck got the feeling that green advocates hate humans when he read David Graber’s or Prince Philip’s infamous statements:

"Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, is not as important as a wild and healthy planets…Some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along."
—David Graber, biologist, National Park Service


"If I were reincarnated, I would wish to be returned to Earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels."
—Prince Phillip, World Wildlife Fund

See how easy it is to play the “quote game.” I too have said things over the years that if taken out of context could be used to paint The General in a bad light.

RTA also tries the old “BRC is funded by big business” tactic as if being funded by big business is bad. I have often told reporters that they will be the first to hear when BRC gets its first 500K industry check. In contrast, RTA appears to get most of its money from Arabella LLC which – according to an excellent article “Know Thine Enemies” in BRC Mag by Dave Skinner – is run by Eric Kessler who was an old drinking buddy of Earth First! founder Dave Foreman. Kessler then served as an aide to former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

BRC “Know Thine Enemies” Article (Lot’s of good info on RTA and Arabella)

Link to 2007 500K grant to RTA from Arabella LLC

Arabella Legacy FundWashington, DC

For general support of the Responsible Trails America program 500,000

RTA also got a 25K grant from the Rockefeller Family Fund (Standard Oil Money)

Other RTA grants from Arabella and Wilberforce

Since RTA did not mention even one of BRC’s many land-use ethic articles or programs promoting responsible recreation such as,


they lose all credibility from my perspective. The General has not seen RTA at any national OHV leadership meetings offering solutions and help. The General has not seen any RTA representatives at Forest-level Travel Management Meetings offering ideas or support.

No… it appears RTA is nothing more than a faux grassroots OHV organization that is really a small group of enviros – funded by left-wing foundations - parading around as a counter to the BRC.

Based on my research, RTA is an enviro PR stunt managed by the Tigercomm group. If you look at the bottom of the news release below you will find

RTA contacts – Brian Mahar and Brian Willis with Tigercomm email addresses. How cleaver is that?

What do you know? Both Brians are listed as Tigercomm staff

If RTA had done their research on BRC being funded by “Big Industry” they would have found the 2006 article on the subject printed in the North Coast Journal (an enviro publication) that investigated and found out that BRC is indeed a grassroots organization funded by our members and clubs such as are highlighted in a recent BRC article:

North Coast Journal on BRC Being a Grassroots Group


Also, on the RTA website they link to “responsible legislation” and have links to state by state legislation. They even link to CA’s SB742. Funny, while I see BRC’s support for SB742… RTA is strangely absent from the “support list” - see groups that supported SB742

SUPPORT : (Verified 9/10/07) American Motorcyclist Association, District 36 American Motorcyclist Association, District 37 Dual Sport American Motorcyclist Association, District 37 Off-Road American Motorcyclist Association, National American Sand Association Blue Ribbon Coalition California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs California Nevada Snowmobile Association California Off Road Vehicle Association California Wilderness Coalition California Wilderness Society City of Rancho Cordova Friends of Oceano Dunes Off Road Business Association San Diego Off Road California County of Santa Clara, Board of Supervisors

Why didn’t BRC get recognition from RTA in their report for supporting this bill?

Is RTA a sheep in wolf’s clothing, a Trojan horse, a PR stunt, or the skunk at the party? Since nobody (except for some in the media and congress) is buying their story, it appears folks are getting a whiff of that pungent odor you smell when a skunk gets run over in the middle of the road (or trail in this case). Yes, their report is indeed a stinker.

# # #

Friday, March 20, 2009

ON ANY THURSDAY - Malcolm Smith's Protest

Those of us in the off-road world already know Malcolm as the racing and film legend that he is. We all remember watching him ride in “On Any Sunday.” For many off-roaders that movie was the driving force for them to get into motorcycle riding or competitive racing.

On March 19, 2009 Malcolm Smith became the star of another achievement. By holding a rally and defying the CPSC ban on the sale of youth OHVs he will be also known as the driving force of…”On Any Thursday.”

Dirt Rider Mag Article on Event
Great Photos from Carlos Aguirre (Thanks Carlos!!!) of Malcolm Event
AMA Article on Malcolm Event

Overlawyered Article on Event

Cool Video of Josh Cerne (a young racer) Asking Folks to Save the Sport

As you know, the decision to engage in civil disobedience is a decision that only can be
made by the person who is defying the law. It is a deeply personal decision that must be respected.

As Congress works on legislative fixes to the current ban and to honor Malcolm’s decision, The General is asking riders to continue to pressure your elected officials to help bring a quick end to what has become a national disgrace.

Continue to monitor and use the MIC’s “Stop the Ban” Website

Also, watch for alerts from other groups such as AMA and BRC.

Thanks for your service!

# # #

Thursday, March 19, 2009

CPSC OHV Ban - Conspiracy, Hypocrisy, or Bad Government

Over the last few days, The General has received a lot of emails from
off-roaders who are asking why youth-OHVs and related products did not get the same sort of exemption that the sporting goods industry apparently received from the CPSC.

After all, youth OHVs and related OHV clothing/safety gear are considered to be part of, or related to, the sporting goods industry and those products are often sold along side of each other at multi-venue retail shops.

(photo of a youth training wheel set was taken today at a major retail chain -- this product would be banned at Malcolm's shop if used for a youth dirt-bike)
Those questions are good ones. In fact, they are validated by a recent statement given to The General from a spokesman of the outdoor industry about how basically the youth outdoor/sporting goods industry was not impacted by the CPSC lead ban.

That statement is supported by a Feb 12 article from the Sporting Goods Industry Association that talks about how sporting goods ARE NOT a toy and hence deserving of the CPSC reprieve.

SGIA Article
Another article where non-motorized "sporting goods" are given a pass

Based on that information, The General decided to take a trip today to a major national discount retail chain store and see if they are selling almost identical youth “sporting goods” that Malcolm is prohibited from selling.

While there were some youth products that had “CPSC approved” decals on them, there were many sporting goods (youth baseball gloves, youth training wheels set, youth swim/goggle sets, bicycle tire tubes, etc) being sold with no “CPSC approved” sticker.

Unlike the non-motorized sporting goods industry who got an apparent pass from the CPSC, it appears that some government bureaucrats have decided to use political science instead of sound science and common sense to take a whack at the “motorized sporting goods industry” (i.e. OHV) causing great economic harm and personal hardships.

Is it a conspiracy? I’m not going that far since I know many people in government and most don’t have the energy or time to develop and implement elaborate conspiracies.

Is it hypocrisy? That is a charge that appears to have some merit since the CPSC has used a double standard that judges non-motorized vs. motorized sporting goods differently.

However, the charge of “bad government” is applicable since this CPSC ban on youth OHVs should have never gotten this far. Now we have dealerships going bankrupt and shops still in business like Malcolm’s dealership is preparing to employ civil disobedience as a tool of last resort.

The question is will current efforts by Congress to fix this problem be enacted in time to save family businesses and/or will the CPSC do the right thing and issue a stay in the next week or two?

Those are good questions to which The General does not have the answer.

# # #

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Civil Disobedience and the CPSC Ban on Youth OHVs

Last week, The General wrote about riders and dealers who are “mad as hell” regarding the CPSC’s current ban on the sale of youth-OHVs. Those angry folks have been “banging trash can lids” loudly so that Congress, the Obama Administration, and the CPSC will hear them from miles away.

Dems and GOPers in Congress are working on H.R. 968 to address the impacts to OHV sales as well as Senator Tester and Representative Rehberg with the introduction of their “dirt bike” bill this week:

Senator Tester’s Website on Dirt Bike Bill

One of those folks who have been banging the drums at 104 dBA is off-road hero, Malcolm Smith. Malcolm is planning a protest on Thursday March 19 at his Riverside dealership.

Malcolm’s Event
USA Today Article on Malcolm's Event

Malcolm is actually taking his protest to a higher level by planning to sell the currently banned OHVs to various racing legends and other celebrities. This is an act of civil disobedience and it has a long history in America’s political process.

Being a veteran of the private property wars, the timber wars, the roadless wars, the Klamath water war, and the OHV commission war that defunded trail monies to the FS and BLM for almost 8 years, The General’s view is that the decision to engage in civil disobedience is an extremely personal choice.

That decision can make them a target for overzealous federal agencies who may decide to target them to make an “example” out of them. In addition, the court system is not geared to protect conservative values or issues and a family can face fiscal hardships fighting the federal government.

The General (or anybody for that matter) cannot tell somebody like Malcolm or other dealerships when it is an appropriate time to employ civil disobedience to address ill-conceived government regulations that will put you out of business.

Factors such as the status of pending congressional actions to fix the problem, support from local elected officials for the event, being drowned out by other more pressing media issues, agency relief, or pending court action must be considered.

In the final analysis, it remains a deeply personal decision that must be respected.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The General is on R&R

The General will be on R&R from March 13-16. He will
be back at HQ on March 17.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Feb. 2009 BRC/Dr. Ilgren Letter to BLM on CCMA Closure

As the Clear Creek saga continues, The General wanted to give you an update
on the status of that issue. On December 15, 2008, Don Amador wrote an open letter
to the OHV community regarding what is being done to get the Clear Creek Management Area reopened for use by the public.

Dec. 15 2008 Open Letter

As Don said in the letter, the BRC Legal Defense Fund has spent unprecedented amounts of monies on expert analysis of the EPA report and other reports in attempting the difficult task of getting the BLM to reconsider some of its preliminary positions upon which the closure was based.

Based on feedback from OHVers who attended a January 2009 BLM Resource Advisory Council meeting where BLM officials basically stated that they had never received ANY substantive health related information to date, BRC commissioned Dr. Ilgren to once again restate already submitted health information as well as offering new information
before the DEIS is published.

Feb. 24, 2009 BRC/Ilgren Letter

The General thanks all those riders who are continuing to stay engaged in the battle to reopen CCMA.
# # #

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pro-Access Members of Congress Vote Down S.22

Who says writing letters and making phone calls don’t work? I believe the ever growing national grassroots movement against having condescending elements of Congress or overzealous bureaucrats trying to shove “dark-of-night” legislation or regulations down our throats was best evidenced today when Pro-access and pro-business Dems and Republicans voted NO on S.22.
See BRC March 11 Alert on S.22 Vote

The Senate Omnibus Public Lands Management Act (S.22) failed to get the 2/3 votes needed to pass under suspension. I don’t think this was a vote against common sense Wilderness bills such as the 2006 Boxer/Thompson Wilderness Bill for Northern California (HR 233). Rather it was a vote against a misguided bill that was anti-access and anti-job.

The BlueRibbon Coalition and House Members from both parties worked hard on HR233 to see that it was fair and balanced.

See article below:

House panel OKs land preserves
Wilderness measure includes Lost Coast area, adds sites for off-road motor sports.
Published Thursday, July 20, 2006

WASHINGTON -- Legislation that would add wilderness protection to more than 275,000 acres of federal land along California's North Coast cleared a key House committee Wednesday, a crucial step that virtually assures the bill will become law this year.

The measure by Rep. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, emerged from the House Resources Committee on a voice vote with the blessings of its California chairman, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Tracy, after the two lawmakers, working with California's two Democratic senators, negotiated furiously over the last few weeks to compromise.

The final deal lops about 25,000 acres of land, almost all of it from the Six Rivers National Forest in Del Norte and Humboldt counties, from the original measure Thompson introduced in the House and that Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein twice moved through the Senate.

But the agreement also designates about 75,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management lands in the Cow Mountain area of Mendocino County as a "recreational management area" for off-road vehicles and mountain bikes that was not part of the original bill.

The compromise was a last-minute addition to the House panel's agenda. It could come to the floor of the House as soon as next week. That would clear the way for passage by the Senate before Congress ends for the year in early October.

In introducing the compromise Wednesday, Pombo told his committee the changes make the bill "more broadly supportable." Thompson, meanwhile, said the changes don't damage his overall goal of giving the highest level of land protection to the North Coast's most spectacular wild spots.

As wilderness, the areas will be closed to all mechanized access except firefighting equipment. Some privately owned property also will remain accessible but only to the landowners.
Among the most spectacular areas are coastal lands in the King Range National Conservation Area along California's Lost Coast. Once open to logging and farming, the BLM said the King Range additions will become the "crown jewel" of its wilderness inventory.

The original bill also called for wilderness protection for about 30,000 acres in the Cache Creek area in Lake County, a popular whitewater rafting area; a 50,000-acre expansion of the Yolla Bolly-Middle Eel Wilderness in the Mendocino National Forest; 48,000 acres of additions to Siskiyou National Forest wilderness; and 53,000 acres in the proposed Yuki Wilderness Area of the Mendocino National Forest. Other rivers would be protected under national scenic river designations.

Those areas remain in the bill, but exact acreages won't be known until maps are redrawn to reflect the compromise.

Wilderness has been controversial in Del Norte County, and designations there were slashed by 10,000 acres, to about 28,000 acres. Another 15,000 acres around Mad River Buttes, the Underwood area by the Trinity River and Orleans Mountain in the forest in Humboldt County were also dropped.

Still, Jon Owen, Washington representative for the Campaign for America's Wilderness, hailed the compromise. ""This demonstrates that wilderness truly is America's common ground," he said.

The deal also drew begrudging nods from some of the fiercest opponents of wilderness designations. "I think Representative Pombo did his best to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear," said Don Amador, spokesman for the Blue Ribbon Coalition of off-road enthusiasts. Amador said he was disappointed that the Black Sands Beach area of the King Range north of Shelter Cove was not reopened to public access, as his group had sought. But he took solace in the recreational management area for off-road vehicles in Mendocino County.

Boxer and Feinstein said they, too, were pleased with the deal, which has been six years in the making. "I am more optimistic than ever that we will soon see this bill signed into law," Boxer said.
-- 30 --

Sure there were compromises, but I still feel today that having a vigorous debate between the various stakeholders did turn HR 233 …”into a silk purse.”

Wilderness bills are hard work and I think those politicians who stifle debate and try and cram such proposals down the throats of access minded stakeholders do themselves and their movement a great disservice.

The ongoing battle for responsible access to public lands is sure to continue, but let’s hope that debate is encouraged and time is taken to improve those Wilderness bills so that both resources and access are treated in a fair manner.
# # #

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ask Congress to Support H.R. 968 to Address CPSC Ban of Youth OHVs

The General has a favorite saying regarding federal regulations pertaining to OHV recreation and that motto is: “All land-use [including CPSC’s ban] decisions are political decisions.”

Unfortunately, the CPSC’s reluctance to use common sense and issue a stay on its ban on youth-OHVs has proved that theory. Since it is now a political issue, users must turn to Congress for help with a political solution.

The good news is that many of you have written, or made personal visits, to your Member of Congress asking for help.

Because of your letters and phone calls, Congressman John Shadegg has sponsored H.R 968 to address CPSC’s refusal to grant a stay.

The General is asking all of his troops nationwide to contact their Member of Congress and ask them to support Congressman Shadegg (see text of email below) and join with Congressman Herger and other representatives and co-sponsor H.R. 968

Go to Cong. Shadegg's Website and click on the "Sponsored legislation" link
H.R.968 Title: To amend the Consumer Product Safety Act to provide regulatory relief to small and family-owned businesses. Sponsor: Rep Shadegg, John B. [AZ-3] (introduced 2/10/2009) Cosponsors (19) Related Bills: S.374 Latest Major Action: 2/10/2009 Referred to House committee. Status: Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
All Information (except text)
Text of Legislation
CRS Summary
Major Congressional Actions All Congressional Actions All Congressional Actions with Amendments With links to Congressional Record pages, votes,reports
Cosponsors (19)
Related Bills
Related Committee Documents
CBO Cost Estimates

THOMAS Home Contact Accessibility Legal FirstGov

Letter to Don Amador from Congressman Herger:

March 10, 2009

Dear Don,

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) and its inadvertent ban on the sale of youth model off-highway vehicles (OHVs). I appreciate hearing from you and while the safety of consumer products - especially those intended for children - is of the utmost priority, please know that I share your concerns on this issue.

Off-highway vehicle use is a popular and important recreational activity enjoyed by all ages, particularly in our Northern California area. For this reason, I joined several of my Western colleagues in Congress in sending a letter to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to express our support for the petition filed by the powersports industry requesting temporary exclusions under this regulation. I have attached a copy of that letter for your review. Unfortunately, the CPSC did not grant this stay by the February 10th effective date.

However, I will continue to closely monitor this issue and will keep your views in my mind as I do so. I also intend to cosponsor H.R. 968, a bill introduced by Rep. Shadegg to amend the CPSIA in order to address these and other unintended consequences of the law.

Again, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Please don't hesitate to do so in the future regarding this or any other federal issue important to you. In addition, I would like to invite you to visit my website at where you can find additional information on my position on a variety of issues and sign up for occasional email updates on various federal issues.


Member of Congress

The General asks you to do this today!!!

To find your representative use BRC's Rapid Response Center

and type in Zip Code

Thanks for your service.

# # #

Monday, March 9, 2009

People Banging Trash Can Lids to Protest CPSC Ban on Youth OHVs

I read in the VOICES Section of the March 11, 2009 issue of CycleNews
where SF Bay Area OHV advocate, Dave Duffin, said he was ready to
start banging an old metal trash-can lid so Congress will hear our voices on
the absurd and hurtful CPSC ban on youth OHVs (and snowmobiles).

Good news for Mr. Duffin, a loud national outcry IS arising from the grassroots and they are mad as hell and are not going to take it any longer. The General visited a local KTM dealer
last week and he said that it is hurting his business and making his customers

Based on numerous recent letters from Congress to the CPSC and requests
for hearings on this issue, I would say that Congress and the media are hearing
from thousands of motocross/trail moms, angry dads, distraught OHV dealers,
and discouraged young riders.

Our friends at the MIC have a very cool Website and letter program set up. It has
specific letters tailored for the various stakeholders including riders, dealers, and families to send in. Go there TODAY and send new letters to Congressional Committees and the CPSC.

The General has already sent email letters and also printed off hard copies and placed them in the mail today.

BRC’s March 9 “Lead Alert”

MIC's "Stop the Ban" Letter Generator and Info Site:

BRC's News Release with Link to Congressman Simpson's Letter to Chairman Waxman

Western Caucus Letter

State Representative Tom Self's Website

Go forth and write! That’s an Order

-- The General

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Public Process - Was Bruce Babbitt Right?

I was prompted into writing this blog today based on several recent calls from users in different states who wanted to know about “getting involved” in ongoing travel planning processes or addressing the implementation of unknown previous agency decisions.

While attending a land-use conference in the mid 1990s, I remember talking with then Secretary of the Interior, Bruce Babbitt, about cumbersome bureaucratic planning efforts, where at the end of the discussion he basically said…”The [public] process is the product.”

At that time (and still today), I thought the end product of land use planning should be the construction of a trail or campground. Because of my work on numerous federal travel management planning efforts that have been completed or are currently underway, I now agree – in part - with Mr. Babbitt’s theory. Because if recreationists are not involved in the public process from the initial scoping to the final Record of Decision they will not have any standing for an appeal or worse yet… the agency won’t be able to address their concerns or consider proposals for a citizen’s alternative that could be developed for full analysis in the environmental document’s draft phase.

For many years, the BlueRibbon Coalition has written articles encouraging its members to get involved in the early stages of federal agency land use planning efforts. Riders have been asked to submit route networks that are important to them or areas of the unit they want managed for year-round use.

Just so off-roaders get a broad picture of how important it is for them to become involved “in the process” – I have linked to an article below that tells sportsmen how to become involved and that the true purpose of involvement is not so they can appeal. Rather, it allows the agency to use those public comments to make a better decision.

How Deer Hunters (and off-roaders as well) Can Become Involved in Federal Land Use Planning?

Title 36 Part 215 – Public Involvement/Comments/Appeals in Land Use Planning

Is public involvement a guarantee that the agency will make a decision in your favor? No it is not! However, The General can almost guarantee that if you are not at the table from the early public scoping period to the final decision advocating for your form of recreation - the agency’s final decision most likely will not be to your satisfaction.

Get involved early and often. Don’t give up. Once a final agency action is completed review it and then consider the next steps such as helping the agency implement the decision. Also, you can petition the agency to undergo a new planning effort to designate additional trails or change the vehicle use classification of existing routes. Help with volunteer projects – stay engaged… Your commitment for the next 10-20 years is needed.

At the end of the day (or trail) maybe Bruce Babbitt was right?

# # #

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Congressman Mike Simpson Joins CPSC Fight

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson recently joined the growing
national movement against the CPSC’s current ban on youth
OHVs. His interest in this issue and request for a hearing adds
considerable weight to the ongoing efforts by Congress, OHV dealers,
grassroots, national OHV organizations, Western Caucus, MIC, and State Senator Tom Self to have the CPSC resolve this crisis PDQ.

BRC News Alert on Cong. Simpson

Simpson’s March 4 Letter to Chairman Waxman Asking for a Hearing

Western Caucus Letter to CPSC

The General thanks his readers for their continued efforts on this issue.

# # #

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

National OHV Land Use Awakening?

It is sometimes said that it is tough to awaken a sleeping giant, but after reading ESPN’s March 2 story on land use battles… I think the giant that is the off-road community (media, dirt-bike moms and dads, motocross racers, X-game champions, enduro racers, and trail riders) has had those heavy scales removed from its eyes.

The General has been hearing from a lot of troops about the collective weight of land-use battles currently being waged on any number of fronts. The Wilderness Bills in the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act -S.22, the CPSC ban on youth OHVs, money being stolen from the California OHV Fund, Riverside County banning private tracks, trails being closed by the Forest Service’s Travel Management Rule, and many other issues that collectively appear to be causing a national off-road land-use “awakening.”

As a long time OHV advocate, The General has had a dream that all of the various disciplines of off-road motorcycling would join together and fight these land closures with a loud and effective voice.

I think the ESPN article is a strong indicator that The General’s dream is becoming a reality.

ESPN Article (quotes from MIC, AMA, and BRC)

You can also take the important steps of joining your local, state, and national OHV groups. Join them all. Becoming an involved member of a land use group is the most important thing you can do.
To Join BRC go to:
To Join AMA go to:
Also join your local and state organizations.
Thanks for waking up!!!

# # #

Monday, March 2, 2009


For many years, some leaders of the mountain bike community
have had a dream of finding a way to rewrite federal law so that
mountain bikes are allowed in designated Wilderness areas or
other non-mechanized land classifications.

The following Feb. 17 PEER News Release
should serve as a potent reminder to mountain bike leaders that
many green groups lump their form of recreation in the same category of other hated land-use groups which include OHV, timber, mining, and cattle grazing.

All one has to do is simply replace the term “mountain bikes” with “OHVs” and
the PEER news release would look like so many others they and other green groups have
filed against dirt-bikers, ATVers, or 4WD owners.

The General continues to feel that mountain bikers and OHVers have a lot in common
and should join forces to advocate for continued motorized and mechanized responsible access to our Backcountry. Maybe PEER’s news release will fill the mountain bike community’s nostrils with the not-so-sweet aroma of green bias arising from the brew of the enviro's conflict industry.

# # #