Public Meetings for Ariz OHV People to give their Input

Meetings that will help inform you, create an OHV presence, and possibly give you an opportunity to voice your opinion.

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Public Meetings for Ariz OHV People to give their Input

Post by Jerry Seaver »

Off-Highway Vehicle Workgroup Proposed
Legislation Public Meetings


All Meetings will be held from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

The meetings will be the public’s opportunity to provide input on proposed legislation that would improve off-highway vehicle management in Arizona by increasing funding through a use fee while clarifying off-highway vehicle rules and regulations.

Date City/Town Location
Oct. 24 Tucson Arizona Game and Fish Department Office 555 N. Greasewood Road, Tucson, AZ 85745
Oct. 25 Benson Cochise College - Benson Center1025 S. Highway 90 Benson, AZ 85602
Oct. 30 Prescott Prescott Valley Council Chambers7501 E. Civic Circle, Prescott Valley, AZ 86314
Nov. 2 Pinetop Arizona Game and Fish Department Office2878 E. White Mountain Boulevard, Pinetop, AZ 85935
Nov. 3 Mesa City Of Mesa Utilities Department640 North Mesa Drive, Mesa, AZ (extra parking at 703 N. Mesa Dr)
Nov. 6 Yuma Arizona Game and Fish Department Office 9140 E. 28th Street, Yuma, AZ 85365
Nov. 7 Kingman Arizona Game and Fish Department Office5325 N. Stockton Hill Road, Kingman, AZ 86409
Nov. 8 Flagstaff Arizona Game and Fish Department Office 3500 S. Lake Mary Road, Flagstaff, AZ 86001
Nov. 15 Glendale Glendale Foothills Branch Library19055 N. 57th Ave., Glendale, AZ 85308
Nov. 16 Safford Eastern Arizona College, Bonita Room1014 N. College Avenue, Thatcher, AZ 85552

Workgroup Participants:

Arizona Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition
Apache County ATV Roughriders
Drew and the Crew Motor Sports
Arizona Wildlife Federation
Arizona Deer Association
Arizona Elk Society
Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona State Parks
Arizona Sate Land Department
U.S. Forest Service
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Bureau of Land Management
Yuma County Sheriff’s Office
Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office

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Post by LoBuck »

Thanks Jerry. I hadn't seen that.
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Post by Winston Cup »

I'd encourage all AZ ohv people to get in this game quick and hard. Be sure to use the California OHMVR Fund as a model of just how screwed up, dysfunctional and corrupt a progam can get. Learn from it or you'll repeat it.
Last edited by Winston Cup on Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by azsandrider »

I coppied this information over to ridingarizona.com
(The above statement is my own opinion and not that of the ASA's.)

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Post by ddjthomas »

Can we get a copy of what they are proposing so we can be prepared walking into those meetings :?:
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Post by Jerry Seaver »

You can go to azgfd.gov/ohv and look at the OHV Management Legislation down load on that page to see what is planned.

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Post by azsandrider »

I just went to the Az Game and Fish website www.azgfd.gov/ohv and read the draft proposal.

They break down OHVs into three categories. Type 1 - normal ATV; Type 2- Motorcycle; Type 3 - Other vehicles such as Jeeps, Rails, probably Rhino type vehicles & Golf carts.


The way I read it, ALL type 1 and type 2 OHVs will be required to buy a sticker when operated on the trails EVEN IF WE HAVE STREET LEGAL REGISTRATION while type 3 OHVs will NOT have to buy a sticker if they have street legal registration even though they may be on the same trails.

THIS IS SIMPLY UNFAIR!!!!!

Why should a street plated ATV pay more to ride on a Forest Road or trail than a Jeep?

We need to make sure that A LOT of ATV riders attend these meetings and vocalize our opposition! This is a draft proposal and changes can be made. If we let them know that we, as ATV riders, will band together and contact legislators to make changes, I'm sure the group proposing this law will make the changes first. They want the legislature to 'rubber stamp' the law through....

It looks like the AZ Offroad Advocacy groups protected the 'Jeepers' and the expense of ATV riders.

The other thing I noticed is that the sticker fees are not specified in the law, but states who can set the fees. This means that the sticker fees can be changed more easily as the legistlature would not have to approve fee changes. If the new law specified the fee, than it would require the legislature to amend the law to raise it. The way it is written now, it would be much easier for the fees to be raised without much public opposition.

THIS PROGRAM AFFECTS EVERY OHV OWNER IN ARIZONA!!!! You better be involved!!!! E-mail this to all your OHV friends!
(The above statement is my own opinion and not that of the ASA's.)

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Post by Jerry Seaver »

I have to agree with Tim.

Hunters, birdwatchers, fisherman, people that collect antlers, hikers going to some trail heads, Equistrians and others, all go off road. These trucks and other forms of transportation other than ATV's and motorcycles should be paying for this privilege along with the ATV's and motorcycles.

If you ride off road with a ATV or motorcycle you will pay less for this privilege under this program if everyone pays their fair share.

You can bet the groups that are not now being considered for this program are very happy with it the way it is being presented right now.

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Post by crash »

Might the proposal not fail much more easily if it is not all inclusive? It seems to me that the way this reads it is VERY discriminatory.

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Post by Jerry Seaver »

The proposed plan now is more to the liking of the legislature. It doesn't effect groups that they get a lot of lobblying from. It also is patterned after plans in other states like Calif. and others. Originally the plan did include all vehicles that went off road. This version doesn't and it will take some strong public comment to get it back to including all vehicles that go off road.

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Post by azsandrider »

Or exempt all street plated vehicles....
(The above statement is my own opinion and not that of the ASA's.)

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Post by Jerry Seaver »

Or exempt all street plated vehicles....
My 2 cents is, if there is going to be a program that is going to fund law enforcement, restoration, and projects that will create or maintain Off Road riding areas, then every vehicle that is going off road should be paying into it. Whether they are plated or not, and not just ATV's and Motorcycles. Exempting all street plated vehicles isn't making it fair. I don't see why ATVs and motorcycles should be the only vehicles that are paying into this program, they aren't the only vehicles going off road.

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Post by LoBuck »

OK folks, the CBD has thier eyes on this one too.

I put the items that should make you go :shock: in bold red.

Email from CBD:
Dear Glenn,

Please tell Game and Fish to Help Protect the Public's Lands and Wildlife from Irresponsible Off-road Vehicle Activities!

Contact: Chris Kassar, Wildlife Biologist, ckassar@biologicaldiversity.org

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking public input on draft legislation to establish an off-road vehicle management fund. The current draft would give off-road vehicle groups a controlling voice in deciding how this fund is allocated, and its vague language could allow it to be disproportionately spent on opening new areas to this destructive use. Your help is needed to ensure the fund is not misspent and is instead used to end illegal off-road vehicle abuse and restoring damaged lands.

The Game and Fish Department and other agencies developed the draft "Copper sticker" legislation with off-road vehicle groups. Last year a similar bill was introduced and died on the Senate floor. We need to make sure that major improvements are made to the current draft before it is introduced this time around.

Game and Fish is conducting informational open houses and also accepting written comments until November 26. Please speak up for Arizona’s wild lands by attending one of the open house meetings and providing written comments. It is critical that conservation voices be heard!

Ask it to, at a minimum, include:

- A prohibition against using the fund to expand or open up new areas to off-road vehicles.

- More funding for law enforcement. Off-road vehicles are creating major problems for law enforcement relative to trespasses – including in wilderness areas – safety and destruction of natural resources. The draft bill does not allocate adequate funds to meet enforcement needs or make much of a dent in the irresponsible and unlawful activities. We would like to see 30 percent of the fund specifically designated for enforcement.

- An aggressive restoration and mitigation program. The damage from off-road vehicles is significant. Game and Fish and State Parks should work with federal land managers to ensure restoration and mitigation of this damage. We believe a minimum of 20 percent of the fund should be specifically allocated and used for these purposes.

- A “balanced” advisory group that is not stacked with ORV club members. The Advisory Committee: 1) was appointed by two agencies that have a mission to further ORV activities and opportunities for activities, and 2) consists only of people who ride ORVs (either casually or affiliated with an organization). There should be a balance on the committee to represent other interests.

- Expanding the operation restrictions to include more specific and other environmental and safety impacts.

Background
The bill would create a user fee for off-road vehicles, which is expected to generate $4 million dollars each year. The fund could be used for the maintenance and development of ORV trails and routes, education and information programs, enhanced law enforcement, and mitigation for damaged lands. We are concerned that the first item – development of new trails and routes – will take precedence over other important issues.

Unfortunately, the committee that would determine where 50 percent of the fund is applied – the Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group* – is totally stacked with members of off-road vehicle clubs. In the current draft of the bill, the committee would contain five members of off-road vehicle groups and two who represent the general public or ride off-road vehicles. This group should include some people with conservation, wildlife and archaeology expertise.

The Center believes more of the fund should go to law enforcement. There is a huge problem with off-road vehicle abuse and the current language of the bill does not effectively secure funds for this serious need. A minimum of 30 percent should be set aside for enforcement and restoration.

It is also imperative that the funds are not used to open new areas to off-road vehicles, but instead is used to maintain, designate and place appropriate signs. in existing use areas. It also should fund actions to close inappropriate routes.

Additionally, an aggressive program for restoration and mitigation must be included. There is great damage to address on both public and private lands. Key wildlife areas, washes and riparian areas should be the top priority.

The draft bill does include some positive requirements, including that all ORVs shall have adequate brakes, lighted headlights and tail lights, a muffler that is in good working order, a spark arrestor, and a safety flag. Measures to increase safety and reduce noise are welcome.

Thank you for taking the time to attend and/or comment. Your participation can make a world of difference!

This action alert was compiled with the help of Sandy Bahr, Conservation Outreach Director of the Sierra Club - Grand Canyon Chapter.

*The term off-highway vehicle or OHV is interchangeable with “off-road vehicle” or ORV, but is the preferred term of the industry to make these vehicles sound less destructive.
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Post by LoBuck »

I attended the meeting in Yuma on 11/6. If you are an AZ resident, or have an interest in what happens, I urge you to attend a meeting.

Here's a report.

The folks with AZ Game & Fish did a great job conducting the meeting. They had a good presentation, answered and asked questions, and were very thorough in making sure that the comments that were recorded were accurate.

There was about 10-12 people there, most were more "sportsmen" than "off-roaders". All of them do have an interest in this issue though so that's great. The guy running the meeting said that every meeting they've had so far there has been a majority of "sportsmen" or 'off-roaders" one way or the other. There was one guy for the Audubon Society, I think his name is Meister, that is always at these kinds of meetings in Yuma. He had a few comments, but nothing to bad.

Most of the group was very vocal that street licensed vehicles should remain exempt from the Copper Sticker. One on the big issues I didn't know about was that any ATV, Rhino, or UTV that has been street licensed by MVD will NOT be exempt from having a Copper sticker. In fact, there will probably be action brought about to have the license made invalid. It is the opinion of this Off-Highway Vehicle Legislative Work Group that the MVD acted beyond the rules in licensing them and found that in most cases the vehicles were issued plates and registration without being inspected. The Yuma County Deputy Sheriff that was at the meeting and is the rep on the work group, said that among several other things, the tires are not DOT rated.

Overall, the people attending agreed that something needed to be done to get additional funding, but didn't particularly care for a $20 year sticker.

Here's something that may, or may not, surprise you. Either way, it should make the hair on your neck stand up. :shock:
A total of $7 million has been "swept" from the OHV Fund since 1999. $4 million was "swept" in 2003, and according to the chart that was handed out, ALL of the money collected in 2003 and 2004 was "swept" by the AZ legislature. Swept being that the funds were put into the general fund then distributed from there to where they thought it was needed during the "short fall" years.

The new plan is supposed to distribute monies right away, keeping the balance in the fund low to prevent it from getting "swept" in the future. That part I like. Sounds like something the CA OHMVR commission should be doing.

After the presentation and Q & A period. The presenters conducted a multiple choice poll of the audience and counted the responses made by a raise of hands.

Here are the recorded comments I made at the meeting.
5-902 C.4 states that 50% of the fund may be spent by the AZ Game & Fish (AG&F) to devlop and implement a grant or agreement program. The Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group will determine the amounts distributed. A base cap of 60% is to be set for 6 categories, 5 of which are directly related to OHV. The 6th is for Mitigation of damages to the land.
I recommended that the majority of the funds should be set for the OHV categories and a minmal amount for mitigation.

5-904 A. Establishes the 7 member Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group (OHVAG) which is made up of appointees by AG&F and AZ State Parks (ASP). AG&F to appoint 3 members and ASP to appoint 4 members.
I recommened that the appointees should be AG&F 4 and ASP 3 to reflect the higher portion of responsibility that AG&F will have for this program.

5-904 A.2. states that 2 members of the OHVAG shall represent the General Public or Causal OHV Recreationalist.
I recommended that the word "general public" be removed. This will ensure that all members of the OHVAG will be OHV Recreationalists.
Glenn Montgomery - KE7BTP
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