Washington Newsletter – December 2019

Photo by Wyoming State Parks

Fuel Study for Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Included in FY 2020 Spending Bill

Through the hard and diligent work of MIC, SVIA, ROHVA and several members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT), fuel study report language was included and passed in H.R. 1865, Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law No: 116-94). The fuel study report language directs the U.S. Department of Transportation’s, Federal Highway Administration to conduct an updated study on the total amount of non-highway recreational fuel taxes collected on an annual basis. The data from this study will be used to determine the level of funding to be allocated to the Recreational Trails Program (RTP).

In the past, the federal government estimated that off-highway recreational users paid $270M per year in gas taxes. Due to the introduction and significant sales of side-by-sides since the initial government estimate many years ago, we are confident that an updated study will benefit the RTP program which is currently funded at just $85 million per year. The fuel study report language was championed and successfully secured by Sen. Shaheen (D-NH) in S. 2520, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020. The coalition will continue to meet with members of the House and Senate transportation committees to ensure RTP is included in the highway reauthorization and hopefully will see increased funding.

Minnesota to Create Outdoor Recreation Task Force

On Dec. 12, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Explore Minnesota partnered to launch a new Outdoor Recreation Task Force. The Task Force is directed to explore areas that focus on growth, increased and equitable access, and providing a higher level of quality of outdoor recreation opportunities that support the $15.B tourism economy in Minnesota.

“Outdoor recreation provides substantial social, economic, and health-related benefits to Minnesotans,” said Governor Tim Walz. “This task force represents a ‘big-tent’ effort to bring together a community of leaders who will make recommendations to make sure Minnesota is second-to-none in outdoor recreation and economic opportunity.”

The DNR and Explore Minnesota leadership will select 20 task force members from the outdoor recreation community to represent a diverse and balanced mix of outdoor interests, expertise and values. Additionally, the Task Force will be tasked with developing and delivering a set of recommendations to DNR and Explore Minnesota by the fall of 2020.

Applications for participating on the task force closed on January 11th and selected applicants will be notified sometime later in January and publicly announced shortly thereafter.

For questions regarding the task force please contact Gratia Joice, DNR Principal Planner, at 651-259-5328 or gratia.joice@state.mn.us.

NOHVCC Moving Forward with State OHV Action Plan in Colorado

To improve off-road motorized recreational opportunities on public lands in Colorado, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) announced its partnership with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife (CPW), and the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO). Together, they will be conducting a series of listening sessions with off-highway vehicle enthusiasts to better understand the off-highway landscape and enhance the off-highway recreational experience for Coloradoans. The first series of sessions will take place in Fort Range in January and the second series in the Western Slope in April. For additional information, please contact Duane Taylor, Executive Director, NOVHCC, duane@nohvcc.org.

NOHVCC Announces Webinar Series

Due to the success of webinars in 2019, the NOHVCC will provide additional webinars in 2020 focused on OHV safety, education, management and other issues affecting the motorized recreation community. The first webinar will take place in January 2020 and NOHVCC plans to broadcast its first international webinar later in the year.

A listing of previously recorded webinars is available to NOHVCC members at:

https://www.nohvcc.org/nohvcc-webinar-series-to-continue-in-2020-recorded-versions-of-all-2019-webinars-now-available/.

NOHVCC members will be notified via email with the dates and topics for the 2020 webinar series.

Congress Avoids Shutdown

On Dec. 19, 2019, Congress cleared the $1.4T, two-part spending bill to fund the government for FY 2020. The 12 FY 2020 funding bills were passed as two separate minibus bills. H.R. 1865, Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law No: 116-94) contains funding for the following eight appropriation bills: Labor-Health and Human Services-Education, Agriculture, Energy and Water Development, Interior-Environment, Legislative Branch, Military Construction-Veterans Affairs, State-Foreign Operations, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development.

H.R. 1158, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Public Law No: 116-93) contains the funding for the remaining four appropriation bills: Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services and General Government, and Homeland Security.

The President signed the FY 2020 spending bills before the funding deadline of Dec. 20, 2019.


Past Issues:

Tongass National Forest (USDA Photo) House Holds Hearing on Removing Alaska’s Tongass National Forest Roadless Protections On Nov. 13th the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held a hearing regarding the ad …

Recreational Trails Program (RTP) MIC, SVIA, ROHVA, and other members of the Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) have been working diligently with Senate and House staff to ensure continued funding of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) and to ho …

Motorbike rider, Flat Top Peach Valley Recreation Area, Colorado. Photo credit: BLM Uncompahgre Field Office. BLM Gets Ready to Move West On July 16th, the Department of the Interior announced its intention to relocate the Washington headquarters of th …


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