Take Action to Increase Recreational Trail Funding Nearly Threefold
If you have not already reached out to your member of Congress, please visit the ARRA website to request co-sponsorship of H.R. 5797, the RTP Full Funding Act of 2020. The bill would ensure that we get back the tax dollars that recreational interests pay into the National Highway Trust Fund every time we fill up our motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, etc., and if the bill passes, it could provide nearly three times the amount of funding for recreational trails than the current RTP formula.
BLM Begins to Implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act
As the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) begins to implement the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act, they are seeking public assistance in nominating lands managed by the agency on which the public is allowed to hunt, fish, or use the land for other recreational purposes, but to which there is no legal public access or where access is significantly restricted. BLM will use the public’s comments to prepare a report for Congress that provides reasonable options for accessing to such lands. Options may include acquiring an easement, rights-of-way, or fee titles from a willing owner.
We urge ARRA members to submit comments via BLM’s ePlanning website as the public nomination period to identify parcels for inclusion on BLM’s priority list which will close on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
BLM will post its first priority list on the ePlanning website by Thursday, March 12, 2020 and will update the list every two years for at least the next decade.
Council on Environmental Quality to Modernize the National Environmental Policy Act
On Jan. 9th, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – Update to the Regulations Implementing the Procedural Provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) 85 FR 1684. The notice of proposed rulemaking appeared in the Federal Register on Friday, January 10, for public comment. The proposed rule intends to modernize NEPA in order to facilitate more efficient and effective environmental reviews and strengthen our permitting process. Signed into law in 1970, NEPA mandates federal agencies consider the environmental impacts of proposed federal actions. CEQ is proposing to modernize its NEPA regulations for the first time in over 40 years.
NEPA applies to a broad range of Federal actions, including federally funded construction projects, plans to manage and develop federal lands, and federal authorizations of non-federal activities such as licenses and permits. The key elements of the proposed rule seek to: modernize, simplify, and accelerate the NEPA process; clarify terms, application, and scope of NEPA review; enhance coordination with states, tribes, and localities; reduce unnecessary paperwork and delays; and promote better decision-making consistent with NEPA’s statutory requirements.
ARRA encourages members to review the proposed rule and submit comments encouraging efficiencies, effectiveness, and reduction in paperwork and reporting to the NEPA review process. ARRA, along with a number of other organizations, will submit comments and if your organization would like to be a signatory to the letter, please email Mario Mairena at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can add you to the letter. A draft will be prepared prior to our next ARRA call on March 3rd and circulated for your review. The last day to join on the letter will be March 7th.
The text of the proposed rule can be found here.
In addition to joining the ARRA letter, you may submit comments here and follow the online instructions for submitting comments to Docket ID No. CEQ-2019-0003. Comments to CEQ must submitted by March 10, 2020.
BLM Offices in California Seeking Input for OHV Grant Proposals
The Bureau of Land Management’s Eagle Lake and Arcata Field Offices are accepting public input on management needs and projects that would benefit off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands. BLM can utilize grant funding for education, law enforcement, trail monitoring, maintenance, construction, development, safety improvements, and road repairs throughout the state.
“In past years we have used these grant funds to improve off-highway riding and driving opportunities for our communities and visitors,” said Emily Ryan, acting field manager for the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office. “We always look forward to seeing suggestions from those who enjoy OHV sports on public lands.”
Comments to the Eagle Lake Office are due by Friday, February 21, and the Eagle Lake Field Office will develop a preliminary grant application to the California State Parks, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division. Comments for the Arcata office are due on March 1, and BLM will submit project proposals to California State Parks on March 2.
Public comments or suggestions can be submitted by mail to the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office, 2550 Riverside Dr., Susanville, CA 96130, attention Marisa Williams, or by email to email@example.com. You can review preliminary applications by visiting the grants section beginning March 2.
Public comments or suggestions can be submitted by mail to the BLM Arcata Field Office, 1695 Heindon Road, Arcata, CA, 95521, attention Casey Hague, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can review preliminary applications by visiting the grants section at http://ohv.parks.ca.gov, from March 3 through May 4.
Federal Legislation Focuses on Revising Labeling of E15 Fuel
U.S. Reps. Austin Scott (R-Ga.) and Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) have reintroduced the “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2019,” H.R. 1024. The legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to revise labeling requirements for fuel pumps that dispense E15 fuel, including by requiring the labels of such fuel pumps to include additional details. The labels must include warning information about vehicles, engines, and equipment (e.g., boats, lawn mowers, chainsaws, motorcycles, snowmobiles, and pre-2001 model year vehicles) that are prohibited from using E15.
It is against federal law to use E15 in motorcycle, ATV, and ROV engines. Additionally, E15 damages engines in a wide range of products and results in performance degradation, emission increases, fuel leaks, engine failures, and voids manufacturer warranties. The current label is inadequate and a larger pictogram that includes the word “WARNING” will mitigate misfuelling incidents. The revised label will provide greater clarity and protection for motorcycle, ATV, and ROV owners at fueling stations where higher-ethanol is dispensed at the same pumps as E10. Finally, the legislation requires the EPA administrator to develop a public education campaign informing the public of the risks associated with the improper use of E15 for vehicles, engines, and equipment that are prohibited from using E15. The EPA’s educational campaign will greatly benefit the 12.2 million motorcycle, ATV, and ROV users across the U.S.