Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC
On July 22, the powersports industry and off-highway enthusiasts nationwide welcomed the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (H.R. 7092) in the House by a bipartisan vote of 310-107 and the President signed the bill into law.
“On behalf of the U.S. powersports industry, thank you, Congress, for passing the Great American Outdoors Act,” said Erik Pritchard, MIC President and CEO. “It not only boosts recreation opportunities across the U.S., but it also supports the nation’s economy.”
The GAOA addresses the $20 billion maintenance backlog facing our public lands and waters, and will provide infrastructure for the recreational community, improving public lands for motorcycle, ATV, side-by-side, and snowmobile enthusiasts across the country. This funding will ensure that adequate infrastructure for all types of recreation on U.S. public lands and waters can support rural communities and economies.
The Government Relations Office working on behalf of MIC, SVIA and ROHVA repeatedly reached out to Senate and House leadership as well as numerous Congressional offices urging support for and swift passage of the GAOA. The the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable (ORR), worked with a number of representatives from across the entire outdoor industry and celebrated the act’s passage with this thank you video to Congress.
On July 29, the House Natural Resources Committee passed the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation (SOAR) Act by unanimous consent. H.R. 3879, introduced by Rep. Haaland, included most of the provisions of the Recreation Not Red-Tape Act, H.R. 3458, introduced by Rep. Bishop. The bills are widely supported by the recreation community. Key provisions include:
H.R. 3879 is currently awaiting action on the House floor.
The Coalition for Recreational Trails (CRT) is seeking nominations for outstanding projects that utilized funds from the Recreational Trails Program (RTP). Deadline for nominations has been extended to August 15, 2020, click here to nominate a project.
Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Projects must be completed in order to receive an award.
Please take the time to recognize and promote significant contributions to trail-related recreation that the Recreational Trails Program is supporting all across the country. The recognition of great projects will elevate the profile of the RTP with members of Congress and emphasize the need for continued funding. For more information on CRT visit https://www.americantrails.org/crt.
As part of its webinar series, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) will hold its next webinar on August 11 at 8:00 p.m. EDT. The webinar, will be an industry Update from the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC). MIC President and CEO Erik Pritchard will be joined by MIC’s Senior Vice President of Government Relations Scott Schloegel to provide an update on the state of the powersports industry. Topics will include vehicle sales, market realities, ongoing efforts by MIC, and current government relations issues and opportunities. Any questions should be directed to email@example.com and you can RSVP for the webinar here.
Sarah Miggins at 2019 CA OHV Commission Tour of the Rubicon Trail (Courtesy of Don Amador)
In late July, Gov. Gavin Newsom appointed Sarah Miggins as deputy director of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division at the Department of Parks and Recreation. “I have known and worked with Sarah for a number of years during her tenure on the California OHMVR Commission,” said Don Amador, former chairman of the OHMVR Commission and CA NOHVCC partner. “Her strong commitment to sustainable recreation management, volunteer programs, and conservation efforts will serve the OHMVR Division well as it seeks to provide continued public access to high-quality and environmentally responsible motorized recreation or motorized access to non-motorized opportunities.”
Along with her membership on the OHMVR Commission, Miggins recently held the position of executive vice president and chief of staff at the American Conservation Experience since 2018, where she was California state director from 2016 to 2018. She was center director at Audubon California from 2015 to 2016, executive director at Southern California Mountains Foundation from 2005 to 2015 and program director at Los Angeles Conservation Corps from 2001 to 2005.
Lake Bonneville, Utah
The historic salt flats of Bonneville will be ready for the annual land-speed event of Speed Week (August 8–14). Southern California Timing Association (SCTA), the volunteer organization since 1949, has been the organizer and promoter for this diverse and innovative motorsports event. Upon completing several alterations to the standard procedures, the Utah office of the Bureau of Land Management granted approval to hold the event.
The event features teams, from streamliners with speed potential of more than 500 mph, to vintage 50cc motorcycles that top out at 50 mph. The Bonneville Salt Flats are located two hours from Salt Lake City and just 15 minutes from Wendover, Utah, via Interstate 80. Spectator entry is available on site with $20 day passes and weeklong passes cost just $50. Additional information on Speed Week can be found at the Southern California Timing Association: http://www.scta-bni.org/
As states continue to reopen, they are increasing recreational access to roads, trails, picnic areas, restrooms, and wilderness. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) continues to work with federal, state, and local authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and use a phased approach to increase access on a case-by-case basis. The following recreational areas were reopened in July:
According to BLM, dry conditions due to a lack of precipitation this spring, above normal temperatures, and mats of unburnt fuel from last year are resulting in an above-normal fire potential. BLM issued fire restrictions to the following areas:
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