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Old 11-17-2009, 11:23 PM
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Snowman Snowman is offline
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Default Help from advrider web site

**COHVCO ALERT**

We Need 200 More E-Mails by Wednesday 11/18/09
Please Act Now!

Thanks to all of you who have responded,
but more E-mails are needed to stop the raid!

To make it easier, if you have not sent your message yet,
we have created a form letter (below) for you
to send into State Parks.

Now it is a cinch to help protect your sport.


YOUR COLORADO OHV PROGRAM FUNDS ARE UNDER SERIOUS ATTACK !!!!!!!

WHAT'S GOING ON HERE?

Responsible Trails American, a notorious anti-access and anti-OHV preservationist organization from the east coast has an agenda to take your Colorado OHV registration funds. They want this money because in many cases funding trail maintenance is the only thing that stands between you and extensive closures. They want over 70% of your funds to go to law enforcement and trail closures. THIS IS NOT WHAT THESE FUNDS WERE INTENDED FOR!

HOW ARE THEY TRYING TO DO THIS?

By hiring a prominent local Colorado lobbying firm (yes, the same firm that tried to raid the OHV fund last year) to lobby the Park's Board to force the use of our funds their way, which attempts to destroy the program. They have submitted a resolution to the Park's Board to adopt at the November 20, 2009 Parks Board meeting. The entire resolution misrepresents our nearly 20 year old program. It spits in your face!

HOW CAN YOU STOP THEM?

They can only be stopped by the voice of the OHV community. You must contact the Colorado State Park's Board to save your fund. If you do not, then your money will go towards the destruction of your sport!

YOU HAVE TO CONTACT THE COLORADO STATE PARKS BOARD!!
Tell them you are CONCERNED ABOUT OUR OHV FUNDS. The deadline for contacting them is: November 18, 2009

Click here: parksinfo@state.co.us to send an E-mail NOW to
The Colorado State Parks Board

Then Cut and Paste this Form Letter and Send E-Mail Now:
(Its OK to send just the Form Letter, but feel free to edit or add your own comments)

Mr. Dean Winstanley Director
And the Colorado Parks Board
Colorado State Parks
1313 Sherman Street, Suite 618
Denver, CO 80203


Dear Mr. Winstanley and Board members:

I strongly object to the Resolution submitted by the Southern Rockies Conservation Alliance (SRCA). The SRCA Resolution would shift funds from critical trail maintenance operations currently funded by the OHV program. Doing so will result in mandatory closures of trails that do not meet "standard."
The program has always struck the proper balance between maintenance, education, signing, and environmental protection. It is recognized by both the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management as one of the best programs in the country.
Decades ago, Colorado's OHV community voluntarily "taxed themselves" to ensure that federal land managers would have the resources to manage our recreation. As an OHV recreationist who pays, I will not support these fees going to advance the agenda of anti-public access and anti-motorized recreation groups who do not pay to manage their recreational use.
The SRCA Resolution takes facts out of context as to the current status of OHV recreation in Colorado. The facts are that once Travel Management Plans are in place, compliance is increased, law enforcement is effective, and impacts are reduced.
Colorado's OHV Program directly responds to priorities of the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, as the state funded projects must comply with the National Environmental Policy Act
In response to concerns about unlawful OHV use, our community supported HB1069, which is designed as a highly effective enforcement tool. HB1069, passed in 2008 allows every law enforcement officer in the state to enforce restrictions on OHV travel, more enforcement is not necessary as only a small number violate the law.
Colorado's OHV Program was intended to provide those that pay into it with recreational opportunities. People or organizations from outside Colorado should not be allowed to modify a statute to the detriment of those who pay their way.
The Program is far different from similar programs in other states, and is not in need of tying up funds to satisfy outside interests; our program is uniquely well operated.
A recent legislative audit found that the OHV Program was in compliance with the law and very properly administrated.

Sincerely,

(BE SURE TO Include your name and address)
--
Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition
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Old 11-23-2009, 10:02 PM
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Snowman Snowman is offline
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Thumbs up Posted under Colorado. "Update"

Parks Board Meeting
Latest news everyone. First of all, thanks for your emails. State Parks staff had put all of the emails and letters they received in 5 very large three ring binders and set them on the speakers table in front of the Parks Board panel. It was pretty impressive.

By way of some background, the environmentalists had submitted a resolution to the Parks Board asking them to require that funds from the registration program be spent 1/3 on enforcement (cops), 1/3 for trail closures and environmental remediation, and 1/3 for education and trail maintenance. Historically, about 85 or 90 percent of the money goes to "on the ground" projects on Federal Public lands.

From COHVCO's standpoint, the meeting went well. Apparently the Responsible Trails America lobbyist had put out a press release in the local paper to encourage attendance at the meeting, it ended up being standing room only (in a pretty small room). Anyway, hats off to the US Forest Service and BLM this go around. They had a combined presentation that described how the program and grants help them immensely with their maintenance programs, and how their programs would be adversely affected if the distribution of funds was set in stone. Even the LEOS that spoke (Chief LEO for Division of Wildlife, retired Chief Leo for DOW, and retired Chief LEO for the Forest Service all agreed that lack of enforcement was a problem, but none of them advocated dedicating a specific portion of the fund for that purpose. Finally, even the Assistant Attorney General that represents Colorado State Parks said that it would be bad policy to set dedicated amounts for specific activities.

No action was taken on the resolution by the Parks Board. The next meeting will be in January, and we will be watching the agenda closely, but I am fairly confident that the Parks Board will either take no action, and let the matter die, or will reject the resolution.

I think the next step for Responsible Trails America and its followers will be to try and run legislation change to law to get the funds dedicated to specific categories. COHVOC will be watching closely every bill coming out of the general assembly this next session. We have hired another lobbyist to help our Executive Director and Lobbyist, and we have already started to contact legislators with whom we have a relationship, and who have proven to be friendly to our cause.

In spite of the fact that a good case was made to not dedicate specific amounts of the OHV Registration Fund to specific categories, it is obvious that the anti OHV, anti access folks are not going to go away. They have indicated that they want more representation on the State Recreational Trails Committee and the OHV Project Review Subcommittee. They may even try to submit grant applications on their own for enforcement and trail closure projects. The grant application deadline is December 1st, so we will know shortly after that date what their next move might be.

Finally, on a more positive note, today I had a call from the Chief Recreation Planner for Region 2 of the Forest Service (basically all of the Rocky Mountains). He told me that COHVCO will be recognized at the Regional Forester's Annual Awards meeting in December as one of several Recreational Partners of the Year.

I will update in this forum when I know something solid about what might happen next.

Again, thanks for the comments you all submitted to Colorado State Parks, and thanks to Neduro for all of his help and for starting this thread.


Glenn Graham (Dirt1st)
President & chairman of the Board
COHVOC
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