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June 13th, 2009, 09:01 AM   #1
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Take Action Now (06/13/09 California OHV Funds at Risk!!

Information Alert- California Legislators Considering Using OHV Funds to Operate State Park Facilities Where OHV Use is Not Allowed!

Please read and the following important message from the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) & the American Motorcyclist Association, D37 Competition (AMA D37)
.........
Every California resident is urged to contact their representatives and members of the Budget Conference Committee and tell them to not take money out of the OHV Trust Fund to operate CA State Parks facilities where OHV use is NOT allowed

The state of California is in the midst of a severe budget crisis. Some legislators in the state would like to destroy one of the only programs in the state that is self funded and does not use any general fund money. In 1971 the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) community agreed not use general fund dollars to operate and maintain their system of recreation areas. Instead, this segment of the recreating public chose a pay to play system. The OHV Division of California State Parks is funded exclusively by taxes paid on gasoline used recreating off-highway, red and green sticker registration fees and entrance fees to the State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRA's).

Earlier this year the OHV trust fund was already raided by the Legislature to lend the general fund $90 million that had previously been set aside for acquiring new properties. And now, after that money has been sacrificed to the current budget crisis, the OHV community in California is being asked to give more! When will this madness stop? Why destroy one of the only successful and fully self funded programs in the state? Instead, our representatives are looking to steal the money of hard working OHV recreating families. The leaders of this state should attempt to emulate the success of the OHV program in order to properly fund other non OHV State Park facilites that are in need of operating funds.

Below you will find the contact information for the members of the Budget Conference Committee who will be considering this irresponsible action. Please contact them as well as your local representatives and express your displeasure with the idea of using OHV trust funds to operate California State Parks where OHV use is not allowed.

The template letter provided should be personalized and faxed or e-mailed to the members of the Committee. This template letter can also be found on the AMA D37 message board at http://www.district37ama.org/forums/ in both the off-road and dual sport forums. Together the OHV community can make a difference!

2009 Budget Conference Committee Members

Assembly

Noreen Evans - Fax 916-319-2107 (phone 916-319-2007) (Chair)
Roger Niello - Fax 916-319-2105 (phone 916-319-2005)
Bob Blumenfield - fax 916-319-2140 (phone 916-319-2040)
Kevin de Leon - Fax 916-319-2145 (phone 916-319-2045)
Jim Nielsen - Fax916- 319-2102 (phone 916-319-2002)

Senate

Denise Ducheny - Fax 916-327-3522 (phone 916-651-4040) (Chair)
Bob Dutton - Fax 916-327-2272 (phone 916-651-4031)
Mark Leno - Fax 916-445-4722 (phone 916-651-4003)
Alan Lowenthal - Fax 916-327-9113 (phone 916-651-4027)
Mimi Walters - Fax 916-445-9754 (phone 916-651-4033)

If one of your legislators is on this committee then please send a letter or fax directly to them. If not, please send a letter or fax to the chair of each committee.

The following can be used as a template, but a quick 1 page letter in your own words is even better.

Dear (insert name of Legislator):

My family enjoys recreating together on off-highway vehicles. This is one of the few activities that everyone in our family can participate in together. I am also aware of the fact that the state of California is in the midst of a serious financial crisis. It is my understanding that the state is considering using OHV trust fund dollars to fund parks that do NOT allow OHV use. I am strongly opposed to this idea.

In 1971 the Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) community agreed not use general fund dollars to operate and maintain their system of recreation areas. Instead, the OHV recreating public chose a pay to play system. The OHV Division of California State Parks is funded exclusively by taxes paid on gasoline used recreating off-highway, red and green sticker registration fees and entrance fees to the State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRA's).

Earlier this year the OHV trust fund was already raided by the Legislature to lend the general fund $90 million that had been set aside for acquiring new properties. And now after that money has been sacrificed to the current budget crisis, the OHV community in California is being asked to give more! When will this madness stop? Why destroy one of the only successful and fully self funded programs in the state? Why are these representatives looking to steal the money of hard working OHV recreating families, like mine? The leaders of this state should attempt to emulate the success of the OHV program in order to properly fund other non OHV State Parks that are in need of operating funds.

Sincerely,

Your name & address
........
Joe
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June 13th, 2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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Thanks for posting this Joe,

It's rather interesting to say the least as the state passed a proposition a few years back to keep the legislature from taking gas tax monies and using them for anything else except for what they were intended, road maintenance. And since a predetermined portion of those gas taxes are sent to the OHV fund for the SVRA's, and these parks are funded from the general fund, I would think that this would be a slam dunk legally.

But leave it to politicians to grab any money they can.

Why not just make the park users pay a user fee just like I have to pay my green sticker fee, or my "adventure pass" to stop anywhere on a public highway within a national forest?

I'm glad to see that this is on the D-37 site as well. I'll be sure and send it off to the BRC and see if I can get them to send out an action alert for this.

Dale
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June 14th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the information Joe. I also live in the Golden State and will be sending a letter.

Daniel
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June 15th, 2009, 01:00 PM   #4
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I found out that trying to send these people a fax was next to impossible. I did some home work and found out their emails and addresses.

Here is the letter I sent to them and their addresses. Enjoy.


Dear Alan Lowenthal,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Senate
Fax 916-327-9113 Phone 916-651-4027
State Capitol, Room 2032
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator.Lowenthal@senate.ca.gov


Dear Jim Nielsen,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Assembly
Fax 916- 319-2102 Phone 916-319-2002
State Capitol Room #6031
Sacramento, CA 95814
Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov


Dear Roger Niello,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Assembly
Fax 916-319-2105 Phone 916-319-2005
4811 Chippendale Drive, Suite 501
Sacramento, CA 95841
Assemblymember.niello@assembly.ca.gov


Dear Bob Blumenfield,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Assembly
Fax 916-319-2140Phone 916-319-2040
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0040
Assemblymember.Blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov


Dear Kevin de Leon,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Assembly
Fax 916-319-2145 Phone 916-319-2045
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0045
Assemblymember.Deleon@assembly.ca.gov


Dear Mimi Walters,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Senate
State Capitol, Room 3082
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax 916-445-9754 Phone 916-651-4033
Senator.Walters@senate.ca.gov

Dear Bob Dutton,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Senate
Fax 916-327-2272 Phone 916-651-4031
State Capitol, Room 5094
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator.Dutton@senate.ca.gov

Dear Mark Leno,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Senate
Fax 916-445-4722 Phone 916-651-4003
State Capitol, Room 4061
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator.Leno@senate.ca.gov


Dear Denise Ducheny,
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Chair
Senate
Fax 916-327-3522 Phone 916-651-4040
State Capitol,
Room 5035
Sacramento, CA 95814
Senator.Ducheny@senate.ca.gov

Dear Noreen Evans,
Chair
2009 Budget Conference Committee
Assembly
Fax 916-319-2107 Phone 916-319-2007
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0007
Assemblymember.Evans@assembly.ca.gov


As a resident of California and a member of the off-highway vehicle (OHV) community for 30 years now, I am asking that you oppose any effort by the legislature to divert OHV trust fund monies to manage state parks that do not allow OHV recreation.

The California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of California State Parks is nationally recognized as a model "user-pay/user-benefit" department that effectively blends the following core tenets of OHV recreation: 1) trail/facility maintenance; 2) restoration of legally-closed lands; 3) law enforcement of OHV regulations; and 4) safety/education outreach into an ecologically-balanced OHV program.

I understand the serious nature of California’s budget crisis. However, the state has already borrowed $90 million dollars from the OHV Trust Fund, thereby negatively impacting the quality of California’s OHMVR experience for those who have paid for it. This fund is obviously working as intended as user supported, and has a surplus of funds, a surplus that has already been raided and thus postponed the purchase of new lands for improving the OHMVR recreational opportunities.

I again urge your office to oppose any effort by the legislature to divert additional OHV Trust Fund dollars to non-OHV-related projects or programs.


Sincerely,

your name and address
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June 16th, 2009, 05:36 AM   #5
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The General reports a victory

http://thegeneralsrecreationden.blogspot.com/

The General wants to thank all the troops who contacted their legislators today regarding the potential attack on the OHV trust fund. I heard from club members throughout the state who faxed or called their legislators about protecting the OHV program. Some of those clubs who let The General know they had sent letters include, but are not limited to, the FWMC, MCMA, BARF, CERA, D36, CAL4WD, DVMC, EOMBs, etc.

I believe the professionalism and volume of your letters helped make the difference. Although the battle is not completely over, it looks at this time that the OHMVR program will remain whole.

The General watched the conference committee debate the issue (item #3790) on a live video feed. It appears the conference committee decided not to move OHV money to offset park costs. Instead, it has been proposed that there be a $15 increase to the Motor Vehicle Account (MVA) which, unlike the Vehicle License fee - a personal property tax - is an actual fee. Ultimately, if it is dropped into a trailer bill it will only require a majority vote.

The General salutes all of you who took the time to make your voices heard today.
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