It is with a heavy heart we have to tell you that our lobbyist, Kathy Lynch, and her partner Gerald Upholt were killed in late March. It is believed that Kathy’s adopted son is responsible for their deaths. SDORC hired Kathy in late 2016 to help with reauthorization of California’s off-road vehicle program. Kathy did an outstanding job representing us, so the following year we teamed up with CORVA and ASA to put Kathy on retainer to help us with off-road vehicle issues. Each legislative session, Kathy has identified bills of interest to us and helped to support or oppose them through the session. Kathy didn’t do politics, she worked on policy. I received emails from Kathy in the morning until late at night, even on weekends. Kathy was well liked all through the capitol and with state agencies. We will find a new lobbyist, but we will never replace Kathy. Kathy’s assistant Ann has agreed to continue to help us in limited ways, like getting our position letters to the right committees at the right times.
We placed our order for reflectors for the fence between Superstition Open area and the Navy bombing range. They had 1800 in stock, so we asked for those to be shipped right away. The remaining order will take about a month to fill. We are planning a reflector hanging party April 30 and another in late May (possibly at night).
The BLM is giving us a kiosk along Wheeler Road and we will put info about the reflector project and our organization inside. This is a neat opportunity we are looking forward to.
SDORC is teaming up with the San Diego Adventure Riders to host a motorcycle dual-sport / adventure ride called Mountain Dash. The event will send riders on some of the finest paved and dirt roads in San Diego County, starting in Escondido and going over Palomar, Julian and Otay Mountains (we will have the gate open), and end at Pio Pico Campground. Riders will get a T-shirt, dinner cooked by Marty Tripes, a raffle, and a guest speaker. Online signups have been coming in. We are limiting entries to 100 and we will have T-shirts at the event for people who sign up before May 3. The San Diego Adventure Riders website has a wealth of information about motorcycle trips. Look in the forum for ride reports. Click here for an example. To join the fun, click here.
SDORC is starting its own 501(c)(3) called Dirtrider Foundation. Desiree Bates will be leading this effort to bring in money and awareness, put on cleanups and other events. We look forward to helping Desiree succeed in this.
The BLM is still looking for people to be on the three subgroups they are putting together to help the Desert Advisory Council. The groups are for the Imperial Sand Dunes, Dumont Dunes and the Mojave Trails National Monument. The deadline has been extended until all the seats are filled. I was on the dunes subgroup for six years and found it to be fascinating. We would hear reports on law enforcement, emergency medical, and ground operations. If you have any interest, click here.
We heard California is considering removing fuel tax for some amount of time due to a financial surplus and very high fuel prices. Our OHV program is funded in large part by fuel tax and we have discussed what would happen if the tax was not collected. If the tax is suspended, we will lobby to have our program funded as it has recently been.