Our big announcement is SDORC will hold a fundraising BBQ at Lakeside Rodeo on June 24. We are planning a raffle, auction, music, interesting racing vehicle static displays, off-road vendors and of course, food. To sign up or volunteer with us, go to sdorc.org. The price of state lobbyists has gone up and we need another fundraiser besides the Lost Lizard Fun Run to afford the representation off-roaders need.
A positive step just took place at Oceano Dunes (Pismo Beach). The San Luis Obispo County Superior Court rejected a motion by the State of California, the California Department of General Services, and the California Coastal Commission to throw out a lawsuit (without a trial) filed by Friends of Oceano Dunes. This is the “Quiet Title” suit that refers to an old statute that says if the public has crossed private property for over five years, the public has the right to continue crossing indefinitely. In many lawsuits, early on the defendant makes a motion for the judge to dismiss the suit because the case has no merit. The State made this motion, but the judge agreed that the case has merit and is allowing it to move forward. The case will go to a trial this coming October. Friends of Oceano Dunes also has lawsuits centered around challenging the California Coastal Commission’s authority and around the California Environmental Quality Act in a bid to keep Oceano Dunes open for OHV use. Please consider helping the people working hard to save this area and go to https://www.oceanodunes.org/.
We watch state bills that may affect off-roading here in California. This year so far, we don’t see anything would adversely affects us, but we still have a few bills to watch.
SB708 Red sticker replacement bill would allow State Parks to issue stickers similar to our “California Nonresident OHV Use Permit” for 2022 and later racing motorcycles. This is “something” that does not do very much for us. It will simply allow 2022 and later race bikes to compete in actual races on public land. Last year, a similar bill made it all the way to the governor’s desk, where it was vetoed. It was explained by Governor Newsom that it was simply too expensive for the DMV to create the program, the cost of which would come out of the green sticker fund. The DMV quoted $20 million to create and implement a new sticker program. I have to agree with the governor that the DMV quote was outrageous. My feeling is the DMV is a state agency and the state legislature and governor should be able to rein them in. It is suspected that many law enforcement personnel simply want to see some kind of current registration sticker on vehicles and will let bikes go if they have any valid sticker, regardless of where and when it is.
SB503 is a spot bill, which means it does little more that change a comma. Spot bills are started when the author is waiting for information on the bill subject and simply wants to get a bill number. The issue with this is it is in our program’s part of California Code of Regulations, so it could be amended to harm us. The author’s office told me it has something to do with license plates. We will keep watching and hope that is true.
AB411 has to do with the Active Transportation Program. This program deals with walking and bicycling and simply moves some money around. What brought it to our attention is it is right next to Recreational Trails Program code. RTP brings federal tax dollars to off-roaders in the form of grants. Last month I was mistaken in thinking that the bill directly affects us, but we will still need to keep an eye on it.
AB1617 changes the definition of a side-by-side vehicle by removing the displacement definition. This is in response to Polaris building a vehicle way over 1000cc and will require all passengers of these vehicles to wear helmets.
CORVA is having their annual meeting April 29 in Visalia. All CORVA members are invited to attend. Click here for details.
Red Rock Canyon State Park has released their new general plan. Unfortunately we lost some routes there for both street legal and green sticker vehicles. There will still be green sticker access through from north to south. Click here.
Friends of Jawbone is holding the Moose Anderson Days clean up on April 29 in Jawbone Canyon. Click here for info.
From our friends at the National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council: “Help shape the future of OHV recreation on Southern California BLM lands. If you recreate in SoCal, please take this opportunity to weigh in.” There will be some virtual sessions where we can tell the BLM how we want our land managed. Click here.