HOW WILDERNESS LEGISLATION CAN STOP OFF-ROADERS IN THEIR TRACKS
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Published on Thu, Aug 12, 2010
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Like all niches of the auto hobby, off-roading is an activity enjoyed by countless enthusiasts and families all over the country. Responsible use of OHVs (off highway vehicles) provides quality and exciting family time outdoors enjoying all that America’s landscape has to offer on two or four wheels. However, with increasing frequency, enthusiasts are encountering a road or trail closed sign on public lands. This is often the result of Congress passing legislation that creates an area called “wilderness.” “A wilderness designation is the strictest form of public land management since virtually all mechanized equipment is outlawed,” said SAN Director Ethan Landesman. “Motorized recreation is non-existent on these lands. In fact, allowable use in areas designated as wilderness only includes travel on foot or horseback—without the luxury of toilets, tables or fire pits.” Wilderness does serve an important environmental purpose in protecting plants and animals and America’s natural heritage. The question is the amount of land that needs such a restrictive designation and whether it is possible to permit some motorized activities on portions of the land. When Congress enacted the Wilderness Act in 1964, it set aside 9 million acres of land. There are now about 110 million acres, and Congress is considering requests to add another 20 or 30 million acres. Only Congress can designate a wilderness by enacting legislation into law. There are some compromise OHV-friendly solutions when considering such bills. For example, one is to “cherry-stem” existing roads and trails so they do not receive the wilderness stamp. Another is the so-called “back country” designation— not as drastic as wilderness—that would permit motorized activity on certain lands while simultaneously protecting the environment. “In recent years, anti-OHV activists have pushed dozens of wilderness bills in an organized effort to lock-up as much land as possible,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA’s vice president of government affairs. “When these bills are rushed through Congress, however, there is little opportunity to cherry-stem existing roads and trails. In fact, the wilderness designation may be an intentional means to force responsible OHV enthusiasts off public land. This hurts local economies that depend upon off-road activities and deprives enthusiasts of legitimate recreational opportunities.” This happened in 2009, when Congress combined more than 160 separate wilderness measures into one gigantic bill called the Omnibus Public Land Management Act. The law created nearly 2.2 million acres of new wilderness in nine states, including areas in and around Joshua Tree National Park and the Eastern Sierras in California, Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands in Idaho, Mt. Hood in Oregon, Zion National Park in Utah, Sabinoso Wilderness in New Mexico and Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. The OHV community is still identifying roads and trails that were swept-up in the closures. Two examples include Mt. Canaan Trail in Utah and Dickshooter Ridge Road in Idaho. There are many more threats on the horizon. The current Congress is considering dozens more wilderness measures which, if combined into a single bill, could encompass as much as 30 million acres of land across the country! Scores of popular OHV trails could be closed. It is more important than ever to get involved and make your voice heard by government. The SAN maintains that it is possible to balance environmental protection and promote responsible recreational opportunities. The SAN advocates a number of basic principles including: * Implementing OHV policies that recognize the importance of vehicle-oriented recreation. * Conducting case-by-case reviews of lands subject to a wilderness designation to ensure widespread local community support, and releasing any lands that do not meet the wilderness criteria since they have been developed with roads, trails, buildings, etc. * Cherry-stemming existing roads/trails, a process that excludes them from the wilderness area and, thereby, can remain open to recreation. * Creating a new designation called “back country” to supplement the wilderness designation. Back country would facilitate motorized recreation while still protecting the land. The designation would expand access and recreation opportunities to a large percentage of Americans who do not visit wilderness areas, including the very young, elderly and physically challenged. For more information on land-use issues and ways you can help protect roads and trails from closure, visit the SAN’s Guide to Land Use Policies and Off Road Equipment at semasan.com. Wilderness Bills Pending in Congress Wilderness bills can vary in size and impact on the hobby. To follow are wilderness bills currently in Congress that could dramatically reshape the face of OHV recreation. Northern Rockies: The “Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act” (H.R. 980) invents the term “Northern Rockies Bioregion” and then uses it as the reason to outlaw any motorized activity on nearly 24 million acres of land in five states (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming) using the wilderness designation. Utah: More than one-sixth of Utah would be off-limits to any form of motorized recreation if Congress approves H.R. 1925, “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009.” The bill would designate 9.4 million acres of land in Utah as “wilderness.” Most of the 168 co-sponsors of the legislation represent areas east of the Rockies. Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (S. 3294)—330,000 acres of land in Idaho. Colorado Wilderness Act (H.R. 4289)—34 areas totaling 850,000 acres in Colorado San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act (H.R. 3914; S. 2762)—44,000 acres in southwestern Colorado Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act (S. 1689)—272,000 acres in New Mexico Cerro Del Yuta Wilderness and Rio San Antonio Wilderness (S. 874)—236,000 acres near Taos, New Mexico Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (S. 1470)—set aside 600,000 acres while protecting timber harvesting in Montana Devil’s Staircase Wilderness Act (S. 1272; H.R. 2888)—30,000 acres in Oregon Tony Dean Cheyenne River Valley Conservation Act (S. 3310)—50,000 acres in South Dakota Tennessee Wilderness Act (S. 3470)—20,000 acres near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee While these bills have not yet been passed, other wilderness bills have resulted in real trails being closed to OHV enthusiasts. Some examples of areas where off-road recreation is no longer permitted are: Canaan Mountain Sawmill Road, Utah: The road was built around the turn-of-the-last-century for access to a sawmill at the top of Canaan Mountain in Utah near the Arizona border. For decades, it has been a popular recreation route with spectacular vistas of the “Grand Staircase” and Arizona Strip. In 2009, Congress included the Canaan Mountain Wilderness, along with nearly 160 other measures in the “Omnibus Public Land Management Act.” As a result, OHV access was then outlawed on nearly 2.2 million acres of new wilderness in nine states when the law took effect in March 2009. Dickshooter Ridge Road, Idaho: About 17 miles of road on Dickshooter Ridge between Battle and Deep Creeks was closed when the Owyhee Canyonlands Wilderness was created in southwest Idaho as a result of the 2009 law. The road offered spectacular views of vertical walled gorges and vistas of the surrounding desert plateaus. The road was named after Dick Shooter, who established a homestead there and was the original route old timers used to travel from Silver City to Salt Lake and the Humboldt (Nevada) area. Lonstine River Road, Oregon: The popular road south of Lonstine, Oregon, would be closed if the “Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act” is passed by Congress. The legislation invents the term “Northern Rockies Bioregion” as the reason to outlaw any motorized activity on nearly 24 million acres of land in five States (Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, Wyoming). Bill sponsors want to create the Eagle Cap Wilderness and close the road within the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. CAUCUS CORNER Each month Driving Force will feature members of the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. The SEMA-supported caucus is a bipartisan group of state lawmakers, more than 450 strong, whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Here are its newest members: CALIFORNIA Assemblyman Curt Hagman PENNSYLVANIA Representative Peter Daley LEGISLATIVE QUICK HITS New Jersey New Car Exemption: SAN-supported legislation to extend the emissions inspection exemption to vehicles five model years old or newer was signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Current law exempts vehicles that are four model years old or newer. New Jersey also already exempts historic (at least 25 years old) and collector (driven no more than 3,000 miles per year and insured for limited use) vehicles from emissions testing. Louisiana Inspection Exemption: A SAN-supported bill to exempt antique vehicles 25 years old and older from the motor-vehicle inspection requirements was signed into law by Governor Bobby Jindal. Prior to the bill’s enactment, only vehicles 40 years old and older were exempted from testing. The bill makes the inspection exemption consistent with current state law defining an antique vehicle as a vehicle that is 25 years old or older and used primarily for shows, parades, tours and other special uses and not for general transportation. Vehicles in Louisiana are subject to an annual vehicle inspection, including a safety-equipment inspection and for vehicles registered in selected parishes, an additional emissions inspection. The emissions inspection consists of a visual anti-tampering check and a gas-cap integrity check. Vehicles manufactured in 1995 and later are also subject to an on-board diagnostic (OBD-II) emissions check. Canada Lead-Fuel Exemption for Competition Vehicles: Environment Canada issued a SAN-supported final rule to indefinitely extend an exemption allowing the use of leaded gasoline in competition motor vehicles. The exemption has been renewed several times since it was first established in 1996. The SAN had previously opposed efforts to permanently terminate the exemption and effectively ban racing vehicles using leaded fuel. The new rule recognizes the relationship between the Canadian and U.S. racing industries and adopts a consistent environmental approach to leaded fuel use. Environment Canada will conduct a five-year review and revisit the exemption issue if necessary based on science, technology and fuel replacement developments. Meanwhile, Environment Canada will work with the racing industry to encourage a voluntary reduction or phase-out of leaded racing fuel.
2004 40th Anniversary Mustangs flank a '65 model HEY, THAT’S MY CAR! Don’t Judge a Pony Car by Its Cover 2004 Ford Mustang GT Owner: Dan Heagy Aberdeen, Maryland One of my favorite cars that my wife and I have owned was a ’98 Mustang GT. Unfortunately, it was totaled in 2006 while my wife was driving it, by a woman who pulled in front of her at an intersection. Two and a half years, two knee operations for my wife and one insurance settlement later, we were ready to find a new Mustang to replace our ’98! My wife and I began our search for a replacement online and after looking for about a month we had narrowed it down from 1,500 to two that we really liked. We found our ’04 at a dealership in New Jersey. It had only 23,000 miles, and we had been watching the price drop online for about a month, so we decided to make the trip to test drive it! After getting lost along the way, we finally made it to the dealership at 8:30 p.m., only 30 minutes before it closed. Once we got there, we immediately fell in love with the car as it was everything we wanted. It was in perfect shape, drove great and felt like a brand-new car. We did the deal and drove it home on the spot! The real fun started, though, when I began the modifications. I have equipped it with the Ford Racing suspension kit, Ford Racing .373 gears, a BBK 78mm throttle body, a Mac Pro Chamber exhaust with SLP Loudmouth mufflers, CDC sequential taillights, a cold air intake and a four-point roll bar. The roll bar was a must because I took my Mustang to the track event for the 45th Mustang Anniversary in Alabama last April. My Mustang is fun at the track, and it’s my daily driver! Editors Note: Aside from just loving Mustangs, Dan is also the vice president of the 150-member-strong Mustang Club of Maryland. Have your car or truck featured in a future issue of Driving Force. Submit your high-resolution photos online at www.semasan.com. August 2010 SAN CLUB EVENTS FEATURED EVENT PENNSYLVANIA August 13–15, Bloomsburg Annual Rod & Custom Cruise-In Bloomsburg Fairgrounds Info: www.bloomhealth.net/car-show All proceeds benefit the nonprofit Bloomsburg Hospital ALASKA August 14, Palmer Hot Summer Nights Sponsor: 49th State Street Rodders Info: www.49thstatestreetrodders.com ALBERTA, CANADA August 21, Sylvan Lake Show & Shine Sponsor: Sylvan Lake Customs & Classic Info: 403/887-3826 August 21, Calmar Calmar Show & Shine Sponsor: Calmar Custom Wheels Auto Club Info: www.calmarcustomwheelsautoclub.com/show_shine.html or 780/387-4385 CALIFORNIA August 12–15, Meadow Lake Sierra Trek Sponsor: California Association of 4WD Clubs Inc. Info: www.cal4wheel.com August 21, Crescent City Cool Northern Nights on the Coast Sponsor: Northern Knights Car Club Info: www.northernknights.us August 27–29, Pleasanton 24th West Coast Nationals Sponsor: Good-Guys Rod & Custom Association Info: www.good-guys.com COLORADO August 20–22, Morrison Super Chevy Show at Bandimere Speedway Sponsor: Super Chevy Info: www.bandimere.com/events/day_detail. php?dayID=194&dTargetDate=08/01/2010 IDAHO August 12–15, Boise 39th Pepsi Nightfire Nationals Sponsor: NHRA Hot Rod Heritage Series Info: www.firebirdonline.com ILLINOIS July 31–August 1, St. Charles 20th Annual All Pontiac Indian Uprising Sponsor: Cruisin’ Tigers GTO Club Info: 630/541-6029 or www.cruisintigersgto.com August 19–21, Moline, IL AACA Central Division Fall Meet Sponsor: AACA Mississippi Valley Region Info: http://local.aaca.org/mvr August 21, Tinley Park 60th Anniversary Celebration for the 1950 Oldsmobile Sponsor: Oldsmobile Club of America-Illinois Valley Oldsmobile Chapter Info: http://is-is.facebook.com/group.php?gid=137709945240 INDIANA August 15, Lafayette 3rd Annual Columbian Park Car Show Sponsor: Lafayette Kroozers Info: 765/296-8464 or www.lafayette.in.gov/parks/division.php?fDD=19-187 August 21, Elwood Vintage Rollers Glass Festival Rod Run Sponsor: Vintage Rollers Info: http://vintagerollers.homestead.com MONTANA August 20–21, Libby Ignite the Nights Sponsor: Igniters Car Club Info: www.igniterscarclub.com/show2010.html MASSACHUSETTS August 15, Medway 19th Annual Car Show Sponsor: Mass Cruisers Info: www.masscruisers.com MICHIGAN August 21, Royal Oak 16th Annual Woodward Dream Cruise Info: www.woodwarddreamcruise.com NORTH CAROLINA August 28, Hillsborough 4th Annual Racers Reunion & Car Show Sponsor: Historic Speedway Group Info: 919/604-2292 or www.historicspeedwaygroup.org OHIO August 13–15, Columbus Mopar Nationals Info: www.moparnats.org August 20–22, Norwalk 9th Blue Suede Cruise Sponsor: Good-Guys Rod & Custom Association Info: www.good-guys.com August 27–29, Dayton Trans Am Nationals Sponsor: Trans Am Club of America-Dayton, Ohio Chapter Info: www.78ta.com/nats OREGON August 13–15, The Dalles Cruise the Gorge Car Show Sponsor: Mid Columbia Car Club Info: www.midcolumbiacarclub.org August 27–28, Winchester Bay 19th Annual Kool Coastal Nights Sponsor: Kool Coastal Cruisers Info: www.koolcoastalnights.com SOUTH DAKOTA August 13–15, Pierre 21st Annual Pierre Street Masters Dam Run Sponsor: Street Masters Car Club Info: www.pierrestreetmasters.com/events_2010damrun.htm TENNESSEE August 28, Cleveland Destination Anywhere Cruise-In Sponsor: The MainStreet Cruisers Info: 423/614-5638 or www.mainstreetcruisein.com UTAH August 11, Sandy City Club 90 Cruise Night Sponsor: Club 90 Info: www.club90slc.com August 14, Wasatch Stars of the Past Sponsor: Wasatch Rods & Customs Info: 801/781-0738 or 801/476-6908 August 15, Midvale Kruisers for Kids: Charity Car Show Sponsor: Shriners Hospitals for Children Info: www.kruisersforkids.com VIRGINIA August 12–14, Blacksburg AACA Southeastern National Fall Meet Sponsor: AACA Roanoke Valley Region Info: http://local.aaca.org/roanoke/2010%20meet.htm August 13–15, Hampton Annual Car, Truck & Motorcycle Show Sponsor: Hampton Cup Regatta Info: 757/851-5875 or [email protected] or http://hamptoncupregatta.org August 13–15, Virginia Beach 2010 MCA National Sponsor: Southeastern Virginia Mustang Club Info: 757/318-6437 or [email protected] or www.sevmc.org WASHINGTON August 13–15, Spokane 9th Great Northwest Nationals Sponsor: Good-Guys Rod & Custom Association Info: www.good-guys.com WISCONSIN August 15, Waukesha Waukesha Old Car Club Annual Car Show Info: www.waukeshaoldcarclub.org August 21–22, Milwaukee Milwaukee Masterpiece Info: www.milwaukeemasterpiece.com August 22, Kiel 29th Annual Kiel Car Show & Swap Meet Sponsor: Custom Street Car Club Ltd. Info: www.kielcarclub.com Early EVENTS: SEPTEMBER 2010 INDIANA September 6, Cicero Vintage Rollers Red Bridge Rod Run Sponsor: Vintage Rollers Car Club Info: http://vintagerollers.homestead.com MISSOURI September 4–5, Kansas City Kansas City All British Car and Cycle Show Sponsor: All British Car & Cycle Association of Kansas City Info: www.kcallbritish.com INDIANA September 4, Hayden Hayden’s Auto Daze Gone By Festival and Car Show Sponsor: Hayden Historical Museum Info: 812-346-8212 or www.seidata.com/~haydenmu CLUB SPOTLIGHT Calling All Car Clubs! Entry Forms Available September 20 for Annual Eagle One Golden Rule Awards Eagle One has announced the availability of entry forms for its 18th Annual Golden Rule Awards. Car clubs entering will have an opportunity to win a $1,500 grand prize that will be donated to a charity of their choice. Three other winners will receive a $500 cash contribution for a charity of their choice. The grand prize will be awarded to the car club judged to have performed the most compassionate achievement during 2010. Winners will be selected in four regions—west, midwest, east and south—for conducting the most outstanding community service program in their area. In addition to a total of $3,000 in cash donations from Eagle One and co-sponsor Valvoline, winners will receive a generous supply of premium appearance care products and motor oil for fundraising purposes and a custom-designed trophy. Starting September 20, the entry form is available for download on www.eagleone.com or by calling 818/501-1445. The deadline for entries is December 31, 2010. Winners will be notified by February 11, 2011. Eagle One is part of the Valvoline family of brands. Jason Tolleson, Director SEMA Action Network