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State, cities move to curtail illegal off-roaders

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Monday, October 17, 2005

Tough love

State, cities move to curtail illegal off-roaders

By LEROY STANDISH

Staff Writer

APPLE VALLEY — Cities and towns are doing it. Counties and the state are too. Placing restrictions on off-highway vehicle users is becoming a fad.

Earlier this year Hesperia, passed an ordinance effectively banning OHV use within the city by making it illegal to ride on private property less than 40 acres.

The Town of Apple Valley followed suit and toughened up an existing law requiring proper mufflers. The town also stiffened penalties for noise and dust.

In Sacramento, the state Legislature recently passed a bill setting a sliding scale of monetary fines for OHV riders convicted of intruding into federal wilderness area.

San Bernardino County could be next. There is a draft OHV ordinance being circulated and discussed at community meetings which would limit OHV use to no closer than 200 yards of a home. It would set penalties of $200 to $1,000 or jail for 90 days, or both. The proposal would also require riders to have written permission before riding on private property and prohibits excessive noise, dust, smoke or fumes.

"We are not trying to have people not ride OHVs. What we want to do is have them ride them in a proper way," said Kim Floyd, a Wrightwood resident. "I think there are unincorporated areas of the county were it is fine to be riding, but it is not fine to be riding on someone else's property without their permission. And it is not fine if it turns into a nuisance."

The ordinance is anticipated to be presented to the San Bernardino County Planning Commission in early November.

High Desert residents interested in learning more about the county's draft ordinance can attend a two-day conference this weekend at the Victor Valley Community College in the Student Activities Center. On Saturday, the event runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday.

Be placed on a mailing list to be updated about the status of the county's OHV ordinance call (800) 722 3181.

The state's legislation, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger two weeks ago, increases penalties for operators of off-highway vehicles convicted of trespassing onto state and federal wilderness areas.

Assembly bill 1086, authored by Assemblywoman Sally J. Lieber, D-San Jose, was signed by the governor Oct. 6. It was backed by environmental groups and off-highway vehicle groups, including the California Off-Road Vehicle Association.

The legislation is intended to curb the increasing number of OHV riders intruding into wilderness areas. Between 2000 and 2003, the number of trespass violations or warnings issued by the U.S. Forest Service has skyrocketed 242 percent.

"Assembly Bill 1086 serves to deter potential violators and gives law enforcement the tools they need to apprehend willful violators of state and federal wilderness protection laws," Lieber said.

LeRoy Standish may be reached at 951-6277 or lstandish@vvdaily press.com.

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I found this information on the Sierra Club's website:

http://angeles.sierraclub.org/environmental/Newsletter.asp#OffroadVehicleAbuse

Conference on Stopping Off-Road Vehicle Abuse in the California Desert

A conference on stopping off-road vehicle abuse in the california desert will be held in Victorville on October 22 and 23. It will address the growing problem of the siege of our desert communities by uncontrolled off-road vehicle use. The conference will feature presentations of the problem, workshops, a panel with law enforcement and public officials, and strategy sessions.

The conference will be held in the Student Activity Center at Victor Valley College, 18422 Bear Valley Road, Victorville, California. Parking on Saturday is $1.50 (the machines in the parking lot accept only quarters; Sunday parking is free.

For more information, contact Jason Fried at 951-781-1336.

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If you can make it please come and represent the off road community.

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$1000 fine/90 days in jail is way above my "run, or stay and talk to the nice officer?" decision point.

D

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