Attention California Riders!!!!!!

Several of us attended the California State Off-Highway Vehicle Commission meeting this week in Sacramento. It was quite an eye opening experience. If you want to continue to enjoy off-roading and racing on State, Forest Service, or BLM land then you better get involved in trying to protect your sport! NOW! Let me give you some background on the Commission, it is made up of seven members, three are appointed by the Governor, two are appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, and two are appointed by the Senate Rules Committee. In addition to supporting the state OHV parks this Commission provides the Forest Service and BLM with millions of dollars each year (green sticker and gas tax money) to maintain OHV areas on Federal land (90% of your riding area).

The funds are provided to these agencies through a series of Grants. The Forest Service and BLM appear before the Commission yearly and must jump through any hoops and abide by any restrictions the Commission places on this grant money.

You would think that an OHV Commission would want to promote and support OHV activities, but think again. The current make-up of the California Commission seems to be split, with three OHV friendly Commissioners (this may be wishful thinking on my part), and three anti-OHV Commisioners, and one open vacancy. For example, one of the Commissioners is Mr. Paul J. Spitler. Mr. Spitler also happen to be the Executive Director of the California Wilderness Coalition.

I urge you to check out their web site, specifically the article titled OFF-ROAD TO RUIN. The web site is:

The California Wilderness Coalition, with Mr. Spitler, and two other enviornmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Forest Service last week. Their goal is to stop or greatly limit OHV activities in the El Dorado National Forest specifically at Rock Creek near Georgetown.

Two days after filing a lawsuit against the Forrest Service, Mr. Spitler sat on the OHV Commission and voted (NO) on a Grant requests from the Forest Service for the Rock Creek OHV area.

It is not only on outrage, but a slap in the face of the OHV community to have this guy on the OHV Commission. Mr. Spitler clearly has a conflict of interest and should not be allowed to vote on grant funds for the El Dorado Forest District at the same time he is involved in a lawsuit against that district.

What can you do?? Well...

Not only is there one empty position currently on the commission, but two Commissioners terms have expired and they can be replaced or renewed at any time. Two of these positions are the Governors to appoint, and one belongs to the Speaker of the Assembly. If one more anti-OHV Commissioner is appointed things could get real ugly. The Commission can, and I believe has, dictated that more money be directed toward Law Enforcement issues, (This could be one reasons we are faced with the noise issue and sound checks these days?)

This is what I think we MUST do:

1. You MUST contact you State Senator, your Assemblyman and the Governor's your outrage over this blatant conflict of interest concerning Mr. Spitler...demand that something be done.

2. At the same time, DEMAND that the current vacancies on the OHV Commission be filled

by persons from the OHV community or industry.

This is critical!!! We can not allow another environmental extremist on the commission!!!

3. You MUST contact the major MC manufactures

and tell them what is going on here in California

and demand that they get involved. They have a financial stake in OHV activities, they have the money and they MUST band together, become active, join the fight, and develop some muscle in Sacramento.

If we have no place to ride, we won't need their

bikes!! (or Snowmobiles!!)

4. Contact your local motorcycle dealers, they

also need to band together and get involved. They should make the same contacts mentioned above, AND they also need to contact their local (city and county) representatives. These local governments need the tax dollars generated by these dealers. They

will listen!! And these local governments do have influence at the State Capital. If a dealer doesn't want to get involved then don't do business with them...find a dealer that will...

we should only support businesses that support us!

5. If you are not a member, then join the AMA. Contact them, find out if there is a "community support" groups in your area, if not, start one. The AMA will help, but you have contact them.

If you want to know how bad things are, check this out, it's a resolution Mr. Spitler pushed

through the OHV Commission. You won't find it

posted on the OHV Department Web site, but you will find it on the California Wilderness Coalition Web site, that should tell you who Mr. Spitler really works for and what his current and future intentions are!!

All of this may sound like a lot of work or seem a little intimidating but it is not as bad has you may think. Start with the phone call to the

Governor's Office(see links below). Ask to speak to one of the Governor's aids, they will more then likely take your name and number and call you back. When they call back just remain calm and explain that you VERY unhappy with what is taking place with the OHV Commission, specifically with Mr. Spitler and the conflict of interest he is involved in. Tell them you want something done about it, you want to be kept informed and you want a follow up call informing you of what actions they intend to take. Also mention future appointments (see above).

Then do the same thing with your State Senator and Assemblyman.

Don't forget, these people work for us!

Post what actions we've taken and how it went,

this might encourage others to begin helping out. Also if you have other ideas feel free to let us know. Join the fight or lose the war, it's up to you....

(you should be able to determine you Senator or Assemblyman from the web sites above, if not call any number you find and ask, they'll help you out)

......and......please register to vote today!! Republican... NO on PROP 45 on March 5th...

[ February 19, 2002: Message edited by: WMcGrath ]


Thanks for the intel. Do you know who appointed Mr. Spitler?


Spitler was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Senator John Burton.

If Prop. 45 fails on March 5th Burton will

be termed (term limits) out of office. He is behind Prop.45 because he wants another four years in office!!! Burton is responsible for

two of the anti-OHV commissioners.

Thanks for your posting. Very good info. I just returned to riding (02' 426) and have starting following the issues. I live and work in El Dorado County (I also work for the "public trough") and was not aware of the Spliter issue.


Good information. Every one of those politicians has an e-mail address setup for comments. Just cut/paste the first post on this thread in the politicians e-mail. Ask for a response from the politicians. It is election time, they may listen.

Wally has been busting his butt to try and get this information assembled for us. We are working very hard on this but, we need your help.

If you go to other forums, please post this information there as well. We need all the help we can get. Thanks, Paul

[ February 15, 2002: Message edited by: PMAUST ]


Excellent job, Wally and Paul! Thanks for putting it all in perspective. I always suspected they were stacking the deck against us. We need to stop it now, or it just gets much tougher later, maybe impossible. Once we lose those riding areas, we will never get them back!!!!!!!

You have my full support.


Way to go guys, if every one of us got involved just a little bit, we would probably still be riding Escape Country and the 'real' Saddleback. And for those of you new to the sport, take action now, 'cause land is closing faster than you think !

In my opinion, and in the opinion of a co-worker who has spent time in polititians circles, we must provide the sense of unity and organization to the polititians in order to expect any sort of response. I suggest that someone, or a group of people, who are exemplary at persuasive writing, create a strong document that we can all send in to our Governor, Senators, and Congressmen, with our names edited at the bottom. The thought here is that 5000 letters of different writing, different points, and different tones may be viewed as seperate and distinct messages, whereas a strong well-written letter sent in by 5000 voters will start to show up on the polititians concern radar.

We should not wait to take action, in fact I sent a 10 minute drafted email to Governor Davis and my local respresentatives this morning. But in the longer term, if someone wants to take the time to create a 'good' document, I will be willing to use my technical knowledge and resources to make it easy to send by creating a Web site dedicated to that function.

Here's my 10 minute stab at it (don't laugh, at least I did something !) Feel free to use this as a boilerplate if you feel so inclined.

Senator XXXX-

I am deeply concerned about the makeup of the California OHV Commission that is representing our sport.

As a long time dirt bike rider, I have grown up in California enjoying our natural resources in many ways including camping, hiking, biking, fishing, and OHV activities. I spent some of my best growing memories with my father and friends in OHV surroundings, and I am now realizing that much of the land that we have been able to use in the past is in jeopardy of being closed to me, my son, and our interest group.

I have recently heard the disturbing fact that among the members of the OHV Commission, there is a Mr. Paul J. Spitler who also happens to be the Executive Director of the California Wilderness Coalition. How can anyone in this conflicting capacity possibly represent our interest group with any integrity ? The short answer is that he cannot and does not represent us properly.

Take for example Mr. Spitler's proposed resolution to the OHV dilemma, and please notice that his resolution is presented on the California Wilderness Coalition's web site, but nowhere to be found on the OHV Department Web site:

I am asking of you and your office to please let us know how you plan to keep the integrity of the OHV Commission intact, and not allow the introduction of opposing interest groups to weaken the small amount of strength that we have in the political arena. A great start here would be appointing members of the OHV industry or interest group to the two currently open positions on the OHV Commission.

I would appreciate a response in this regard.

Thank You,

Damon Sisola

Nice job, Damon.

I am disappointed that out of all the California riders on TT, we only have 8 responses so far to this post! This is exactly why the enviros are winning this war. We will invest hours and big bucks to spiff up our toys, but not even a minute to protect our right to use them.

We get what we deserve if we don't stand up and get politically involved. It may be distasteful, but it is necessary for survival. And what happens in California will be the model for the rest of the nation. (Gun owners got involved, or we would no longer have a 2nd Amendment). There is NO AMENDMENT IN THE BILL OF RIGHTS SPECIFICALLY PROTECTING OUR RIGHT TO RIDE ON PUBLIC LAND.

Please take a few moments and send a letter, email, or place a phone call to your elected representatives and tell them how you feel. The only thing they understand is numbers of voices.



Thanks guys!


Thanks for getting involved, I'll give some suggestions for your draft letter tomorrow,

hopefully we'll get other input also. I've been working on an email to the Pacific Legal Foundation tonight, don't know if it will help but it's worth a try.


When I bought my '02 couple weeks ago, there was this formal looking "petition" on the parts counter the sales guy wanted me to sign, it had to do with BLM land and riding areas, I think its about all what you guys are talking about.

Many pages and Lots of signatures.

I'm not much in the political arena but I hope we have a "lobby" for the sport.

It seems if one throws money at something that something majically transforms itself into whatever you want it to be. Funny what money can do, politicaly.

Damon...and everyone interested....

Here is an example I drafted, it is addressed to

an Assemblyman. I suggest that everyone begin

contacting their Assemblyman. One of the current vacancies belongs to the Speaker of the Assembly. Within the next few days I hope to have a couple names of OHV individuals who are trying to win appointments to the commission. When I can verify this we will need to begin to

lobby hard on their behalf. Cut and paste this in an email, letter or use during a phone call.


Dear Assemblyman XXXX

I am writing as an off-highway vehicle enthusiast to express my concern, and to bring to your attention, a troubling situation that exits on the California State Off-Highway Vehicle Commission. One of the Commissioners, Mr. Paul J. Spitler, happens to also be the Executive Director of the California Wilderness Coalition.

The California Wilderness Coalition is vehemently opposed to OHV activities, and have filed numerous

lawsuits in an attempt to stop or greatly curtail OHV activities on State and Federal lands.

On February 8, 2002, the California Wilderness Coalition filed a lawsuit against the U. S. Forrest Service over OHV activities at the Rock Creek OHV area within the El Dorado National Forrest near Georgetown.

On February 12th, four days after filing the lawsuit, Mr. Spitler sat on the State OHV Commission and VOTED on a $560,000.00 Grant Fund request from the U. S. Forrest Service for the Rock Creek OHV area within the El Dorado National Forrest near Georgetown.

I am outraged to Mr. Spitler is a member of the OHV commission and involved in this obvious conflict of interest.

I am requesting that your office please help to restore some integrity to the OHV Commission. Individuals such as Mr. Spitler do not serve the interest of the OHV community or bring balance the commission. His appointment was an obvious attempt sabotage the interests of the OHV community. I'm sure you are aware that OHV manufacturers, dealers and after market products represent a THREE BILLION dollar industry in California.

I am requesting that you help ensure that future appointments to the OHV Commission come from within the OHV community or industry. I will be contacting you regarding future appointment opportunities as they become available.

I would appreciate a response in this matter.

Thank You

Damon Sisola

xxxx street

city zip

(aaa) nnn-nnnn

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: WMcGrath ]

[ February 21, 2002: Message edited by: WMcGrath ]


Dear Mr. Mcgrath,

Not to rain on the parade, but its a bit tough to comb thru 3 or more forums trying to track down the growing number of posts on this issue.

Seems to me that your most recent info belongs at the bottom of your existing post, not as a new topic.

While I too am amazed at the apathy of our riders online here, splintering the posts will only hurt our efforts.

One post with 100 replys will draw way more attention than 10 posts with 10 replys. Why bury nine good topics like that.

Either that or maybe there is only 8 of us that give a sh!t about riding.....I hope not.

With that said, I'd like to re-thank you for your efforts.

[ February 25, 2002: Message edited by: big_G ]

Gary, the reason this post appears on multiple forums is because there are two of us doing it. We have been trying to reach as many people as possible. The only thing that will rain on our parade is loosing our right to ride. Thanks, Paul

Keep up the good work, Paul. Anything we can do to publicize will help. As usual, when the light of day shines on the shenanigans being pulled on us by the greenies, the cockroaches all scurry to hide. Keep shining that light!


What do you know, there is life in our politicians offices. I actually received a response from my email to the Governor, and now we have yet another phone number to solicit:

> In response to your e-mail inquiry to our office regarding the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission:

> Mr. Paul Spitler is an appointee of the Senate Rules Committee. You may reach the Senate Rules Committee at 916-445-4311. Thank you.


> Gina Maucieri

> Appointments Unit

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