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New OHV Bill on the Governor's desk

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Don't know if this has been posted before. Just got this from Don Amador of the BRC. Best news is the elimination of the ohv commission from the grants process:

SB 742 Highlights

Projected SB742 OHMVR Program Budget: $75million/yr.

Budget increase from current $62million/yr. to $75million/yr. comes from

increase of green sticker fees and use fees at SVRAs

Projected Grant Funding: $25.5 million/yr.

Funds that would be available for grants such as funds for county OHV parks

Forest Service and BLM OHV recreation areas, etc.

There is a $25 increase in the green sticker for a two year license. It will be $50 for two year license.

The Commission will have two more Governor Appointments for a total of 5 appointments meaning any Governor will have control the Commission like Governors do on 95% of all other Commissions and Boards by virtue of his appointees.

The Commission will become advisory in nature (like other similar commissions in the state or Forest Service or BLM Resource Advisory Councils). The Division will approve grants (FS and BLM also have this executive branch fiscal authority) using new regulations and a scoring method will be developed by user stakeholder groups. The Deputy Director will not be involved in the scoring.

There will be an appeals process to the Director of Parks if the applicant does not receive the grant. This will not hold up the majority of the other grants.

There is a 10-year sunset on the program.

With the fee increase the Grants Program should increase to $25.5 million next year.

50% of all grant funds will go to operations and maintenance and trails

25% for Restoration projects.

20% to law enforcement. Of this 20%, 40% will go to local law enforcement, 30% to BLM and 30% to USFS in non competitive grants.

5% will go to safety and education in separate programs.

Both O&M and restoration grant funds will roll over to their respective pot for the next year if they are not all spent during the year. They will be available for spending the following year.

The bill does not touch or mention county in lieu funds that counties currently receive.

Concerning the $14 million remaining in the conservation and enforcement source account (CESA) for restoration projects, 40% of the funds will be used to complete necessary route designation and implementation on USFS and BLM lands.

The remaining restoration funds will be spent at the rate of $1.1 million per year for restoration projects through the grants process. When these CESA funds are gone, the CESA account will disappear

# # #

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This should be good news, but as I have very little faith in our state government and bureaucracies I'll hope for the best and expect much less. :thumbsup:

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This should be good news, but as I have very little faith in our state government and bureaucracies I'll hope for the best and expect much less. :thumbsup:

No kidding. Will they make us smile when they slip it to us this time??

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"The Division will approve grants (FS and BLM also have this executive branch fiscal authority) using new regulations and a scoring method will be developed by user stakeholder groups"

This could be a problem. The last time this was tried, we got screwed. It looked like an environmental grant program with OHV as an afterthought. There have been 2 new grant progams in the last two years to try to get away from the problem.

"stakeholder groups" = more compromise = less for us.

Ride on

Brewster

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This should be good news, but as I have very little faith in our state government and bureaucracies I'll hope for the best and expect much less. :ride:

OD, Your post wins you the quote of the day. :thumbsup:

"No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up. "

Lily Tomlin

I hear you though. They're all about power and staying in it.

Dave

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Just wait 'til the dust settles, and at the last minute, as a "one-time-only" emergency budget gap strategy, the State transfers funding part of this into the general fund, to meet budget on other projects, and leave the OHV program unfunded, and we get hosed (again).

Take a look at the OHV revenue funds history, it's been historically raided on a regular basis annually to meet budget shortfalls. The green sticker revenue has been pilfered by the state almost routinely in the past to balance the state budget in other areas.

I wouldn't get too happy about this yet ..

Lazyracer

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Just wait 'til the dust settles, and at the last minute, as a "one-time-only" emergency budget gap strategy, the State transfers funding part of this into the general fund, to meet budget on other projects, and leave the OHV program unfunded, and we get hosed (again).

Take a look at the OHV revenue funds history, it's been historically raided on a regular basis annually to meet budget shortfalls. The green sticker revenue has been pilfered by the state almost routinely in the past to balance the state budget in other areas.

I wouldn't get too happy about this yet ..

Lazyracer

Just like our gas taxes -

Instead of being used for improving & building more highways, they use it to supplement the general fund for more social programs. More of our money taken by force then used against us in the end.

Isn’t that a major tenet of Gorilla Warfare? :thumbsup:

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"The Division will approve grants (FS and BLM also have this executive branch fiscal authority) using new regulations and a scoring method will be developed by user stakeholder groups"

This could be a problem. The last time this was tried, we got screwed. It looked like an environmental grant program with OHV as an afterthought. There have been 2 new grant progams in the last two years to try to get away from the problem.

"stakeholder groups" = more compromise = less for us.

Ride on

Brewster

The FS has been talking about these "collabrative stakeholders" within the DEIS and for following years. Does this mean that if a lot of us OHV users become "stakeholders" than we can possible dictate the application of grants and their respective uses?

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In theory this would work, but we are not the only "stakeholders" we have nonmotorized recreation and other environmentalists at the table. That is what Brewster was referring to when he was talking about "compromise".

And remember the bill hasn't been signed just yet, also we have to see what happens in the regulations that will be drafted. We have a start, but only a start. All things considered it could be much worse.

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I know this bill is less then perfect but they were going to close all the cal state OHV / SRVA parks in December if the damn thing didn't get put through.. Sign the damn thing!

-Peter

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I know this bill is less then perfect but they were going to close all the cal state OHV / SRVA parks in December if the damn thing didn't get put through.. Sign the damn thing!

-Peter

I doubt that. Some sort of emergency legislation would have been passed to keep them open, maybe under State Parks and Recreation.

I'm also a user of the SVRAs, but this bill has to do with much more than the SVRAs. Way too much of OUR money has been going to projects that do not sustain OHV recreation. OUR money in the OHV fund was being controlled by the environmentally weighted OHV Commission. This will change with the passage of SB742.

Ride on

Brewster

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