Florida Enacts Off-Highway Vehicle Trails Law

This is from Racer X Online

Legislation Requires State to Develop System of OHV Recreation Areas and Trails

Florida Governor Jeb Bush today signed into law the "T. Mark Schmidt Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Recreation Act," legislation that requires the Division of Forestry to develop and maintain a system of OHV recreation areas and trails on public lands. This legislation, backed by the Motorcycle Industry Council, also calls for a report to be submitted to the governor and the Florida Legislature by Jan. 1, 2003 recommending five locations for public access and OHV recreational use. The division also must publish a guidebook to include laws and regulations relating to the program and maps of the system’s OHV areas and trails.

"Our efforts to enact the legislation have at times been frustrating, but in the end paid off with the passage of this milestone trails law in Florida," said MIC’s Vice President of Government Relations, Kathy Van Kleek. "I commend the Legislature for recognizing the need to provide OHV riding opportunities in the state and I commend the Florida Trail Riders for working so tirelessly to communicate this need to their elected officials."

Van Kleek sees the new legislation as a first step toward improving Florida OHV recreation. The law requires OHV titling fees be used to fund the program. However, OHV registration fees, which are paid annually and provide a larger base of revenue, are a preferred funding source, she said.

"Legislators were reluctant to impose additional fees, especially before the program is up and running and providing benefits to Florida riders," Van Kleek said.

This MIC-backed legislation is named in honor of the late Florida motorcycle dealer Mark Schmidt, who had ardently supported creation of a state trails program. For several years, MIC has taken the lead in advocating legislation to provide off-highway motorcycle and ATV riding opportunities in the state, in cooperation with the Florida Trail Riders and local dealers. The Florida Legislature passed House Bill 1681 on the last day of its 2002 session.

MIC President Tim Buche cites enactment of this law as an excellent example of MIC working together with rider and dealer groups to protect and enhance the future of OHV recreation.

"MIC will continue to work in the state to provide viable funding for ongoing development and maintenance of the trails system," he said.

The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) is a not-for-profit, national trade association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, scooters, motorcycle parts and accessories and members of allied trades located in Irvine, Calif.

That's the first I've heard of this but it sounds cool! I wonder where the five are going to be?Croom is a given and I'm sure Ocala too. Should be interesting to see what happens! Too bad Scmidtty isn't here to see this though :) . I only met him once or twice but my buddy used to work at Seminole Power Sports and always said what a great guy he was.

P.S. Rich - check your messages!!! :D

A guy I work with is (was :) ) Mark's best friend and he told me that he and Mark were heavily involved in getting attention for this issue to the Florida legislature. He told me that he understands that an area in Seminole county is being considered for one of the OHV areas. I read this as in addition to the existing OHV areas (I hope), so I think Croom would be "grandfathered". This is exciting news--just when it looked like more and more riding areas were starting to be closed. I also hope they use rails to trails and/or the Hatfield-McCoy Trail as the model for their program. It would be awesome if we could get an ORV trail that stretched from one end of the state to the other.

Awesome job to all the people that got that through. Now if some of the poser politicians in Californina would quit tree hugging we would really be on to something.

Congratulations, Florida!

Can we borrow Jeb Bush for a few years here in California? Come to think of it, maybe we better also borrow both houses of your Legislature, your Lieutenant Gov, your Treasurer, Controller, Attorney General, Speaker of the Assembly, Senate President, and a US Senator or two.

While we are at it, maybe some of the Cuban immigrants that raised hell with Janet Reno two years ago.....sheesh, this is getting expensive. How about we California off-roaders just all move to Florida or Texas or something?


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