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dmac1

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  1. dmac1

    A Year in McNutt

    Holy shit! You rode all the rest of that AFTER totally jacking up your shoulder? Not sure I coulda.... Heal fast and well!
  2. dmac1

    Klondike trails (near Moab) worth riding?

    Major bummer that Poison Spider/Golden Spike are getting that crowded! We too were at White Wash 17-20. Rained tons...was awesome once it quit. Made the following:
  3. dmac1

    RIDING THE WHITE RIM ROAD IN DEC OR JAN

    We tried to hit slickrock once mid January....too snowy! As G says, who knows? Febr can be good, actually comfortable, but thats not in your window. Its all a total crap shoot.
  4. Good job and Thank You!!! Since I live in Colorado, I wasn't able to email any of the Utah representatives, just the senators, so I called the representatives' offices. And a funny thing happened when doing so - the staffer who works for Representative Love also rides dirt bikes! She totally understood what I was saying! 🙂 The rest listened politely and prolly simply noted that I'm against the bill, which isn't necessarily correct. I'm against the bill as long as it is as one sided as it currently is. Hopefully they got at least of few of my points.
  5. I've done some more poking around on this and, for those who don't have as much time, here's a couple things I found: In the 10/2 meeting where the bill was discussed among Emery County Commissioners, there was the following exchange. Clif wrote it up in his letter to the editor: (emphasis added) "At the October 2nd commission meeting, Commissioner Kent Wilson asked the Emery County consultant “In the bill, we can build new trails?” The consultant responded “Actually in the bill we identify and direct BLM to go out and identify and create, not only new trails, but specifically for bicyclists because bicyclists are not allowed to go in Wilderness and so forth, and so we felt it was very important for us to identify that particular user group.” " That was at 27:00 in the voice recording and the language is at 102(j) of the bill. Why exclude moto?????? We too can't go into Wilderness!!!! And we can't even get language that supports no net loss or the ability to re-route an existing trail?? Or that simply identifies moto as one of the forms of recreation for the Recreation Area?? The bill is one sided!!!! Later, the consultant says, paraphrasing, " that their Bill won't close roads/trails, but if that happens, it will be because of the lawsuit settlement wherein the BLM must re-evaluate what roads and trails will be open" (NOTE: the settlement applies to the Swell, White Wash and a couple other areas - so thats still out there and even bigger than this!). Anyway, what they said is prolly partly true, but here's Clif's point on that: "Actually the bill is quite likely to close routes because, for example, a route could be deemed potentially damaging to an adjacent cultural site. Normally BLM would work with OHV volunteers to reroute away from the cultural site, as was done in several spots around Chimney Rock. However in the proposed Swell recreation area, this solution would be banned, leaving the BLM with little choice when faced with potential damage to cultural sites, water sources, wildlife habitat, etc."
  6. True! SUWA is enemy #1 when it comes to the Swell. They are one of, if not the main, driver behind all the previous Wilderness Bills that we've fended off. I've read SUWA's comments on HR 5727/S 2809 though, and they have numerous objections, so they aren't happy either. Of course, all that means is they aren't getting 100% of their way, so take that with a grain of salt. To prove that latter point, the management plan, which the bill specifies must be created and which would indicate whats open to us, says it must do so in compliance with a 1/13/2017 agreement between SUWA and the Dept of Interior!!! 😞 They (SUWA) are IMPOSSIBLE to deal with!! Anyway, I've spent some more time with the stuff I posted and, heres a few take aways for those who don't have the time to dig deep. In the 10/2 meeting where the bill was discussed among Emery County Commissioners, there was the following exchange. Clif wrote it up in his letter to the editor: (emphasis added) "At the October 2nd commission meeting, Commissioner Kent Wilson asked the Emery County consultant “In the bill, we can build new trails?” The consultant responded “Actually in the bill we identify and direct BLM to go out and identify and create, not only new trails, but specifically for bicyclists because bicyclists are not allowed to go in Wilderness and so forth, and so we felt it was very important for us to identify that particular user group.” " That was at 27:00 in the voice recording and the language is at 102(j) of the bill. Why exclude moto?????? We too can't go into Wilderness!!!! And we can't even get language that supports no net loss or the ability to re-route an existing trail?? Or that simply identifies moto as one of the forms of recreation for the Recreation Area?? The bill is one sided!!!! Later, the consultant says, paraphrasing, " that their Bill won't close roads/trails, but if that happens, it will be because of the lawsuit settlement wherein the BLM must re-evaluate what roads and trails will be open" (NOTE: the settlement applies to the Swell, White Wash and a couple other areas - so thats still out there and even bigger than this!). Anyway, what they said is prolly partly true, but here's Clif's point on that: "Actually the bill is quite likely to close routes because, for example, a route could be deemed potentially damaging to an adjacent cultural site. Normally BLM would work with OHV volunteers to reroute away from the cultural site, as was done in several spots around Chimney Rock. However in the proposed Swell recreation area, this solution would be banned, leaving the BLM with little choice when faced with potential damage to cultural sites, water sources, wildlife habitat, etc."
  7. You're welcome! You should get an email too. 🙂 And for those who aren't yet aware....riding in White Wash too is threatened. Just imagine if we lose both it and the Swell!!!! No action to take on WW yet, but stay tuned!!!
  8. I put this in the RockyMountain forum, but some of you don't live in this region but like riding in Utah, so thought I'd cross post it here. I've also got it on ADVRider. Anyway, here it is: Wanna try to save our ability to ride in the Swell?? Here is the latest from Ride with Respect: (your action needed by end of October) ------------- As the Emery County Public Land Management Act is finalized this month, we'll need all off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders to contact key elected officials (and send a copy to us), since trails in the San Rafael Swell are at stake. The bill is very careful not to close routes automatically, but it would prohibit BLM from constructing any motorized route for any reason (even safety or conservation) while giving us zero leverage to defend access along the existing routes, thereby making a net loss inevitable. Ride with Respect (RwR) supports county governments regaining meaningful influence on federal lands, but it requires them to be totally engaged in legislation. Thus far the Emery County Commission hasn't taken a serious look while its staff and consultants allow Washington, D.C. to turn the county's bill into a Trojan horse. At a October 2nd meeting, Commissioner Kent Wilson did begin to question their public-lands consultant about OHV riders who "are feeling like we sold them down the river." With a serious expression, the consultant replied "That was our plan." With an alarmed expression, the Commissioner Wilson responded "Ha, ha, ha. Do not print that." Then the consultant said "Joking. Joking." Even if it was merely a callous joke, it was also the consultant's most accurate answer to the whole line of questioning, which you can hear from Minute 24:49 to 31:18: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/432583.MP3 Since the brand-new bill was introduced this past May, the consultant has declined requests to meet with OHV advocates. Commissioner Wilson deserves credit for accepting to meet with RwR for an hour yesterday, and he pledged to investigate matters, but at this point the bill is half-baked. Staff of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch, have consistently either dismissed OHV concerns or assured us that they would be addressed at the next step in the legislative process. Finally at the House committee's markup, Rep. Bishop courageously proposed an amendment to specify that the purpose of a San Rafael Swell recreation area would include "non-motorized and motorized" recreation... https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/h.r._5727_bishop_011.pdf ...which passed unanimously. Less than a week later, this meager amendment was removed in the Senate committee's markup of the bill by "voice vote," which gave committee members like Sen. Lee no chance of even discussing the issue. So the bill currently stands without amendment as the following text and map: https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/h.r._5727_ans.pdf https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/emerycounty_091418.pdf While the bill has gotten worse, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch continue to imply that OHV groups participated in developing the bill and support the outcome. In fact, no such groups participated in the 2018 bill, and a dozen national OHV groups oppose it along with OHV clubs across Utah. Why the unanimous opposition? In May the bill had over a dozen problems, which we narrowed down to ten requests in June, and further narrowed down to FOUR REQUESTS in August: http://www.sageridersmc.com/land-use-issues.html The bill's sponsor actually responded to the FOURTH REQUEST (letting the Resource Advisory Council exist for as long as the Swell recreation area is in place), but they simultaneously changed the RAC's composition to give preservation-oriented members a majority. The THIRD REQUEST (specifying that the recreation area's purpose includes motorized recreation) was adopted by Rep. Bishop only to be removed in the Senate version, suggesting that Sen. Hatch favors interests that deny OHV riding as a legitimate form of recreation in the Swell. The SECOND REQUEST (to remove the bill's blanket ban on motorized route construction so that BLM can consider rerouting trails or adding links to provide quality opportunities and minimize any negative impacts) remains a poison pill in the bill, as explained in this letter to the editor: http://etv10news.com/letter-to-the-editor-emery-county-gill-goes-from-bad-to-worse/ The FIRST REQUEST (establishing a policy of "no net loss" of OHV access within the Swell recreation area in perpetuity) is our attempted consolation prize for not getting a guarantee of access to any particular route or destination. In 2012, Emery County had developed a bill based on actual collaboration that offered "certainty" to stakeholders including OHV riders: In contrast, the only certainty that the 2018 bill offers us would be this unprecedented and preemptive ban on constructing motorized routes, which is a rather perverse way of keeping their promise. Meanwhile preservationists would have the certainty of over a half-million acres of Wilderness designation (going way beyond the existing WSA's) plus the chance of managing additional acreage as Wilderness de facto, since the bill would do nothing to prevent it. Incidentally, the second half of the video linked above touts the economic benefit of consolidating the checkerboard of state school-trust lands, which is also found in the 2018 bill. The difference is that the 2018 bill essentially buys land consolidation by selling long-term access interests as if preservationists wouldn't equally benefit from moving school-trust acreage out of the Swell. The fact is that land consolidation is a bipartisan goal that can be accomplished in more ways than one, even through the presidential proclamation of a national monument. In summary, the Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018 is advertised as an alternative to national-monument proclamation, but overall this legislative alternative might be worse. Despite the flawed process and outcome, OHV groups have worked in good faith to repair the bill rather than blocking it. We agree with Emery County's initiative to develop a comprehensive land use bill, plus the collaboration and conservation that they espouse, but they'll give a bad name to all three if Congress fails to restore balance to this bill. ACTION: Before the end of this month, it's critical to oppose the Emery County Public Land Management Act as currently written. Whether you live in Utah, visit here and bring your tourist dollar, or simply have the Swell on your bucket list, please take the following steps (listed in order of importance): 1. Write and/or call Rep. Bishop and Sen. Lee, as they have the clout and guts to stand up against the current bill. Tell them that you oppose H.R. 5727 / S. 2809, and that the bill should be amended in the four ways requested by local OHV clubs (Castle County OHV Association, Sage Riders Motorcycle Club, and Ride with Respect), otherwise it should be pulled from this session of Congress. Representative Rob Bishop (House natural-resources committee member) https://robbishop.house.gov/contact/email 202-225-0453 Senator Mike Lee (Senate natural-resources committee member) https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact 202-224-5444 * Remember to copy one of your messages and paste it in an email to... brric@sharetrails.org ...so that we can document the extent of OHV rider response. This is particularly important for people who don't reside in Utah, as your message may be blocked, so we'll ensure that it reaches the decision makers. 2. Write and/or call the Emery County Commission since, although they don't have the power to make a bill pass in Congress, they have been given veto power over this bill. Reiterate the points in Step 1 since, whether you reside in Emery County or just visit there, the current bill is bad for motorized recreation. Emery County Commission http://www.emerycounty.com/commission/contact.htm 435-381-3575 3. Write and/or call the bill's sponsors, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch, and reiterate the points in Step 1. Despite having been unresponsive, they must know that we're a major stakeholder, and that there's still time to do the right thing. Representative John Curtis (House sponsor of Emery County bill) https://curtis.house.gov/email/ 202-225-7751 Senator Orrin Hatch (Senate sponsor of Emery County bill) https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-orrin 202-224-5251 4. For extra credit, write and/or call the other two Congress people from Utah. Even though they are not sponsors of the bill nor members of the natural-resource committees, they are in a position to help. Representative Chris Stewart https://stewartforms.house.gov/contact/ 202-225-9730 Representative Mia Love https://love.house.gov/email-me/ 202-225-3011 Right now the Emery County bill is like a slick loan with zero-down and interest-only, which needs to be fixed or sent back to the drawing board. The Sage Riders and Castle Country clubs have volunteered thousands of hours on trails and surroundings in the Swell. Each year tens of thousands of OHV riders enjoy the trail system responsibly. We deserve to maintain a decent outlook in the Swell and beyond. Thanks -Clif Koontz 
  9. Wanna try to save our ability to ride in the Swell?? Here is the latest from Ride with Respect: (your action needed by end of October) ------------- As the Emery County Public Land Management Act is finalized this month, we'll need all off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders to contact key elected officials (and send a copy to us), since trails in the San Rafael Swell are at stake. The bill is very careful not to close routes automatically, but it would prohibit BLM from constructing any motorized route for any reason (even safety or conservation) while giving us zero leverage to defend access along the existing routes, thereby making a net loss inevitable. Ride with Respect (RwR) supports county governments regaining meaningful influence on federal lands, but it requires them to be totally engaged in legislation. Thus far the Emery County Commission hasn't taken a serious look while its staff and consultants allow Washington, D.C. to turn the county's bill into a Trojan horse. At a October 2nd meeting, Commissioner Kent Wilson did begin to question their public-lands consultant about OHV riders who "are feeling like we sold them down the river." With a serious expression, the consultant replied "That was our plan." With an alarmed expression, the Commissioner Wilson responded "Ha, ha, ha. Do not print that." Then the consultant said "Joking. Joking." Even if it was merely a callous joke, it was also the consultant's most accurate answer to the whole line of questioning, which you can hear from Minute 24:49 to 31:18: https://www.utah.gov/pmn/files/432583.MP3 Since the brand-new bill was introduced this past May, the consultant has declined requests to meet with OHV advocates. Commissioner Wilson deserves credit for accepting to meet with RwR for an hour yesterday, and he pledged to investigate matters, but at this point the bill is half-baked. Staff of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch, have consistently either dismissed OHV concerns or assured us that they would be addressed at the next step in the legislative process. Finally at the House committee's markup, Rep. Bishop courageously proposed an amendment to specify that the purpose of a San Rafael Swell recreation area would include "non-motorized and motorized" recreation... https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/h.r._5727_bishop_011.pdf ...which passed unanimously. Less than a week later, this meager amendment was removed in the Senate committee's markup of the bill by "voice vote," which gave committee members like Sen. Lee no chance of even discussing the issue. So the bill currently stands without amendment as the following text and map: https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/h.r._5727_ans.pdf https://naturalresources.house.gov/uploadedfiles/emerycounty_091418.pdf While the bill has gotten worse, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch continue to imply that OHV groups participated in developing the bill and support the outcome. In fact, no such groups participated in the 2018 bill, and a dozen national OHV groups oppose it along with OHV clubs across Utah. Why the unanimous opposition? In May the bill had over a dozen problems, which we narrowed down to ten requests in June, and further narrowed down to FOUR REQUESTS in August: http://www.sageridersmc.com/land-use-issues.html The bill's sponsor actually responded to the FOURTH REQUEST (letting the Resource Advisory Council exist for as long as the Swell recreation area is in place), but they simultaneously changed the RAC's composition to give preservation-oriented members a majority. The THIRD REQUEST (specifying that the recreation area's purpose includes motorized recreation) was adopted by Rep. Bishop only to be removed in the Senate version, suggesting that Sen. Hatch favors interests that deny OHV riding as a legitimate form of recreation in the Swell. The SECOND REQUEST (to remove the bill's blanket ban on motorized route construction so that BLM can consider rerouting trails or adding links to provide quality opportunities and minimize any negative impacts) remains a poison pill in the bill, as explained in this letter to the editor: http://etv10news.com/letter-to-the-editor-emery-county-gill-goes-from-bad-to-worse/ The FIRST REQUEST (establishing a policy of "no net loss" of OHV access within the Swell recreation area in perpetuity) is our attempted consolation prize for not getting a guarantee of access to any particular route or destination. In 2012, Emery County had developed a bill based on actual collaboration that offered "certainty" to stakeholders including OHV riders: In contrast, the only certainty that the 2018 bill offers us would be this unprecedented and preemptive ban on constructing motorized routes, which is a rather perverse way of keeping their promise. Meanwhile preservationists would have the certainty of over a half-million acres of Wilderness designation (going way beyond the existing WSA's) plus the chance of managing additional acreage as Wilderness de facto, since the bill would do nothing to prevent it. Incidentally, the second half of the video linked above touts the economic benefit of consolidating the checkerboard of state school-trust lands, which is also found in the 2018 bill. The difference is that the 2018 bill essentially buys land consolidation by selling long-term access interests as if preservationists wouldn't equally benefit from moving school-trust acreage out of the Swell. The fact is that land consolidation is a bipartisan goal that can be accomplished in more ways than one, even through the presidential proclamation of a national monument. In summary, the Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018 is advertised as an alternative to national-monument proclamation, but overall this legislative alternative might be worse. Despite the flawed process and outcome, OHV groups have worked in good faith to repair the bill rather than blocking it. We agree with Emery County's initiative to develop a comprehensive land use bill, plus the collaboration and conservation that they espouse, but they'll give a bad name to all three if Congress fails to restore balance to this bill. ACTION: Before the end of this month, it's critical to oppose the Emery County Public Land Management Act as currently written. Whether you live in Utah, visit here and bring your tourist dollar, or simply have the Swell on your bucket list, please take the following steps (listed in order of importance): 1. Write and/or call Rep. Bishop and Sen. Lee, as they have the clout and guts to stand up against the current bill. Tell them that you oppose H.R. 5727 / S. 2809, and that the bill should be amended in the four ways requested by local OHV clubs (Castle County OHV Association, Sage Riders Motorcycle Club, and Ride with Respect), otherwise it should be pulled from this session of Congress. Representative Rob Bishop (House natural-resources committee member) https://robbishop.house.gov/contact/email 202-225-0453 Senator Mike Lee (Senate natural-resources committee member) https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact 202-224-5444 * Remember to copy one of your messages and paste it in an email to... brric@sharetrails.org ...so that we can document the extent of OHV rider response. This is particularly important for people who don't reside in Utah, as your message may be blocked, so we'll ensure that it reaches the decision makers. 2. Write and/or call the Emery County Commission since, although they don't have the power to make a bill pass in Congress, they have been given veto power over this bill. Reiterate the points in Step 1 since, whether you reside in Emery County or just visit there, the current bill is bad for motorized recreation. Emery County Commission http://www.emerycounty.com/commission/contact.htm 435-381-3575 3. Write and/or call the bill's sponsors, Rep. Curtis and Sen. Hatch, and reiterate the points in Step 1. Despite having been unresponsive, they must know that we're a major stakeholder, and that there's still time to do the right thing. Representative John Curtis (House sponsor of Emery County bill) https://curtis.house.gov/email/ 202-225-7751 Senator Orrin Hatch (Senate sponsor of Emery County bill) https://www.hatch.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-orrin 202-224-5251 4. For extra credit, write and/or call the other two Congress people from Utah. Even though they are not sponsors of the bill nor members of the natural-resource committees, they are in a position to help. Representative Chris Stewart https://stewartforms.house.gov/contact/ 202-225-9730 Representative Mia Love https://love.house.gov/email-me/ 202-225-3011 Right now the Emery County bill is like a slick loan with zero-down and interest-only, which needs to be fixed or sent back to the drawing board. The Sage Riders and Castle Country clubs have volunteered thousands of hours on trails and surroundings in the Swell. Each year tens of thousands of OHV riders enjoy the trail system responsibly. We deserve to maintain a decent outlook in the Swell and beyond. Thanks -Clif Koontz
  10. dmac1

    Rico Dolores update?

    Thinly spread they are! Earlier in the year we were at 717 and watched as a rzr absolutely hauled a$$ right by us and on down FS363. Power sliding the corners, just insanely fast. We'd just crossed that road and at the start of our ride we went down it for a ways. Scary $hit!! So I called the FS. They were receptive to my call, but were too busy doing trail work/clearing trees to be able to focus on trying to catch the culprits. This was no surprise to me since I had to video/picture evidence, I just hoped they'd increase patrol to watch for em, but get this. They told me they are fully aware of the reckless rzr driving because there had been incidents where the rzrs had hauled around a corner only to plow head on into a FS truck and roll over!!! I guess thats one way to catch em! LOL!!!
  11. Looks like the senate committee has passed the bill (s 2809) to the full senate for consideration. Same status for the house bill (HR 5727). In order to minimize duplication and required effort, future updates and such will be posted in the thread CJ created in the Rocky Mountain forum. I've also put it on ADVRider.
  12. For those who are interested, here are the primary changes Sage Riders, RwR and CCOHV requested to the senate bill. I'm not currently clear if the changes were incorporated into the house version. Will report back on that. "(S)witch the proposal from an NCA to a National Recreation Area (NRA). ..... 1. Establish a policy of "no net loss" of off-highway vehicle access within the NRA in perpetuity. (SEC. 102 (d)) 2. Remove language that would prohibit building new motorized routes. (SEC. 102 (d)(2)) 3. Clarify that the NRA’s recreational purpose includes operating off-highway vehicles on motorcycle, ATV, and four-wheel drive trails. (SEC. 101 (b)) 4. Remove language that would terminate the NRA's resource advisory council. (SEC. 103 (f)) ..... Also note that the "cherry stemmed" routes surrounded by wilderness areas should have a corridor that is sufficiently wide to manage the route as conditions change. For example, many of these routes follow active drainages that meander, which may require the route to follow the drainage or cross at a different location. Therefore we suggest a corridor of at least 99 feet, a distance which also happens to be the BLM's current standard for conducting cultural surveys along motorized routes in the Price Field Office." Pretty minor stuff I think!!!!
  13. Looks like the senate committee has passed the bill (s 2809) to the full senate for consideration. Same status for the house bill (HR 5727). The changes 'we've' requested are minor in comparison to SUWA's objections. Not sure what action we should take going forward, but we sure as heck can't let SUWA get their way. Stay tuned! https://suwa.org/wp-content/uploads/Emery-County-Problems-and-Recommendations.pdf
  14. I saw vid of a guy who had a stick spear his leg and take him off his bike. It can be dangerous for sure. Glad all the aforementioned are ok. BG - you definitely need to get back on ASAP and work it out of your mind. Sh!t happens fast on a dirt bike. On another topic, off-road riding in Utah may be at a crossroads. A week or so ago CJ posted a link to an email from Ride with Respect requesting we take action. Unfortunately, the senators have been resistant to the requested changes and this morning, at 10AM EST, a vote was taken on whether the bill passes from the committee to the full floor of the senate or not. If it passes from committee, it'd be great if lots of you could chime in and request your senators and HR reps ( the bill in the house is HR 5727) vote NO when its up for a vote. Some of us have already made numerous calls and written our congressmen, but the more help the better. I'll follow up with the results of today's vote. Maybe at least mentally start writing your letter now so you can take action at short notice. This is especially important because 3 other off-road riding areas in Utah are also facing the same situation as the Swell and possibly this bill will be used as a model for those areas as well. And where it goes from there is anyone's guess. Thanks! Heres the email I got last night: (Monday, 10/2) I wish this were a joke, but TONIGHT we really need OHV enthusiasts from across the country to call Senator Mike Lee's office in D.C. (202-224-5444) and urge him to oppose S. 2809, the Emery County Public Land Management Act. Tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8am Mountain Time, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will vote to pass this bill to the Senate floor. As a member of this committee and a traditional defender of responsible OHV recreation, Sen. Lee is in the best position to call out this bill for attempting to phase out OHV riding in the San Rafael Swell. The Emery County bill may not close trails immediately, but it would inevitably sunset our sport in a premiere riding area (see attached photo). Specifically the bill prohibits the construction of any new motorized routes--even temporarily---anywhere in the Swell at any point in the future. This sort of blanket ban prevents the realignment of trails as needed, prevents short links to make the existing network more useful, and even prevents the hand-building of a singletrack for e-bikes. While banning new routes, the bill does nothing to protect old routes (not even establishing a flexible policy of "no net loss"), thereby creating a sort of ratchet strap with no release mechanism. What's worse, the Senate version of this bill refuses to recognize motorized use as a legitimate form of recreation in the Swell. The House version had actually clarified that the recreational purpose includes "non-motorized and motorized" uses, a simple amendment from Rep. Bishop that passed unanimously. We are astonished to report that the Senate version strikes this amendment, essentially challenging the basic legitimacy of motorized recreation across this million-acre "recreation area" (half of which would be closed in perpetuity through wilderness designation). We are hopeful that Sen. Lee will insist on conserving diverse recreation opportunities within the remaining half that's open now, not just for the next year, but for the next generation. We'd love to show you the new version of S. 2809, but it hasn't been released publically despite that the Senate committee will vote on it first-thing tomorrow morning. In fact, the offices of Sen. Hatch and Rep. Curtis waited until 4:30pm Mountain Time to notify any OHV advocates of their intention to fast-track the bill. With the support of national OHV groups, the local OHV clubs have been requesting four modest changes since June, and since then we have gotten little more than stalling tactics from the bill's sponsors. You could call the offices of Sen. Hatch and Rep. Curtis as well (202-224-5251 and 202-225-7751), but the most important call is to Sen. Lee (202-224-5444). Tonight leave a voicemail and, for extra credit, write him a letter that is both respectful and personal (mentioning your experience in the Swell, spending in Emery County towns like Green River, and concerns with how the bill would affect the outlook of OHV riding): https://www.lee.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact Finally, please send RwR a copy of your message to Sen. Lee (by emailing Clif at RideWithRespect dot org). It's a shame, as this bill could've been fixed to benefit all parties. However the bill's sponsors have been virtually deaf to responsible recreationists including OHV clubs like the Sage Riders and Castle Country that have volunteered thousands of hours in Swell (not to mention Swenson Strategies and a dozen national OHV groups). Apparently Utah's own representatives need an immediate reminder of how important 4WD, ATV, and motorcycling is to Utahns and visitors alike.
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