WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to announce rule changes in February that will allow the year-round sale of E15 fuel, which contains 15 percent ethanol by volume. President Donald Trump directed the agency in October to waive the rules prohibiting E15 sales in the summer. A final rule could be issued by May. The AMA opposes the waiver because it will encourage more outlets to stock the controversial fuel, creating a higher risk of inadvertent misfueling by motorcyclists and ATV owners. None of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles in use in the United States is approved by the EPA to use fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol. The AMA also is concerned that widespread availability of E15 will make E0 even harder to find and may begin to crowd E10 fuel out of the marketplace. Several fuel retailers have already announced plans to begin offering E15 year-round, some under the label "Unleaded 88," adding to the labeling confusion that already exists. Higher ethanol blends carry a lower pump price and studies have shown that the majority of consumers shop by price, rather than following the guidance provided in their vehicles' owner's manual. Court challenges are expected.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Forest Service has published draft Greater Sage Grouse Proposed Land Management Plan Amendments and a draft Environmental Impact Statement for its Intermountain and Rocky Mountain regions. The documents and comment period relate to 14 national forests and one national grassland in five states—Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. The documents were prepared to recognize results of sage-grouse habitat research released since the Forest Service Greater Sage Grouse Records of Decision and land management plans in 2015, and a lawsuit claiming insufficient public involvement in Nevada and thousands of subsequent public comments. Comments may be made at this website, this email address or mail U.S. mail at Sage-Grouse Amendment Comment, USDA Forest Service Intermountain Region. Federal Building. 324 25th St., Ogden, UT 84401. The comment deadline is Dec. 3. For more information, contact John Shivik by phone at (801) 625-5667 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D, Minn.) introduced the RTP Full Funding Act of 2018 (S. 3604), which would require a study to determine the best available estimate of the total amount of nonhighway recreational fuel taxes received by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Coalition for Recreational Trails—of which the AMA is a member—requested the legislation as a step toward increasing the federal funding for trail construction and maintenance. The coalition is encouraging other senators to cosponsor this bill.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Vicki Christiansen has been named the 19th Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service. Christiansen has been serving as Interim Chief since March. She is a former deputy chief for state and private forestry, where she had oversight of fire and aviation management, tribal relations, forest health protection, cooperative forestry, grey towers and conservation education. Christiansen joined the Forest Service in 2010 as the deputy director of fire and aviation management. She has also served as an Arizona state forester and director of the Arizona Division of Forestry, as well as a Washington state forester with Washington Department of Natural Resources.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The "Made in America" Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee has been formed within the National Park Service to advise the Secretary of Agriculture "on public-private partnerships across all public lands, with the goal of expanding access to and improving infrastructure on public lands and waterways." The committee's duties include making recommendations on policies and programs that expand and improve visitor infrastructure developed through public-private partnerships; implement sustainable operations embracing fair, efficient and convenient fee collection and strategic use of the collected fees; improve interpretation using technology; and create better tools and/or opportunities for Americans to discover their lands and waters.
REDDING, Calif. — The Chappie-Shasta Off Highway Vehicle Recreation Area is now open to the public. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management had closed the area, because of impacts from the Carr Fire. The Shasta Campground at the OHV area will also be open for overnight camping. Light rains have compacted trails and settled deep pockets of powder-like soil that had posed safety concerns. In addition, crews have completed most road and trail maintenance and removed hundreds of burned trees from roads and trails. The OHV area north of Redding offers more than 200 miles of roads and trails for motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and four-wheel-drive vehicles. Riders can access the area from the Chappie-Shasta Staging Area near Shasta Dam and the Copley Mountain Staging Area off Iron Mountain Road northwest of Redding.
OCALA, Fla. — The U.S. Forest Service is offering a chainsaw safety workshop for volunteers who help clear and maintain trails on Forest Service lands. The Forest Service National Saw Program Policy requires training and certification. The workshop is scheduled for Jan. 7-11 at the Ocala National Forest, Lake George Ranger District. Registration is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/1O9Wvbnsu2UMtk5IB7YtnoK8okqrDyDL6/view.
ATLANTA — The state Department of Driver Services’ Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program has received a grant for more than $84,000 from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety for efforts to reduce the number of motorcycle fatalities in the state. The GMSP promotes state and national safety initiatives through its outreach coordinator, who researches, coordinates, and helps maintain a voice at industry events, local schools and colleges, regional meetings, festivals and other public events. The program also regulates motorcycle training for new riders and experienced riders.
TACOMA, Wash. — The Pierce County Council passed an ordinance allowing ATVs to operate on several roadways to encourage tourism, bring economic benefit to the community and improve recreational opportunities for county residents. The sheriff plans to launch an educational program about the change, which becomes effective Jan. 1.
EUGENE, Ore. — The Arcimoto FUV (for Fun Utility Vehicle) is a three-wheeled electric motorcycle that the company says can carry two people and their gear 70 to 130 miles on a charge. The vehicle goes from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds and can achieve a top speed of 80 mph. Prices range from $12,000 to $19,500. The vehicle has handlebars, a windscreen and roll bars. Doors and an enclosed cockpit are optional.
MEDINA, Minn. — Polaris Industries Inc. has named Nancy Ellen McCarthy vice president of government affairs. She will focus on issues such as safety, trade, economic growth and manufacturing. McCarthy was most recently executive director of federal government affairs for Amgen Inc., a Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based biopharmaceutical firm. The U.S. Marine Corps veteran, who holds a juris doctor degree from the University of Florida, will be based in Washington, D.C.
MILWAUKEE — Harley-Davidson Inc. is establishing a research and development facility in Northern California to support the company's first line of electric vehicles. In July, Harley-Davidson announced its “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan. As part of that strategy, Harley-Davidson plans to launch its first electric motorcycle, LiveWire, in 2019. That motorcycle will be the first in a broad, no-clutch “twist-and-go” offering of electric two-wheelers. It will be followed by additional models through 2022.
MUMBAI — Honda Motorcycle & Scooter of India is investing $85 million to increase production at its fourth plant in Gujarat, India. The new production line will add 600,000 units and increase the total annual production capacity of scooters to 1.8 million units by 2020, the company said. This expansion will increase the Honda's overall annual production capacity in India to 7 million units by 2020.
RIMINI, Italy — The driver who hit and killed MotoGP and World Superbike star Nicky Hayden has been given a one-year suspended jail sentence for his role in the fatal crash in 2017, according to a report at Motorsport.com. The 31-year-old driver, whose name has been withheld, faced 1-2 years in jail after being found guilty of road homicide. The judge in the case reduced the penalty and said he would explain his reasons in 90 days. The driver's license was suspended, and he must pay court costs. Known as “The Kentucky Kid,” Hayden, of Owensboro, Ky., was a force on the American motorcycle racing scene before taking his talent to the world stage, ultimately achieving motorcycle racing’s grandest championship, the FIM MotoGP title in 2006. Hayden was hit by a car while training on a bicycle in Italy in May 2017. He succumbed to his injuries five days later. Hayden will be inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in December.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA welcomes Honda Motorcycles as the sponsor and featured marque of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, presented by Honda Motorcycles, America's grandest celebration of vintage motorcycles and the people who love them. The event is July 5-7, 2019, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. In addition to celebrating the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking CB750, which Honda introduced in 1969, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will acknowledge the 60th anniversary of American Honda Motor Co. Inc., the North American subsidiary of Honda Motor Co. AMA members can buy discounted tickets now at www.amavintagemotorcycledays.com. All camping and RV passes, as well as non-AMA member ticket sales, will be available at www.mid-ohio.com in December. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, presented by Honda Motorcycles, welcomes riders and racers of all brands to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the annual event. All activity at the event will financially support the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the 501(c)(3) that raises money for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA and MotoAmerica have signed a Letter of Intent for the North American series to remain the home of the AMA Superbike Championship through the 2029 season. The extension will add an additional five years to the original five-year sanctioning agreement that was signed in 2014 and provides for the possibility of a further five-year extension. As the sanctioning body for MotoAmerica, the AMA approves and enforces the rules of competition, licenses riders and crew members, and approves production motorcycles for competition, along with other organizational responsibilities. As the promoting organization, MotoAmerica secures dates and venues, negotiates sponsorships, manages the fan experience, develops viewership, and works closely with the AMA to establish and maintain a class structure that best showcases both motorcycles and the racers who pilot them. The AMA Superbike Championship is the professional motorcycle road racing series in the United States. The championship began in 1976, but has roots in competition that date to the founding of the AMA in 1924. The AMA is the sanctioning body for professional motorcycle road racing in America, as well as the sole U.S. affiliate of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme, the world's governing body for motorcycle sport.
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