April 15, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Kresnak
Phone: (614) 856-1910
PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The AMA held a "Ride Into Political Action" seminar in Austin, Texas, on April 12 as part of its effort to fight efforts to close riverbeds to off-highway vehicles.
Currently there are three bills in the Texas Legislature that would ban motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and other off-highway vehicles from riverbeds and banks, with certain exceptions. Those exceptions are for riverfront property owners, who should still be allowed to use the property.
Under current law, access to those riverbeds is guaranteed.
Activist Joel Wolfson, a member of the AMA Community Council-Panhandle, presented state lawmakers with more than 5,000 letters from concerned citizens opposing the proposed closure. AMA member Carol Smith, another community council activist, has been fighting the proposal and notes that 97 percent of the land in Texas is private, meaning only 3 percent is public.
"I, for one, think that 97 percent private property is enough," Smith said. "More than enough. I think we should leave these public lands open to the public."
The AMA not only held a "Ride into Political Action" seminar to teach riders how to fight this battle, but also is urging AMA members in the state to contact their lawmakers, and is contacting lawmakers itself.
"A lot of these riverbeds have dried-up areas that off-road riders love to use," said Royce Wood, AMA legislative affairs specialist.
"Rather than a blanket ban, we would like to see state officials work with the off-highway vehicle community to determine which riverbeds should be protected, and which can remain open for OHV use," he said.
Texas OHV enthusiasts should write to their state lawmakers to oppose this legislation, and to let them know that they don`t want to lose access to public land without replacement riding areas.
Concerned Texas citizens can go to AMA Rapid Response Center to send a message to their lawmakers. The site also helps those who use it find the names of their lawmakers.
Issued April 15, 2003
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world`s largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists` interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.