National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The amount of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is scheduled to increase by 6.5 percent in 2017 under the latest Renewable Fuel Standard mandates issued in November by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The 2017 Renewable Volume Obligations are 19.28 billion gallons, up from 18.11 billion gallons in 2016. The increase comes despite the fact that it exceeds the blend wall by hundreds of millions of gallons. The blend wall is the point at which no more ethanol can be blended without forcing consumers to use higher blends, such as E15, E30 and E85. Since no motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles are approved by the EPA to use blends higher than E10, the EPA mandate increases the risk of inadvertent misfueling that could lead to engine or fuel-system damage and void manufacturers’ warranties. The increased reliance on corn-based ethanol also could further reduce the amount of E0 fuel available. Since the distribution network for E15 and E85 is limited, fuel producers may be forced to reduce E0 output to stay within the RVO rule, leaving owners of older and vintage motorcycles without a reliable fuel supply. The AMA strongly opposed the EPA’s plan to raise the ethanol mandate when it was announced in May 2016 and again chastised the EPA in November when the final rule was announced. The AMA is working with Congress to amend or repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard to resolve the ethanol issue.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bill that would measure the economic impact of outdoor recreation passed the U.S. House of Representatives in November. The bipartisan Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act (S. 2219), sponsored by U.S. Sens. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), would consider the jobs created and the consumer spending driven by the outdoor recreation economy. In April, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced the Federal Recreation Council will work with the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis to assess the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry. Until now, the federal government had never measured outdoor recreation’s economic impact, which has been estimated at $646 billion in consumer spending each year, supporting 6.1 million jobs. If passed, S. 2219 would codify the assessment.
BISHOP, Calif. – The Inyo National Forest’s Travel Analysis Report is available for review at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/inyo/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprd3834316. The Travel Analysis Process is required by the 2005 Travel Management Rule, so forests provide a safe, financially and environmentally sustainable road system that can realistically be maintained. Due to increased use, aging infrastructure and decreasing budgets, the forest cannot maintain all roads to standards for safety and environmental protection. TAP fulfills the requirement that each forest use a science-based roads analysis to help identify the minimum road system.
The report summarizes the results of the Inyo National Forest’s Travel Analysis Process. The report includes recommendations, not a decision, so the process is not subject to provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act and is not subject to objection. It will not close roads, add roads to the system or otherwise change the current road system.
REDDING, Calif. – The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is seeking comments on its Northwest Calif. Resource Management Plan. Resource management plans guide decisions regarding public lands for 15 to 20 years. The Northwest California RMP covers about 400,000 acres in Del Norte, Siskiyou, Shasta, Humboldt, Mendocino, Trinity, Tehama, and Butte counties managed by the Redding and Arcata field offices. The proposed plan would replace plans in effect since the mid-1990s. Comments on the proposal will be accepted until Feb. 3. Comments may be hand delivered or mailed to the BLM Redding Field Office, 6640 Lockheed Drive, Redding, CA, 96002, or emailed to NCIP_comments@aecom.com. Written comments also may be submitted at public meetings, including:
Jan. 9 – Civic Center Community Room (Redding City Hall), 777 Cypress Ave., Redding, Calif.
Jan 10 – Veterans Memorial Hall, 103 Memorial Drive, Weaverville, Calif.
Jan. 11 – Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center, 911 Waterfront Drive, Eureka, Calif.
Jan. 12 – Mateel Community Center, 54 Rusk Lane, Redway, Calif.
Jan. 17 – Willits City Hall Community Center, 111 Commercial St., Willits, Calif.
Jan. 18 – Oxford Suites, 2035 Business Lane, Chico, Calif.
Jan. 19 – Miner’s Inn, 122 E. Miner St., Yreka, Calif.
The BLM will use public comments in drafting an Environmental Impact Statement and proposed plan, which will be available for public review and comment. A final plan will follow. The process could take up to four years to complete. For more information, contact Lisa Grudzinski, planning and environmental specialist, by phone at (530) 224-2140 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The “Have a Good Ride III” program began Oct. 1 and continues through Sept. 30, 2017, in an effort to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved fatal and injury collisions and the number of victims in those collisions. The program is run by the California Highway Patrol. In regions with higher numbers of motorcycle incidents, CHP officers will increase motorcycle safety enforcement operations. Motorcycle traffic safety education campaigns, including the "May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month" and a summer safety campaign by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will be conducted. The campaigns will promote the use of properly approved helmets for all riders, raise motorists’ awareness of sharing the road with motorcyclists and urge riders to refrain from actions most commonly identified in motorcycle-involved collisions, such as speeding, improper turning and driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. Funding comes from a grant by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the NHTSA.
DENVER – The U.S. Forest Service can bypass committee reviews of proposed fee changes under an exemption granted to Colorado by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak in November. The exemption, request by Gov. John Hickenlooper, allows the Forest Service to establish and collect fees from users of federal recreational land without review by a Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. The Forest Service pledged “robust public involvement” in the fee-setting process, even without the RAC. The state has been unable to seat a RAC since 2013. Colorado joins Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming in eliminating RAC reviews of fee plans.
BOISE, Idaho – Environmental Assessments for two Travel Management Plans are available for public comment through Dec. 16, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has announced. The Canyonlands East plan, which covers a large part of Owyhee County, and the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area South plan establish systems of motorized access to public lands with the intention of ensuring long-term protection of natural and cultural resources. Copies of the Environmental Assessments are available at the Eastern Owyhee County Library, 520 Boise Ave., Grand View, Idaho, and at the BLM Boise District Office, 3948 Development Ave., Boise, Idaho. The documents also are available online. See Canyonlands East at http://tinyurl.com/hvjvudq and NCA Birds of Prey South at http://tinyurl.com/j9qstuq. Written comments may be mailed to: Boise District, BLM Transportation Planning, 3948 Development Ave., Boise, ID 83705 or emailed to: email@example.com.
INDIANAPOLIS – The first training season for Ride Safe Indiana closed with a record number of riders completing the state’s motorcycle safety course. Kent Abernathy, commissioner of the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles, said the goal was to train 6,000 riders the first year. As of Nov. 13, more than 7,450 had completed the course. That number represents the most riders ever to complete a motorcycle training course in one year in Indiana. The RSI program partners with 16 providers to offer basic rider courses and advanced rider training for new and experienced riders.
NELLIS AFB, Nev. – The U.S. Air Force intends to prepare a Legislative Environmental Impact Statement for the Nevada Test and Training Range military land withdrawal at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The Air Force is inviting early public and agency participation in determining the scope of environmental issues and alternatives to be analyzed and to identify and eliminate from detailed study the insignificant issues. The full Federal Register notice can be reviewed at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2016-08-25/html/2016-20401.htm. Scoping comments must be submitted no later than Dec. 10. Information on the Nevada Test and Training Range Military Land Withdrawal and LEIS process can be found at www.nttrleis.com. The website also can be used to submit scoping comments to the Air Force. Comments and inquiries may also be submitted by mail or email to the 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs, 4430 Grissom Ave., Suite 107, Nellis AFB, NV 89191, or by email to 99ABW.PAOutreach@us.af.mil.
NELSONVILLE, Ohio – The U.S. Forest Service’s Wayne National Forest Ironton Ranger District is seeking volunteers from the community to assist in a trail maintenance project in Lawrence County. The event is scheduled for 8 a.m. till 4:30 p.m. Dec.10-11. Volunteers will be assigned tasks on the districts off-highway-vehicle trails, with projects focused on natural resource protection and trail safety. Volunteers will make surface improvements, remove unwanted vegetation and install signs and trail markers. For donating 16 hours, participants will receive a 2017 Wayne National Forest Annual Trail Permit, which is valid April through December 2017. Volunteers should contact Gary Chancey at 740-753-0862, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
DETROIT – Harley-Davidson Motor Co. has joined the National Veteran Business Development Council as a sponsor. The nonprofit NVBDV supports service disabled/veteran businesses of all sizes. Since 1916, Harley has supported the U.S. military and veterans, supplying vehicles in the two world wars and working with the military in the Persian Gulf War. The company also is the official sponsor of Rolling Thunder, the annual Ride to the Wall on Memorial Day weekend.
BRUSSELS – ACEM, the European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers, has teamed with the German Road Safety Council DVR to launch a European Training Quality Label intended to help motorcyclists choose the correct advanced training courses. The association said the label will assure riders that the training they receive through labeled courses meet industry standards. “The industry strategy reflecting upon the integrated approach has three main pillars: vehicle technology, country tailored policies and rider training,” said Dr. Veneta Vassileva, ACEM safety coordinator.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – All new 2017 Zero motorcycles models sold will include one year of membership in the AMA, including AMA Roadside Assistance. Zero Motorcycles Inc. has supported the AMA and the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame for years. “This newest program is just another example of the commitment Zero Motorcycles has to the future of motorcycling in America," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. New Zero customers will receive all the benefits of AMA membership, including discounts, information about AMA-sanctioned activities, home delivery of American Motorcyclist magazine and AMA Roadside Assistance. In addition, all members who join through this program will receive an exclusive Zero-themed design on their AMA membership card. The full list of AMA member benefits is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/benefits.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio – Liberty Sport International, a manufacturer and distributor of performance eyewear, is the newest AMA Member Benefit Partner. AMA members using a member-discount code will receive 30 percent off Liberty’s “Motorcycle Collection” frames. And, in celebration of this new partnership, Liberty is offering AMA members 50 percent off select best-selling Switch Magnetic Interchangeable 2 lens kits and will include a third clear lens for free for orders placed through Dec. 31. Liberty Sport offers a full line of performance frames and lenses for all types of sports online at www.libertysport.com. All frames are able to accommodate prescription lenses supplied by local eye care professionals.
* * * * *
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Managing Editor Jim Witters at email@example.com.
Sign up and stay informed: AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with elected officials. Click here to check the “Sign me up for News & Notes” box.
AMA Action Alerts notify motorcyclists when and how to make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, or to sign up and receive them.
Readers also may sign up to receive AMA e-newsletters: AMA Extra includes a summary of AMA news, ATV E-News includes a summary of ATV-related news and Hall of Fame Insider focuses on the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. To subscribe to one or more, click here.
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easy, and it’s rewarding. To learn how you can help, visit us online.
Follow the AMA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/americanmotorcyclist, on Twitter @ama_riding and @ama_rights and on Instagram at @ama_riding