National and Regional News
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California legislators passed two bills that extend the state’s nationally renowned off-highway vehicle recreation program and provide more stability for the program’s future. S.B. 249 extends the operation of the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program indefinitely, eliminating a provision that historically had required periodic reauthorization and making the program permanent within state parks. S.B. 159 provides funding for the program. Without these key pieces of legislation, the program would have ended Dec. 31. The American Motorcyclist Association was part of a broad coalition that defended the OHV program against opponents who sought its demise. The group worked with legislators for months to rework the originally introduced version of S.B. 249 into an acceptable piece of legislation. Gov. Jerry Brown has until Oct. 15 to sign the bills into law.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. House unanimously approved a proposal Sept. 6 to speed the deployment of self-driving cars without human controls by putting federal regulators in charge and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles, according to a Reuters report. The measure is the first significant federal legislation intended to speed self-driving cars to market. The bill would allow automakers to obtain exemptions to deploy as many as 25,000 vehicles without meeting existing auto safety standards in the first year. The cap would rise over three years to 100,000 vehicles annually. Manufacturers seeking exemptions would have to demonstrate that self-driving cars are at least as safe as existing vehicles. States could still set rules on registration, licensing, liability, insurance and safety inspections, but not performance standards.
PETERSBURG, Alaska — Voters will decide on Oct. 3 whether to allow ATVs on public streets under a ballot issue that would require a borough registration sticker. ATV operators would have to obtain a driver’s license and insurance. ATVs would have to display a safety flag to help other motorists see them. ATV use would remain prohibited on South Nordic, Haugen Drive and Mitkof Highway. On all other public roads, ATVs could be operated on the right-hand side of the roadway. Two-year registration stickers would cost $100.
OCEANO DUNES, Calif. — A newly adopted five-year dust mitigation plan will reduce the acreage available for off-highway vehicle riding at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. The plan drafted by San Luis Obispo County leaders calls for removing OHV access to about 20 additional acres each year, so native vegetation can be planted; setting aside 40 acres for seasonal dust control measures; and planting trees on the Nipomo Mesa. Currently, there are 1,500 acres for responsible OHV recreation at the site.
WILLOWS, Calif. — Trail 40 in the Grindstone District of the Mendocino National Forest will be rerouted to prevent damage to cultural and biological resources. The new 1,500- to 1,900-foot trail segment will replace a 1,200-foot segment that is being closed. Trail 40 is between the Nail Track off-highway vehicle area and an unnamed drainage to the south (Mill Creek tributary), about 5 miles southwest of Stonyford in Colusa County. For more details, see the project webpage or contact Dionne Uzes, project lead, at (530) 934-1151.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A new off-highway vehicle park has opened at the city-managed Idaho Falls Raceway. The park is the result of a cooperative effort among the Idaho Falls Trail Machine Association, the Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. A $46,000 state grant paid for the project, which provides 6 miles of trails. Local officials hope the park will help reduce the number of people riding dirt bikes and ATVs in area canals and on private land.
MCCALL, Idaho — The Payette National Forest will begin conducting National Visitor Use Monitoring surveys today, Oct. 1, and continue them on random days throughout the coming year. The information collected from the surveys is useful for forest planning and is relevant to community tourism promotion and planning. It provides the national forest managers with an estimate of how many people actually recreate on federal lands and what activities they engage in while there. Other important information for forest and tourism planners includes measures of visitor satisfaction and data about the economic impact of recreation visits to the local economy. The surveys have been conducted on the Payette National Forest three times in the past—2003, 2008 and 2013. For more information, contact Jascha Zeitlin, Payette National Forest NVUM program manager at (208) 549-4224.
BEND, Ore. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management John Day-Snake Resource Advisory Council has scheduled a meeting Oct. 12-13 to discuss a variety of issues related to advising the BLM and U.S. Forest Service resource managers regarding management plans and proposed resource actions on public land in central and eastern Oregon. The meeting is from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Springhill Suites, 551 Industrial Way, Bend. Public comment is scheduled for 10-10:30 a.m. Oct. 13. If you cannot attend the meeting in person, you may call in on the telephone conference line number at (877) 989-1244, Participant Code: 3005406#. Agenda items for the meeting include: A presentation on the Ochoco National Forest sustainable recreation strategy and fee proposal; a subcommittee report on the Lower Deschutes River Fee Proposal and potential decision; an update on Central and Eastern Oregon Greater sage-grouse populations; a presentation by the South Fork John Day Watershed Council; a fee proposal by the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest; an update on the Blue Mountain Forest Resiliency project; and an update on Torrefied Biomass as a fuel commodity by Matt Krumenauer of Oregon Torrefaction LLC. RAC members also will set the 2018 meeting schedule and will identify future-topic presentations for the RAC meetings. For more information, contact Lisa Clark, public affairs officer, BLM Prineville District Office, 3050 N.E. Third St., Prineville, Ore.; (541) 416-6700; firstname.lastname@example.org.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A plan for non-highway vehicles is on the agenda for the state Recreation and Conservation Funding Board during its meeting scheduled for Oct. 11-12. The full agenda is available by clicking here. The meeting begins at 9 a.m. each day in Room 172 of the Natural Resources Building, 1111 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, Wash. Correspondence and other questions about the board should be directed to Nikki Gaddis at mailto:email@example.com.
MENIFEE, Calif. — AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame member Scot Harden has launched a new website for his Harden Offroad business, the Nevada 200 Trailride and a blog. The site is www.harden-offroad.com. Harden Offroad is a powersports business consulting, marketing, event management, product development and motorcycle industry career/rider training company.
ORMOND BEACH, Fla. — Barry Boone, known for his kind heart, passion for motorcycles and unmatched talent for announcing racing events, passed away in September. He was 62. Mr. Boone had been announcing local Steve Nace Racing events in Florida when he was encouraged to begin announcing larger AMA-sanctioned events, such as dirt track racing at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days and the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championship. He continued announcing AMA-sanctioned events for more than 10 years. He also was the announcer for years at AMA Pro Flat Track event.
LONDON — England’s famous Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, the White Helmets, gave its final performance in September at the Preston Military Show. According to the BBC, the team performed two displays at Fulwood Barracks with a salute to HQ North West Deputy Commander Philip Harrison. "This is the final time ever that we will have the opportunity to experience the breathtaking skills of the White Helmets motorcycle display team,” Harrison said. "Formed originally from Royal Signals dispatch riders, they have entertained millions of people over nine decades and done wonders for the Army's recruiting." The decision to disband the team reflects the Royal Signals new approach to digital technology and cyber warfare in the 21st century.
MUMBAI — Eicher MotorsBSE, owner of Royal Enfield, has submitted a $2 billion bid for Ducati. German automaker Volkswagen owns the Ducati brand and was rumored to be shopping it around earlier this year. But the Volkswagen board of directors slowed the process, saying Volkswagen’s financial situation does not require a quick sale. The potential sale of Ducati also drew resistance from trade unions.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame inducted five new members and honored a current member as a Hall of Fame Legend on Sept. 22 at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Harley-Davidson, at the Greater Columbus (Ohio) Convention Center. Ceremony emcees Perry King and Laurette Nicoll led the audience through the exciting accomplishments of 2017 inductees John Ulrich, Don Emler Sr., Ed Lojak Sr., Peter Starr and Bob Moore. Bill Werner, the most successful flat-track tuner and mechanic of all time, was also honored as an AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — AMA Congress members from across the country gathered Sept. 21-23 at the AIMExpo at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio, to consider important issues affecting amateur motorcycle competition and recreational riding. It was the 50th annual meeting of the rule-making body. A new format at the 2017 AMA Congress encouraged participation from all those in attendance. More changes are expected to come in 2018 that will broaden participation to all AMA members. Seminars and open-forum discussions were conducted throughout the three days to educate AMA State Chapters representatives, racing promoters and track owners on a number of issues. Family enduros, insurance, dual sport rides and legislative issues were among the topics pertaining to recreational riding that were discussed during AMA Congress.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Hundreds of motorcyclists rode to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame at the American Motorcyclist Association campus in Pickerington, Ohio, on Sept. 23 to enjoy a live band, food, motorcycles and much more at the Fall Bike Night, the official after-party of the AIMExpo. Attendees strolled around the AMA grounds looking at bikes in the Thunder Roads Ride-In Bike Show, while also catching shows from the Wheelie Wizzard, and trials demonstrations by Trials Inc. ROK, powered by the AMA, sponsored the event.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Ricky Rickords, the 2016 AMA Sportsman of the Year, has joined the American Motorcyclist Association as its new Motocross Manager, and Mike Pelletier has been promoted to AMA Supercross Manager. Pelletier, 30, was the AMA Motocross Assistant Manager for two years. As Supercross Manager, he oversees the day-to-day operations of the AMA Supercross Championship and FIM Motocross Grand Prix events that take place in the United States. Rickords, 29, is the former Supercross Safety Manager for AMA Supercross and served for seven years as the National Safety Ambassador for the Brett Downey Safety Foundation, where he improved flagger training and other safety aspects of motorcycle racing. Other changes in the AMA Racing Department include the hiring of Jack Babet as Motocross Operations Coordinator and Alexandria Reasoner as Motocross Administrative Coordinator.
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