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AMA complains about apparent bias against off-highway vehicles by federal agency

November 27, 2013

In a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management dated Nov. 25, the AMA complained that the federal agency may be exhibiting a bias against off-highway vehicles in a current effort to collect information related to permits for recreation on public land.

“At first glance, the information collection process appears to be an ideal avenue for the Bureau of Land Management to learn first-hand how popular responsible motorized recreation and competitive events are on our nation’s public lands,” wrote Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.

“Recreation and competitive events are important drivers of local economies,” he wrote. “They provide sustainable employment, economic growth and have a positive effect on other administration-stated goals, such as addressing childhood obesity.”

However, Allard went on to say that the AMA is troubled that the BLM, in its document, only pointed its finger at OHVs when discussing potential damage to resources and loss of revenue if recreational uses of public land aren’t managed.

“The BLM should include mountain bike, equestrian, the Burning Man or other events when referencing potential damage to resources and loss of revenue,” Allard wrote.

“The BLM should adhere to a fair treatment process for all permit and recreation type applications,” he wrote. “Currently, this document infers a prejudicial mindset by the BLM toward the OHV community with regard to special use permits.”

The BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in 12 western states.

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