California Off-Road Vehicle Association
  • CORVA members riding quads
  • CORVA members jeep lineup
  • CORVA members riding dirt bikes
  • CORVA members driving jeeps

Managing Director's Report May 2024

May 30, 2024 12:30 PM | CORVA Administrator (Administrator)

CORVA: Keeping Public Land Open FOR The People, and Not FROM The People

Reference Document

California Natural Resources Agency

The Department of Natural Resources released a new Climate Change Policy, called "California's Nature-Based Solutions Climate Targets ": This is the follow-up to the 30x30 Initiative, because the Natural Resources know that they are close to reaching the 30x30 targets. If Natural Resources acutally considers all the citizen-based conservation reports that have been submitted to be calculated, the stated goals for the 30x30 Initiative would have be met. At this point in time, the CNRA considers 24.41% of the total landmass of the state to be conserved. To keep the conservation efforts moving forward DNR has now defined the next steps as part of the Climate Targets document (linked above). For OHV access, the problems lie with the last goal listed on page 4; " Reducing soil disturbance and removing invasive species in deserts protects existing carbon stores and builds resilience to climate impacts, such as wildfire, drought, and flooding." Increasing targets are identified starting in 2030 through 2045 to achieve carbon neutrality. The preparation of the document was mandated by statute (AB 1757 2022) but the actions associated with the policy are not currently mandated by statute. Expect a bill to be introduced next year that will incorporate the proposals in the document and when passed. ORVLC's lobbying group, the Smith Policy Group, has included CORVA in a group generally opposed to the criteria in this document and serving as a watchdog group. We find ourselves working together with like-minded individuals in the hunting and sportsmen's community. The pertinent question to ask is how the state will afford the dramatic changes called for in the new report, With a budget deficit growing by the day, the ability of the state to pay for any additional climate solutions has greatly diminished. Cal MAtters has delved into the issues in the following article; California climate programs would lose billions in Newsom's budget. Legislators are looking to introduce a November bond measure to help fund programs that will not be funded or will see cuts in the Governor's budget. Two months ago, Cal Matters reported that California is not on track to meet the current climate mandates:

Part of the proposed solutions include continuing to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire, which is being done by the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force. Read the May Report to the Governor here: Most of the work undertaken with this task force doesn't affect OHV opportunities, and may actually help remove dead and dying trees from our campground, trails and areas. The central California forests, including the Sequoia, Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests, have been greatly affected by bark beetles, an infestation that was exacerbated during the drought years. The next meeting of the Task Force will be held in Sacramento on July 12th, and I plan to attend in person.

CNRA supported the recent presidential proclamations expanding both the Berryessa Snow National Monument and the San Gabriel National Monuments by a total of 120,000 acres. The addition of over 105,000 acres to the San Gabriel National Monument will require a new management plan, but since a management plan has not yet been finalized for the Berryessa Snow National Monument, this land will be added to the developing plan. The Governor's press release about the additions to the National Monuments: national-monument-expansions-bring-california-closer-to-conservation-milestone/.

Central Valley Water Board

The Central Valley Water Board has issued new proposed regulations for non-point source pollution management for recreation activities on Forest Service lands. This is a continuation of a proposal from 2011, and I've attached the comments CORVA helped develop at that time. These will be used to inform the comments for the current proposal.

Department of Parks and Recreation

On May 15th and 16th the OHMVR Commission met for a tour at Oceano Dunes SVRA and a meeting at the South County Regional Center in Arroyo Grande. Sincere thanks to Misty Sanders for letting me ride in her Jeep and experience her amazing driving skills, and for Shea Sanders for his excellent company. Bruce Whitcher joined us at the meeting on Thursday, and CORVA was well represented. The recording of the meeting can be found here: state discussed how the park has achieved the goals in the Stipulated Order of Abatement, with Gary Willey, Executive Director of the SLO County Air Pollution Control District speaking to the attendees of the tour. There's no question that the conditions at Oceano Dunes SVRA are some of the most complicated and heartbreaking of any issues facing OHV recreational access in California. Friends of Oceano Dunes understands the issues from the inside out, and represents the community and passionately conveys the frustration of off-roaders at every opportunity. There are possibilities that were presented during the tour, including reopening the bird exclosure seasonally, and restoring access to the area to off-roaders for 5 months out of the year, from October 1 to March 1. This is currently being analyzed. There are no plans for any additional closures, but experiencing how the vegetative islands have changed travel in the dunes is sobering. There are many questions that the state still needs to answer, including excess expenditures and lack of sufficient camping areas.

The next OHMVR Workshop and Meeting will be held in the San Diego area. The 3rd OHV Safety Summit will be held on July 31st, and will be a noticed OHMVR Commission workshop, which means that all the commissioners may attend. The OHMVR Commission meeting will be held the following day on August 1st. Currently the workshop and meeting is planned for the Coronado Island Marriott Resort and Spa: Marriott Coronado Island. Until this meeting is noticed, however, the hotel is subject to change. I will inform the board should any changes be considered. The next OHMVR Commission meeting and tour is currently planned to be held near Carnegie SVRA, as the Carnegie General Plan should be completed and ready for a vote by the OHMVR Commission. This is one of the few responsibilities left for the commission. CORVA made substantive comments on the Carnegie General Plan. The final plan should be released to the public prior to the commission meeting.

The funding for the OHV Trust Fund Grants has been restored in the Governor's May Revise, released May 10th. Originally, only $1 million was allocated for the grants; now an additional $29 million has been added for a total of $30 million in available funding. Public comment on the proposed grants was closed on May 6th, and the intent to award will be announced in early June. The Recreational Trails Program Citizen's Advisory Group will be meeting in June. Bruce Whitcher and I are both members of the RTP Committee where I have served as vice-Chair for many years.

The OHV Trust is in trouble, as revenues continue to fall. At one time, the OHV Trust Fund was flush with funds, but since the pandemic years, gas tax revenues have been lower. Approximately 83% of the revenues in the OHV Trust Fund come from the percentage of gas calculated to be used while engaging in off-road activities. It is a percentage of the total gas taxes collected by the state, transferred into the OHV Trust Fund. There was a bill passed in 2012 (Simitian) that mandated that $83,333 must be redirected from the OHV Trust Fund and instead be deposited into California's General Fund, for a total of $10 million a year. This was done during the recession years when 70 parks were proposed for closure because of the lack of funding, and it has continued until today, regardless of the fact that State Parks are now well funded by SB1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. The OHV Trust fund does receive approximately $1 million from SB1 as well, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to state parks funding. In the beginning of 202 before the pandemic CORVA presented an expose about the misuse of funds from the OHV Trust Fund because of the mixed districts. Non-OHV State Parks are not correctly reporting the percentage of time they either engage in non-SVRA activities or reimburse the fund for borrowed equipment from SVRA's. Now that we know the problem, we can continue addressing the problem.

The week of May 17th there was a fatality at Carnegie SVRA of a well-known motorcycle designer and builder. It appears that he passed away from natural causes. The Redsticker Season has ended at all the SVRA's. Next year at this time there will no longer be a red-sticker season, as all pre-2022 redsticker bikes can be ridden year round in all areas of California. There are no new closures at any of the SVRA's.

Forest Service

The OSV plan has been released for the Tahoe National Forest to much disappointment from the snowmobile community. I have met with Deputy Regional Forester/Recreation Jody Holzworth about the OSV plan, and we are looking at continuing conversations that also include board member Kevin Bazar. Kevin and I are also coordinating on OSV signage that will be installed in California forests that have completed their OSV Travel Management Plans. We are also working with Jody Holzworth on a proposed OHV Recreation Roundtable to increase communications between off-roaders and the Forest Service. I have also met with Statewide OHV Coordinator Jamie Fields, and will continue conversations about expanding OHV access on Forest Service land. The Forest Service is going to institute a travel prohibition starting in July 2024, which will eliminate the ability for Jamie to travel and get to know us better, so we will have to use Zoom and Teams to keep engaging the agency.

The Inyo National Forest has released the Draft Environmental Assessment for the Coyote Flat OHV Area. It's an interesting plan, and I participated last night in the Zoom meeting the Forest Service held explaining the proposed plan. It calls for restoring some areas, and closing a couple of trails due to recent endangered species listings: Coyote Flat OHV Area Recreation Enhancement Proposal. The inyo works very closely with a large group of OHV volunteers that do maintenance work in the forest. From the Zoom meeting, it was unclear whether the local community supports this proposal in its entirety, CORVA will work with local members and submit substantive comments.


The new BLM Conservation Rule: BLM Conservation Rule has significant opposition. HR 3397, which would require the Director of the BLM to withdraw the conservation rule, passed the house on a vote of 212 - 202 on APril 30th, 2024. Undoubtedly, the rule will be taken to court, with the Cattlemen's Association so far leading the way, according to my information. I have an upcoming meeting next week with Shane Garside, the Acting OHV Statewide Coordinator.


Please see the latest bill tracker here: ORVLC Bill Tracker.

The competition bill, SB 708 (Jones) is set for a hearing on June 11th at the Assembly Water Parks and Wildlife Committee. ORVLC will submit a letter in support.

SB 903, a bill proposed to eliminate PFA's in California and opposed by the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association has died.

Important Dates

May 28th: Recreate Responsibly California

May 28th: CORVA BOD Zoom Meeting

May 29th: SEMA California Legislative Rally webinar

May 29th: OSV Signage meeting, Tread Lightly!

May 31st: Meeting BLM OHV Coordinator, Shane Garside

June 5th: SEMA California Legislative Rally

June 6th: BLM Northern California Resource advisory Council Meeting

June 17th: Washington OHV Meeting

June 18th: Carnegie Advisory Meeting

Amy Granat
Managing Director
California Off-Road Vehicle Association

Powered by Wild Apricot | Designed by