We will hold our member meeting on Thursday, October 25 @ 6 pm at the Log Palace. As an significant item of note, Kent Wilson (Emery County Commission), will be in attendance to discuss and address H.R. 5727 Emery County Lands Bill. This is a very “hot” button issue and is a opportunity for us to ask questions and express our concerns towards this bill. As this bill is currently at the Senate, the stance of the CCOHVA is for delaying this bill. We invite all to come to our meeting and be a voice towards changing and/or adding language to this bill that will protect OHV usage in the San Rafael Swell. Please come join us – everyone.
On November 1, 2018, The Castle Country OHV Association is hosting a “First Aid Refresher” training. One of our members, Jennifer Maxfield (Cert EMT) will provide the training. Bring your family and friends. Everyone is invited.
Location: Log Palace, Price Utah – Time 7 pm
UPDATE to the Emery County Lands Bill – San Rafael Swell H.R. 5727
On Sept 26, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 5727, Representative John Curtis’ Emery County Public Land Management Act of 2018. Congressman Curtis likes to talk about the dangers of a “winner take all philosophy” surrounding the public lands debate. But this bill is evolving farther to the environmentalist side and is out of balance as it currently stands.
There are 436,643 acres of land currently designated as Wilderness Study Areas which this bill converts over 97% of them into wilderness. After the SITLA exchanges made possible by this bill there will a net increase of 140,000 acres of land under wilderness protection. In total this bill will cover nearly one-million acres of conservation lands.
The cherry stemmed routes meant to protect roads and trails have been removed, in fact all roads have been removed from the bill. What has not change in the bill as it currently stands is the provision: “in general, motorized vehicles are allowed only on designated roads and motorized routes, and no additional routes shall be built.”
Amendments made to the bill on Sept 26 were:
Positive: Instead of creating a National Conservation Area it will now be created as a National Recreation Area.
Positive: The RAC is not subject to termination—the #4 amendment the OHV community was seeking. (While it wasn’t the OHV community asking for this amendment who actually secured it, it was changed so it’s a plus for us.)
Neutral: The Goblin Valley State Park expansion boundaries will be refined to better manage recreation surrounding the Crack Canyon Wilderness.
Neutral: The Temple Mountain Cooperative Management Area was removed.
Negative: The RAC, while it won’t end will have three more seats (for conservation, tribal, and historical interests) which tend to be more influenced by environmental groups seeking to expand wilderness.
Negative: A new clause requires the BLM to study non-motorized trail recreation opportunities within the RAC–which the wilderness groups will likely attempt to use to expand wilderness. The BLM could determine that non-motorized trails aren’t needed or they could determine that non-motorized trails are needed via new trail constructions.
As an OHV community the Castle Country OHV Association will continue to join with other OHV clubs in asking for 3 amendments to be added to the bill to help protect our access to the San Rafael Swell for future motorized used. Those 3 amendments are:
1. Establish a policy of “no net loss” of off-highway vehicle access within the NRA in perpetuity. (SEC. 102 (d))
2. Remove language that would prohibit building new motorized routes. (SEC. 102 (d)(2))
3. Clarify that the NRA’s recreational purpose includes operating off-highway vehicles on motorcycle, ATV, and four-wheel drive trails. (SEC. 101 (b))
Please continue to call our Congressional leaders, and local leaders and urge them to add the amendments. We are leaning on others like Rep. Bishop to help Curtis and the local leaders see the need to fix it, as a balanced bill would be better than a national monument.
Please help us and the OHV community in fighting for our lands and the use therein.