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Tin Benders Off-Road Club Donates $10,000 to Help Save Johnson Valley OHV Area

"This land is very important to all of us, we need to do everything we can to protect it" said club member and Ultra 4 racer Eric Anderson.

Mike Hendrix a long time club member felt the event was the best to date, "even though attendance was down a bit this year, revenue was increased from years past. Nearly everyone who participated in the raffle had a winning ticket and came away with a really great prize."

The Tin Benders are looking forward to next year, and they're issuing a challenge to other clubs to get in gear and do some of their own fundraising to further the Johnson Valley cause. Many people are unaware that the Johnson Valley OHV area, which is the largest in the country, is under threat of becoming part of the massive 29 Palms Marine Corps base. The expansion will make it the largest base in the world - larger than the State of Rhode Island.

Eric Anderson concluded by saying "It's encouraging to see how big an impact a small club like ours can have in such a noble cause, now we hope others will join in and help us win this fight once and for all. We're not a large organization, but we felt we had to do our part to help save this amazing location. I hope others will be inspired to reach in their wallets and help protect this area from expansion".

Fundraising is not new to the Tin Benders club. Many OHV enthusiasts should remember their efforts at Panamint Valley, where the club invested over 30 thousand dollars in an attempt to save Surprise Canyon.

If you would like to follow the lead of the Tin Benders and make a donation to the California Motorized Recreation Council "Save the Hammer's" effort please visit www.savethehammers.org With your help we can save the Johnson Valley OHV area.


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State Parks Director Resigns Amid Funding Scandal

According to the Sacramento Bee story, State Parks has been sitting on almost $55 MILLION cash surplus while they have been pleading they don't have the funding to keep the parks open. The threat of closure of 70 state park units has prompted shifting funding from other sources during the recently completed state budget process, including the taking funds from the state's Off-Highway Vehicle Fund.

The emerging funding scandal has prompted a more in-depth investigation to determine the full extent.

The link is to a Sacramento Bee article about the issue.


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OHV leadership is asking that the OHV program, a national model and one with absolute fiscal clarity, be restored completely.

The OHV program is the most successful division of State Parks and responsibly provides recreational opportunities to millions of Californians.  OHV recreation is also critical to the rural economy of the state.

OHV leadership noted they are not amused by the protestations of former Director Ruth Coleman that she had no idea the problem existed. Certainly, her career as a budget expert spanning more than two decades is a matter of record.  "The buck stops someplace…we hope that is where the investigation will begin."

OHV leadership welcomes the scrutiny and looks forward to participating in the process and restoring the state OHV program to its national prominence.


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Court Releases Final Decision on Eldorado National Forest Lawsuit

Pro-access recreation groups are disappointed with the order but glad to see the case concluded.  Several key organizations participated in this suit and decades of litigation involving the Eldorado, including the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal4), California Enduro Riders Association, District 36 of the American Motorcyclist Association and the BlueRibbon Coalition.  Mark Cave, President of Cal4Wheel, observed, "We're concerned these closures are unnecessary and issued without legally required findings.  But the "interim" status was complete closure of the 42 routes, so even this result is a step forward that allows some access." The Forest is completing renewed analysis and will issue a new decision on these routes.

Cave used the "David versus Goliath" analogy to describe how difficult it is to prevail against the well funded preservationist efforts. Still, none of the groups involved are willing to give up. "We encourage interested parties to stay in the loop, participate in the ongoing management process and help support whatever next steps the recreation groups decide to take." Cave added.

The case is entitled Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation v. U.S. Forest Service, Case No. CV-09-2523.  A copy of the Court's order including a description of the 42 meadow routes may be viewed at http://www.sharetrails.org/uploads/112-Order_on_remedy.07.31.12.pdf .


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Senate Committee Advances 96-Bill Lands Package

Senate Committee Advances 96-Bill Lands Package

June 30th, 2008

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Bingaman introduced a new bill that is a bipartisan collection of more than 90 individual bills which have been reported by the Senate Energy Committee. This legislation follows enactment of the Consolidated Natural Resources Act, which was signed into law last month. That Act was successful in packaging dozens of bills which were not able to pass the Senate individually. Sen. Bingaman hopes that the Omnibus Public Land Management Act (S. 3213) will similarly facilitate the passage of the remaining resources bills which have been reported by Senate ENR during this Congress. Here’s what’s in S. 3213:

Click here to read more >>>>

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