The Issue: On Friday, February 18th, the Assembly Budget Committee
voted to take $27 million out of the OHV operating budget. This
would NOT be a loan, and would continue unstopped year after year.
It would result in closures and cut-backs to the California OHV
Parks – Carnegie, Clay Pit, Heber Dunes, Hollister Hills, Hungry
Valley, Mammoth Bar, Oceano Dunes, Ocotillo Wells and Prairie City.
The Snow Grooming program and State Sno-Parks will also be greatly
affected or closed.
In addition, the Governor is proposing to take $21 million more
from the OHV program. This could be the end of the OHV program
as we have enjoyed it for the last 40 years.
This Wednesday, February 23rd, the Conference Committee will meet
in the State Capitol to iron out difference between the State
Assembly and Senate Budget Committees. We have to influence the
following Conference Committee members through our elected
legislative representatives: Senator Leno, Vice Chair; Senator
Lowenthal, Senator Negrete McLeod, Senator Huff, and Senator
Emmerson, and Assemblyman Blumenfield.
What can you do: ACT NOW! and contact your legislative members
ASAP. Find your representatives here, and use the speaking points
below, or add some of your own:
The budget proposes only an $11 million cut for 270 State
Parks, yet a cut of $27 million is proposed from the OHV
division which has only 8 State OHV Parks. This represents
less than a 10% cut to State Park operations, but over a
40% reduction to the operating budget of the OHV parks.
The OHV Division is a user funded program, taking NO money
from the General Fund.
The State OHV Parks are all about children, offering them
opportunities to recreate outdoors. The OHV parks encourage
families to go camping, and offer urban residents the chance
to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. The OHV parks
enjoyed a 150% increase in attendance over the last 10 years,
which State Parks cannot equal.
The Law says the OHV division of State Parks should have equal
priority among the other State Parks. Budget impacts should be
equally shared…. yet the State OHV Parks have had $112 million
dollars taken over the last 3 years. Now the Assembly proposes
to gut the program, favoring less popular State Parks. This is
certainly discriminatory, and counter to the law.
The OHV community has given more than it’s fair share of the
OHV Trust Fund. These are dedicated user fees.
The OHV community has taken legal action for two other attempts
of this kind…and the State has lost! We sued you and won
$21.5 million. We are willing and able to do this again, and
the State will lose even more money before all this is over.
We will pursue all legal remedies to stop this action and stop
the discrimination against the State OHV Program and affiliated
Please send this to all your friends, networks, clubs and forums.
This is a serious issue, and only we can make a difference.