Congress votes to close two million acres of land to motorized vehicles

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Roosevelt_safari_elephant.jpgIn an effort to prevent industrial exploitation and preserve natural habitats, Congress has voted to designate two million acres of public land in nine states as “wilderness.” H.R. 146 or the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program (there were some procedural manipulations by Democrats to avoid Republican attempts to stymie the bill) will create three new national park units, a new national monument, three new national conservation areas, more than 1,000 miles of national wild and scenic rivers and four new national trails. It will also enlarge the boundaries of more than a dozen existing national park units and establish 10 new national heritage areas. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law as soon as it’s presented to him.
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While we support recreational motorized vehicle access to public lands
in general, we also understand the need to close specific areas of
particular ecological value that are under eminent threat. On our
review, we feel that areas in the Monongahela National Forest in West
Virginia; Jefferson National Forest in Virginia; Mount Hood, Badlands,
Spring Basin and Copper Salmon areas in Oregon; Sabinoso in New Mexico;
Riverside County in California and Washington County in Utah are in
need of immediate preservation and, in comparison, represent no great
loss to motorcyclist’s land access.

The American Motorcyclist’s Association made a small attempt to lobby
against the bill, but was apparently unable to grab Congress’s
attention. If the AMA hopes to succeed in future land access cases, it
must build a much more cohesive argument for OHV access and learn to
use the Internet to a much greater effect when disseminating its
message and soliciting support. As it stands, the AMA — no matter how
right its intentions — runs the risk of having its voice lost in the
noise.

via NYTimes.com, AMA 

  • http://www.piaggiousa.com/ Enthusiast

    Big Papa says no more fun… again.

    Politicians, keep flying your private jets back and forth from D.C. and your district. Keep driving around in your cavalcades. Keep telling us we are evil and taking away our sport.

    Father does not practice what he preaches.

  • Sam

    Big papa say stop trampling my greens and go somewhere where you don’t hurt things with your sport, “Enthusiast.” He didn’t say anything about don’t have fun.

    • Ihateeconazis

      They ain’t YOUR greens.

  • http://bolty.net Stacy

    Yes “Enthusiast”, you and your asshat friends who ignore posted signage, tear the crap out of off-limit areas, and generally act like hoons are the ones who the general public remembers.

    They don’t remember the family out for a nice ride up forest roads.

    They don’t remember the folks who follow the rules out on the dunes and who respect the riding area and its neighbors by cleaning up after themselves.

    They remember YOU, the asshats.

    And we wonder why no one wanted to help us “protect” our “precious” riding areas.

    • Ihatesoccermoms

      Get back in your SUV and go back to your tract housing, Staci.

      • http://bolty.net Stacy

        Sorry, I’m too busy commuting by motorcycle every day. And get my name right next time. Thank you, try again!

        • http://www.piaggiousa.com/ Enthusiast

          Why don’t you walk to work, live in a natural cave and never kill a living thing. Anything short of that and you are as guilty as anyone else. How can you draw the line at somebody else’s expense and not your own?

  • http://www.piaggiousa.com/ Enthusiast

    I can make the argument that everything you have done since your birth has trampled on nature. Everything we have constructed has done so. Why do you get to draw the line at off road vehicles but you don’t have a problem with your house, roads, strip mall, ect.

    I don’t trash anything, you can try and peg me into whatever hole you want. Just because I like a certain activity does not make me inconsiderate about my surroundings. I ride only on marked trails and follow the law, I don’t leave garbage and I pick it up if I see it.

    Even if I don’t agree with a law I follow it, I just find it sad that you can demonize one person while you are committing a more detrimental act. That was my point.

  • Jesse Ziegler

    We’re such an easy target we even shoot ourselves.

    “…Riverside County in California and Washington County in Utah are in need of immediate preservation and, in comparison, represent no great loss to motorcyclist’s land access.”

    Have you been riding in Riverside County? The great loss to motorcyclist’s land access happened when they made it illegal to ride on your own property.

    Fewer trails and riding areas is bad news for all motorcycling. We need to be on the same team. If you feel the AMA needs to use the internet more effectively then by all means help them!

  • Jesse Ziegler

    Here’s a good place to help the AMA use the internet

    AMA

  • mototom

    Simply put, the contemporary zeitgeist is against freedom. The objective of these and similar bills is not to protect anything; it is to make the sheeple feel good that “we”, whoever that might be, are doing ssomething about it, whatever “it” might be.

    Politicians don’t give a rats ass about any of the crap people waste their time arguing about; they care about being re-elected because they care about power. And money, never forget about the money. End of story. Everything else is done to ensure the latter and the former.

    So if my bill stops you from riding on your property who cares? Not me, I care about how I am perceived by the people who send me campaign contributions and the sheeple who just want to feel good about everything no matter what that entails.
    Oh yeah, the nanny state is coming to a neighborhood near you and you had better enjoy it. Or else.

  • http://www.ama-cycle.org John

    I think it’s a disgrace that a site devoted to motorcycling could support such an attack on motorcyclists’ freedoms. Especially after the misdirected animosity towards “Republicans” posted here a couple weeks ago, concerning that screwed-up lead products ban affecting kids bike sales (why aren’t there a bunch of altered donkey logos for this article’s photo?). The lead products ban will eventually be corrected to allow bikes. This is far worse, and won’t be reversed. What good is a kid’s dirt bike if there is no place left for him to ride it? They are taking away places to ride a little at a time, hoping you won’t notice. Who cares, as long as you don’t ride there, right? A lot of people who tend to support these types of bills would be happy if there were no dirt bikes being ridden anywhere.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      John,

      The world’s a more complicated place than Bikers Vs. Non-Bikers or the romantic idea of “Real Americans” Vs. Liberals that politicians with anti-American policies make up in an effort to sell those policies back to an easily manipulated populace.

      Have you ever seen one of the strip mines in West Virginia? I have and I’d gladly sacrifice the privilege of riding through some specific areas of land in urgent need of ecological preservation in order to prevent another strip mine from opening up.

      H.R. 146 wasn’t about taking riding areas away from motorcyclists; it was about protecting at-risk areas of ecological importance from being raped by companies seeking to exploit their natural resources. That the bill also removed access to motorized vehicles was almost an unintended consequence. Defining the areas as “wilderness” protects them from industry, but also denies riders access.

      Rather than wasting time and resources opposing large bills like this that unintentionally impact motorcyclists, the AMA should instead be addressing the reasons why motorcyclists are affected by these bills by developing a cohesive, sensical and powerful argument for allowing motorcyclists access to wilderness areas and similar, then working to sell that argument to the public and lawmakers.

      • Cory

        Wes,

        I usually do not comment on stuff like this but people like you are really starting to piss allot of people off. Do you think we are all morons? There are many laws at this time the protect land use. Why not enforce the laws we have? No you want to lock up all of the land and its natural resources so nobody can use any of it. Let’s not drill for our own oil in the good old USA lets import it all. Forget about bad old coal mining lock that up too. Natural gas is bad also lock it up! Than when gas is $4.00 a gallon we will all buy your little cars and use solar energy, large tracks of solar panels are good, than you will be happy. But I do not think so, what’s next take away private land ownership? This is a sad day for all of us.

        I forgot to mention that most of this land is not “Wilderness” as defined by the law thus making this illegal or the fact that the legislation was defeated and than stuffed into a different bill so it would pass. That does not really matter does it?