The California State Park’s Transformation Team’s Recommendations have been released and within is this alarming statement about the state’s highly successful OHV program:
The current organization structure separates these important recreation services from the rest of the services provided by the department. Visitors would be better served by fully integrating these services into the rest of the department.
What would this mean? It would mean an end to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of State Parks.
First, this division exclusively manages the extremely popular State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs). Second, it administers the all-important Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program which “provides for well managed off-highway vehicle recreation in the State of California by providing financial assistance to agencies and nonprofit entities.
This Grants Program supports the planning, acquisition, development, maintenance, administration, operation, enforcement, restoration, and conservation of trails, trailheads, areas, and other facilities associated with the use of off-highway motor vehicles, and programs involving off-highway motor vehicle safety or education.” Without this Grants Program, OHV recreation in California would quickly become unsustainable.
Friends of Jawbone relies on the annual grants program to provide funding for education, signing, trail improvements, vault toilet maintenance and instillation, and campsite maintenance and much, much more. Beyond Friends of Jawbone, the Kern County Desert Search and Rescue Team receives funding from the OHV Grants Program each year which allows them to deploy and help keep riders safe during busy weekends.
What makes the California OHV Grants program unique is that it is ENTIRELY USER FUNDED. All funds come from green and red sticker registrations, fuel taxes, and entry fees charged at SVRAs. This ensures that funds collected from OHV users are put directly back into providing riding opportunities across the state of California.
This latest threat to recreation opportunity requires an immediate and forceful response from the OHV community. The Motor Vehicle Recreation Division MUST be preserved and kept separate!
What can you do?
First, visit SaveCaliforniaOHV.org today. There you can message the decision makers to make your voice heard.
Second, attend a meeting! The next OHV Open House meeting to address the California State Parks Transformation Plan is scheduled for August 11th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ontario Airport Double Tree Hotel in Ontario California.
This will be the second of three OHV outreach meetings
Concerned citizens should attend and are encouraged to participate by providing public comment.
Click here to download the formal announcement!