Colorado OHV Program Has Been Ambushed! TAKE ACTION NOW!

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May 8, 2008
Date: 05/04/2010 Colorado OHV Grant Program Has Been Ambushed!!


Dear BRC members, supporters and action alert subscribers,

Behind closed doors, without any opportunity for the people who fund the OHV program to comment, the outgoing Director of the Department of Natural Resources decided to propose drastic changes be made to the manner in which Colorado's OHV program is managed. It is very likely that if successful, similar changes will be made to Colorado's Snow Fund.

This is a extremely dangerous situation for Colorado's OHV and snowmobile community.

In cooperation with our partners over at the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO), BRC is asking all of our members and supporters to read the action alert below and take action by May 7, 2010.

Please pass this important alert on to your friends and family, and please ask them take action as well.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Brian Hawthorne Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director Public Lands Department Manager
208-237-1008 ext 102 208-237-1008 ext 107

The Colorado OHV Grant Program Has Been Ambushed!!

Outdoing DNR director Jim Martin has directed staff to ignore moderate changes supported by OHV users, department staff and most other key stakeholders that were presented at the March, 2010 Parks Board meeting and instead is attempting to force through changes designed to wrest control of the program from the OHV subcommittee.

The changes the outgoing Director is proposing mirrors those being pushed by extreme anti-OHV and snowmobile groups. Their plan is to change the make up of the OHV subcommittee to make OHV users a permanent minority. Changes include adding 3 non-motorized members to the 9 member committee and changing the rules so that any project can be stopped by a minority 3 votes. Changes would also drastically reduce the ability for the Program Manager (in this case Tom Metsa) and the Trail Coordinators to influence projects funded by the OHV program. Changes also would mandate certain percentages of grants to go to enforcement, education and restoration.

There are two options for Colorado's OHV and snowmobile community. The State Parks Board will be reviewing the new proposal at their upcoming Board Meeting on May 7 at 8:50am in Woodland Park. One option is to attend the meeting and make your views known directly at that meeting. The meeting is at the City Council Chambers, 220 W. South Ave. in Woodland Park, CO. The OHV issue will be addressed at 8:50 am. (Please arrive by 8:30am.)

The other option is to send your comments to the Parks Board via email. Members of the Parks Board are receiving comments on the proposal via email sent to the office of the Executive Director. The email address is

Send your comments to:
Dean Winstanley, Colorado State Parks Executive Director
Colorado State Parks Board

Dear Mr. Winstanley and members of the Colorado Parks Board

As an off highway vehicle (OHV) and snowmobile enthusiasts I am directly affected by any changes to the Colorado State Parks' Off-Highway Vehicle Program.

I urge you not to support changes to the OHV program being proposed by the outgoing DNR Director and others. I support the moderate changes proposed to the Parks Board that were presented at the March 2010 Parks Board meetings. Those changes are supported by the Federal Agencies, members of the General Assembly, and the State Trails Committee.

Changes being proposed by the outgoing Director seem to be based on numerous assumptions that are erroneous or are out of context. Suggesting that the current make up of the subcommittee is out of balance presents the unfounded conclusion that the subcommittee has not been making well balanced decisions on past OHV grants. I simply do not accept this. The subcommittee has made excellent recommendations to the board in the past.

Indeed, consider that the Legislative Audit Committee found no problems whatsoever with the OHV program. The US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management have repeatedly cited our program as model for the rest of the country, fair and environmentally balanced. Of the nearly 700 OHV grants processed over the past 19 years only 3 have been controversial and the existing recommendations now address that by asking the simple question about potential controversy.

Proponents of the changes being presented by the outgoing Director assert that OHV use is undergoing “rapid expansion” and claim such use “causes a growing amount of resource damage and conflict with other users.” I believe these claims lack the proper perspective and are out of context. The assertion proponents are making about increasing resource damage and conflicts is similarly flawed. It is important to note that all human activities involve some potential for environmental impacts, but the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) are in the process of implementing regulations specifically designed to address the impacts of increased motorized use. The regulations require limiting all vehicle use to designated roads, trails and areas. The designation process mandates public involvement, thorough environmental analysis, as well as ongoing monitoring and maintenance of the OHV infrastructure. Many BLM offices in Colorado are in the process of implementing recently completed travel plans. The Forest Service is expected to complete the travel planning process by the end of this year.

I believe the changes being presented by the outgoing Director are inconsistent with the OHV program's legislative charter. It is important for the Board to consider that the OHV subcommittee was formed to provide active user group participation in the grant process. The subcommittee is not supposed to be “well balanced” in the manner the outgoing Director is proposing. The OHV subcommittee is designed to provide OHV user group (those paying the fee) input into the Parks' OHV grant process (how the funds are to be spent).

I appreciate the Parks Boards' role in active and effective management of OHV recreation in Colorado. Ie respectfully ask that you reject the outdoing Directors recently proposed changes in favor of those presented to the Board at the March 2010 Parks Board meetings.


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