CORVA Report

KTM_rad

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Please read this, and become a member if you aren't already........it's not just about off-roading, it's about access to all public lands, and protecting private property rights also !! If you're not in California, join the Blue Ribbon Coalition, they are nationwide.

The California Off Road Vehicle Association
Leading the Way in Off-Road Politics


By Erin Dyer, State Secretary & Newsletter Editor

The California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA) is a varied group of outdoor recreationists who are extremely active in promoting the positive aspects of vehicular access on public lands and protecting that right.

The association has a long list of accomplishments. One of those accomplishments includes forming a coalition to write and pass state legislation in 1971 to form the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, a division of the California Department of Parks & Recreation. This recreation division is responsible for purchasing and managing eight State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRA) in California and distributing millions of dollars in grants to USFS and BLM recreation areas statewide. This was followed in later years with legislation to create a Trust Fund to thwart the transfer of our funds from the OHV fund to the state’s general fund.

The association is comprised of owners of all forms of off-road vehicles from dirt bikes and ATVs, to dune buggies, baja bugs, desert racing trucks, Jeeps, and 4x4s. CORVA is a family-oriented organization that has a 100% volunteer board of directors who dedicate their time and travel expenses to attend meetings with land managers and politicians to maintain our public access rights.

CORVA is a leader in multiple-use recreation serving the off-road community for over 30 years and has gained the reputation as “The Off-Road Political Powerhouse.”

In the past year, we have accomplished the following:

1) Local Access Groups -- Initiated the Friends of Oceano Dunes, a group of local business owners, local beach enthusiasts, off-road recreationists, fisherman, horsemen and veterans interested in continuing vehicular access to the Oceano Dunes SVRA. This is the only remaining beach in California with vehicular coastal access. Currently, the group has attained a membership of 2500 in less than 6 months. The threat of closure is coming from the local Sierra Club chapter and local wealthy landowners. This is the fifth “Friends” group CORVA has helped initiate in the state to add local emphasis on a threatened public recreation area.

2) Campaigns – We organized team captains and volunteers to work at campaign offices for key races during the November election season. One of our volunteers even ran the Bush headquarters in her county. Furthermore, we recruited off-roaders to register to vote at races and off-road expos.

3) Visited the State Capitol – Our annual Capitol Lobbying Day was highlighted this year with several new activities. First, we hosted a table for our lobbying group, known as the California League of Off-Road Voters (CLORV), at the Semi-Annual California Republican Convention in Sacramento. (Throughout the year, we attended two Republican Conventions and one Democratic Convention.) Many supportive party members welcomed us and learned about our land access activities. The CLORV had three off-roaders serving as convention delegates voting on party actions. These delegates had received delegate voting privileges after being appointed by the lawmakers they assisted during the November elections.

Second, we hosted a Lobbying Training where our members received tips how to speak to their legislators on issues affecting our sport. This is part of our “Make A Difference: Adopt-A-Legislator Program.”

This training was followed by our annual walking of the halls of the state capitol. The 50 off-roaders came from all over the state to speak to their legislators about current legislation and our desire to allow access to public lands to all forms of recreation and to all citizens, whether physically fit or disabled. Next, we heard encouraging speeches from several prominent legislators who support our activities.

In the evening, we hosted a “Friends of the Off-Highway Vehicle Commission” OHV reception. This formal reception was held directly across the street from the state capitol in a distinguished club and was attended by a host of prominent legislators and their staff members. We used this opportunity to talk casually to the state lawmakers and their staff about our issues.

4) Convention -- We hosted our annual convention which highlighted our Key Note Speaker, Mike Pool, BLM State Director. Our guest speakers included State Assemblyman Anthony Pescetti, the OHMVR division staff, and leaders of other multiple-use and private property organizations.

5) Desert Lawsuit -- We intervened in the Center for Biodiversity and Sierra Club v. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lawsuit. While our appeal to receive Intervenor status was denied by the judge, we were allowed status as an Amicus Curiae, or Friend of the Court. This status allowed us to educate the judge on his role in this case. Ultimately, the judge set limitations on the BLM’s implementation of the settlement agreements based on the information contained in our legal briefs. In this lawsuit, the BLM had agreed to settlement actions with these environmental organizations without ever trying to defend their department or the citizens. Without our intervention, the limitations would not have been set and the overall implementation would have been much worse. These legal proceedings cost our association and our partners, the American Motorcyclist Association District 37, $140,000 in legal bills.

6) Glamis Lawsuit -- Based on the judge’s decision in the Desert Lawsuit and his specific wording regarding the BLM’s emergency closure procedures, we have initiated a lawsuit against the BLM to reopen the 49,000 acres of the Imperial Sand Dunes, known as Glamis (in extreme Southern California). We believe the BLM violated its own emergency closure procedures by circumventing the public process. We are partnered with the AMA District 37 and the American Sand Association.

7) Conservation & Charity Projects – We have sponsored at least six clean-up days which removed everything from roadside trash to abandoned vehicles, old truck tires, old appliances, etc. The largest event we sponsored (but didn’t initiate) was attended by 3000 off-roaders. Our local clubs host charity events such as the “One Warm Coat Project” to collect clothing for the homeless shelters and the “Animal Rescue Project” to donate cat and dog food to the local animal rescue shelter. We also attend and promote the “Ride For Kids” benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation with 100% of the proceeds going to research. We encourage all United 4WD clubs to consider hosting a “Ride for Kids” event in their region. Other charity organizations take a percentage of profits -- this organization does not take a dime and all event expenses are donated by corporations and local businesses. All proceeds go to finding a cure for this dreaded disease. Visit: www.pbtfus.org.

8) BLM Management Plans - CORVA is currently, overseeing the BLM Management Plans by attending meetings, commenting on the initial route maps and raising public awareness to the local city and county governments regarding the magnitude and negative effects of these plans. The plans would restructure the current desert plan, known as the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) of 1980, and ultimately restrict vehicular access. These plans cover the greater part of the 25 million acre California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA).

9) The Action Program – In 2001, CORVA initiated the Action Program to provide national coordination to defend the public’s right to access public lands for recreation. The aim of the program is to unite off-road vehicle manufacturers, trailer manufacturers, retailers, customers and local multiple-use rights associations into a powerful lobby to take on the radical environmental movement and to protect access to public lands. Vehicle manufacturers and dealers of new off-road vehicles are organizing these recreationalists by purchasing the Action Program stickers, at $25.00 each, and installing them on the showroom vehicles. The customer then purchases the vehicle and the sticker at no cost to the dealer. The funds generated by the Action Program will power the efforts of local like-minded organizations and programs from around the country, giving them financial and political support to protect the access of all Americans to public lands. The program is supported by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), the Blue Ribbon Coalition, and the United Four Wheel Drive Association. These organizations will help identify groups needing financial support in order to defend the recreational areas under threat of closure. CORVA will administer the program and distribute the funds. With industry support nationwide, the Action Program is expected to generate millions of dollars annually.

To learn more about CORVA or the Action Program, please visit our website at <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.corva.org>www.corva.org</A> or call us at 1-800-42-CORVA. Our 24-page monthly newsletter subscription is included with your $30 annual membership dues. Send to: CORVA, 1500 West El Camino #352, Sacramento, CA 95833-1945.
Thanks,


Randy
CORVA Field Rep - So. Cal.
(California Off Road Vehicle Association)
AMA Member
 
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