Washington Newsletter – July 2018

Sierra Nevada, California

Father and son on a Father’s Day ride, Sierra Nevada, California. Submitted by ARRA member

Summer

Well, it’s officially here.  One can tell that by the greater number of people participating in outdoor activities, the increased traffic at the entrances of our national parks and the number of tourists visiting all the historic sites in our Nation’s Capital.  The Department of the Interior has also gotten into the act of encouraging more outdoor recreation by the release of a very exciting video.  Have a look and enjoy.

California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act, H. R. 857

We have written previously about H. R. 857, as introduced by Rep. Paul Cook, (R-CA). We view this legislation as extremely important for the motorized recreation community because Congress will be designating these federal lands in California specifically for OHV recreation.

The good news is that this measure has been approved by the full House and will now be referred to the Senate.  Senator Feinstein (D-CA) has introduced companion legislation in the Senate, S. 32, and we are hopeful that House passage of H. R. 857 will serve to give the Feinstein bill a much- needed boost forward.

Getting legislation through the Senate is always a challenge; the Senate rules make it so.  ARRA will continue its work in the Senate on H.R. 857/S. 32.  Many of you have already reached out to your Senators urging support for S. 32 and for that, we thank you.  We will keep you apprised of further action as it occurs.

Tungsten Hills, California

4×4 ride, Tungsten Hills, California. Submitted by ARRA member

ARRA Federal Legislative Page

Keeping abreast on federal legislation can be pain, at times.  ARRA has updated its Federal Legislative page in hopes that we can make that process a little easier for you.  To check out this update on the ARRA website, please go to this link.

Forest Fires

We have been keeping an eye on this year’s wildfire season because recreational trails are always threatened by the devastation caused by these fires.   According to the National Interagency Fire Center, total acres burned to date in 2018 stands at 2,247,000 acres.  And as we prepare this newsletter, more than 450,000 acres are active fires.  We are hoping that this wildfire season is a short one, though given what has happened to date, this might not be the case.  The good news is that the Congress has finally solved the wildfire funding dilemma and for that, we are very grateful.

White House

4th of July fireworks at the White House. Photo by Matthew Straubmuller

Family Times

In this month’s newsletter, we have featured two photos sent to us by ARRA members.  One is a photo of a father and son who were out riding on Father’s Day.  The father’s note was that this was the best gift ever.  One can’t help but think this was so given the expression on their faces.  The other dynamic photo was taken by a couple riding in the Tungsten Hills area in California.

Summer is the best time for families to reconnect personally and there is no better way to do this than being outdoors.  These photos are a testament to how motorized recreation can facilitate those times together.  We hope in the next couple of months you will spend some family time in the great outdoors.  If you have photos to share, you can do so by going to this link.

The little town where I spend time has a 4th of July celebration that is true Americana.  Main Street is blocked off and all types of games are played including pie eating contests for the kids.  Right at noon when the town clock begins to strike, a massive water fight erupts between the town Fire Department and a pickup fire department made up of volunteer firefighters using antique fire equipment.  The professional firefighters always win because their engines pack more fire power, but that’s not the point.  The thousands of town folks gathered on Main Street all get soaking wet as collateral damage from the water fight.  It’s a wonderful time for families of all ages, including a lot of dogs brought along for the day.

I hope your 4th is as much fun as ours as we all gather to celebrate the birth of our country.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Sincerely,

 

Larry E. Smith
Executive Director
Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA)

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About ARRA

Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) was formed to ensure that Americans are not arbitrarily denied the right to responsibly experience and enjoy the public lands that belong to the citizens of the United States. The members of ARRA, which include horseback riders, personal watercraft users, off-highway vehicle and snowmobile riders, and vacationing families, have joined together to provide input on decisions regarding land use designation, recreation opportunities, and preservation. Its members seek responsible consideration of competing activities, which are based on sound environmental principles.

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