Dear offroad enthusiast and friends,
On Friday, February 18th, the Assembly Budget Committee voted to take $27 million out of the OHV operating budget. This would NOT be a loan, and would continue unstopped year after year. It would result in closures and cut-backs to the California OHV Parks – Carnegie, Clay Pit, Heber Dunes, Hollister Hills, Hungry Valley, Mammoth Bar, Oceano Dunes, Ocotillo Wells and Prairie City. The Snow Grooming program and State Sno-Parks will also be greatly affected or closed. In addition, the Governor is proposing to take $27 million more from the OHV program. This could be the end of the OHV program as have enjoyed it for the last 40 years.
The budget proposes only an $11 million cut for 270 State Parks, yet a cut of $27 million is proposed from the OHV division which has only 8 State OHV Parks. This represents less than a 10% cut to State Park operations, but over a 40% reduction to the operating budget of the OHV parks. The OHV Division is a user funded program, taking NO money from the General Fund which we all contribute to as California tax payers. Yet our parks get no money from the general fund and are entirely supported by the OHV user funds generated by registration fees, entrance fees and special applications gas tax.
The State OHV Parks are all about children, offering them opportunities to recreate outdoors. The OHV parks encourage families to go camping, and offer urban residents the chance to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment. The OHV parks enjoyed a 150% increase in attendance over the last 10 years, which State Parks cannot equal.
The Law says the OHV division of State Parks should have equal priority among the other State Parks. Budget impacts should be equally shared….yet the State OHV Parks have had $112 million dollars taken over the last 3 years. Now the Assembly proposes to gut the program, favoring less popular State Parks. This is certainly discriminatory, and counter to the law. The OHV community has given more than its fair share of the OHV Trust Fund. These are dedicated user fees.”
We urge all offroad enthusiast to send a message now,directly to committee members in Sacramento. This is the link to the committee members
Included here is a sample letter that you can forward:
Subject line: Proposed Cuts to the OHV Division of the State Parks system
Dear Committee member,
I realize that your job is not easy and, given the current economic situation, I do not envy the tasks that lie ahead of you.
I implore you, however, to think about the proposed cuts to the OHV Division of the State Parks system. The OHV parks are self sustaining and under the Senate Bill SB742 are mandated that dedicated Trust funds are used to manage and maintain our OHV parks. Additionally to being self supporting, OHV parks also generate revenue for the State through many hosted events that pay for themselves as well as providing important revenue for local and state economy through supporting businesses, hotels and restaurants. OHV parks provide safe, healthy, family oriented activities. OHV parks continue our 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s message for Americans right to recreation and the importance of National and State parks to the fabric of our society. Raiding OHV sticker money is another short term attempt at balancing the mishandled State budget. A cut of this magnitude puts the entire park system at risk.
Please think about your position on this critical vote.
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