American Motorcyclist Association Reports U.S. Interior Department Reverses Wild Lands Policy

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — In a victory for off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders nationwide, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has reversed his position on his controversial new Wild Lands policy, theAmerican Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

In an announcement made June 1, Salazar said the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) wouldn’t designate any Wild Lands, which would have been managed as if they had received the restrictive Wilderness land-use designation from Congress.

Instead, Salazar said the BLM, which is a part of the Interior Department, will work in collaboration with members of Congress and others to identify public land that may be appropriate candidates for congressional protection under the Wilderness Act.

“We will focus our effort on building consensus around locally supported initiatives and working with members [of Congress] to advance their priorities for Wilderness designations in their states and districts,” he said.

Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, said he was pleased by the news but cautioned that OHV riders must remain on guard.

“This is a major victory for motorcyclists and all-terrain vehicle riders and others concerned about appropriate access to public land,” Dingman said. “But we must remain vigilant. Anti-access groups will continue pushing for legislation to inappropriately close off millions of acres of public land to OHVs. Not only are BLM lands under attack by these groups, but U.S. Forest Service land as well.

“I want to thank all the AMA members and others who attended meetings and contacted their federal lawmakers to oppose the Wild Lands policy,” he added. “Your voices helped put pressure on Secretary Salazar to convince him to abandon his ill-conceived Wild Lands policy.”

In December, the AMA and OHV enthusiasts won an important battle for responsible riding on public land when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dropped his effort to pass a massive omnibus public lands bill that would have inappropriately designated millions of acres of public land as Wilderness, barring OHVs.

But then just days later, on Dec. 22, Salazar signed Secretarial Order 3310 creating the Wild Lands land-use designation that essentially allowed BLM officials to manage public land as if it had received a Wilderness designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval. This new policy was widely expected to restrict or eliminate responsible OHV use in the affected areas, and was seen to be orchestrated by anti-access groups to pull an end-run around Congress.

It also was expected to have a far-reaching impact because the BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in 12 western states.

Federal lawmakers have considered the Wild Lands policy a “land grab” and a blatant attempt to usurp congressional authority. Off-highway riders sporting “Stop the Land Grab” stickers produced by the AMA and distributed by the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) turned out in droves for a meeting of Utah’s Governor’s Council on Balanced Resources that featured BLM Director Bob Abbey trying to explain the new policy.

Several governors were very vocal in their opposition to the Wild Lands policy as well, including Wyoming’s Matthew Mead, Idaho’s C.L. “Butch” Otter and Utah’s Gary Herbert.

Because of opposition from powerful federal lawmakers, governors, the AMA and other OHV enthusiasts, the Wild Lands policy hit a major snag on April 15.

That’s when President Obama signed into law the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution — the funding measure that keeps the federal government operating through Sept. 30 – that included language barring the Interior Department from using any money to implement the Wild Lands land-use policy to manage land as if it had been designated as Wilderness.

A Wilderness designation is one of the strictest forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal. The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible OHV recreation on public land.

Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson Club to be Showcased as Classic Club at 2011 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is pleased to announce that the Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson Club has been selected as the Classic Club for 2011 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 22-24, at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

“Motorcycling history is rich with distinctive relationships that produced some of the most interesting examples of motorcycle technology,” said Jack Penton, AMA director of operations and Motorcycle Hall of Famer. “The Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson line of 1961-1978 certainly fits that description, and we’re pleased to provide attendees of AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days an opportunity to appreciate these special motorcycles.”

The selection of the Classic Club complements the announcement of Kawasaki as the 2011 Marque of the Year for AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days. By honoring a Classic Club, the AMA continues a long-standing tradition of recognizing the many brands that are represented at America’s grandest celebration of motorcycle heritage.

“The legendary Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson Sprint CRTT flat-single racers were born in 1961 when the Italian factory Aermacchi entered into a financial relationship with Harley-Davidson,” said John Basore, who is working with the AMA to organize the Classic Club display. “The union led to the production of 65cc to 350cc street and racing motorcycles for AMA-sanctioned lightweight competition. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days will be a rare opportunity for fans to celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the birth of this unique brand.”

As this year’s Classic Club, Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson will be featured in a special display tent on the grounds of Mid-Ohio, and visitors will have a chance to see bikes, memorabilia and more relating to the rare motorcycles.

Those interested in displaying their vintage Aermacchi/Harley-Davidson or brand-related memorabilia as part of the Classic Club display can contact Basore at (336) 245-3594 or jfbasore@triad.rr.com.

Staged at the world-class Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days features vintage and post-vintage competition in motocross, trials, hare scrambles, roadracing and dirt track. In addition to demo rides of current production bikes, the event includes North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet, educational seminars, bike shows, motorcycling seminars, the new product Manufacturers’ Midway, and club corrals featuring marque and regional clubs.

Proceeds from AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days benefit the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, which is located on the campus of the AMA in Pickerington, Ohio. The mission of the Hall of Fame is to celebrate, elucidate and preserve the rich tradition of motorcycling in America. Its exhibits honor the distinguished men and women whose competitive spirit, passion, vision and entrepreneurship have played a vital role in shaping the sport, lifestyle and business of motorcycling. For more information, call (614) 856-2222, or visit the Hall of Fame’s website at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

For tickets to AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, see MidOhio.com. For more information about the event, visit AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.com.

National and World-Champion Roadracer to Join Motorcycle Hall of Fame

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Doug Polen, a dominant national and world champion roadracer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, will be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame as part of the 2011 American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Legends & Champions Weekend at the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas, Nev., Nov. 18-20.

“Any fan of motorcycle roadracing will remember Doug’s amazing — and dominating — championship runs on the AMA and World Superbike stages,” said Don Rosene, a member of the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation Board of Directors, which raises money for the Hall of Fame. “At a time when the series saw plenty of fast competitors, Doug was clearly the fastest. And he’s still on the track, racing, teaching and promoting motorcycles and motorcycling.”

Polen had a series of strong winning performances in motorcycle roadracing in the United States and abroad, including winning the Suzuki GSX-R National Cup Championship Series 750cc title in 1986 and 17 of 26 races in the World Superbike Championship Series in 1991, earning the World Superbike title by 150 points. He also was the Japan Formula 1 and Formula 3 National Champion in 1989, AMA 600cc Supersport Champion in 1987 and 1988, AMA 750cc Supersport Champion in 1988, World Superbike Champion in 1992, AMA Superbike Champion in 1993 and World Endurance Champion in 1997 and 1998.

Polen remains active in motorcycling today, running his Doug Polen’s 1 on 1 Riding School (GoPolen.com), featuring radio communications with students during track sessions.

Polen said he was humbled by the honor.

“The thing is that you ride and you race, and when you’re doing it, you’re doing it to have fun and be competitive against other people, but also to try and make a mark and have something you can look back on and be proud of,” Polen said. “This is kind of like putting a stamp of approval, so to speak, on my career, and I take it as a very flattering thing.”

Polen joins Cycle magazine editor Phil Schilling and Parts Unlimited founder Fred Fox as announced members of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The rest of the 2011 inductees will be announced in random order in coming days.

The Class of 2011 will officially be inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame on Nov. 18 as part of the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend. In addition to the induction ceremony, the weekend includes the 2011 Motorcycle Hall of Fame Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, Nov. 19, featuring some of the country’s most impressive original and restored classic motorcycles. The AMA Racing Championship Banquet closes out the weekend on Sunday, Nov. 20, where AMA Racing amateur champions of all ages will be recognized for their 2011 accomplishments.

Tickets for the AMA Legends & Champions weekend are now available through this online registration form: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=vw9ldxbab&oeidk=a07e3rn4juk2e3f80c1. Tickets may be ordered over the phone by calling (800) 262-5646.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend also includes the final round of the GEICO AMA EnduroCross National Championship Series on Saturday evening, Nov. 19. EnduroCross tickets are available atwww.orleansarena.com/event-calendar/endurocross or by phone at (702) 284-7777 or (888) 234-2334.

The AMA Legends & Champions Weekend will be held at the Las Vegas Red Rock Resort, a world-class spa, hotel and casino, featuring a range of entertainment, dining and family-friendly attractions. The facility’s expansive ballrooms provide a stunning backdrop for the AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, which is certain to be memorable for the 2011 inductees, champions, families, friends and fans. Room reservations are available now at a special group rate by calling (866) 767-7773 and referencing group AMA or AMERICANMOTO. Online room reservations are available at RedRockLasVegas.com. For online reservations, use the promo code RCIMOTR.

More information about the Motorcycle Hall of Fame can be found at MotorcycleMuseum.org.

About the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation
Founded in 1990 by the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, the goal of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame is to tell the stories and preserve the history of motorcycling. Located on the campus of the American Motorcyclist Association in Pickerington, Ohio, the Hall of Fame’s three major exhibition halls feature the machines and memorabilia of those who have contributed notably to the sport. The Motorcycle Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to motorcycling, including those known for their contributions to road riding, off-road riding and all categories of racing, as well as those who have excelled in business, history, design and engineering. More information can be found atMotorcycleMuseum.org.

Motorcycles Granted Equal Access to Arizona Wildlife Refuge

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge in Arizona has reversed an unwritten policy and is now allowing street-legal motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) on certain roads, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

After being alerted by AMA member Keith Dishong that street-legal motorcycles were barred from three public access roads while trucks and other street-legal vehicles were allowed, AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris and Brian Hawthorne of the BlueRibbon Coalition contacted officials at the refuge, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Haris noted that the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Plan allows street-legal vehicles to use three access roads, so there was no reason to bar street-legal motorcycles and ATVs from those routes.

After investigating, refuge officials agreed.

The officials announced on May 18 that street-legal motorcycles and ATVs are now allowed on three public access roads: the El Camino del Diablo, Christmas Pass and Charlie Bell roads, which are outside designated Wilderness areas. No other roads or trails in the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge are open to motorized use.

“This action does not open the refuge to unrestricted off-road vehicle activity,” refuge officials said in a news release. “Only the three public access roads already open to 4×4 vehicles are open to street-legal motorcycles and ATVs. These vehicles must abide by the same rules and restrictions as all other vehicles that access the refuge.

“Furthermore, permits for accessing these roads are required,” the officials said. “To reduce impact of large caravans, an additional special use permit is required for a party size of five or more vehicles traveling together or traveling in smaller groups but part of a larger organized event. This applies to all vehicles, including motorcycles and ATVs.”

Street-legal motorcycles and ATVs must run a mast displaying an orange flag at least 8 feet above the ground.

As part of ongoing efforts to recover endangered Sonoran pronghorn, seasonal road closures are in effect at the refuge through July 15.

Haris praised the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for reversing its policy that barred street-legal motorcycles and ATVs, and urged all appreciative motorcyclists and ATV riders to send notes of thanks to: Manager Sid Slone, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge,1611 North Second Ave, Ajo, AZ 85321 or send an email to Sid_Sloane@fws.gov.

“Land managers at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge were responsive to our inquiries, and forthright in evaluating their existing policy banning street legal motorcycles and ATVs,” Haris said. “Motorcyclists everywhere can appreciate their efforts.”

The 1,000-square-mile Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge shares a 56-mile border with Sonora, Mexico. Almost all of the refuge is designated as Wilderness, which bars motorized recreation. The refuge features rugged mountain ranges, sand dunes and hardened lava flows.

 

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com

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Federal lawmakers oppose state lobbying by safety agency

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and his colleagues introduced House Resolution 239 on May 2 to retain the ban on state and local lobbying by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

The bi-partisan resolution instead urges the agency to focus on motorcycle crash prevention as the first step in motorcycle safety. The date of the bill’s introduction is significant because May is traditionally recognized as Motorcycle Awareness Month. To date, others supporting the resolution include Reps. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) andBarney Frank (D-Mass.).

If approved, the resolution sends a clear message to the federal agency that it shouldn’t lobby state or local jurisdictions for mandatory helmet laws. The anti-lobbying language was originally written into the Transportation Equity Act approved by Congress in 1998. The resolution says the House “supports efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) ability to lobby state legislators using federal tax dollars, encourages continued growth in the motorcyclist community, and encourages owners and riders to be responsible road users.”

The resolution also notes that the House “recognizes the importance of motorcycle crash prevention as the primary source of motorcycle safety [and] encourages NHTSA to focus on motorcycle crash prevention and rider education as the most significant priorities in motorcycle safety.” Sen. Brenner introduced a similar resolution last year.

About the American Motorcyclist Association

Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world’s largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists’ interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

 

AMA Life Members Can Add Premiere Benefits for Less

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is recognizing the organization’s most loyal members with the option to add benefits at significant savings with the introduction of a new membership category: AMA Life Member Plus.

Available now by phone at (800) AMA-JOIN (262-5646), AMA Life Member Plus adds benefits that have not been part of the AMA Life Member package until now: AMA Roadside Assistance, a monthly subscription to American Motorcyclist magazine and a collectible AMA Life Member Plus membership card.

The existing AMA Life Member program is not changing. AMA members who reach 25 years of continuous membership will still achieve AMA Life Member status. These members, who no longer pay annual membership dues, receive discounts on products and services, the ability to participate in AMA-sanctioned events, and access to the Members Area of AmericanMotorcyclist.com — including the full digital edition of American Motorcyclist magazine.

The AMA Life Member Plus program includes all these benefits and adds AMA Roadside Assistance, a monthly subscription to the printed version of American Motorcyclist magazine and a new membership card every year. Including all the benefits of full AMA membership, AMA Life Member Plus is available for $29 — a $10 discount off the full membership price.

“Frankly, we haven’t done enough for our life members — the lifeblood of the AMA — and this optional program is our way of making up for the oversight and bringing Life Members new benefits in a cost-effective way,” said AMA Membership and Marketing Vice President Dan Stedman. “Life Member Plus also lays the groundwork to re-engage and reconnect with our Life Members in a very meaningful way going forward.”

Of course, for many AMA Life Member Plus participants, the top benefit of the new program will be the freedom to ride knowing they continue to financially support the organization that has been fighting for motorcyclists’ rights since 1924.

The AMA Life Member Plus program includes:

  • AMA Roadside Assistance that covers all of your motorcycles, cars, trucks and RVs.
  • 12 issues of American Motorcyclist magazine.
  • An exclusive AMA Life Member Plus Membership card, new every year.
  • An exclusive AMA Life Member Plus Pin And Decal.
  • All the benefits of AMA Membership, including money-saving discounts and a voice protecting motorcyclists’ rights at the federal, state and local levels.

There’s no obligation to join the AMA Life Member Plus program, and AMA Life Members who don’t want AMA Roadside Assistance can still subscribe to the print version of American Motorcyclistmagazine for just $10 a year. AMA Life Members who want neither AMA Roadside Assistance nor the printed version of American Motorcyclist magazine will continue to receive all other benefits of AMA Life Membership.

AMA Life Members who wish to enroll in the AMA Life Member Plus program should call AMA Member Services at (800) 262-5646. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Members Area > Life Member Plus.

 

Bill introduced to block motorcycle-only checkpoints

A federal lawmaker has introduced legislation to prevent the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) from giving money to states and local jurisdictions for motorcycle-only checkpoints, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On March 3, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced the bill. The legislation, with original co-sponsors Reps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would prohibit the DOT “from providing grants or any funds to a state, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or other local government to be used for any program to check helmet usage or create checkpoints for a motorcycle driver or passenger.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the Transportation Department, recently gave Georgia a $70,000 grant to conduct one or more roadside motorcycle-only checkpoints. New York state has operated a similar program using state funds. The AMA has been tracking this disturbing development of motorcycle-only checkpoints since it first appeared in New York several years ago.

50 lawmakers now support The Kids Just Want to Ride Act

Congress Needs to Clarify Lead Ban Provision in Bill

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Legislation that would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans them at the end of the year is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

There are now 50 co-sponsors to H.R. 412: The Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which was introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) The bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also known as the lead law.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.

The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. Unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

“As a motorcycling enthusiast myself for many years, I fully respect the importance of improving the safety of kids who ride off-highway motorcycles and ATVs,” said Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.), one of the latest co-sponsors. “But this is just another example of regulations creating the exact opposite effect of their original intent. This law actually makes kids less safe by eliminating appropriately sized off-highway motorcycles and ATVs, and forces young riders onto larger and more powerful machines not designed for them.

“I’m proud to support the Kids Just Want to Ride Act and know that it will keep youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs available for safe and responsible use as they are intended,” Ribble said.

Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.), another co-sponsor, said: “The Kids Just Want to Ride Act will fix the illogical mandate of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and will once again allow our children to safely enjoy outdoor recreational vehicles. I am proud to be a co-sponsor of this common-sense legislation to protect our youth while working to create jobs.”

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked lawmakers for their bipartisan backing of the bill. He noted it’s important to get as many co-sponsors as possible to increase the bill’s chances of passage.

Moreland urged all concerned riders and parents to contact their federal lawmakers to ask for support.

The easiest way to contact lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcyclist.com.

In addition to Ribble and Landry, the latest co-sponsors of the Kids Just Want to Ride bill include Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Mark Critz (D-Pa.), Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), John Kline (R-Minn.), Tom Latham (R-Iowa), Pete Olson (R-Texas), Marlin Stutzman (R-Ind.), Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

For more information, go to http://capwiz.com/amacycle/go/HR412

Bill introduced to exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles from federal ‘lead law’

Kids Just Want to Ride Act introduced in Congress

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — With the deadline fast approaching that would effectively ban the sale of kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) has introduced legislation to end the ban, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On Jan. 25, Rehberg introduced H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act, which would exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 that effectively bans their sale beginning May 1.

“Here again, a law meant to improve children’s safety is actually being enforced in a way that puts kids in more danger than ever, while destroying jobs to boot,” Rehberg said. “It’s critical that we put to rest any confusion once and for all so kids can just get outside and ride.

“There’s no excuse for continued bungling that only stops kids from using the very youth-sized off-road vehicles that are intended to keep them safe,” Rehberg added.

“The American Motorcyclist Association has always been an excellent advocate for their members, and I’m happy to be working so closely with them again,” Rehberg said.

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, thanked Rehberg on behalf of the AMA and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), which is the AMA’s sister organization.

“This is the most promising and viable legislative remedy available to permanently exclude kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the deleterious and unintended consequences of the CPSIA,” Moreland said. “We also want to thank the many thousands of AMA and ATVA members who have answered the call from the beginning to urge their lawmakers to exempt kids’ OHVs from the lead law.

“Now, we need a renewed push because time is running out,” Moreland said.

The easiest way to contact federal lawmakers is through the Rights section of the AMA website at AmericanMotorcycist.com.

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. Aimed at children’s toys, the law also ensnared kids’ dirtbikes and ATVs because trace levels of lead can be found in parts such as batteries and brake calipers.

The law also requires all children’s products to undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing out the CPSIA.

On May 1, 2009, the CPSC delayed enforcement of the lead-limit portion of the law until May 1, 2011 to, among other things, give vehicle makers time to figure out ways to ensure their products comply with the law.

Even though the lead-limit portion of the law isn’t being enforced, many dealers are no longer selling kid-sized OHVs and half of the major ATV manufacturers are no longer selling machines for kids because of uncertainty surrounding the CPSIA.

Western Governors Oppose “Wild Lands” Policy

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Western states governors have added their voices to the chorus of vocal critics of the new federal “Wild Lands” policy that gives administration officials the power to ban responsible off-highway riding on millions of acres of public land, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On Dec. 22, 2010, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed Secretarial Order 3310 creating a new land-use designation called Wild Lands that essentially allows officials in the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to manage public land as if it had received a “Wilderness” land-use designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval.

A Wilderness designation is one of the strictest forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal. The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation on public land.

In December, the AMA and OHV enthusiasts won an important battle when U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) dropped his effort to pass a massive omnibus public lands bill that would have inappropriately designated millions of acres of public land as Wilderness. With the new “Wild Lands” policy, anti-access advocates are now seeking an end-run around Congress.

Federal lawmakers quickly called the Wild Lands policy a “land grab” and a blatant attempt to usurp congressional authority. Off-highway riders sporting “Stop the Land Grab” stickers produced by the AMA and distributed by the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) turned out in droves for a meeting of Utah’s Governor’s Council on Balanced Resources that featured BLM Director Bob Abbey trying to explain the new policy.

Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations, sent a letter to Salazar asking him to explain whether the new Wild Lands land-use designation will block traditional routes of travel for off-highway riding. It can be viewed at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Libraries/Rights_Documents_Federal/Salazar_WildLands_1-11-2011.sflb.ashx.

Governors who have come out against the Wild Lands policy include Wyoming’s Matthew Mead, Idaho’s C.L. “Butch” Otter and Utah’s Gary Herbert.

“This letter is to advise you that I firmly oppose Secretarial Order 3310, which was released just before the Christmas holiday and while many gubernatorial offices, like mine, were in a state of transition,” Mead wrote to Salazar on Jan. 17. “Though you will seek feedback from state BLM offices prior to issuing final agency guidance, the opportunity for public input on the policy itself was never afforded.”

Mead sent on to say that the people of Wyoming “want and deserve” a say in land-management policies that affect them.

Otter, meanwhile, called on Salazar to immediately withdraw the order.

“Without any state or public input, the Interior Department has circumvented the sovereignty of states and the will of the public by shifting from the normal planning processes of the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) to one that places significant and sweeping authority in the hands of unelected federal bureaucrats,” Otter said in a letter to Salazar.

In asking Abbey to appear before the Governor’s Council on Balanced Resources, Utah’s Herbert complained: “There was no policy discussion with the state. There was no formal notice this was being considered. The federal government suddenly administratively locked up additional Utah lands without even consulting us, and we want an explanation.”

Herbert remained opposed to the Wild Lands policy following the Jan. 14 meeting.

Salazar’s order has far-reaching implications because the BLM manages about 245 million acres of public land nationwide, primarily in western states.

Under Salazar’s order, BLM officials will look at the land they manage and decide which land should be labeled “Lands With Wilderness Characteristics.” Once those decisions are made, the officials will go through a public land-use planning process before designating land as “Wild Lands.”