Law & Order

DEFENDING OHV ACCESS TO PUBLIC LANDS

SEMA submitted comments to federal lawmakers defending continued use of off-highway vehicles (OHV) on federal lands in the Eastern Sierra and Northern San Gabriel region in Southern California. SEMA opposes legislation (H.R. 6156) to designate 475,000 acres of federal lands in Mono, Inyo and Los Angeles Counties as “wilderness.”

OHVs would be denied access to the land since motorized recreation is not permitted in a wilderness area. The bill was the topic of a hearing by a U.S. House of Representatives Natural Resources Subcommittee. 

SEMA recommended an alternative approach that would protect our nation’s natural wonders and motorized recreation. SEMA recommended that the bill specifically protect OHV use on “cherry-stemmed” routes. These routes are often old roads, trails or paths formerly used for mining, logging or agricultural operations.

SEMA also recommended the use of less-restrictive land designations for portions of the land, such as a “National Recreation Area” or a “Backcountry Recreation” designation proposed by the Blue Ribbon Coalition (www.sharetrails.org/backcountry). SEMA recommended continued access to the Furnace Creek Road.

For more information, contact Brian Duggan at briand@sema.org.