Law & Order

U.S. House Committee Passes Bill to Protect Motorized Recreation in California Desert

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation to permanently designate six existing off-highway vehicle (OHV) areas comprising 300,000 acres in San Bernardino County as “national” OHV areas: Johnson Valley (expanded by 11,000 acres), Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes and Stoddard Valley. The “California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act” (HR 857) is sponsored by Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA). The bill expands wilderness designations in the California desert, although it prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from closing any roads or trails that are currently open for motorized recreational access. The bill now awaits consideration on the floor of the House of Representatives. 

The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing a separate bill sponsored by Rep. Cook, which would create the Apple Valley OHV Recreation Area. The “Desert Community Lands Act” (HR 2365) would transfer 4,630 acres of federal land to the town of Apple Valley that will be used for motorized recreation. 

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at