Law & Order

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

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed SEMA-supported legislation from U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA) that would permanently designate six existing OHV areas comprising 300,000 acres in San Bernardino County: Johnson Valley (expanded by 11,000 acres), Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes and Stoddard Valley.

While H.R. 857, the “California Off-Road Recreation and Conservation Act,” expands wilderness designations in the California desert, the bill prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from closing any roads or trails that are currently open for motorized recreational access. H.R. 857 already passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June and now awaits action on the U.S. Senate floor. The Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee also passed S. 32, the “California Desert Protection and Recreation Act,” which is Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) companion bill to H.R. 857.

For more information, contact Eric Snyder at