SEMA eNews Vol. 12, No. 42, October 22, 2009

SEMA Opposes Efforts to Ban Off-Roading in Much of Utah

More than one-sixth of the state of Utah would be off-limits to any form of motorized recreation if Congress approves H.R. 1925, “America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009.” SEMA submitted testimony to the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands in opposition to the bill to designate 9.4 million acres of land in Utah as “wilderness,” a label which bans mechanized activities, including off-roading, snowmobiling and mountain biking.

The issue is of keen interest to off-roaders and the SEMA-member companies that market off-road equipment.

Most of the 146 co-sponsors of the legislation represent areas east of the Rockies. At a recent House Subcommittee hearing, opposition to the bill was voiced from local residents and lawmakers representing the state. Concerns were also raised by Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Director Robert Abbey who cautioned that current off-highway vehicle areas would be closed.

The BLM manages all of the land subject to closure. Director Abbey also noted that the agency had not yet completed mapping or an analysis of each area to be designated as wilderness, which would allow the BLM to make informed recommendations on wilderness designations.

SEMA will continue to monitor Congressional action on this legislation. Read SEMA comments on Red Rock Wilderness Act.

For additional details, contact Ethan Landesman at ethanl@sema.org.

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