AMA News and Notes September 2014

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National and Regional News

Washington, D.C.: On Aug. 8, President Barack Obama signed H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. While the law skipped many needed reforms, it will extend highway funding until May 2015. Without enactment, the federal Highway Trust Fund would have dipped below fiscally safe levels and payments would have been slowed to states. The result is that states would have slowed, paused or canceled many highway and maintenance projects, including Recreational Trails Program projects, which are funded from the trust fund.

When Congress once again begins to write a new long-term highway bill, the American Motorcyclist Association will work to include language in the MAP-21 reauthorization that would: ensure the continuation of the successful Recreational Trails Program, prohibit federal tax dollars from funding motorcycle-only checkpoints, and extend the ban on federal agencies lobbying state governments.

State News

Johnson Valley, Calif.: The U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Marine Corps are accepting comments from off-highway-vehicle riders about the Marines’ plan for the “shared use” areas of Johnson Valley. The Marine Corps plans to use the areas as “Company Objectives” for training 2 months each year. The Marines plan to have the areas marked to give a visual reference as to the extent of anticipated impacts of a 22-acre company objective site. These will serve as enemy-held positions during training.

OHV enthusiasts can visit each of the proposed Company Objective areas and provide comments to the BLM and the Marine Corps on Saturday, Sept. 6. Officials will be available at each site between 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

All comments must be submitted by Sept. 15.

GPS Coordinates of the objective areas are:
Objective #1 -116.504, 34.449402 Near Los Padres Mine
Objective #2 -116.516, 34.425999 North of Means Lake, near the entrance to Backdoor Trail
Objective #3 -116.441, 34.391399 Farther north

If you have questions or comments, please contact:
Katrina Symons, Field Manager Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Barstow Field Office, BLM Public Affairs Office
(760) 252-6004 (760) 830-6213
ksymons@blm.gov? SMBPLMSWEBPAO@usmc.mil

Additional Resources to review include a Johnson Valley OHV Area Map depicting Exclusive Military Use and Military/Shared Use Areas: www.29palms.marines.mil/Portals/56/Docs/G4/LAS/MCAGCC%20Johnson%20Valley%20Boundary%20Map%20opt.pdf  

Stonington, Conn.: An ordinance was recently rejected that would have restricted off-highway-vehicle riding to more than 300 feet from a property line and 500 feet from residences, required permits for groups of 4 more riders and any modifications to the land associated with riding and fines for OHV generated dust crossing a property line.
The conflict began when a teenager’s riding drew complaints from neighbors of his grandparents’ property, where he rode his dirt bike. Despite some residents’ belief that the conflict should be settled in the neighborhood, it took just 36 petition signatures to get the Board of Selectmen to draft and consider the nuisance ordinance.

Hattiesburg, Miss.: Off-highway-vehicle riders will have 9.5 miles of additional trails available when the U.S. Forest Service reopens Phase One of the Rattlesnake Bay OHV Trails in DeSoto National Forest on Sept. 20. A second section of trail, encompassing nearly 28 miles, is in the planning stages and may open in the spring or summer of 2015.

The September reopening was made possible by the February approval of a recreation fee structure by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Region Recreation Resource Advisory Committee and cooperation between the USFS and the OHV group Friends of Rattlesnake Bay. The reopened trails consist of a 7.6-mile loop and a 1.9-mile loop.

Volunteers from the Friends of Rattlesnake Bay helped USFS crews complete the needed repairs to the trails in late August. The trail system is in the special use permit area for the Camp Shelby Military Training Site near Hattiesburg, Miss. The trails have been closed “temporarily” for more than 11 years. Mississippi Tourism, a division of the Mississippi Development Authority, supported the reopening of the trails.

Riders can expect a curving trail that follows the contours of the region, avoiding steep slopes, wet drainages and other sensitive areas. Trail rules included a 1-inch maximum tire tread depth and an OHV sound limit of 96 dBA.

The approved fee structure provides for the continued maintenance and operation of the trails. The fee includes a $ 10-a-day fee for trail use and a $ 60-a-year annual operator fee, which will be valid for all OHV trails on National Forests in Mississippi. The annual pass will be available later this year. Trails covered by the fees include Rattlesnake Bay, the Little Tiger ATV Trail System, the Chickasawhay ATV Trail System and the Bethel Motorized Trail System.

Minneapolis, Minn.: Recently, Polaris Industries Inc. received a one-of-a-kind print from the Boy Scouts of America in appreciation for its commitment to a 10-year partnership to provide age-appropriate vehicles, safety equipment and safety instruction to BSA camps across the nation. This token of appreciation was presented during a special ceremony at Polaris’ 60th Anniversary celebration held in Minneapolis.

The original print presented to Polaris Chairman and CEO Scott Wine and Polaris President and COO Bennett Morgan during the ceremony was created by award-winning artist Greg Newbold, who also has created cover art for several issues of BSA’s Boys Life and Scouting Life magazines.

Vehicles provided through the program include the easy-to-use Phoenix 200s and Sportsman 570 EXTs. As part of the donation, Polaris will adjust models as needed and replace older units over time to ensure that Scouts always have the most up-to-date and age-appropriate vehicles available.

This partnership with BSA builds on Polaris’ strong history of supporting youth-focused off-road vehicle safety programs including Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, the Salvation Army’s Northwood’s Camp, Shriner’s Hospital for Children, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux and the Michigan Department of Resources and sponsorships of 4-H Traveling ATV Safety Classrooms.

Nelsonville, Ohio: The Wayne National Forest has launched a new mobile-based tour designed to better connect visitors with National Forest System lands in southeast Ohio. Thirty-9 sites around the Wayne National Forest now have tour stops that can be viewed with either a desktop computer, or a mobile device. Using special mapping tools, each featured stop has pictures, text, audio and videos. Access the tour today by visiting the Wayne National Forest Mobile Tour or myoncell.mobi/tours.php?acct_num=17402492008.

To access the tour using a mobile phone, dial (740) 249-2008 and follow the prompts. When you enter a specific stop number, you will hear a recorded message for that site.

The Wayne joins 2 other pilot forests, the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest in Colorado and the Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, as U.S. Forest Service pilot locations using the new mobile platform. To learn more about the tour, stop by any of the forest’s 3 offices, in Nelsonville, Pedro, and Marietta, Ohio. To discover more about the Wayne National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/waynenf  and follow on Twitter and Facebook.

International News

Sydney, Australia: In July, the state government of New South Wales legalized lane filtering, which allows motorcyclists to legally ride between 2 lanes, when traffic is stationary or slow moving at a slow speed of 30 kilometers/hour. The idea behind legalizing lane filtering was to reduce traffic congestion and queuing at intersections.

Lake Illawarra LAC Highway Patrol Sgt. Nicholas Park said early indicators showed the new legislation was working, but many motorists were still unaware of the new rules.

There are strict conditions attached, which include heavy fines and 3 demerit points for motorcyclists caught moving between traffic at more than 30 kilometers/hour, under a new offence called lane splitting. It is also illegal for motorcyclists to lane filter next to a curb, next to parked cars or in school zones.

Other road users (motorists, cyclists and pedestrians) are advised by the Roads and Maritime to “check twice” for motorcyclists and follow regular road rules. For additional details on lane filtering visit: roadsafety.transport.nsw.gov.au/stayingsafe/motorcyclists/lanefiltering/  

AMA News

Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA is pleased to announce that 2 candidates for 2 open seats on the AMA Board of Directors will appear on the ballot at the AMA business member meeting on Friday, Oct. 17, in Orlando, Fla. In addition, a third at-large member will go before the AMA membership for ratification.

Robert Pearce, vice president of operations at KTM North America, and Paul Puma, commercial leader for GE Capital Solutions’; Motorsport Group, will stand for election to full, 3-year terms at the business member meeting. Jeff Skeen, CEO of Affinity Development Group, has been appointed as an at-large member of the AMA Board of Directors.

Ratification for Skeen’;s position will be sought from the AMA membership at the individual member meeting.

The AMA also announces that Cobra Motorcycle CEO Sean Hilbert has left the board to focus on new growth opportunities for his company. Pearce has been appointed to fill the seat vacated by Hilbert in the interim.

The annual AMA member and business member meetings are part of the AMA National Convention. Held in partnership with the American International Motorcycle Expo at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 16-19, the AMA National Convention includes the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Information about the convention and induction ceremony can be found at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/amaconvention.aspx.  

Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA is pleased to announce a full slate of informative seminars for motorcyclists at its upcoming national convention in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 16-19.

Held in partnership with the American International Motorcycle Expo at the Orange County Convention Center, the 2014 AMA National Convention provides something for every AMA member, including a front-row seat for all the latest in motorcycles, gear, gadgets and gizmos at the AIMExpo.

Registration for a variety of ticket-value options for the AMA National Convention is available now at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/AMAConvention.aspx.
  
Full seminar descriptions are available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/AMAConvention/AMAConventionSeminars.aspx.
 
The 2014 AMA National Convention also includes the annual AMA member meeting, the annual business member meeting, organized rides and the 2014 AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The Friday evening induction ceremony, one of motorcycling’;s most impressive events, will welcome 6 new members into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame:

Motocross pioneer Pierre Karsmakers
Racer and motorcycling advocate Tom White
Museum and racetrack founder George Barber
Off-road racing champion Scott Summers
National motocross champion Mike LaRocco
Tuner and race team manager Rob Muzzy
Engine builder and entrepreneur Byron Hines

The AMA National Convention offers several ticket packages for attending one or more events, with an all-event value package and discounts for AMA members. Online registration for the 2014 AMA National Convention is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/AMAConvention.aspx.
 
Join the conversation! Follow along with us at #AIMExpoAMA to get the latest updates on activities, contests, and promotions at the 2014 AMA National Convention. Don’t forget to connect with us too!

Facebook.com/AmericanMotorcyclist and @ama_riding on Twitter and Instagram. Join us in Orlando as we learn, ride and celebrate motorcycling together!

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