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Regulating Motorized Recreation On Federal Lands

SEMA supports:

  • Managed care of the nation’s public lands in a manner that balances responsible recreational opportunities with a need to maintain the health and beauty of our federal lands, and the safety of patrons.
  • OHV policies that recognize the importance of vehicle-oriented recreation:  Increased OHV use in recent years has provided the American public with the ability to enjoy public lands in record numbers.
  • Broad national guidelines combined with local management decision-making:  It is important that local officials have authority to work with the public and State, Federal and Tribal government leaders to make appropriate decisions on OHV access.
  • Strong public involvement in decision-making:  SEMA recommends that government agencies be required to seek the active participation of the public in the process of designating OHV access.
  • Flexible timetables for designations:  The designation process is complex and may vary from forest-to-forest, or other federal land area.  While there may be a uniform approach, the specifics must be dealt with at the local level according to the unique circumstances of each land area.
  • Certain “user-created” routes:  By default, the designation process places the onus on the OHV recreational community to identify routes that were created in recent years that have not yet been inventoried (“user-created” routes).  Many of these routes came into existence during “open” management and serve a legitimate need and purpose, and do not pose an environmental threat.  In some cases, these uninventoried routes may even be more environmentally friendly and provide a better overall access solution than their inventoried counterparts.
  • Reasonable application of “Emergency Powers”:  There are times when emergency closures are necessary to provide short-term resource protection or to protect public health and safety.  Nevertheless, the public should be included in the decision-making process when such closures last beyond 12 months.
  • Defined vehicle classes and use authorizations:  Vehicle classes need to be defined at the federal level so there is uniform application across the country when it comes to planning, mapping of roads/trails, etc.

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