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U.S. House votes to restrict OHV public access

The U.S. House approved a bill that designates more than 2 million acres in nine states as wilderness and closes the area to off-highway vehicles. The measure now goes to President Obama.

Under the bill, motorized vehicles won't be allowed in parts of the Monogahela National Forest in West Virginia; the Jefferson National Forest in Virginia; the Mount Hood, Badlands, Spring Basin and Copper Salmon areas in Oregon; the Sabinoso in New Mexico; Riverside County in California; and Washington County in Utah, according to a press release from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).

"The measure unreasonably bans motorized recreation on 2.1 million acres of public lands by inappropriately designating it as wilderness," Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for Government Relations, said in the release. "This is a sad day not only for responsible motorized recreation but also for a democratic process that is supposed to welcome public input and the opportunity for congressional review.”

The measure was defeated two weeks ago in the House. However, it was revived in the Senate as part of H.R. 146, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program.

In total, the bill contains more than 160 pieces of legislation and more than 1,300 pages of text.

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