The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources is scheduled to hold a hearing May 5 to consider a bill that will possibly close more than 24 million acres of public lands in western states to off-highway vehicles, according to a press release from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA).
The bill was introduced by Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York City even though H.R. 980, The Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, only affects western states. States affected include Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
“This is one of the biggest OHV land grabs in our nation’s history,” AMA Vice President of Government Relations Ed Moreland said in the release. “Even more disconcerting than the fact that the bill is being proposed by a representative from a densely populated urban area, New York City, is that the bill is being considered without the support of a single member of Congress who represents the affected districts. Shouldn’t the people who live in these areas have some say in whether or not they should be banned from riding in it?”
Moreland also says there are other bills on Capitol Hill that would close even more public land to off-highway vehicles, including Senate Bill 799, America’s Red Rock Wilderness Act, Senate Bill 721 and H.R. 1769, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area in Washington state.
Riders and AMA members can contact their federal lawmakers and tell them what they think by going to the “Rights” and then “Issues and Legislation” section of the AMA Web site, www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com.