More than 2 million acres of land could become off limits
The U.S. House of Representatives could soon vote on a bill that could keep ATVs off of more than 2 million acres of public land.
Senate Bill 22, which is also known as the Omnibus Public Lands Bill, is a bundle of more than 160 bills that form a single bill more than 1,300 pages long.
“This bill was on the fast-track in the U.S. Senate and passed swiftly earlier this year without public scrutiny or debate,” says Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “The measure is now being steamrolled through the U.S. House without giving the public an opportunity to fully digest its impact and debate the many provisions in the bill.”
U.S. Rep. Bob Bishop (R-Utah) is upset at how this proposed legislation is being handled.
“Poor process produces poor product, and this is an example of congressional process at its worst,” says Bishop. “Parts of this bill are good, and parts are very bad. Each part deserves to be discussed and voted on its own merits.”
Moreland is calling on all ATV riders and off-highway motorcyclists to contact their Congressional representative and ask them to reject the bill. The AMA says the measure should be defeated because it unreasonably bans motorized recreation on 2.1 million acres of public land by inappropriately designating it as Wilderness, and because the procedures used for fast-tracking the bill through the U.S. Senate and House violate the spirit of open and democratic government.
“Continued responsible access to public lands is a vitally important right for current and future generations,” says Moreland. “This measure deserves to be fully analyzed and thoughtfully debated prior to a final vote.”
One way to contact elected U.S. representatives is in the ‘Issues & Legislation’ area of the Rights section of the AMA website at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/.