Wisconsin OHM/DS Motorcyclists - Trail and Legislative Issues
Read this document.
Understand the issues.
Help to bring change.
The document is intented to serve both government officials and motorcyclists so share it at will.
(Special thanks to those who shared their insight with me as I worked through several drafts of this paper.)
Special thanks to the Great Lakes Dual Sporters, a regional dual sport club with many Wisconsin members, for hosting this document on their web server.
Word 2007 .docx Version
PDF Version (easy to use)
It is all within reach . . . we just need to get started legislatively right now. :thumb
If you see something else that needs to be addressed in the near term please let me know.
Also, if there is something that you are not clear on or don't agree with, please let me know. There is often more information in the background that explains things a little better.
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I started reading. I hope that the state legislators (silly democrats) are receptive.
thanks for all the work Bryan
URGENT-Stop Closure 26 Million Acres this week!!!!
Urgent Action Required-Omnibus Federal Land Grab Bill Number S. 22 will close 26 million acres or maybe more to multiple use on BLM lands as well as designate over 2 million acres of Wilderness. Unbelievably in a rare Sunday session the Senate voted to skip any debate and have a vote this week on this huge bill. After the final Senate vote this bill may be forced on a fast track vote in Congress. It is extremely important that you take action now to help defeat this bad bill.
-----Please call your Congressman as well as your Senators. They must be deluged with calls now at (202) 224-3121. To find the name of your Senator & Congressman just enter your zip code at http://www.sharetrails.org/rapid_response/ They must know in no uncertain terms that rural America opposes this massive Wilderness and land grab bill.
Here are five things you should ask them when you call your Congressman & Senator:
Ask them how they are going to vote on the Omnibus Land Grab Act S.22
Urge your Senator to oppose the Omnibus Land Grab Act S.22
Urge your Congressman to oppose the Omnibus Land Grab Act under whatever new bill number they give it
Also ask them to oppose all Omnibus Bills that put a bunch of bills together because that is bad legislation. Each bill should be considered individually, but S.22 contains over 150 different bills.
That you will hold them accountable if they vote for this huge bad bill
Even though S 22 is likely to pass the Senate, it is important your Senator hear from you. Your calls are important not only to try to defeat S 22, but for future bills like it.
-----Please call your Senators and Congressmen immediately.
You must let your Senators and Congressman know you will hold them responsible for their vote on S 22. This is the largest land grab in 20 years. They must know they will be held accountable.
Please forward this message to as many people as possible as quickly as possible.
Below is more information but if your time is limited please just make the calls instead of reading more
-----See Washington Times news article below.
-----Also see the Energy and Environment Daily article below.
You must urge your Senator to oppose all Omnibus Bills that put a bunch of bills together. That means that nearly all Senators and Congressman don’t read the whole bill. This bill is between 1,000 and 2,000 pages. So the Senators and Congressmen only pay attention to the parts they are interested in.
A lot of bad stuff passes this way because bills they might ordinarily oppose, they ignore because they are part of this larger package.
This is a really bad way of doing business. You must let your Senators and Congressmen know you not only oppose S 22 but the use of huge omnibus packages the bunch bills together.
Using the omnibus bill approach, most Senators and Congressmen have no idea what is in the rest of the bill. They are not doing their job and they are letting you down.
-----You can read the Washington Times article below to see how Senator Murkowski of Alaska is supporting the bill even though it does great damage to Alaska because of one provision in the bill that she likes. She is ignoring the National Landscape Conservation System part of the bill which affects so much more of Alaska. This is just an example of how usually friendly Senators and Congressmen end up voting for bills that hurt their states when the vote on these Omnibus Bill packages.
Each bill should be considered individually. S 22 has over 150 different bills included.
150 Bill Omnibus Federal Land Grab Bill Is Back
-----This bill is one of the largest land grabs in history. Just one bill, the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) covers 26 million acres and will lock you out of BLM multiple-use and energy lands. It will add dozens of new National Heritage Areas that will eventually be a land use control noose around the necks of local people and rural America.
You can see a map of the National Landscape Conservation System at www.landrights.org.
Senator Diane Feinstein plans to add 6,000,000 more acres to it on the floor of the Senate.
Majority Leader Harry Reid is buying votes by putting every bill he can find in the package to buy off opposing Senators. Senator Mike Crapo of Idaho is helping Harry Reid, Democrat Majority Leader in the Senate. Has your Senator sold his heart and soul?
Senator Crapo is planning to vote for the bill and is leading the charge to get other Senators to vote for it.
He tried to sell us out on the Endangered Species Act a number of years ago and we stopped him. Now we must do it again.
It appears you cannot trust Senator Mike Crapo’s heart to protect your private property and access and use of Federal lands.
-----This may be the largest land grab bill in the last 20 years.
Your immediate action is needed by making calls, faxing, e-mailing your Senators and Congressmen as well as your friends and neighbors is critical to stop this bill. Call both your Senators (202-224-3121) and Congressman
~This alert was compiled by:
American Land Rights Association
-----Washington Times Article Monday, January 12, 2009
Massive lands bill clears filibuster
Senate Democrats flexed their new legislative muscle Sunday, using the first vote of the new Congress to break a Republican filibuster from the previous session of Congress, and advance a wide-ranging land-conservation measure.
The omnibus land bill would preserve more than 2 million acres of land, establish new layers of bureaucracy in the Bureau of Land Management, and designate former President Bill Clinton's childhood home a national historic site.
The bill's supporters, who had been stymied last year by a Republican filibuster, said the measure was long overdue.
Read entire article here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/...rs-filibuster/
-----Energy and Environment Daily Article
7. PUBLIC LANDS: In rare Sunday vote, Senate moves past Coburn's filibuster on omnibus (01/12/2009) Noelle Straub, E&E reporter
In a rare Sunday session designed to rebuke one senator for his delaying tactics, the Senate yesterday voted overwhelmingly to move forward with an omnibus package of more than 160 public lands, water and resources bills.
The 66-12 vote easily overcame a filibuster by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who was trying again to prevent the Senate from taking up the measure that had slipped from the schedule last year due largely to his objections.
Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) said the package, S 22, 'reflects possibly the most significant conservation legislation passed by the Senate in the past decade.'
House Natural Resources Chairman Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) said the omnibus would pass the House soon if the Senate approves it. 'It will come back here and we will do something quick over here to pass it,' he said Friday, adding that it will not need to go back through committee.
Coburn said yesterday was the first time in 40 years the Senate held a vote on the first weekend of a new session. Reid regularly threatens to keep the Senate in over the weekend as a way to encourage senators to cut deals more quickly, but yesterday was one of the rare instances where he carried through with the threat.
Read entire article at: http://www.eenews.net/eed/2009/01/12/
In two minutes you can submit a letter opposing the Omnibus Act at http://www.savethetrails.us/Default.aspx?PetitionID=31
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Two questions have come up concerning this document. I may as well answer them here in case anyone else wondered.
The first had to do with one piece of information being repeated in two of the appendices. If you read closely you will note that I mentioned that I had to write each appendix to be able to stand alone as some of the issues may get separated in the process. That is why the remarks about Michigan trails were repeated in the trail development and trail access appendices.
The second concern had to do with children and with the safety education program. The current standard in Wisconsin for a child to get credit for a safety education program is age 12. Since it is the existing standard for other programs, it is likely that we will have to align our program to what Wisconsin already has in place. As a side note, many of us advocated for a lower age in hunter education but to no avail. Children under 12 are not banned from motorized recreation. If you take a look at the ATV regulations you will see that under 12 requires parental supervision and does not allow under 12 to operate on an ATV Route. The key points in this paper involve getting safety education that puts us on a par with other users AND using that qualification toward getting access to ATV Routes.
Thanks for the opportunity to clarify these points.
We cannot be short sighted in how we conduct ourselves on these trails.
Scenario 1: A licensed dual sport motorcycle is operating on designated trails with a group of other off-highway conveyances. The group comes to a route connector that uses a public road. Lets say that in this case there is a speed limit imposed for off-highway conveyances that use the connecting road. Often these are imposed to keep down dust that affects people that live along the connector - the same people that could oppose it. The best course of action for the licensed motorcyclist operating in the OHM mode would be to abide by the posted trail restrictions for that connecter. It puts the best foot forward and helps to preserve the access we need. A short sighted operator might say "screw that, I am street licensed, I think I'll ride 55 and not care what anybody thinks because the law is on my side".
Scenario 2: A licensed dual sport motorcycle is being operated on the roads (not related to OHM activity) when the operator comes upon an ATV Route equivalent that has the very same speed restriction. The operator ignores the OHV regulatory sign and continues on in the highway mode. No problem at all.
Someone might say that the people living along the road might mistake the dual sport that is in the highway mode as violating the trail user restrictions on the connector. Yep, they could. That still doesn't detract from making the right choice in each of the above scenarios. They key to doing well in the off-highway realm is to apply mature judgement as situations arise so that we reasonably do the best we can to preserve our privileges.
Thank you Ben for providing the opportunity to elaborate on that point. One of the points of the document is to present us in the favorable light as being respectful and responsible operators.
Another question came up about the requirements for lights on OHM.
What I advocated in the paper was that OHM that operate on roads (connectors) DURING HOURS OF DARKNESS would have to be equipped with a tail light, brake light, and headlamp of a certain capability.
Since many OHM are manufactured wthout lights of any kind, we want to advocate that they can operated on trails during daylight as they are manufactured (no lights, but with spark arrestor).
The reality is that there will likely be a requirement for the lights I mentioned if the OHM is operated on public land/roads after dark. Makes sense. We need to dig in on the point of permitting OHM to operate without any lights whatsoever during daylight. This could be a point of contention because of dust/safety.
By the way, I didn't mentioned approved spark arrestors in the paper. They are already covered in a DNR definition of OHM.
Thanks for asking me to clarify this point.
alot to digest to make intelligent sounding feedback.
again as always, thanks for your efforts. :thumb
I'll get to it.
Here is some good news:
Thanks to the efforts of WOHMA, this paper will shortly be on its way to a State Representative who has agreed to champion our cause. In the past he asked us to detail our needs. Now we have done so and things can go forward.
The ball is in play. Of course, there will be more work to be done as we offer our input into the detail of drafting legislation and administrative code. All of this will take time.
It is important for OHM-DS folks to maintain momentum with this effort. From time to time it will be important for more individuals from the OHM-DS user group to speak up in support of these actions. All the more reason to become familiar with what we are trying to achieve.
Thanks in advance for understanding the issues and offering your support. We are getting much closer to getting the resolution we need.
Edit: Change to advocating groups and timeline of delivery to legislator.
can you divulge who the state representative is that will champion the cause?
I still am not 100% sure if I am legal on some of the routes I ride. My inquiries with local ATV patrols cannot provide me the answers either. Cleaving otu the ATV routes that ATV clubs have put effort into obtaining access will be a hard fight. These clubs must lack funding to place signage or provide handouts that clearly states the trails rules. :dunno
The mixed use sections of trails and getting riders to conform to right-of-way scenarios will obviously need to be a rider's mental decision, not a mechanical limitation decision. This process will require maturity and restraint that will be difficult for many to meet.
Thanks for your efforts and drafting this paper. There is alot of work to do and you layout a formidable initial challenge to implement the program.
Taking this step first is key to diffuse probelms that will likely get pushed off to an enforcement method of regulation rather than voluntary.
Nice post Freeflow... it contains alot of what I was thinking.
In the UP, there's a section on the Iron River-Marenisco route that has a short road section to it. There is a shoulder area to ride, I choose to ride on the paved section (at the legal limit) to catch the next portion of the trail. I have a plate, but quasi-legal....
What is right? I'm not sure... I'd rather the local LEO agency didn't tell me. Proper signage seems to be the key to this question.
Bryan, thanks for all your efforts.... these (and other) questions cannot be easy to wade through.
Don't want to confuse Michigan with Wisconsin though. Michigan has some liberal provisions that allow counties to allow ORVs to run on some roads. Most counties in the north have adopted (or are readopting based on a law change) that ORV friendly provision.
Once we get a registration program (and the related funding stream) we will be able to clear a lot of this up. We just need to gain some headway with the issues in this paper and we will be in a much better position.
Thanks for taking the time to read the paper and consider the issues! :thumb
Sometimes it seems difficult to get people interested in improving their own lot.
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