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May 14, 2007 – ATV Report

May 14, 2007
Filed under Features

Oregon Close to ATV Compromise
Oregon’s state Senate, which has been a battleground for ATV-related legislation in the current session, has proposed a compromise that would require riders to take a safety class and includes restrictions for riders based on their age.
Senate Bill 101 would prohibit riders younger than 7 years of age from operating Class I ATVs while on public lands or on premises open to the public. Also, children 16 or older must be accompanied by a person who is at least 18, who has either a valid driver’s license or Class I ATV operator permit. The proposed penalty for a violation is a maximum fine of $180.
Oregon’s Senate and House of Representatives were previously considering measures that would’ve prohibited children under the age of 12 from operating ATVs on public lands.
ATV Racer Rides Suzuki’s 200,000th U.S.-Assembled Quad
On April 18, American Suzuki Motor Corp. had reason to celebrate, as the 200,000th unit rolled off the assembly line in Rome, Ga. Suzuki’s own WPSA champion, pro racer Doug Gust, attended and rode the 200,000th unit, a KingQuad 700, off the line.
The plant is Suzuki’s only U.S. facility that assembles ATVs and is currently manufacturing Eigers, Vinsons and KingQuads.
The Rome plant opened six years ago and employs more than 350 employees. The plant currently produces about 300 units in an eight-hour shift and produced 100,000 units during the past 18 months.
The celebration was highlighted by a full complement of riders, mechanics and support personnel from the Suzuki Pro Factory team.
South Carolina Examines Youth ATV Safety
Already passed by the South Carolina Senate, the state’s House of Representatives is considering a bill to increase ATV regulation by prohibiting children younger than 6 years old from operating ATVs.
Riders older than 6, but not older than 16, must complete a safety course and meet age-specific requirements before operating an ATV.
House bill 3622 also stipulates that anyone under 15 years of age must wear a helmet and goggles.
Recreation Groups Join Superior Forest Suit
The All Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) has joined a legal battle over vehicle-based recreation on the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. ATVAM, along with the BlueRibbon Coalition, moved to intervene in the case in mid-February and was formally granted intervenor status by a court order dated in late March. The Minnesota case involves a challenge to the Revised Forest Plan for Minnesota’s Superior National Forest brought by the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife and other organizations. Some of the claims in the complaint target the agency’s vehicle planning, the inadequacy of the road and trail inventory and other baseline data used in adopting the Forest Plan. It also targets the alleged deficient analysis of possible impacts to Canada’s lynx and gray wolf populations.
“The Superior National Forest is the eighth most visited national forest in the country and is widely known for its diverse and high quality recreation,” said Phill Morud, ATVAM president. “We entered this suit to make sure that vehicles remain an important part of the recreational picture in the forest.”
Northern Minnesota in Line for More ATV Routes
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and St. Louis County are proposing to formally designate 876 miles of roads and routes in the Cloquet Valley State Forest for ATVs, a published report said.
The plan also would allow ATVs to travel on all other trails unless specifically posted as closed, according to a report in The Duluth News Tribune. The plan covers about 144,000 acres of state land, some within the forest in St. Louis County and other scattered state lands outside the forest boundaries in St. Louis and nearby Carlton counties.
Another 241,000 acres of St. Louis County land that lie within the Cloquet Valley State Forest would also be included.
The large forest north of Duluth is a mix of state, county and private lands. The new rules don’t affect private land.
Muffler Maker Starts National Trail Building Program
An international manufacturer of motorcycle racing exhaust systems and quiet technology X3 off-road mufflers announced a new trail grant fund program in partnership with a national recreation group.
Leo Vince USA, a division of Sito Gruppo Industriale based in Monticello d’Alba, Italy, has worked with the BlueRibbon Coalition in development of the Leo Vince Trailhead Fund.
Leo Vince USA will donate funds to the Trailhead Fund, which will be administered by the BlueRibbon Coalition. The intent of the program is to have grant monies available to help off-highway vehicle clubs partner with land management agencies to care for, and enhance, responsible trail recreation on public lands.
“Most of our motorized forest trails have already been closed in Europe and we want to be part of the solution to keep them open in the U.S.A.,” Pietro Mollo, founder of the parent company, said in a press release. “We believe our state-of-the-art quiet technology off-road exhaust systems for dirt-bikes and all-terrain vehicles is a perfect fit in the establishment of this new trail program.”
The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible use of public and private lands, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. It represents more than 10,000 individual members and 1,200 organization and business members.
Off-Road Business Owner’s Visit California Legislators
The Off-Road Business Association (ORBA) held its second annual lobby day on April 22-23, an event that became even more important this year as legislators are rewriting the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program that funds many of the areas where OHV recreation occurs in California.
The event included an opening-night dinner, sponsored by Kawasaki Motors Corp. USA, and open board meeting where attendees were given a short update on the myriad of issues the ORBA staff has been working on.
The second day of the event started in the Capitol for breakfast, which was sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corp. During breakfast, particpants received an update on Senate Bill 742, the legislation being used to rewrite the OHMVR program.
Participants then spent the day relaying to legislators that the OHV community supports a strong law enforcement presence in their recreation areas and that it is important off-road recreational areas be managed in a way that will sustain long-term use while at the same time protecting the environment.
“This year both Yamaha and Kawasaki helped sponsor our event, said Fred Wiley, ORBA’s executive director. We appreciate their support and look forward to future partnerships that will promote the health of the OHV industry.” psb

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