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Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, in collaboration with the U.S. Senate, House and the Government Printing Office, has unveiled Congress.gov, a new public beta site for accessing free, fact-based legislative information. Congress.gov features platform mobility, comprehensive information retrieval and user-friendly presentation. The new site will eventually replace the public THOMAS system and the congressional Legislative Information System.
Data for the information system are provided by multiple legislative branch partners in this effort, including the Office of the Secretary of the Senate, the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Office of the Chief Administrative Office of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Government Printing Office.
For more information, go to www.loc.gov/today/pr/2012/12-171.html.
Eagar, Ariz.: The Center for Biological Diversity, which is an anti-OHV group, repeatedly complained to the U.S. Forest Service about the planned Ninth Annual Arizona ATV Outlaw Trail Jamboree before it was held Sept. 4-8 in the Springerville-Eagar area. Following the jamboree, the CBD said it “is now exploring legal options” related to the next event.
Among other things, the CBD wanted an environmental assessment done before the jamboree was approved. The jamboree featured an ATV rodeo, food, geo-caching, fireworks, a parade, guided ATV rides throughout the White Mountains, GPS training, Wild West shows and more.
Glamis, Calif.: The Final Environmental Impact Statement and proposed management plan for the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area has been released by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The BLM analyzed eight alternatives for the popular off-highway area to address concerns raised during public hearings on a draft plan, released in 2010. The preferred plan, alternative No. 8 according to the BLM, seeks to balance recreational opportunities with protection of natural and cultural resources, wilderness, renewable energy development and critical habitat for the threatened Peirson’s milkvetch,
The plan includes proposed amendments to the California Desert Conservation Area Plan and provides guidance for the management of almost 215,000 acres of public land in and around the dunes, which are in Imperial County. Protests will be accepted through Oct. 14, after which time a record of decision will be issued.
Copies of the plan can be viewed at the BLM’s California Desert District Office or at www.blm.gov/ca/elcentro. To request a CD version of the document, contact Greg Hill at (951) 697-5395 or Greg_Hill@blm.gov.
South Fork, Colo.: AMA Board Chairman Stan Simpson recently presented Jerry Abboud with the prestigious AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremony at the Colorado 600 off-road ride.
Abboud is a lawyer and resident of the Denver suburb of Thornton, Colo. He serves as executive director of the Powersports Dealers Association of Colorado, which was formed more than 40 years ago to protect the interests of motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle, personal watercraft and snowmobile dealers in the government arena. Abboud has dedicated decades to promoting the motorcycle lifestyle and protecting the future of motorcycling.
The AMA Dud Perkins Award has been presented 48 times since its establishment in 1971. It is named after its first recipient, a San Francisco motorcycle dealer who embodied tireless and generous support of motorcycling.
Submissions for the 2013 AMA Dud Perkins Lifetime Achievement Award are now being accepted. To submit a name, and for more information about all AMA awards, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/about/amaawardsprogram.aspx.
Collier County, Fla.: Collier County commissioners, have set aside $3 million for an OHV park, and have created an ATV Park Site Ad Hoc Advisory Committee to look for suitable property and help create the riding area.
ATV riders in the area have been waiting for a new park for a decade. In 2002, the South Florida Water Management District and Collier County entered into an agreement to provide 640 acres for an ATV park.
In 2007 they agreed to a permanent ATV facility at Lake Trafford once the lake was dredged and environmental work was completed. But then they decided the site wouldn’t work for ATV use. Ultimately, the South Florida Water Management District gave the county $3 million to create an ATV park on its own.
The Collier County Growth Management Division and the Collier County Parks and Recreation Department are leading the effort. The county has also has set up a website at www.colliergov.net/index.aspx?page=3335 with additional information about this project.
Chicago, Ill.: In order to bring awareness and help reduce the incidences of motorcycle crashes, Allstate has installed warning signs on four additional Chicago intersections. This move is part of the Once is Never Enough program, which has already installed signs in several other major cities. Ultimately, Allstate hopes to establish a standard warning sign that can be used and recognized across the country.
The signs will be permanently installed in Chicago at the corner of West Ohio Street and North State Street, and North Kedzie Avenue and West Fullerton Avenue. Signs were also recently installed at Southwest Highway and West 11th Street, West 159th Street and Highway 45, West Wolf Road and State Street, and South Archer Avenue and Bell Road.
Allstate encourages drivers to look twice for motorcycles, and the yellow diamond-shaped signs were designed to remind them to do just that. The warning sign was created following two years of development, which included more than 100 temporary installations in various U.S. cities between 2010 and 2011.
Additionally, Allstate is encouraging people to visit the Allstate Motorcycle Facebook page and take the O.N.E. Pledge – committing to look twice for motorcycles at intersections – and share with at least one other person to spread the message. To take the O.N.E. Pledge and help make the world a better place to ride, visit www.facebook.com/AllstateMotorcycle.
Lansing, Mich.: House Bill 5848, sponsored by Rep. Mike Shirkey (R-Columbia), would permit the operator of a stopped motorcycle, bicycle, moped or three-wheeled vehicle to proceed through an automated stoplight if the signal fails to recognize the vehicle after one full cycle or after sixty seconds. Before proceeding with caution, the operator must yield the right-of-way to other bicycles or vehicles in a manner required by the stop signal.
Sedalia, Mo.: “Give us a Weekend, We’ll Make You a Biker!” is the theme of State Fair Community College’s Basic Rider motorcycle courses this fall. The courses are for beginning or re-entry riders who want to learn how to operate a motorcycle safely. Little or no knowledge of motorcycle operation is required.
Three weekend classes are scheduled on the Sedalia campus Sept. 28-30, Oct. 12-14, and Oct. 19-21. Classes will meet from 6 – 10 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The course includes a minimum of five hours of classroom instruction and at least 10 hours of practical riding in a controlled, off-street environment. Cost is $199. Motorcycles are provided for use during class.
Students are encouraged to bring their own helmets, but loaner helmets are available. All helmets must be DOT certified and in good condition with labeling intact. Each class is limited to 10 students. Students must enroll early enough to read a study guide and complete a pre-course assignment.
Riders will learn straight-line riding, turning, shifting and stopping, cornering, swerving and emergency braking. Also, how alcohol and drugs affect the ability to ride safely, how to create a strategy for riding in traffic, and what to wear for protection and comfort. Instructors are certified by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program.
Riders who pass the class will receive a Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program completion card, which can be used to waive the skill portion of the Missouri State Highway Patrol motorcycle license exam.
For more information or to register, call (660) 530-5822, email email@example.com or go to www.sfccmo.edu/lifelonglearning. The course is sponsored by the SFCC Lifelong Learning Office.
Lakeside, Mont.: When Forest Ranger Rich Kehr signed a decision in July to expand motorized and non-motorized trails in the Blacktail Mountain area of Montana, local resident Leslie Gray and the anti-OHV group Wildlands CPR were quick to react.
They appealed the decision to try to reduce the amount of trails.
Now, Gray and the Wildlands CPR have withdrawn their appeal after working out a compromise with the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service agreed to drop portions of trail near homes.
The revised plan calls for more than 30 miles of new motorized trails and 11.5 miles of non-motorized trails on land known as the Island Unit, which is an area west of Lakeside and south of Kalispell and Kila.
In his original announcement of the new trails project, Kehr said: “This project, many years in the making, authorizes a great mix of new motorized and non-motorized trails and will provide better opportunities for managing the existing recreational use of the Island Unit.”
Milwaukee, Wis.: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirement that consumers buy at least four gallons of gas from certain gas pumps is attracting media attention nationwide, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The newspaper serves the hometown of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
The EPA revealed the requirement to the AMA in a letter dated Aug. 1, responding to AMA concerns that E15 — a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume — could be put in motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle gas tanks inadvertently when consumers use blender pumps that dispense different fuel blends through the same hose. The vast majority of motorcycles and ATVs in use today aren’t designed to operate on E15 fuel.
The Journal Sentinel quoted AMA spokesman Peter terHorst, who said that the four-gallon minimum rule won’t work because many motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle fuel tanks are smaller than four gallons.
“It would be very difficult to plan a trip, not knowing what’s going to be offered from one gas station to the next – especially if you start crossing state lines and encounter variations in fuel blends and pumps,” terHorst said in the article.
To see the story, go to: www.jsonline.com/business/4gallon-gas-rule-sparks-debate-b86tmno-170272246.html.
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ITP, Warn Industries and Rocky Mountain ATV are just some of the more than 50 companies that have donated products to the nonprofit organization Tread Lightly! for its Fifth Annual Charity Auction on eBay that will be held Nov. 1-11.
Tread Lightly!, a national nonprofit organization that promotes responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs, will use the money it raises to help keep riding and recreation areas open.
Some 100 products will be auctioned off. Bids will start at 40 to 60 percent below retail prices.
“We’ve developed some remarkable new programs to help grow the number of good stewards and educated recreationists to help protect recreation access,” said Tread Lightly! Executive Director Lori McCullough. “We’ve begun implementation, but we need help from the outdoor recreation community. Money raised from this auction is paramount in helping us save access and curtail closures.”