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Great Outdoor Initiative Stirring Concern

Thursday, November 18, 2010
On November 15, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA) sent a letter to the U.S. House and Senate leadership regarding concerns that the Obama administration is taking unilateral action to restrict responsible motorized recreation on public lands.
 
The AMA and ATVA's concerns are based on the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and the release of troubling Department of the Interior (DOI) internal documents that suggest up to 130 million acres be designated Wilderness and National Monument areas. These Wilderness and National Monument designations may make the land off limits to responsible off-highway riders.
 
American Motorcyclist Association

It is the understanding of the AMA and ATVA that a report on the AGO is due to the president by early December. This date is concurrent with the return of Congress for the "lame-duck" session.
 
The AMA and ATVA believe the land, which is described in the internal DOI documents, has a high probability of being incorporated into the AGO initiative in the form of an Omnibus Public Land Management bill or implemented administratively. Moreover, Representative Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and 36 of his colleagues sent a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader Boehner, Chairman Rahall and Ranking Member Hastings urging them "to bring an omnibus public lands bill to the House floor for a vote before the end of this Congress." To view the Heinrich letter and to see if your Representative signed it, click here.
 
Many have criticized the AGO initiative as an effort to further restrict public lands. The AGO is far reaching and it spans the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Forest Service and the DOI's Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack recently stated, "After the [AGO] report is issued, our work on the AGO will have only begun." And the internal DOI documents state that the plan will establish "what some consider a sweeping and detailed plan for managing BLM land over the next 25 years."
 
The AMA and ATVA need your help to make Congress aware of our concerns with the AGO initiative. The fastest way to reach your Senators and Representative is to call them. You can find contact information for your elected officials at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation, then enter your zip code in the "Find your Officials" box. A prewritten e-mail is available for you to send to your federal elected official immediately by following the "Take Action" option and entering your information.
 
For more information about how to protect your right to ride, please visit the Get Involved section of the AMA website. For direct access, click here.
 
Again, the AMA and the ATVA urge you to write or call your Senators and Representative today and ask them to address our concerns with the AGO initiative that may make public land off limits to responsible off-highway riders. Please forward this alert to friends and family to help spread the message as rapidly as possible.

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