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Harry Reid Pulls Omnibus Public Lands Bill

Wednesday, December 22, 2010
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has dropped his effort to pass a massive omnibus public lands bill that would have restricted responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to thousands of acres of public land, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Reid introduced the legislation, S. 303, the "America's Great Outdoors Act of 2010," on Friday, Dec. 17, as a substitute to unrelated legislation titled the "Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009." Reid's move was reminiscent of the controversial parliamentary tactic that anti-OHV forces used in 2009 to close 2.1 million acres of public land.

American Motorcyclist Association
"We are cautiously optimistic that this latest effort to keep the American public from responsibly enjoying America's public lands has failed," said AMA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "AMA members played no small role in this provisional success, and we thank our subscribers who responded to AMA Action Alerts to oppose this pending legislation.

"However, we must remain vigilant because Reid has indicated a desire for a smaller version of S. 303 prior to adjournment," said Moreland. "The current session can possibly run through Jan. 4, 2011."

Moreland added that in addition to the recent AMA Action Alert on this issue, the AMA has issued letters and applied procedural pressure to combat Reid's effort to restrict access to public lands. To read the latest alert, see http://capwiz.com/amacycle/callalert/index.tt?alertid=20980501.

Reid's bill was a collection of more than 70 measures and more than 1,000 pages. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.) was one of several senators who protested the legislation, saying it was too sweeping to consider prior to the end of the current session. In addition, key representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, such as House Natural Resources Chairman-elect Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), voiced opposition to the measure.

"We need to protect public land for future generations, not from future generations, and that includes responsible OHV recreation access," Moreland said. "In addition, legislation deserves a full and public debate on its merits, and parliamentary tricks and sleight-of-hand, such as what we saw in 2009 and what we've experienced here, do not allow that."

To receive the latest on this and other issues that affect the motorcycling and OHV community, sign up to receive AMA Action Alerts at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation.

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Comments
Tuono -EverGiveUp?  December 24, 2010 12:21 PM
Holy Batman, does a certain political party and certain people in that party ever give up on trying to curtail our opportunities to enjoy ourselves? As usual, they think the government will do things better than anyone else. Give it up Harry, you don't get it and never will!
yoc skeem -Fatboy04  December 22, 2010 03:17 PM
My goodness, will the american people ever be rid of this insidious cancer, harry Reid, on our government and our country
kevin -good news!  December 22, 2010 02:59 PM
What seems like a rare win these days for riding land. 70 measures and 1000 pages? Do these Senators and Representatives have time for that? Seems the unemployment rate, the trade deficit, our education system, national debt, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, and those couple wars we have going on would be keeping them pretty busy. Those problems must have been solved already. I'll check the headlines again and see.