The following is a news release from the American Motorcyclist Association.
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson calls on federal government to block riding opportunities
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — During a White House-sponsored conference on America's Great Outdoors on April 16, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson called for measures that would lock-up more public lands, including the possibility of banning motorized recreation, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.
"While Richardson expresses the importance of recreation to his state in the form of tax receipts and jobs, his method of blocking motorized access to millions of acres of public lands has the potential to threaten the livelihood of many in the state he governs," said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "AMA members need to express opposition to both the DOI plan for expanding the National Monument network, as well as any congressional action that would ban responsible motorized recreation on our public lands."
In his opening statement, Richardson urged the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) to move forward on its National Monument expansion plan. The AMA previously reported on an internal administration document that would set aside 13 million acres in 11 western states without any consideration in Congress. The action could prohibit off-highway riding in the affected areas. For more information on America's Great Outdoors and Governor Richardson's comments, see www.doi.gov/americasgreatoutdoors/index.cfm.
In a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar dated Feb. 18, 2010, the AMA addressed the concerns of its members and other user groups, stating its opposition to designating areas National Monuments without any public debate. The Interior Department responded to the AMA's letter, claiming the internal document was merely a "brainstorming session." However, Richardson's endorsement of the plan may give the concept further traction within the Administration. To view DOI's response, see AmericanMotorcyclist.com/legisltn/documents/DOI_Response_Nat_Mon_3-30-10.pdf.
Additionally, the governor, who is nearing the end of his current term, expressed the need for Congress to develop another omnibus public lands bill. This would follow in the footsteps of the omnibus public lands bill that the President signed into law on March 30, 2009. That bill closed off more than 2 million acres to responsible motorized recreation with virtually no public input.
AMA members and other concerned motorcyclists can contact their elected officials and ask them to oppose the DOI plan by going to AmericanMotorcyclist.com> Rights> Issues & Legislation (AmericanMotorcyclist.com/legisltn/rapidresponse.asp) and entering their zip code in the "Find your Officials" box. Additionally, a prewritten e-mail is available to send immediately by following the "Take Action" option.
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.