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AMA News and Notes: April 2017

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. - President Donald Trump signed a resolution in March allowing use of the Congressional Review Act to block the implementation of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Planning 2.0 rule. The rule, touted by environmental groups, was opposed by the AMA and by state and local governments because the rule reduced local input on management plans for public lands. It also failed to address the economic impact and administrative costs of the proposed changes. U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced H.J.Res. 44 on Jan. 30. It passed the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 234 - 186 on Feb. 7. The Senate voted 51-48 in support of the resolution on March 7.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Three federal bills have been introduced to halt the spread of E15 fuel, which contains as much as 15 percent ethanol by volume. H.R. 1314, introduced by U.S. Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-Va.), calls for the elimination of the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is the section of the Clean Air Act that provides minimum volumes for renewable fuels each year. Goodlatte's second bill, H.R. 1315, would cap ethanol blending at current levels and ban the sale of blends higher than 10 percent ethanol (E10). H.R. 199, introduced by U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas), also would cap ethanol fuel blends at 10 percent.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Forest Service is seeking suggestions from the motorized-trail community to prioritize trail maintenance efforts. According to the Government Accounting Office, roughly one-third of the 157,000 miles of National Forest System Trails are not maintained to agency standards. The National Forest Trails Stewardship Act, passed in 2016, set a goal of increasing trail maintenance by volunteers by 100 percent within 5 years. The law also provides that the cost of volunteer liability must be shared across the agency and each administrative unit of the Forest Service must develop a plan for staff to coordinate volunteer efforts. Different Forest Service regional offices have varying deadlines for submitting comments. Check www.fs.usda.gov for information about each region.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued two secretarial orders on March 2 that expand access to public lands and increase hunting, fishing and recreation opportunities nationwide. Secretarial Order No. 3346 overturns the recent ban of lead ammunition and fish tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities. The order highlights the need for additional review and consultation with local stakeholders. Secretarial Order No. 3347 advances conservation stewardship, improves game and habitat management and increases outdoor recreation opportunities by directing bureaus and agencies to immediately identify areas where recreation and fishing can be expanded. The order also requests input from the Wildlife and Hunting Heritage Conservation Council and Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council to provide recommendations on enhancing and expanding access on public lands and improving habitat for fish and wildlife.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Arizona Congressman Paul A. Gosar has earned the AMA Hero Award,presented by the American Motorcyclist Association for his support of motorcyclists' rights and issues of importance to motorcycling. The award was presented March 24 at the Washington, D.C., office of the American Motorcyclist Association. Gosar, a Republican from Prescott, Ariz., was the only member of the 114th Congress to achieve a 100 percent score on motorcycling issues, including co-sponsorships for key bills and a vote.

State News

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - The AMA is asking all motorcyclists to support Assembly Bill 1077, which seeks to build on the success of the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program and eliminates the program's sunset provisions. All OHV recreationists should immediately contact their elected officials and remind them of the benefits the program provides to every citizen and visitor to California. The OHMVR program uses no general fund money and is, in fact, based on a user-pay, user-benefit model. Money used to pay for the program include taxes collected on fuel, State Vehicle Recreation Areas entrance fees and vehicle registrations (green and red stickers). It is incumbent on the California Legislature to deliver on the promises made during previous OHMVR program re-authorizations that this and similar "user pay, user benefit" programs remain untouched. The OHV community has long paid its own way and will continue to do so, as long as the money is used for its intended purpose.

AUGUSTA, Ga. - The state Senate is considering two bills to limit E15 fuels. S.B. 115 would ban the sale of all fuels containing ethanol. S.R. 205 would request that Congress eliminate all requirements for the use of ethanol in fuels.

BOISE, Idaho - State senators killed a bill that would have prohibited the profiling of motorcyclistsby law enforcement agencies. The bill had passed the state Assembly in February with a unanimous vote. Senate opponents fear the measure would give criminal motorcyclists a way to avoid arrest. Sen. Dan Foreman (R-Moscow) said existing laws already prohibit stopping someone "for no reason other than the fact that they're wearing a leather jacket or riding a Harley-Davidson."

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - The state Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking an off-highway-vehicle trainer to teach ethics, stewardship and how to safely and responsibly operate an OHV. The trainer will be responsible for teaching classes, including classroom and field components for the public, DPR employees, state and federal government agencies, schools and other groups. For more information, visit www.labor.idaho.gov/DHR/ATS/StateJobs/jobannouncement.aspx?announcement_no=05126022041.

SALT LAKE CITY - A bill to allow lane splitting died in the House by a vote of 45-29. The bill would have allowed lane splitting at speeds up to 40 mph when the rider determined it was safe.

SALT LAKE CITY - Lawmakers are debating a bill that would raise the age for mandatory motorcycle helmet use to 21. The state currently requires helmets for riders and passengers younger than 18. Opponents argued that the age of majority should be the same for all state laws. Greg Douglas, vice president of Utah ABATE, said untrained riders are a more significant hazard to motorcyclists than lack of safety gear. He said lawmakers should focus on educating and training riders, not on forcing riders to wear helmets that give people a "false sense of security."

SANPETE COUNTY, Utah - The 220-mile Arapeen OHV Trail system in Manti-La Sal National Forest is slated for improvements under a Polaris Foundation grant to the National Park Foundation. The $66,000 grant will be used to provide critical trail infrastructure improvements in the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area. Improvements are scheduled to begin in this summer. "The Arapeen OHV Trail System is one of Utah's great high-mountain trails. It is open to side by sides, ATVs, 4x4 vehicles and motorcycles. The best time to ride is July through September," said Kevin Christensen, Sanpete County economic development director. The Polaris Foundation donation contributed to the National Park Foundation's Centennial Campaign for America's National Parks.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The state Senate voted against moving forward with a bill to repeal the mandatory motorcycle helmet law. But it may still be alive. The bill was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee, but was not moved to the Health Committee for consideration. State Sen. Mark Maynard, a Wayne County Republican, said the Health Committee referral isn't needed, and the Judiciary Committee will review the bill.

Industry News

MORGANTOWN, Ind. - AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Michael Farabaugh, founder of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, has passed away. He was 68 years old. Mr. Farabaugh was a leader in the grassroots motorcyclists' rights movement, as well as rider safety. He was the executive director of ABATE of Indiana from 1978 to 1990, guiding that organization from a small group of 600 members to a thriving organization 12,000 strong. Mr. Farabaugh served on the AMA Board of Directors and founded the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, an organization he led as president for years.  Mr. Farabaugh was a chief instructor for the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and operated the Movin' On Motorcycle School. He was also a noted motorcycling photographer, author and philanthropist. To learn more about Mr. Farabaugh and his contributions to motorcycling, see his AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Biography.

ROME - MV Agusta's business restructuring plan was approved by an Italian court, allowing the motorcycle manufacturer to avoid liquidation and opening the way for a deal with the Black Ocean Group. The Anglo-Russian private equity firm may then take over the financial position held by Mercedes-AMG. MV Agusta has a goal of producing 5,000 motorcycles a year with a workforce reduced by about 200 employees. Mercedes-AMG acquired a 25 percent stake in MV Agusta in 2014.

International News

DEBERT, Nova Scotia, Canada - Racer Gary McKinnon was inducted into the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame. McKinnon, 65, was the first racer to win three Maritime Road Racing titles (1975, '76, '84). He won the 1999 Canadian heavyweight vintage championship, won the first race at Atlantic Motorsport Park in 1974 in the 750 production class and was a multiple winner on the Atlantic Road Racing League series. He was inducted into Maritime Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2014.

ADELAIDE, Australia - South Australia has introduced rules for lane filtering by motorcyclists.The rules, which go into effect April 15, limits lane splitting to holders of full motorcycle licenses traveling 30 km/h or less. Learner riders and P-permit holders are not allowed to filter. And no filtering is permitted in school zones or pedestrian crossings or between cars and the curb. Officials said the move is intended to improve safety for motorcyclists.

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - Troy Clark of Littleton, Colo., is the winner of a 2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000 ABS in the 2016 AMA Member Sweepstakes. Anyone who joined or renewed a membership with the AMA between January 2016 and December 2016 was automatically entered into the sweepstakes. The Suzuki GSX-S1000 ABS was one of two bikes up for grabs in the 2016 sweepstakes. Motorcyclists who join or renew a membership from Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017, are automatically entered for a chance to win more than 100 prizes in the 2017 AMA Member Sweepstakes. Grand prizes are two more motorcycles, including a 2016 Suzuki GSX-S750. The 2017 AMA Member Sweepstakes includes prizes from Yamaha, AMAgear.com, Dowco, Liberty Sport, Scala Rider, Tourmaster, Cortech, and Shark Kage. To learn more about the sweepstakes, visit www.americanmotorcyclist.com/For-Members/Member-Sweepstakes.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - AMA member Bill Chick, of Indiana, Pa., dropped by the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on March 10 to collect his prize in the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Raffle. Chick won the 1975 BMW R75/6 motorcycle customized by renowned custom bike builder Tony Prust of Analog Motorcycles in Chicago. Chick's name was drawn during the Mama Tried Motorcycle Show on Feb. 17 in Milwaukee. The raffle is a fundraiser for the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that raises money for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame on the AMA campus. To donate to the Hall of Fame and get a chance to win a beautiful 1966 Harley-Davidson FLH, visit www.motorcyclemuseum.org. The donation is $5 per entry, five entries for $20. Entrants must be 18 years or older and a resident of the United States to win. The Harley-Davidson winner will be selected and announced at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 7-9, at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio - The AMA is hosting a free Road Captain workshop, presented by Bill Snodgrass of the Red Knights MC, to equip riders to be better leaders on group rides. Topics to be covered include: the definition of a Road Captain, group riding, safety, ride planning, hand and arm signals, Air Med International and more. Two sessions are planned on Saturday, April 22 at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, 13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, Ohio. The first is 10 a.m. to noon. The second is 1-3 p.m. To register for the morning session, click here. To register for the afternoon session, click here.

 

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