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An occasional feature of BLM California's News.bytes

Spotlight on Partners: Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division

The best relationships are those where both parties involved pool their resources to create something greater than they could have created separately.  Such relationships are technically called "synergistic", but a simpler term is a strong partnership, which BLM-California enjoys with the State of California's Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.

The partnership dates back to 1971 and is simple to describe:  BLM has substantial amounts of public lands in California suitable for off-highway vehicle recreation and the State has more than 1.3 million registered off-Highway vehicles, and more than 3 million 4x4 vehicles, many of which are used to access public lands by Californians who want a safe and legal place in which to recreate. (text continues below)

Quad riders enjoy the sand at the Imperial Sand Dunes
Quad riders head out to the dunes at the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreation Area

Both BLM and the OHMVR Division (part of the California Department of Parks and Recreation) agree that the large majority of OHV recreationists are responsible users who are willing to pay fees and part of their gasoline taxes to ensure OHV areas are well managed and other sensitive lands are protected and, if necessary, restored.  OHMVR Division Director Daphne Greene works closely with BLM managers who apply to the Division and the citizen-controlled OHMVR Commission for "green sticker program" grants.

Since 1971, BLM has received over $100 million in grants.  This two-pronged approach – enhancing opportunities for responsible use on appropriate public lands, while protecting and restoring sensitive lands impacted by unauthorized use -- plus working with organized OHV groups to educate vehicle users about both, makes this partnership unique among the western States. 

With California continuing to grow, and pressure building near urban areas for safe OHV opportunities, both the State Vehicular Recreation Areas and the BLM areas will become even more important.  The goal will be to insure that quality recreational opportunities remain available for future generations by providing for education, conservation, and enforcement efforts that balance OHV recreation impact with programs that conserve and protect cultural and natural resources.

A dirt biker rider adjusts his helmet
A BLM ranger speaks with a dirt bike rider on El Mirage Dry Lake
A BLM representative speaks with a dirt bike rider on El Mirage Dry Lake

State of California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division

BLM-California News.bytes, issue 414

Last updated: 12-30-2009