Jeff Knoll represented ORBA at the 2012 NAMRC meeting in Las Vegas Nevada. The yearly meeting is the only opportunity OHV access leaders have a chance to meet in a face to face setting. The meeting focuses on sharing ideas, best practices, and success stories as well as failures and how they can be avoided.
Here is the complete content of the ORBA report.
NAMRC Meeting ORBA 2012 Report
- Current Membership 160 business members
- Estimated business membership reach through affiliates, partners, and publications exceed 15,000.
ORBA membership is up 6.2% for 2012 over 2011 and gaining momentum. Our strengths this year have been centered on our written business plan. Changes in our Board of Directors, overhauling of our website, and increased communication with our membership through our monthly newsletter (which is available for free via email) have been paramount. In addition we have increased reliance on our strategic partnerships including SEMA, MIC, Off Road Expo, Off-Road Business Magazine, AMA District 36 and District 37, Tread Lightly, and the newly formed International Side X Side Association.
ORBA remains engaged in the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) as one of two appointed representatives from the OHV industry. It starting to become apparent that the NEPA and CEQA process that the DRECP is trying to streamline is a process that works, and streamlining is proving a daunting task.
ORBA retains its position on the Desert Advisory Committee’s (DAC) BLM Special Recreation Permit (SRP) Sub Committee serving the California Desert District (CDD) of the BLM. The BLM Barstow district has seen a change in management that has left the SRP sub Committee in flux, but the work of the sub committee has affected changes in the SRP process in the California Desert, most notably the use of promoter contracted Monitors to off set some of the costs and assist the BLM employees, on larger events.
Among our most important items is the 29Palms Marine Base expansion and our leadership role in the California Motorized Recreation Council (CMRC). The Johnson Valley OHV area Sub Committee continues to be a model for collaborative efforts between the largest OHV associations and the various regional organizations working in a unified effort. (Full report under Johnson valley Update)
We continue our participation on the regular national phone conference from Washington DC. Please see attached Letter to USFS Chief Tidwell on OHV Categorical Exclusions (CE) for Soil and Water Restoration Activities. This letter was developed through the work of this National Phone Conference.
Our participation in Ecologic Partners has yielded a win in the Truckhaven lawsuit. Ecologic partners is; ORBA, American Sand Association, and AMA District 37. (Additional funding for the lawsuit was provided by; San Diego Off Road Coalition, Tierra Del Sol, and the California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs.) The lawsuit is the first time in California an OHV group has successfully challenged a trail or route closure. Ecologic has challenged the State Parks trail closures in the Truckhaven area; the court has tentatively ruled in our favor and intends to grant our Petition for Writ of Mandate, setting aside State Parks’ decision to close Truckhaven trails without doing a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review. This Lawsuit cost Ecologic Partners and its sponsors over $130,000 to fund.
ORBA’s California Lobbyists Terry McHale continues his engagement on the subject of the California OHMVR trust and the absence of the Deputy Director. ORBA has solicited the appointment of ORBA member Shannon Welch to the California Parks Department OHMVR Commission. After the elections we expect to be better positioned to affect change with our partners on this subject, AMA D36, AMA D37, Cal 4 wheel, ASA, and CNSA.
ORBA is working with UTV owners to help form the International Side X Side Association (ISA). While we understand the needs of the manufactures to create model legislation to counter the Consumer Products Safety Commission we feel that the end user was not properly represented in the discussion of AB1595. In an effort to assist ROHVA and our Manufacture membership we are fostering the creation of the ISA. Our contribution has so far been limited to consulting leadership on items required to establish the foundation, and offer assistance with directing the efforts to influence organization. We hope the ISA will gain a voice in the process of UTV related Legislation in the future. The ISA has also developed a significant set of safety guidelines for UTV racing. The ISA is working closely with the author of AB 1595, and its sister bill AB1226, to identify opportunities to improve the language of the standards for rider safety.
Roy Denner the Founder of the Off Road Business Association was inducted into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame last month. He is remembered as a true off-road champion working tirelessly to preserve public lands for OHV access until his passing in 2009.
ORBA President/CEO Fred Wiley attended a meeting and lunch on August 21,2012 with the United States House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner. Several key congressional leaders including Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy and State Assemblyman David Valadao attended the meeting. The purpose of this event was focused on the business atmosphere of the United States, and how to accomplish future growth.
Fred, and Jeff visited a number of Legislators this year including a trip to Washington DC. They include but are not limited to; Congressman Buck McKeon, Ed Royce, Kevin McCarthy, Joe Baca, Jerry Lewis, Darrel Issa, Mary Bono Mack, Ken Calvert and Devin Nunes. We also met with the staffs of Senator Feinstein, and Boxer.
Perhaps the most successful campaign we participated in was the CMRC sponsored OHV Lobby days in which we asked the public to schedule a meeting with their local legislators and go directly to their home office and speak as a constituent. We hope to help expand this campaign nationally. It will take place during Congressional recess in March 2013.