California Native Plant Society

Conservation Actions & Archives

Off-Highway Vehicle Modernization and Reform

Off-highway vehicles cause ongoing and severe environmental degradation, making it essential that OHV users adhere to laws designed to protect our natural resources. But abuse is flagrant, and enforcement weak.

CNPS believes that everyone has a right to recreate in our beautiful wild spaces, but nobody has a right to destroy them. Off-highway vehicle use must occur legally and responsibly, and that starts with its governing body.

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Program

California's OHMVR Program, set to sunset at the end of 2017, is designed to ensure residents can enjoy OHV recreation in a sustainable and safe manner. Since its inception, the Legislature has periodically assessed and reauthorized the program. The most recent extension, 10 years ago, sought to improve program administration, environmental protection and law enforcement via grants to non-state facilities. Today, the OHMVR Program needs to be reauthorized in a way that continues public use while aligning with the mission and general resource protection efforts of the Department of Parks & Recreation (DPR).

New Legislative Opportunities - SB 249

In February, State Senator Ben Allen introduced SB 249, a bill to reform and modernize the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division of California State Parks. CNPS, in conjunction with a coalition of environmental organizations, helped draft the bill, which seeks stronger protection for state park natural and cultural resources along with greater accountability for the OHMVR Division.

How You Can Help

SB 249 is set to move through two committee hearings: The Natural Resource and Wildlife Committee Hearing on March 14 and later, the Transportation Committee. You can help in a number of ways:

  1. Attend an upcoming committee hearing to voice your support in person
  2. Contact voting members of the California Senate Natural Resource and Transportation committees to voice your support of SB 249.
  3. Join CNPS to receive conservation alerts and updates.
  4. Donateto support the CNPS Conservation Program.


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