Any form of outdoor recreation can cause environmental degradation: hiking, camping, fishing, and off-roading. But off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity in particular causes ongoing and severe environmental degradation. The longer an area is used the damage multiplies. These realities make it essential that OHV users adhere to laws designed to protect our natural resources. Now, a new law, Senate Bill 249, is helping to address these challenges.
In 2017, CNPS led efforts to support Senate Bill 249, sponsored by California State Senator Ben Allen . The legislation passed unanimously in September and has been called a win-win for California. The new law marks an important step forward in an ongoing effort to protect our natural resources from illegal and ill-advised OHV recreation. The legislation now addresses OHV abuses in three ways:
Greater Environmental Protection01
SB 249 improves transparency and clarifies common sense steps to protect our sensitive cultural and natural The science and understanding of conservation continuously changes and managing OHV recreation needs to change with it.
Better Value for our Dollars02
The OHV Program enjoys a substantial 100% surplus ($117.5m in 2017/18) and yet illegal riding and resource damage continues to be a serious problem. SB 249 calls on the State to do a better job enforcing laws and protecting natural and cultural resources on state, federal and private lands.
SB 249 clarifies State Parks organization and management to improve efficiency and transparency. It seeks to have the entire State Parks network serve as a unified system providing a variety of recreation opportunities while protecting what we all love about California.
What We Believe
CNPS believes that everyone has a right to recreate in our beautiful wild spaces, but nobody has a right to destroy them.