AMA News & Notes: August 2020
National, regional, state and local news for motorcyclists
National and Regional News
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act on July 22, approving $9.5 billion during the next five years to address a maintenance and repair backlog in national parks and other public lands. The National Park Service will get 70 percent of the money; the U.S. Forest Service will receive 15 percent; and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the Bureau of Indian Education schools each will receive 5 percent. The funding for the National Parks and Public Land Legacy Restoration Fund comes from energy production on federally controlled lands and waters, including renewable energy and oil and gas drilling.
SHOSHONE, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Shoshone field office, Twin Falls district, is asking the public to review and provide input on an environmental assessment that analyzes recreation and public access in the Wood River Valley. The overall purpose of the environmental assessment is to consider expanding trail-based recreation and camping opportunities. Specifically, it examines the construction of trails, trailheads and campsite roads, changing existing trail designations and modifying seasonal OHV and temporary restrictions. The 30-day public comment period ends on Aug. 21. The environmental assessment can be viewed on the BLM National Environmental Policy Act register website at eplanning.blm.gov/eplanning-ui/home. Written comments can be submitted online at the NEPA register site; mailed to the BLM Shoshone Field Office at 400 W. F St., Shoshone, ID 83352, or emailed to email@example.com. Before including personally identifiable information in comments, be advised that the entire comment may be made publicly available.
NELSONVILLE, Ohio — The Wayne National Forest in Ohio has released initial assessment and supporting documents, the first step in the process of revising its forest plan. The plan revision is a three phase process: assessment, plan development and implementation and monitoring. With the release of the assessment, the forest will be entering the plan development phase of this process. The assessment is intended to be a rapid evaluation of existing information on the current and changing ecological, social and economic conditions prevalent across the forest and the broader study area. The assessment helps justify the need to change the current forest plan, which was released in 2006. The documents are available on the forest’s plan revision web page. Along with the assessment documents, information on species of conservation concern and the recommended wilderness process are available for public review and feedback. Information about how to provide input on these processes is also provided on the webpage. As the forest enters the next phase of the plan revision process, engagement opportunities will be available to members of the public. Details will be posted at the plan revision web page and Facebook page. Members of the public with questions are encouraged to contact the revision team at (740) 753-0555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission has scheduled a virtual meeting for Aug. 6. The OHMVR Commission will be using the video conferencing service Zoom to host the meeting and allow remote public participation. To register for the meeting, visit us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2XWQqZxzTReqW8uMxsL0rQ. Additional information, including the meeting agenda, is available on the OHMVR Commission Meetings web page.
BURLEY, Idaho — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management Burley field office is seeking public comment on a proposal to change the overnight camping and entrance fees at both the Lud Drexler park and Milner historic recreation area. The fee changes are proposed due to increased maintenance costs. The proposed fees will enable the agency to improve services and amenities. The current overnight camping fee at Lud Drexler park, unchanged since 1992, is $5 per vehicle. Current fees at Milner historic recreation area, unchanged since 1997, are $5 per vehicle for overnight camping and $3 per vehicle for day use. The proposed changes would raise the overnight camping fee to $15 per night per campsite and raise day use fees to $5 at both locations. Annual passes will increase from $25 to $50 and be valid for both sites. The changes are expected to raise approximately $30,000 annually, which would be used at both recreation areas. The draft business plan is available for review at blm.gov/programs/recreation/permits-and-fees/business-plans or as a hard copy at the Burley field office. Comments, including questions, should be submitted before Aug. 10 to Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Recreation Program, 15 E. 200 S., Burley, Idaho, 83318, or submit electronically to BLM_ID_BurleyOffice@blm.gov, subject line, Recreation Program.
SMELTERVILLE, Idaho — The U.S. Forest Service Idaho Panhandle resource advisory committee will hold a virtual meeting at 1 p.m. on Aug. 6. The committee is authorized under the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act and operates in compliance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act. The purpose of the committee is to improve collaborative relationships and to provide advice and recommendations to the Forest Service concerning projects and funding consistent with Title II of the Act. Additional meeting information can be found at fs.usda.gov/main/ipnf/workingtogether/advisorycommittees. Agenda items include introducing new RAC members; discussing the status of 2019 RAC-approved projects; and discussing the solicitation and review of new Title II project proposals. This meeting is open to the public. Written comments must be sent to Phillip Blundell, RAC coordinator, P.O. Box 159, Smelterville, ID 83868; to email@example.com; or to (208) 783-2101.
BOZEMAN, Mont. — Completing a four-year process that included 98 meetings and webinars and collaboration with forest users and nearby communities, the Custer Gallatin National Forest has released its final revised land management plan and environmental impact statement. The plan highlights the potential for more than 200 new jobs in the region and about $10 million in additional labor income. The plan also will help set priorities for investments that support work with state partners, tribes, communities and stakeholders to achieve active landscape management, vegetation and wildlife conservation, and help maintain sustainable mining, grazing, forest products and recreation industries. The plan details the desired conditions, standards, guidelines and objectives that would provide the foundation of future management activities across the forest for the next 10 to 15 years or longer. The final environmental impact statement analyzes the environmental, social and economic effects of the proposed land management plan and lays out several alternatives. The draft record of decision describes the selected alternative, which will become the land management plan. All project documents, including instructions on how-to object, are available on the Forest Plan Revision website. Master hardcopies are available for reference by appointment only at local ranger district offices or on thumb drive. Objection or resolution-centered meetings will be announced upon the determination of objection standing, and information will be available in the late fall. The objection process also includes an “interested persons” format for those who wish to know how objections are resolved. “Interested persons” includes any party not named in the objection and individuals who submitted substantive formal comments demonstrating their participation in the planning process. Information for filing as an interested person is available online at fs.usda.gov/custergallatin. Click on “Forest Plan Revision.” Final documents, maps, how-to and archived information also are available online. For more information, contact Mariah Leuschen-Lonergan at (406) 587-6735.
LACONIA, N.H. — The City Council agreed in July to allow Laconia Motorcycle Week to occur Aug. 22-30, but without many of the activities attendees have enjoyed at past rallies. Vendor booths are banned, except for the Motorcycle Week Association and some local nonprofit organizations. Mayor Andrew Hosmer said before the vote that the council was trying to strike a balance between the economic concerns of local businesses which rely on the event for a large part of their income, and the need to safeguard public health during the coronavirus pandemic.
QUEENSBURY, N.Y. — About 50 motorcyclists gathered in a business parking lot for Americade Underground on July 25, an effort to keep some of their traditions alive despite the fact that the Americade motorcycle touring rally in Lake George was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The riders rode from Queensbury to Lake George and spent the day, maintaining proper distancing and wearing face coverings, an organizer said.
PIERRE, S.D. — The state Department of Transportation and the Department of Tourism are gathering information on the effect of tribal coronavirus checkpoints on those traveling to the state for the Sturgis motorcycle rally, which is scheduled for Aug. 7-16. Since April, the Cheyenne River Sioux and the Oglala Sioux tribes have operated COVID-19 traffic checkpoints on several state and federal highways that cross their reservations. The checkpoints are not motorcycle-only, but apply to all vehicles. The annual rally drew an estimated 490,000 people in 2019. Organizers and government officials expect far fewer this year—200,000 to 250,000—for a rally scaled down considerably because of the pandemic.
AUSTIN, Texas — The state Department of Transportation has launched a “Share the Road; Look Twice For Motorcycles Campaign” to call attention to rider safety. According to a DOT press release, 61 percent of fatal motorcycle crashes occur between May and October each year, peak riding season. In 2019, 30 percent of fatal crashes occurred in an intersection. “You need to pay attention, stay back, and give everybody, especially motorcyclists, extra room,” said Sonja Gross, DOT Amarillo District public information officer. “Give driving your full attention. Pay attention at those intersections and be extra careful when you’re making left turns, and most importantly, slow down.”
IRVINE, Calif. — Motorcycle industry veteran and 2013 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year Larry Little is retiring after more than 40 years of involvement in publishing, consulting, co-founding the American International Motorcycle Expo, volunteering at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and serving the Motorcycle Industry Council. “We’re looking forward to spending time with grandkids and visiting those folks whom we’ve missed over the years while being active participants in the industry,” Little said of his wife, Stephanie Britt Little and himself.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA Board of Directors has voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 AMA Championship Banquet and AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony for 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was part of the 2019 AMA Legends & Champions Weekend, Dec. 6-7. The board further asked AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman to direct staff to: Make provisions for delivering AMA National No. 1 plates to riders who win national championships in series and AMA Grand Championships successfully held in 2020; and explore remote alternatives for AMA Congress, the annual meeting for debating and proposing rule updates for AMA-sanctioned activity. “The board made clear that its decision was to protect attendees from exposure to the coronavirus, particularly with the likelihood for an additional surge in cases next winter when the year-end celebrations are traditionally held,” said AMA Chief Operating Officer James Holter. “The board also felt that canceling the events was a responsible financial decision in light of expected low attendance, and the time and resource commitment necessary to hold such celebrations.”
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The 2020 American Motorcyclist Association Hillclimb Grand Championship, the amateur national championship event for motorcycle and ATV hillclimb, is rescheduled for Sept. 19-20 at the Pioneer Motorcycle Club in Waterford, Ohio. The event, originally planned for Aug. 7-9 in Wisconsin’s Pierce County, was canceled in response to the coronavirus pandemic. To comply with the AMA’s requirement for rescheduling the event, Pioneer Motorcycle Club President Les Wolfe and the WCHD created a COVID-19 mitigation plan, including health checks, face masks, social distancing, hand sanitizers, appropriate signage and a spectator ban.
PICKERINGTON, Ohio — About 200 motorcyclists attended an open house and bike night supporting the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame museum July 11. During the event, AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman drew the winning ticket for a 1973 BMW R75/5 sidecar rig raffle bike restored by Jay Medieros of Vintage Triumph Supply in Bedford, Mass. The winner was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer Mary McGee. Also at the event, U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) introduced a resolution recognizing July 11 as “Antique Motorcycle Enthusiast Day.”
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