AMA News & Notes: May 2020

National and regional news for motorcyclists

National and Regional News

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Clean Fuels Deployment Act of 2020 authorizes $500 million over five years to help retailers sell higher ethanol blends—primarily E15—expand the geographic area selling ethanol blends and support the biodiesel, bioheat and aviation fuel markets. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) introduced the bill—which does not yet have a bill number—which is cosponsored by U.S. Reps. Angie Craig (D-Minn.), Don Bacon (R-Neb.) Roger Marshall (R-Kan.). The AMA opposes the expansion of E15 fuel into the marketplace, because it contains 15 percent ethanol by volume, 50 percent more ethanol than motorcycles and ATVs are certified to operate on by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has opened the nomination process to fill five seats on the Bears Ears National Monument Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice and recommendations for the BLM to consider on a wide range of public land management issues. Members should plan to meet quarterly. Although members serve without monetary compensation, travel and per diem expenses are reimbursed at current rates for government employees. Committee members will be appointed to three-year terms. At least one letter of reference must accompany all nominations from any represented interests or organizations, a completed RAC application and any other information that speaks to the nominee’s qualifications. Nominees should note the interest area(s) they are applying to represent on their application. Visit for additional information. The deadline to apply is May 22.

State News

EL CENTRO, Calif. — The U.S. Bureau of Land Management El Centro Field Office is seeking written comments on additional off-highway vehicle routes in the Vinagre Wash Special Management Area near Palo Verde, Imperial County. The comment period ends May 21. This Special Management Area, designated under the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act in March 2019, allows for the consideration of additional routes that would provide significant or unique recreational opportunities and are consistent with the purposes of the Management Area. The purpose of the Special Management Area is to conserve, protect and enhance the plant and wildlife values and the outstanding and nationally significant ecological, geological, scenic, recreational, archaeological, cultural, historic and other areas of the area. The map identifying the current designated route network and wilderness system is available at Comments help shape public recreation opportunities for hiking, camping, hunting, sightseeing, mountain biking, horse riding and OHV use. The BLM will accept written comments on proposed additional routes via email at, or by mail to El Centro Field Office, Attn: Vinagre Wash, 1661 S. 4th St., El Centro, CA 92243.

FOLSOM, Calif. — The AMA encourages riders to review and comment on the recently released Mammoth Bar motocross track project details and associated environmental documents. The project involves moving the motocross track back from the river to an existing parking and picnic area, reducing the chances of flood damage in the future. The existing parking area, picnic tables, and trials area would be relocated to the east side of the river bar. Fill from the old track would be used to build bank turns and jumps on the level portions of the relocated track. After boulders are removed from the slope of the trials area, fill would be used to incorporate additional turns, minimizing the need for fill placement. Because this area is adjacent to the ascending canyon flank, the track would be engineered to effectively control surface runoff from the upslope terrain. The track would be fenced to prevent access during non-operating days. Access to the river boating put-in will be re-established around the relocated track. The Initial Study and Mitigated Negative Declaration can be viewed and downloaded from the California State Parks website at Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s executive order (N-33-20) and related county orders, which require “shelter in place,” restricted movement and closure of many public buildings, physical hard copies of the document are not being made available at public offices at this time. Written comments must be received by 5 p.m. May 27, and may be sent to (enter “Mammoth Bar Project” in the subject line) or sent via U.S. mail to Peter Jones, Environmental Scientist, California State Parks, Gold Fields District, 7806 Folsom-Auburn Road, Folsom, CA 95630. For more information, can contact the Gold Fields district office at (916) 985-5662.

OCEANO, Calif. — An online meeting about the Oceano Dunes Habitat Conservation Plan draft environmental impact report is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 13. Registration is required to receive a link to the meeting. Registration may occur any time prior to the meeting and up to 30 minutes after the meeting has started. Meeting participation is the only way to submit verbal comment on the report. Click here to register. The public may also submit written comments by emailing Additional information on the public meeting, HCP, and EIR can be found at the project website at

PLACERVILLE, Calif. — The seasonal closure of dirt roads and motorized trails in the Eldorado National Forest will be lifted beginning today, May 1. However, damage could still occur from driving in wet areas and visitors will be responsible for any damage caused by inappropriate use. Due to melting snow, wet areas will be present in the forest for some time, especially at higher elevations. Many routes change in elevation over several miles. Visitors are encouraged to be aware of changes in the conditions of the roads they are using, and to adjust travel plans if they reach a wet section. This seasonal closure is designed to protect roadbeds and watersheds from damage and to protect water quality, and is not a result of the coronavirus closures. While trails in the forest are open for use, the forest does recommend complying with local and state guidance and not traveling for your recreation needs. Closures also remain in effect for developed campgrounds, cabin rentals, picnic areas, public restrooms, boat ramps and other recreation facilities in response to the COVID-19 emergency. For a list of closed sites in the Eldorado National Forest, see the March 27 news release.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The AMA joins ABATE of Maryland and other SMROs in mourning the passing of Gary “Pappy” Boward on April 17. He became state director of ABATE of Maryland in 1995 and later became chairman of the Board of Advisors of Past Directors before again returning to serve as state director. Boward was a fixture in Annapolis, representing Maryland’s motorcyclists in the halls of the state legislature advocating for rider education and motorcycle awareness and fighting discrimination against motorcyclists. His obituary can be read at A tribute to Boward can be found on the ABATE of Maryland website at

ELKO, Nev. — The BLM, in cooperation with the Southern Nevada Conservancy and The Nevada Outdoor School, has canceled California Trail Days planned for June 13-14. “This is the first cancellation in 17 years,” said Gina Mele, BLM supervisory park ranger. “Although unfortunate, it is necessary for the health and safety of all involved.” The California Trail and Interpretative Center, the site of the event, closed March 19 following guidance to limit the spread of COVID-19 and canceled all programs until further notice.

LACONIA, N.H. — Progressive Laconia Motorcycle Week has been postponed to Aug. 22-30. The announcement was made shortly after the Laconia City Council unanimously decided to reschedule the rally in keeping with the governor’s mid-May extension of the state’s stay-at-home order. The consensus was that June was too early for a gathering of tens of thousands of people in Weirs Beach and beyond, particularly considering that most visitors travel from out of state. More information and updates are available at

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington State Department of Natural Resources announced that DNR-managed lands will reopen for public recreation May 5. The reopening will occur in conjunction with the reopening of lands managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Washington State Parks and Recreation. The reopening will apply to state-managed parks, wildlife areas, recreation land, boat launches and natural areas. Camping and other overnight accommodations will remain closed. DNR recreation sites will be opened as soon as possible, beginning May 5. The public can find the latest information on site openings at

AMA News

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — 2020 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is still scheduled for July 10-12 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Should the outbreak of COVID-19 and its resulting restrictions affect the event in any way, the AMA will issue an announcement and post it to and all AMA social media outlets. Meanwhile, AMA members can purchase discounted tickets at AMA members save an additional $5 off the already discounted early bird pricing. AMA members can also call (614) 856-1900 to order their tickets. A fundraiser for the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days showcases classic motorcycles of all makes and styles, and honors the riders who made them famous. Activities at the event include the AMA Vintage Grand Championship, which features road racing, motocross, hare scrambles, trials and flat-track racing. In addition, North America’s largest motorcycle swap meet is packed with parts, bikes and memorabilia from all eras. Bike shows feature some of history’s most beloved motorcycles. Attendees will be entertained by stunt shows, demo rides of current production bikes and live music, while seminars on numerous topics by noted motorcycling experts keep them informed. Non-AMA members and those reserving RV spaces must purchase tickets through Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course at or by calling (419) 884-4000. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days is a family-friendly event. Admission is free for children under 12 accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free parking is also available on site.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — The AMA has named Matthew Miles as its director of communications. Miles, most recently with American magazine publisher Bonnier Corp., begins his new job May 1 at the AMA campus in Pickerington, Ohio, which also houses the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum. As director of communications, Miles will be responsible for AMA editorial content, both digital and print, as well as media relations. He also will direct the communications department’s support of all areas of the organization, including government relations, membership and marketing, amateur and professional competition, recreational riding and the Hall of Fame. Miles received a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Indiana University in 1989. He has spent his entire professional career in the motorcycle industry.

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Marty Smith, a 2000 inductee into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, and his wife Nancy Smith, died Monday, April 27, from injuries sustained in a dune buggy crash in Southern California. A three-time AMA Motocross National Champion, Marty Smith won the inaugural AMA 125cc Motocross Championship in 1974. He successfully defended his title in 1975, and also won the 1977 AMA 500cc Motocross Championship and the 1975 and 1976 125cc U.S. Motocross Grand Prix events. Smith won all of his championships with Honda, and the company featured him in its advertising, using his long hair and youthful good looks as a selling point. Read more at

PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Joe Bolger, a 2004 inductee into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, died Tuesday, April 21, from complications resulting from a fall at his Barre, Mass., home, his family said. He was 90 years old and had been in failing health the past few months. Mr. Bolger was a five-time New England Scrambles Champion in the mid-1960s and the 1970s. He also was a self-taught designer and engineer who worked in metal and wood in a small shop behind his home. Read more at

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