For Immediate Release
March 6th, 2002
Contact: Bill Kresnak
Phone: (614) 856-1900
Fax: (614) 856-1920
AMA Backs Federal Legislation to Protect
Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has
endorsed legislation in Congress to get tough with anyone who
"willfully and knowingly" damages federal land. The AMA sees
the measure as a workable alternative to a similar bill
introduced earlier that targeted only motorized recreation.
Under the new proposal, introduced by U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis
(R-Colo.), stiff penalties would be imposed for anyone, not
just motorized vehicle users, who intentionally damages land
controlled by the U.S. Forest Service, the federal Bureau of
Land Management (BLM), or the National Park Service.
Currently, those agencies impose different penalties. Under
this new proposal, the penalties would be consistent among the
"This legislation is directed at those who `willfully and
knowingly' violate the laws governing our public lands. Too
often responsible riders are denied access to riding areas
because of the actions of a few," said Patrick Holz,
legislative assistant in the AMA's Washington, D.C., office.
"The agencies use the lack of tough penalties as an excuse to
shut down areas to riding. This legislation will allow our
federal agencies to punish those who break the law and leave
the rest of us to enjoy our riding areas."
The AMA supports responsible riding on public land and
believes that those who intentionally damage land should be
punished, whether they're motorized vehicle users, horse
riders, campers or whoever. The AMA decided to endorse the
McInnis legislation, in part, because another measure now
being considered in Congress?H.R. 1382, commonly called "ROVER"?targets
only motorized vehicle users, and doesn't provide for
consistent penalties among the three federal land agencies.
The McInnis resolution?H.R. 3808, The Consistent Public Land
Laws Enforcement Act of 2002?creates a consistent stiff
penalty for all three land agencies for anyone who
intentionally damages public land. Penalties for those who
venture off trails unintentionally remain unchanged.
The fine money would be used to cover the cost of any
improvement, protection, or rehabilitation of public lands as
a result of the offense that led to the fine.
"This legislation creates much needed uniformity in federal
law and sends a tough but fair message to anyone engaging in
illegal activities that harm our federal lands," said McInnis,
who is chairman of the U.S. House Resources' Subcommittee on
Forests and Forest Health. "This underscores my deeply held
belief that individuals and groups have the right to use but
not abuse our public lands and natural treasures."
The legislation also has the backing of other outdoor
recreational organizations including Americans for Responsible
Recreation (ARRA), which represents the AMA, Motorcycle
Industry Council, the American Council of Snowmobile
Associations, and the National Marine Manufacturers
Talk About This In Our Forums