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 Home Press Releases New Jersey OHV Enthusiasts Forming Statewide Organization

For Immediate Release
October 14, 2002

Contact: Bill Kresnak
Phone: (614) 856-1900
Fax: (614) 856-1920

New Jersey OHV Enthusiasts Forming Statewide Organization

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- New Jersey off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts are on their way to creating a statewide OHV organization after a recent successful motorized recreation summit, according to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA).

The AMA and ATVA sponsored the Garden State Motorized Recreation Summit in East Windsor, New Jersey, on Oct. 12-13 to cultivate a united voice for the state's OHV enthusiasts. The goal is to help create legal riding areas as well as to fight threats to riding.

About 40 dedicated off-highway motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riders took part in the two-day summit.

The first day featured a "Ride into Political Action" seminar, presented by the AMA/ATVA government-relations team. This seminar is considered basic training for OHV enthusiasts interested in access to public lands.

On the second day, summit participants began work on forming a state-level organization to effectively represent the needs of all OHV users. Russ Ehnes, executive director of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council, facilitated the meeting. Participants left the summit with clear goals and with plans to meet again soon to continue work to develop the statewide organization.

"It's critical that New Jersey's OHV riding community work and speak together to fight bad laws and unfair regulation, and to create new public riding areas," said Royce Wood, AMA and ATVA legislative affairs specialist.

"The summit participants have taken a very important first step in shaping the future of OHV opportunities in the state.

"The planned statewide association is also very important for educating New Jersey's citizens about OHV enthusiasts," Wood said. "The overwhelming majority of OHV enthusiasts are responsible, law-abiding citizens who simply choose a different way of enjoying the outdoors.

"It's also important for OHV enthusiasts to recognize that a very small minority of less-responsible riders can quickly endanger what little access to riding areas remains," he said.

In May, state legislation was introduced to not only reiterate a regulatory ban on OHV use on state public land, but also to ban events held under special permits, such as enduros. In July, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection announced that it would "strictly enforce" a ban on OHV use on state public land. But the department also promised to explore creating at least a couple legal riding areas for OHV enthusiasts in the near future.

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