February 05, 2010

Shift Some Colorado ORV Funds to Enforcement, Restoration

Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers and other conservation groups are urging the Colorado State Parks Board, which controls off-road vehicle registration fees, to start spending some on enforcement and restoration.

Durango writer Dave Petersen explains why at The Huffington Post:

Currently, Colorado charges $25.25 in annual registrations fees for each ORV, which raises some $3.2 million annually for the state ORV Program. Logic demands that a portion of that fat purse goes to ORV law enforcement to assure public safety and prevent further resource damage, with another share dedicated to repairing the damage already done. But when it comes to ORVs, logic fails. As a recent Durango Herald editorial pointed out, virtually every penny of ORV "sticker fund" monies goes to maintaining, improving and in some cases expanding motorized trails on public lands, and to various forms of ORV self-promotion.

A lot of Coloradans think that's wrong. A broad coalition of more than 40 state and national organizations representing more than 100,000 sportsmen, other outdoor recreationists, conservationists, law enforcement personnel and elected officials joined together to ask the State Parks Board to make much-needed changes to the Colorado ORV Program to provide significant funding for dedicated law enforcement -- now critically lacking -- and restoration of motorized damage to fish and wildlife habitat.

If you are sick of seeing ORVs/ATVs traveling on prohibited trails, driven carelessly through streams and wetlands, or run straight up and down hills to cause erosion, let the board know.

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