OHIO MOTORIZED TRAILS TODAY

This has been a busy year for OMTA and off pavement recreation. OMTA scans the ?legal sections? of 6 southern Ohio newspapers. We put out the alert last month when Vinton County posted vacating notices for 3 roads we use. OMTA was the only motorized organization or club to show up. No organization except OMTA testified for our use at the Vinton County Commissioner hearing April 23rd.

The parts of the property that are ?not the road? will be closed off by what ever way the owner can. If you ride the area be aware. Trespassing will not be tolerated! I would not be surprised to see some private security in the area. Anyone trespassing will be dealt with to the limits of the law to set an example.

As of April 23 commissioners? hearing the roads are still open. There is a follow up commissioner meeting April 28th. Check www.ohiotrails.org for status before you ride the Richland Furnace area.

THE INTERNET

There has been a lot of ?extreme? riding posted on the internet by quads, jeeps and motorcycles, even a picture of someone on top of the Richland Furnace. None of that stuff helps us. The ?Richland Furnace? owners had a power point presentation of pictures and movies folks had posted of their extreme riding and wheeling. We are fortunate that we still have the roads. There is a campaign on the television centered on young folks. It warns them about what they post. Posting is forever. There is more then one way to show your ?Butt?. Young girls can lose their reputation or get one like Paris Hilton. When folks destroy other folk?s private property they are committing a crime. When they post it and brag they are destroying our reputation! OMTA is urging folks to stop their friends from doing illegal acts. We need to report folks who trespass and cause damage to private property. Last but not least do not show your ?Butt?. Do not post criminal trespass and property damage on the web. If you have a web site that has inappropriate pictures and movies take them down.

Public bulletin board letters promising revenge against equipment and other property are just as bad. Do not feed the fires of those who already hate us.

Legislative issues

?Reciprocity? OMTA with the help of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources had language added to a bill to restore reciprocity. The bill has passed and has been signed by Governor Ted Strickland. Your ATV ?tag? will soon be honored by states with like registration. Pennsylvania is an example where it will be honored.

Remember when we told you the Farm Bureau and the Railroad Association sought to have a law to mandate registration and allow confiscation of all off road vehicles. OMTA headed that off. OMTA with co-operation from the Ohio Snowmobile Association are working on model legislation. It is in legislative services now. Legislative service takes the bill and turns it into ?Legal Speak?. The new bill will give us control of our tag money. Increase the tag fee return from $1 a year to $10. Provide for safety training. The bill will rework the temporary registration process. It will allow corridor leasing. Corridor leasing would allow leasing a ?trail? from private land owners to create destination trail systems. Michigan ?CCC? trails are an example of a destination trail system.

Are you a grant writer? We are actively looking for grant writers. We could have a lot more opportunity to ride. If you have a talent OMTA can use it for the sport please help.

From legislation to advocacy to protecting our members from unjust law enforcement, OMTA is working for off pavement recreation everyday! There is NO OTHER organization in Ohio that is working for wheeled recreation in Ohio. There is no other organization working on legislation for wheeled recreation. Only OMTA members showed up for the Vinton County hearing.

Get involved, join OMTA as a club and as an individual, help our legal defense fund. The suit now open has cost $5000 so far and will cost at least $6000 more. If we have to appeal in the Richland Furnace area it will cost too. If you want to keep our X roads you have to be involved. If you do not care about them then who will?

OMTA is building a state wide member club association to provide state wide riding opportunities for all members. E-mail Matt Mesarchik OMTA?s Club Chairman at Muddyrabbit @ RideTheRed.net

Bill Kaeppner
OMTA
www.ohiotrails.org