On January 10, 2020, Governor Newsom released his Proposed Budget which highlights the Governor's goals and objectives for the forthcoming year. For OHV recreation, the proposed budget indicates the administration’s fiscal commitment to programs and departments including the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program at the California Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).
LINK TO DPR PROPOSED BUDGET
Upon initial review, it appears the Governor is supportive of the OHV program with a proposed budget for 2020-2021 of $108,387 million dollars which includes $36 million for the OHV grants program. In 2018-2019 the actual budget was $104,596 million. The estimated budget for 2019-2020 is $108,315 million.
While this is good news for OHV, the motorized recreation community must remain engaged with the OHMVR program and DPR due to potential impacts from the Parks Transformation Process.
As most of you know, the OHMVR Division has a distinct mission that is carried out by a highly-skilled team of OHV-related trail specialists, environmental scientists, law enforcement personnel, and grant administrators. The Division Deputy Director position has been vacant for over a year and recently the acting deputy went back to his previous duties, leaving the Division without a leader. How long it takes the governor to fill this essential position will go far to gauge his support for the program.
We should remain concerned about the potential dilution of those aforementioned skillsets that would devastate the OHMVR Division’s ability to manage its highly acclaimed system of State Vehicular Recreation Areas (SVRAs). It would also impact the grant program that supports managed OHV recreation on Forest Service and BLM lands and related restoration projects, law enforcement, and safety programs.
QWR believes that OHV advocacy efforts in 2020 should remain focused on Park Transformation to help ensure the OHMVR Division retains those aforementioned skillsets.
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