Controversial Wild Lands Policy Dealt Possible Setback

** PICKERINGTON, Ohio** -- The funding measure that will keep the federal government operating through Sept. 30 includes language that bars the Interior Department from using any money to carry out the controversial Wild Lands land-use policy, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

If adopted, the language in the bill would be a major victory for off-highway vehicle (OHV) riders and others concerned with responsible recreation on public land. Language in the Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution negotiated by the House, Senate and White House and unveiled on April 12 specifically states that no federal money "may be used to implement, administer, or enforce Secretarial Order No. 3310 issued by the Secretary of the Interior on Dec. 22, 2010."

The full House and Senate have yet to vote on the measure. They are expected to do so later this week.

"This is evidence that the voices of off-highway riders and others who want public lands returned to the public were heard on Capitol Hill," said Ed Moreland, AMA senior vice president for government relations.

Secretarial Order 3310 created the Wild Lands land-use designation that essentially allows federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) officials to manage public land as if it had received a Wilderness designation from Congress, but without requiring congressional approval. This new policy was widely expected to restrict or eliminate responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in the affected areas.

A Wilderness designation is one of the most restrictive forms of public land management. Once Congress designates an area as Wilderness, nearly all forms of non-pedestrian recreation are illegal. The AMA supports appropriate Wilderness designations that meet the criteria established by Congress in 1964, but anti-access advocates have been abusing the legislative process to ban responsible OHV recreation on public land.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com