AMA BACKS PUBLIC LAND BILL–OCT 14
The Trail Responsibility and Accountability for the Improvement of Lands Act (TRAIL Act), introduced by U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colorado), provides for consistent enforcement of land use, protection and management regulations by the federal Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service. Currently, those agencies impose different penalties on recreational users who damage public land.
In addition, the bill substantially increases the penalties on individuals who willfully cause damage to designated trails. Any fines collected would be used for rehabilitation and trail awareness programs at that trail.
AMA Washington Representative Patrick Holtz said he sees the proposal as a common-sense approach to law enforcement on public land because it doesn’t make a distinction between people who enjoy motorized recreation and those who enjoy other forms of recreation.
‘Unfortunately, the issue of law enforcement has been used as a political football to demonize and deny access to the motorized community,’ Holtz said. ‘Bad actors, regardless of their mode of recreation, should be punished appropriately.’
The AMA supports responsible riding on public land and believes that those who intentionally damage land should be punished, whether they’re motorized-vehicle users, horse riders, campers or hikers. The AMA decided to endorse the Tancredo legislation, in part, because another measure – H.R. 751, commonly called ‘ROVER’ – targets only motorized vehicle users, and doesn’t provide for consistent penalties among the various federal land agencies.