Archive | January, 2010

Testimony of Dennis Larratt before the Committee on Natural Resources

January 21, 2010

  My name is Dennis Larratt, I reside at [address redacted], Littleton, CO 80125.  I am a third generation native of Colorado, my grandfather was the Colorado State Farm Manager for nearly 40 years, so my roots are tied to the ground of Colorado.  I have spent virtually all of my life enjoying the Colorado backcountry on horseback, off road motorcycles, foot, skis, and mountain bikes.  My recreational interests are equally based in recreation and my love for the beauty and wonders of nature. 

Today I am representing the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO).  The AMA was founded in 1924 in an effort to preserve and protect responsible riding opportunities in America. AMA and her sister organization, the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), represents the interests of millions of American motorcyclists and ATV riders.  I am a lifetime member of the AMA, with my membership dating back to age 13.  In 1987 I helped found the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition, and have served various roles in the organization, including Chairman two different times.  COHVCO represents 4WD, motorcycle, ATV and snowmobile interests in Colorado, with a focus on maintaining access to public lands for responsible use of and stewardship of public lands.  We are fortunate to have 22 million acres of public land in Colorado, and it is critically important to maintain public access to it.

I am here to testify against HR 3914, the San Juan Mountains Wilderness Act of 2009.  I will try to briefly lay out my concerns about this bill in particular, the current raft of Colorado Wilderness proposals, and Inventoried Roadless Areas. 

(please download the PDF to read the entire document)

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Open letter to all OHV users

January 1, 2010

  The time is NOW to get involved in your local community and participate in the governmental decision-making processes.  No longer can we be wary of participating in the political and local community processes.  The OHV Community must have a credible and recognized voice in local affairs which can only be achieved by personal involvement with our elected officials.

In order to increase the visibility and voice of the OHV Community, we must all increase our personal participation in our local and regional governmental decision making processes.  Each of us needs to participate and contribute in local affairs to ensure that our collective voices are heard.  The first step is to join and get active with your local OHV organizations or clubs then consider getting involved in:

  • Your local community collaborative planning processes such as development or review of Community Master Plans or Comprehensive Plans.  This is the first step in getting OHV areas planned and funded
  • An appointment to Citizen Advisory Boards or Committees
  • Volunteering for Parks and Recreation Boards
  • Getting to know your local Economic Development staff and explaining the positive economic impacts that OHV users and activities have on your local economy
  • Public meetings for travel management planning on USFS, BLM or other public lands
  • Expressing the need for local OHV areas and activities to your local Parks and Recreation staff
  • Attending and participating in regular City or Town Council meetings, Planning Commission meetings, County Commissioner meetings, etc.  Learn how these meetings are conducted  and make your voice heard when the decision makers ask for public comment
  • Promoting OHV participation in local events such as parades and other community events
  • Expressing the NEED for viable and safe OHV recreation areas at all levels of government, but focus on your local government.  Skate parks, soccer fields and the like are all being funded with your tax dollars because local constituents demand them from their local governments.
  • Organizing a local OHV “TEA PARTY”

Do not wait; do not expect someone else to do it.  Every little bit helps and the old saying that “the squeaky wheel gets the oil” is spot on.  You yourself must get involved and make your voice heard.  Those that dislike or misunderstand OHV use are at the “local table” demanding government officials listen to them.  We, the OHV Community must do the same – get to the table TODAY and be a voice in our local public processes.

Bill Alspach
Woodland Park, Colorado
Member, Trails Preservation Alliance & Colorado Motorcycle Trail Riders Association

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