|by Jerry Abboud
This is our 27th year and I think it is appropriate for those who have supported the Coalition to look back at where we came from.
In 1987 it became apparent to many of us that money was becoming a huge issue regarding our desire to keep trails open and maintained. A group of us from Jack Welch to Don Bruns, BLM; Stuart Macdonald, State Parks; Dennis Larratt, Glenn Graham and others looked to fund trails with something beyond the token amount that was available to us through the State Trails Program. Registering OHVs was discussed as a source of income. However, a number of state government folks conveyed their experience of the unfortunate failure of a registration program some ten years before.
It seems the program didn’t get past about 8,000 registrations and ultimately was repealed. I asked one question: “Where the dealers responsible for registration at the time of sale?” It turns out they were not. Since field enforcement is so difficult, capturing the registrant at the point of purchase and sending an annual renewal by mail seemed like a fix.
We drafted legislation as a group, citizens and government and ran the bill in 1988. It died—a real bummer but we were too green to be disillusioned. At the 1989 Session the bill was again introduced by State Representative Marlene Fish of Lakewood and Senator Dave Wattenberg of Walden. Thanks to strong organized support from the motorized community the bill passed and became effective April 1, 1990, with a 3 year education period and no tickets. Representative Fish asked me after the bill was signed by the governor if I truly believed we could get 10,000 to12,000 vehicles registered in 5 years. I responded, “Absolutely”, through the perspiration.
This is a good time to note that the OHV Program relied on a $35,000 loan from the Snowmobile Program with CSA’s permission. Without the loan there could be no OHV Program. Another “thank you” to the Colorado Snowmobile Association is thus in order. Also to be noted is the loan was paid back early with interest thanks to an OHV Program that exceeded all expectations.
A long lost fact is that State Parks wanted all citizens angered by the registration charge ($12.00) to be referred to COHVCO as they simply couldn’t handle the perceived number of complaints. For two long years, John Martin, COHVCO Board member on the West Slope and I on the Front Range handled all the calls. That was not a picnic by any means, but slowly the complaints fizzled out. And the benefits individuals saw in the program turned almost all of the OHV community into strong supporters.
Looking back, we were well ahead in our belief that we would need to tax ourselves to maintain the recreation. After 23 years we have over 130,000 registrations and $3 million annually to increasingly assume the financial pressure on our sport.
The next step was to examine and determine why the federal agencies were closing trails and roads left and right. That meant COHVCO would insert itself into the federal land management process and begin to comment, negotiate, appeal and if necessary file a law suit to stop the ridiculous loss of trails. This has been one of our greatest challenges as the anti-access groups seek to remove motorized recreation from public lands.
We have engaged every national forest and BLM field office in Colorado in the planning process and to a degree we have kept much more open than was originally designed to be closed.
We have fought against Wilderness in all its forms and when it became evident in the early ‘90s that both Colorado U.S. senators would run a Wilderness bill, COHVCO and board member Dennis Larratt spent hundreds of hours analyzing and negotiating each piece of the proposed bill. That was the last major Wilderness Bill in Colorado and many have since gone down in defeat.
COHVCO held annual workshops to educate our members, clubs and even the agencies about motorized recreation, it many values and the need to provide for it.
We have pushed for State OHV Parks and hope to have one in the not to distant future.
Another tremendous challenge was keeping the anti-access crowd from raiding our OHV Fund. They have mad three separate attempts and have been stopped cold each time by the out cry from our members. Without this fund we could not fend off the assault mounted by anti-access groups regarding the condition of trails and reconstruction to standard. Not to mention the many projects the Fund provides the money for such as barriers, new trail, bridges, etc.
In 2011 we sued state Parks for violating our rights that are provided through the Colorado Open Meetings Law. The Parks Board (now the parks and Wildlife Commission) was forced to plead to the violations and are under a Denver District Court permanent injunction to not violate that law again or be held n contempt of court.
Over the years we have gained the respect of national organizations from the AMA to the Blue Ribbon Coalition and we regularly discuss national strategies.
We maintain a strong lobbying presence at the Capitol to closely watch the proposed legislation introduced by the Colorado General Assembly by employing a professional lobbyist full time during the legislative session.
Post Script: Twenty-six years later the OHV fund that COHVCO created has raised $53 Million through the OHV registration program. Wilderness and closures still must be dealt with every day and the anti- access crowd w ants to steal the OHV funds. And, of course, there is Congress.
Archive | August, 2013
2012 Update of OHV Recreation on the Colorado Economy
| Economic Contribution of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in Colorado
Households4 that Participate in Motorized Recreation
Figure ES-1. Annual Resident OHV Registrations in Colorado
Figure ES-2. Annual Resident Snowmobile Registrations in Colorado
The number of registrations and permits was used in part to estimate the number of resident and non-resident households that likely participated in motorized recreation in Colorado during the 2012-13 season. Permit information is used to estimate the number of non-resident households coming to Colorado for motorized recreation. Between 2008 and 2012, non-resident OHV permits grew by more than 34 percent.
The analysis shows that almost 150,000 resident households likely participated in some sort of motorized recreation in the 2012-13 season in Colorado, and approximately 36,000 non-resident households traveled to Colorado to participate in motorized recreation. The resident and non-resident household estimates are summarized in Table ES-1.
Table ES-1. Estimated Population of Households Who Used OHVs and Snowmobiles for Motorized Recreation in Colorado in 2012-13 Season
Expenditures Associated with Motorized Recreation
During the 2012-13 season, Louis Berger estimated that motorized recreational enthusiasts spent more than $602 million while taking trips using their motorized vehicle for recreational purposes. On a household basis, residents spent on average $109 to $137 per day trip and $441 to $679 per overnight trip. Non-residential households spent on average $131 to $197 per day trip and $926 to $1,660 per overnight trip.5 More than 90 percent of these expenditures occurred during the summer OHV recreational season.
In addition to spending money on day and overnight trips, households participating in motorized recreation also spend money on new vehicles, maintenance, repairs, accessories, storage, and miscellaneous items associated with their vehicles. Louis Berger estimated that motorized recreational enthusiasts spent more than $387.6 million annually on various items to support and enhance their experiences in Colorado, including $133 million in new vehicle purchases. On average, resident households spent between $574 and $4,116 on annual expenditures in Colorado. Non-resident households spent on average between $124 and $665 in annual expenditures in Colorado.6 In total, motorized recreational enthusiasts were responsible for $990 million in direct expenditures related to motorized recreation in Colorado during the 2012-13 season.
Direct Labor, Income, and Tax Contributions
The expenditures made by motorized-recreation enthusiasts have an economic contribution that supports businesses throughout the state. Total direct gross sales of $481 million associated with motorized recreation supported almost 5,500 direct jobs, $212 million in labor income (employee compensation and proprietor income), $284 million in gross regional product, and $35 million in federal, state, and local business taxes during the 2012-13 season (Table ES-2).
It should be noted that there is a considerable difference between the direct expenditures ($990 million) discussed above and the direct sales effect ($481 million) on Colorado. Although motorized enthusiasts spend $990 on various expenditures within the state, their direct contribution to sales is $481 million. This is due to fact that retail purchases are margined in the IMPLAN model. Margins represents the difference between producer and purchaser prices in a retail or wholesale environment, and IMPLAN provides an allocation of retail spending to the appropriate manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade sectors, and transportation industries. For example, for the new vehicle purchases, IMPLAN only applies the margined amount or the mark-up that the retail establishment receives when selling the vehicle and reduces portion of sales allocated to the manufacturing component.
Table ES-2. Direct Economic Impact of Motorized Recreation in Colorado during the 2012-13 Season
Additional Economic Activity
Direct expenditures made by motorized recreational enthusiasts have an additional effect by generating indirect and induced (downstream) economic activity often known as multiplier effects. The downstream economic effects of motorized recreation resulted in $465 million in downstream gross sales, 3,372 additional jobs, $160 million in additional labor income, $278 million in gross state product, and $24 million in federal, state, and local business taxes (Table ES-3).
Table ES-3. Additional Economic Activity Resulting from Motorized Recreation in Colorado During the 2012-2013 Season
Total Economic Contribution within Colorado
The total economic contribution of motorized recreation for the 2012-13 season is summarized in Table ES-4. Motorized recreational enthusiasts are estimated to have supported more than $481 million in total direct gross sales for motorized recreation throughout the year. This direct spending supported an additional $465 million in downstream gross sales due to additional economic activity, or $945 million in total gross sales. Motorized recreation in Colorado is directly or indirectly responsible for almost 9,000 jobs and $373 million in labor income. According to gross sales, OHVs contribute 91 percent of economic contribution while snowmobiles contribute 9 percent.
Table ES-4. Total Economic Contribution of Motorized Recreation in Colorado during the 2012-13 Season (Direct, Indirect, and Induced)
Regional Economic Contribution Analysis
The economic contribution of motorized recreation in different regions of the state was also evaluated (see Table ES-5). This included OHV and snowmobile trip spending by region. Table ES-6 summarizes the economic contribution by region. The region receiving the largest economic contribution from motorized recreation during the 2012-13 season was central Colorado. This region was followed in importance by south-central and southwest regions.
Table ES-5. Regions in Colorado Used to Estimate Motorized Recreational Use
Table ES-6. Estimated Economic Contribution of Motorized Recreation by Region in Colorado for the 2012-2013 Season
–See the downloadable PDF above for this table–
1 Motorized recreation is defined for this study as the use of motorized vehicles on roads and trails which are not considered as part of the normal transportation network. The system of trails and roads used for this type of recreation are thus considered “off-highway”.