BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 742
          Author:   Steinberg (D), et al
          Amended:  9/6/07
          Vote:     21

           SENATE NATURAL RES. & WATER COMMITTEE  :  5-3, 4/10/07
          AYES:  Steinberg, Kehoe, Kuehl, Machado, Migden
          NOES:  Margett, Cogdill, Hollingsworth

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  10-6, 5/31/07
          AYES:  Torlakson, Cedillo, Corbett, Florez, Kuehl, Oropeza,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Simitian, Steinberg, Yee
          NOES:  Cox, Aanestad, Ashburn, Dutton, Runner, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Battin

           SENATE FLOOR  :  21-17, 6/6/07
          AYES: Alquist, Calderon, Cedillo, Corbett, Kehoe, Kuehl,  
            Lowenthal, Machado, Migden, Oropeza, Padilla, Perata,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Romero, Scott, Simitian, Steinberg,  
            Torlakson, Vincent, Wiggins, Yee
          NOES: Aanestad, Ackerman, Battin, Cogdill, Correa, Cox,  
            Denham, Ducheny, Dutton, Harman, Hollingsworth,  
            Maldonado, Margett, McClintock, Negrete McLeod, Runner,  
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Ashburn, Florez

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  74-0, 9/10/07 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Off-highway motor vehicle recreation

           SOURCE  :     Author


                                                                SB 742

           DIGEST  :    This bill makes major revisions to the  
          Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program in the  
          Department of Parks & Recreation and extends the sunset  

           Assembly Amendments  changed how the local assistance grant  
          program operates with regards to the bill.

           ANALYSIS  :    In 1971, the Legislature established the  
          Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program in Chapter 1.25 of  
          Division 5 of the Public Resources Code (commencing with  
          Section 5090.01) to manage off-highway recreation in a  
          manner that also protects California's natural and cultural  
          resources. To implement all aspects of the OHV program, the  
          Division of OHV Recreation (Division) was created within  
          the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR).  The Division  
          is responsible for the planning, acquisition, development,  
          and management of the eight state vehicle recreation areas  
          (SVRAs), the preparation and coordination of safety and  
          education programs, and the administration of the grants  
          and cooperative agreements program (grants program).  The  
          Division is also responsible for completing and  
          periodically updating a strategic planning process that  
          will identify future OHV recreation needs and the potential  
          to reduce illegal and environmentally damaging riding. 

          This bill: 

          1. Increases the number of members on the OHV Commission  
             (Commission) from seven to nine members, five of whom  
             shall be appointed by the Governor subject to Senate  
             confirmation, two by the Senate Rules Committee and two  
             by the Assembly Speaker. 

          2. Changes the role of the Commission by removing the  
             authority of the Commission to approve grants, to  
             approve capital outlay expenditures of the OHV Division  
             of DPR, and to establish policies for the Division. 

          3. Provides that the Commission shall have responsibility  
             for holding a public hearing before each grant program  
             cycle, and prior to any proposed substantial acquisition  



                                                                SB 742

             or development project in close geographic proximity to  
             the project. Gives the Commission responsibility to  
             review plans for new and expanded local and regional  
             vehicle recreation areas that have applied for grant  
             funds, and to review and comment on the Divisions'  
             strategic plan. 

          4. Requires the Commission to report to the Legislature and  
             Governor by January 1, 2011, and every three years  
             thereafter, on the status of the OHV program and OHV  
             recreation, the strategic plan, the condition of areas  
             and trails receiving state OHV funds, the status and  
             accomplishments of funds appropriated for restoration,  
             resource monitoring data compiled and restoration work  
             completed, actions taken by the Division and DPR to  
             discourage trespass by OHVs on private property, and  
             other program related environmental issues. 

          5. Provides that the Division has responsibility for, among  
             other things, implementation of all aspects of the  
             program.  Requires the Division to complete a strategic  
             plan by January 1, 2009.  Requires the plan to be  
             reviewed by the Commission and updated periodically. 

          6. Requires the Division, in cooperation with the  
             Commission, to make information available on the  
             Division's website regarding OHV recreation  
             opportunities, laws and regulations, maps of OHV areas  
             and facilities, safety, education and trail etiquette,  
             and information to prevent trespass and damage to  
             property and natural resources, including information on  
             penalties and liability.  Requires the Division to  
             create a guidebook of OHV recreation opportunities with  
             contact information, and to work with OHV retailers and  
             associations to distribute the information and increase  
             awareness of the resources available. 

          7. Revises the OHV grants program as follows: 

              A.    Requires the Division to develop and implement a  
                grant and cooperative agreement program to support  
                the planning, acquisition, development, maintenance,  
                administration, operation, enforcement, restoration,  
                and conservation of trails and facilities associated  



                                                                SB 742

                with OHV use, and OHV safety or education; 

              B.    Requires that of the amount appropriated by the  
                Legislature for grants and cooperative agreements, 50  
                percent shall be awarded for operation and  
                maintenance, 25 percent for restoration projects, 20  
                percent for law enforcement, and five percent for  
                education and safety; 

              C.    Defines operation and maintenance to include  
                acquisition, maintenance, operation, planning,  
                development, or conservation of trails and facilities  
                used for OHV recreation or motorized access to  
                nonmotorized recreation.  Requires development of  
                guidelines that give preference to projects that  
                sustain existing OHV recreation opportunities, and  
                that give additional consideration to projects that  
                improve facilities that provide motorized access to  
                nonmotorized recreation opportunities; 

              D.    Provides that applications that would affect  
                lands identified by the U.S. Forest Service as  
                inventoried roadless areas are eligible for funding  
                under the operations and maintenance category only if  
                the application is for a project that meets certain  
                specified criteria, including to prevent irreparable  
                resource damage, implement route safety, or maintain  
                a trail included in the National Forest Road and  
                Trail System on or before January 1, 2009; 

              E.    Provides that the 25 percent awarded for  
                restoration projects may include ecological  
                restoration or repair of habitat damaged by legal or  
                illegal OHV use. Requires the Division to develop and  
                implement a competitive program for restoration  
                projects in consultation with the Wildlife  
                Conservation Board (WCB).  Specifies the types of  
                projects that are eligible. Requires guidelines be  
                developed that give additional consideration for  
                projects that restore areas with the potential for  
                the most significant environmental damage, and  
                prohibits restoration funds from being used for  
                development or maintenance of trails for motorized  
                use.  Specifies that eligible applicants for  



                                                                SB 742

                restoration projects shall include local, state and  
                federal entities, Native American tribes, educational  
                institutions, and eligible nonprofit organizations; 

              F.    Of the 20 percent allocated for law enforcement,  
                requires that 40 percent go to local law enforcement,  
                30 percent to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and  
                30 percent to the U.S. Forest Service. Requires the  
                development of eligibility guidelines with minimum  
                requirements, and requires audits at least once every  
                five years; 

              G.    Requires any unencumbered funds in each category  
                to be used in the future for the same purposes; 

              H.    Requires all projects involving ground disturbing  
                activities to meet soil and wildlife habitat  
                protection standards, and prohibits grant funds from  
                being awarded to any such projects unless the  
                applicant has completed wildlife and soil surveys,  
                agrees to monitor soil conditions and wildlife,  
                agrees to temporarily close the project if the  
                standards are not being met, agrees to enforce OHV  
                registration requirements and provide law  
                enforcement, and describes how it will meet  
                operations and maintenance needs of the facility; 

              I.    Requires DPR to develop guidelines to implement  
                the grant program and requires that the guidelines at  
                a minimum must, among other things, provide for  
                distribution of grants on a competitive basis (except  
                for law enforcement grants), include public input,  
                comply with the California Environmental Quality Act,  
                require matching funds of not less than 25 percent of  
                the total project cost, and provide for all eligible  
                applications to be funded to the extent feasible; 

              J.    Provides that educational and nonprofit  
                organizations shall be eligible to apply for grants,  
                subject to requirements that apply if the grant will  
                involve public lands, including that the applicant  
                has written permission from the land manager; 

                i.      Requires the Director of DPR to approve all  



                                                                SB 742

                  grants and cooperative agreements, and prohibits  
                  the deputy director of the Division from  
                  participating in the scoring of applications; 

                ii.             Requires DPR to conduct an annual  
                  financial audit of the program, and a performance  
                  audit of at least 20 percent of grant awards; and, 

                iii.            Requires the Division to establish an  
                  administrative appeals process, as specified, and  
                  sets out the grounds and process for appeal. 

          8. Provides that an amount not to exceed 50 percent of the  
             monies in the OHV Trust fund shall be available, upon  
             appropriation by the Legislature, for grants and  
             cooperative agreements, and that the remainder of the  
             annual revenues to the fund shall be available for  
             support of the OHV Division and lands in the system.

          9. Changes the method by which the amount of fuel tax to be  
             transferred from the Motor Vehicle Fuel Account to the  
             OHV Trust fund is calculated, using the amount  
             transferred in the 2006-07 fiscal year as a baseline, to  
             be adjusted every five years based on changes in the  
             number of registered OHVs, the number of street-legal  
             vehicles used off-highway, attendance at state vehicular  
             recreation areas (SVRAs), and federal visitor data on  
             OHV use. States legislative intent that the amount of  
             fuel tax transferred shall reflect the full range of  
             motorized vehicle use off-highway for both motorized  
             recreation and motorized off-road access to other  
             recreation opportunities. 

          10.Provides that funds remaining in the Conservation and  
             Enforcement Services Account, which would become  
             obsolete with enactment of this bill, be used 40 percent  
             for cooperative agreements with the U.S. Forest Service  
             and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to complete the  
             federal route designation process, and that up to  
             $1,100,000 may be allocated for each grant cycle to  
             increase funds available for restoration. 

          11.Requires that registration plates for off-highway  
             vehicles shall be designed so that the identification  



                                                                SB 742

             number is the most prominent feature. Requires the  
             Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in conjunction with  
             the Division, to report to the Legislature on  
             recommendations for improving identification of OHVs on  
             or before July 1, 2009. 

          12.Raises the additional fee for issuance or renewal of OHV  
             identification plates from $8 to $33. 

          13.Specifies that a violation for unlawful operation of a  
             vehicle in an area closed to OHVs shall be punishable as  
             follows: $50 for a first offense which shall be an  
             infraction, $75 for a second offense within seven years  
             which shall be an infraction, and $150 for a third or  
             subsequent offense within seven years which shall be a  
             misdemeanor. Authorizes a court to also assess costs  
             sufficient to repair property damage resulting from a  

          14.States legislative findings that off-highway recreation  
             includes both motorized recreation and motorized  
             off-highway access to nonmotorized recreation  
             activities, and states legislative intent that, among  
             other things, DPR support both motorized recreation and  
             motorized off-highway access to nonmotorized recreation.  

          15.Extends the sunset date on the entire chapter containing  
             the OHV Recreation Act to January 1, 2018, and  
             establishes the same sunset for the OHV Trust fund and  
             for the service fees paid for issuance or renewal of OHV  
             identification plates and deposited in the Trust Fund.  
             Requires that any unencumbered funds remaining in the  
             OHV Trust Fund as of January 1, 2018 shall be  
             transferred to the General Fund. 

          16.Makes other technical changes.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to Assembly Appropriations Committee, substantial  
          ongoing costs of up to $21 million in 2007/08 and $42  
          million annually thereafter through 2017/18 to DPR to  



                                                                SB 742

          continue OHV program administration; substantial ongoing  
          costs in range of $21 million annually starting in 2008/09  
          to DPR to continue grant awards program and enforcement;  
          moderate costs of $250,000 in 2007/08 and $750,000 annually  
          thereafter to support continued activities and larger  
          membership of the OHV Commission; revenue in range of $10  
          million in 2007/08 and $24 million annually thereafter from  
          increase in fees for OHV identification plates; and  
          moderate costs of $250,000 annually to DMV to administer  
          the identification plate program, covered by fee revenue. 

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  9/10/07)

          American Motorcyclist Association, District 36
          American Motorcyclist Association, District 37 Dual Sport
          American Motorcyclist Association, District 37 Off-Road
          American Motorcyclist Association, National
          American Sand Association
          Blue Ribbon Coalition
          California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs
          California Nevada Snowmobile Association
          California Off Road Vehicle Association
          California Wilderness Coalition
          California Wilderness Society
          City of Rancho Cordova
          Friends of Oceano Dunes
          Off Road Business Association
          San Diego Off Road California
          County of Santa Clara, Board of Supervisors

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  9/10/07)

          Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation 
          The Desert Protective Council, Inc.
          High Desert Multiple OHV Use Coalition
          Far West Motorcycle Club
          Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  
          AYES:  Adams, Aghazarian, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Benoit, Berg, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Brownley, Caballero,  
            Charles Calderon, Carter, Cook, Coto, Davis, De La Torre,  



                                                                SB 742

            De Leon, DeSaulnier, DeVore, Duvall, Dymally, Emmerson,  
            Eng, Evans, Feuer, Fuentes, Fuller, Galgiani, Garcia,  
            Garrick, Hayashi, Hernandez, Horton, Houston, Huff,  
            Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, Karnette, Keene, Krekorian, La  
            Malfa, Laird, Leno, Levine, Lieber, Lieu, Ma, Maze,  
            Mendoza, Mullin, Nakanishi, Nava, Niello, Parra, Plescia,  
            Portantino, Price, Sharon Runner, Ruskin, Salas, Silva,  
            Smyth, Solorio, Soto, Spitzer, Swanson, Torrico, Tran,  
            Villines, Wolk, Nunez
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Gaines, Hancock, Saldana, Strickland,  
            Walters, Vacancy

          CTW:nl  9/11/07   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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