Congress Rejects Omnibus Land Bill

The Off-Road Business Association and American Motorcyclist Association are applauding the defeat of an omnibus public lands bill that the Senate approved in January.
Senate Bill 22 (S.22) was defeated 282-144 in a process, put forth by the House of Representatives, that banned any amendments and required a two-thirds majority for the bill to pass.
ORBA was focused on the California Desert and Mountain Heritage Act (H.R. 3682), sponsored by Rep. Mary Bono-Mack (R-Calif.), which would have designated wilderness areas within Riverside County. This particular bill had ORBA’s support because Bono-Mack’s office “worked closely with local stakeholders, including off-highway enthusiasts,” states the association. “However, once it was included in the S.22 Omnibus Lands Bill, we could not support the larger bill as a whole.”
The broader bill had raised the ire of the AMA and others not only because it was a package of more than 160 bills put together to form a single bill more than 1,300 pages long, but also because it was fast-tracked through the Senate earlier this year and then positioned for a final House vote without the consideration of House members on more than 70 bills in the package.
“AMA members played a significant role in the defeat of this bill,” said Ed Moreland, AMA VP for government relations. “We asked all AMA members, off-highway motorcyclists, ATV riders and everyone who supports responsible outdoor recreation to immediately contact their congressional representative and ask them to reject the bill. And people responded, flooding their lawmakers with requests to vote ‘no.'”
Moreland noted that other land-access groups were also involved in fighting this measure, including Americans for Responsible Recreational Access, the BlueRibbon Coalition, the Motorcycle Industry Council, the Off-Road Business Association, the American Council of Snowmobile Associations and others.