New Mexico Gov. Calls on Fed to Block Offroad Riding


Staff member
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson calls on federal government to block riding opportunities
Contact your Senators and Representative today!

During a White House-sponsored conference on America's Great Outdoors on April 16, Governor Bill Richardson (D-NM) called for measures that would lock-up more public lands, including the possibility of banning motorized recreation.

In his opening statement, Richardson urged the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) to move forward on its National Monument expansion plan. The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) previously reported on an internal administration document that would set aside 13 million acres in 11 western states without any consideration in Congress. The action could prohibit off-highway riding in the affected areas. For more information on America's Great Outdoors, please click here. To see Governor Richardson's comments, click here.

In a letter to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar dated February 18, 2010, the AMA addressed the concerns of its members and other user groups, stating its opposition to recommend the designation of National Monument areas without any public debate. The Interior Department responded to the AMA's letter, claiming the internal document was merely a "brainstorming session." However, Richardson's endorsement of the plan may give the concept further traction within the Administration. To view DOI's response, please click here.

Additionally, the governor, who is nearing the end of his term-limited time in office, expressed the need for Congress to develop another omnibus public lands bill. This would follow in the footsteps of the infamous omnibus public lands bill that the President signed into law on March 30, 2009. That bill closed off more than 2 million acres to responsible motorized recreation with virtually no public input.

While Richardson expresses the importance of recreation to his state in the form of tax receipts and jobs, his method of blocking motorized access to millions of acres of public lands has the potential to threaten the livelihood of many in the state he governs.

The AMA is calling on its members to once again express opposition to both the DOI plan for expanding the National Monument network, as well as any congressional action that would ban access to motorized recreation on our public lands.

Contact information for your elected officials is available at >Rights > Issues & Legislation by entering your zip code in the "Find your Officials" box. Additionally, a prewritten e-mail is available for you to send to your federal elected official immediately by following the "Take Action" option and entering your information.

If you would like more opportunities to get involved in this or other issues, the AMA offers volunteer information by clicking here.

Please write or call your Senators and Representative today and ask them to oppose both the DOI plan for expanding the National Monument network and any congressional action that would ban access to motorized recreation on our public lands.