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AMA Objects National Monument Designations Without Public Debate

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Feb. 18, 2010


Contact: James Holter

Phone: (614) 856-1900, ext. 1280

E-mail: jholter@ama-cycle.org

AMA objects to unilateral action by the Administration for National Monument designations without public debate

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has formally objected to a process being developed by the Obama Administration to potentially designate as many as 13 million acres of public and private land as National Monument. The designation, currently being considered by the Department of Interior (DOI), would occur with no public debate.

"As the nation's largest organization advocating for the rights of America's estimated 20 million motorcyclists, the AMA is delivering the message that any measure to restrict our right to recreate responsibly on public land must be considered in the light of day," said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "It is government's responsibility to protect our lands for the people, not from the people, and that requires an open and fair venue for public discourse."

According to a document recently obtained from the DOI, the department is considering new National Monument designations totaling 13 million acres in 11 western states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

A letter to the DOI from the AMA, objecting to this particular National Monument designation process, can be accessed at: AmericanMotorcyclist.com/legisltn/DOI_Nat_Monument_2-18-10.pdf.

The DOI document identifying the areas being considered for Wilderness designation can be downloaded at: AmericanMotorcyclist.com/legisltn/documents/doi_internal_document.pdf.

Compounding the potential National Monument designations, many of the affected areas are also being considered by Congress for Wilderness. While the AMA supports the appropriate designation of Wilderness areas as defined by the 1964 Wilderness Act, the Association opposes any process that does not allow full public debate on the disposition of public land.

"Any designation that restricts the public's right to enjoy public lands must be debated publicly," Moreland said. "We owe it to ourselves and future generations to individually deliberate the designation of each tract and collect input from all affected user groups, local and state elected officials and Congress before any designations are made."

The AMA urges its members, and all motorcycle and ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riders, to contact their elected representatives and voice support for the public debate on the disposition of public land. Contact information for all federal elected officials can be found at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Issues & Legislation.

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