On Sunday Nov. 20, 2011
I attended the Annual Membership Meeting of WOHVA. My intent was to learn a little about this organization. I knew they had something to do with support of Off Road legislature in Olympia, but that was all I really knew. I had responded to emails asking for letters to be written to congress and representatives and have written several letters in the last two years to support their efforts. I had also attended one event in which a few hundred people rallied at the Capitol to help keep Olympia aware that Off Road enthusiasts do exist and to remind them that the NOVA Funds belong to the off road community and are not available for re-appropriation to other government needs.
The meeting gave me a mixed opinion. At first I was pretty un impressed. The reports given by the leaders of the group showed potential,,, but little success. Membership is low. Money is low. Laws were about 50/50 with half going in our favor and about half against our causes. At that point I was not likely to pay membership to them again.
Later in the meeting a few of the members spoke on upcoming bills that would help our sport. One member, Gary Prewitt, told his story of his history of outdoor activities and how they were interrupted by a tumor caused by agent orange during the Vietnam war. He wanted to continue to be outdoors,, bought a quad for himself and one for his adult kids and or wife to join him.. and started looking for places to ride. He found the laws limited his riding opportunities so much as to madden him and he began to want to change things... fast forward to now.. He has helped create a bill that would open forest roads and some pavement roads to OHV vehicles with certain stipulations to keep things controlled. Senate Bill 5845 will help make Washington OHV laws similar to other OHV friendly states like Idaho and others. I was emotionally encouraged to want to help with the cause.
I was also impressed by a few others in the group that show some real potential to help make things better. I was very impressed with David Hiatt. David was an original board member of WOHVA and was re elected to the board again this year. David is most recently known for his current work as OHV Specialist for the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Tillamook District, (Browns Camp area). David is a real asset to the sport and NEEDS to be supported and encouraged to continue his work.
I want to encourage all the readers of this post to check out the WOHVA website. WWW.WOHVA.org
It is a work in progress and will be improved in function in the near future. This is a group that can,, with help,,, promote and further the offroading opportunities in the state.
I hope you will join me and join WOHVA. Individual membership is $25 and will get you on the lists to have the opportunity to help the sport. I also want to encourage businesses that benefit from the offroad community to join as a commercial member. Commercial members get a vote on what areas WOHVA will support. And Lastly,,, I want to encourage every offroad club to join WOHVA. Clubs also get to vote.
This is an opportunity for the entire offroad community to be united. And. the only way we can beat the on slot of anti offroaders is to be united. And here is a way we can be united.
I don't want to use threats to encourage your action,,, but I think you know that our sport is endangered. If you don't participate in the act of defending our sport, It will be gone. Period.
As was stated in the meeting I attended. Recreation is not an option, It is a necessity. We need recreation. We don't work all week for any other real purpose but to enjoy those two days off. And that enjoyment comes from some form of recreation. Doesn't It?
Respectfully Submitted for your help and action. David Huttula