Remember that scene in The Best Little Whore House In Texas where the governor is doing a musical number about dodging questions? Yeah, it’s kinda like that.

A few weeks ago the following letter was sent to Paul Baldridge, head of ODNR’s office of Real Estate And Land Management (that would be the ODNR department with sole control over our trail fund in case you forgot):

 

Mr Balrdridge,
  The off road community has been raising the issue of implementing a grant system for accessing the money in the SRV Fund for many years. Protection and access to that fund are the critical issues for the off road community, we have been very clear and forthcoming on this. For those many years we have been passed off to many different people and departments within ODNR on this issue. There have been pledges made to us from ODNR to work together on legislation for a grant system in the past that were never followed through on. The last time we met in person I asked you directly about this, and you responded that ODNR was not interested in working on this. When we spoke with Brittney Colvin and Any Ware in the meeting hosted by Senator LaRose they explained their offices were not aware we had been raising the issue at all.

 

  A few days ago I emailed Brittney again about this, and she has relayed that you will be the point person for ODNR on this issue. This is my official request for an answer to this question:
Is ODNR now ready to work together on legislation that will create a grant program for the SRV Fund that is enshrined in Ohio law?

 

  This is not a new or radical approach. As I and the riders organizations have stated before, our goal is sensible solutions that are proven to work in other states. Grants that access our money in the SRV Fund and provide funding to both public and privately owned trails for public access are one of those proven solutions.

About 2 weeks passed with no response so I sent a reminder and this is the response:

Matthew,

 

We are proposing to schedule a meeting in mid to late August to discuss the following items with a small group of APV advocates:

 1.       Pending/completed land acquisitions at existing APV areas on DNR lands

 2.       DNR maintenance and improvement plans on DNR’s APV facilities for FY 2014 (7/1/13 – 6/30/14)

 3.       RTP grant opportunities for APV areas, as well as other recreation grant opportunities

 Mary Fitch will be contacting individuals over the next week or two regarding this meeting.  We will have representatives from Parks and Forestry present to discuss their initiatives.  Also, prior to the meeting it would be helpful if you could provide Mr. Ware with the grant information on Pennsylvania’s APV program.  I understand you have some insight into theirs program which you wanted Ohio to review.  We would be most happy to review that information. 

 Sorry for the delays in responding to your email.   

 I’m not really sure what the answer is to the original questions, are you?

 

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