It has been a very busy week at OMTA with 2 trips to Columbus on Monday and Wednesday.

On Monday members of the OMTA board of directors, as well as representatives of the Ohio State Snowmobile Association, American Motorcyclist Association, and Ohio ATV dealers attended a meeting with ODNR to get an update on trail progress. The big news is that 2 land acquisitions to expand trails at Perry and Pike State Forests are still underway. While the Perry acquisition is the larger one there have been a few bumps in the road, but ODNR staff are working to keep the process moving. The Pike acquisition (while smaller at 24 acres) is much further along, and ODNR is in the process of allocating SRV Fund money for the purchase. Once the purchase is complete this will mark the first acquisition of property using our SRV Fund money for trails in history! So while the acreage may not be huge, this is a huge moment for OHV recreation in Ohio.

We were also presented with a list of proposed expenditures from the SRV Fund for fiscal year 2014, mostly budgeting for maintenance of trails, as well as some equipment purchases. For the most part it was pretty mundane, but there were some concerns raised about the purchase of a stump grinder and zero turn mower with SRV money.

ODNR has also pledged to resume holding regular meeting of the old SRV Fund advisory board, with this being the first. Plans are to hold them 3 times per year, and the next will be in November.

On the issue of legislative action to restore the SRV Board in Ohio law and create a grant program to access money in the SRV Fund we are still at an impasse with ODNR. While there is universal agreement between OMTA, OSSA, AMA, and the industry ODNR leadership still does not view this as a priority worth pursuing. Leaders from all the involved organizations agree that we will continue to work toward this goal and still hope to find an equitable solution by working with our elected officials and ODNR.

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