The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA) urges everyone to contact their Senators to vote "No" on S. 303, the "America’s Great Outdoors Act of 2010." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) introduced S. 303 as a substitute to the original bill. S. 303 was formerly titled the "Federal Financial Assistance Management Improvement Act of 2009," and was only 12-pages. The new Omnibus Public Lands bill is a little over 1,000-pages. This bill would restrict all motorized vehicle access including motorcycles and ATVs on thousands of acres of public lands.
The Senate passed the original S. 303 last year and the House of Representatives then passed an amended version. Now with S. 303 considered preferential legislation, Senate Majority Leader Reid can employ the same parliamentary procedure he used to pass the Omnibus Public Lands Management Act of 2009 that allows them to more easily pass the legislation.
Reid, recently abandoned a large omnibus spending bill, but is still determined to have the lame-duck land grab voted on between now and New Year’s.
After working with Senate Committee Staff, the AMA and ATVA have been informed that the bill contains multiple land designations that threaten to end responsible motorized recreation across the country. There is also an effort to include designations that have never been voted out of their relevant Committees and vast spending measures that are irrelevant to public land access.
This land grab is reminiscent of the 2009 closure of 2.1 million acres of public land to the American people. This legislation, as before, was created behind closed doors and without the transparent process new laws should have.
With such a short time frame for action, the best way to tell your Senators to oppose S. 303 is to call.
Critical attention must be paid to the following Senators that have great influence over the future of this legislation. If you are a constituent of any of these Senators, please call them today and ask everyone you know to do the same: Senators McCain (AZ), Bennett (UT), Corker (TN), Brownback (KS), Voinovich (OH), Collins (ME), Snowe (ME), McConnell (KY), Kyl (AZ), Thune (SD), Barrasso (WY), Bunning (KY), Burr (NC), Risch (ID), Ensign (NV) and Sessions (AL).
The AMA and ATVA previously sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing concern that this type of bill would be created to push a unilateral agenda by the administration to close millions of acres of public land.