Off-Highway Vehicle Access Project
What is it?
In September 2021, Senate Bill 155 (Ch. 258, Statutes of 2021) amended Public Resources Code Section 5090.42, directing the California Department of Parks and Recreation, popularly known as State Parks, to explore the acquisition and development of properties and opportunities to expand off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation in new and existing facilities. This bill also recommended prioritizing opportunities that serve large urban areas such as the Bay Area and Central Valley and offer potential recreational opportunities for OHV recreation and motorized access to nonmotorized recreation.
What types of properties or opportunities are being considered?
State Parks has many options for expanding OHV recreation throughout the state – through acquisition, lease, land swap, partnership, donation, transfer, legislation, and other means as established in Public Resources Code Sections 5005, 5006, et seq.
What about Henry Coe State Park?
Senate Bill 155 included language directing State Parks to consider expanding motorized access to nonmotorized recreation within existing state parks and state recreation areas with terrain appropriate for this type of recreation. While the bill specifically mentioned areas within Henry Coe State Park, this language does not require State Parks to allow OHV recreation at Henry Coe; it is a recommendation to explore the viability of that recreation. The department's process to explore expanding access to remote areas of the park by street legal vehicles for nonmotorized activities includes consistency with the unit's classification, environmental impact considerations, and public input. While there has been some confusion regarding the purpose of this bill, the language does not open up Henry Coe State Park to OHV activities. However, State Parks does intend to explore options to expand access, as identified in Senate Bill 155, responsibly and consistently with its existing regulations, policies, and classifications while also considering the impacts on resources and other recreation.
What happens next?
The first step in this process – where we are now -- is to gather information through public outreach and research. Then, State Parks will prepare a preliminary report, feasibility study, and the OHV Recreation Action Plan. Once these steps are complete, the department will work on strategies to implement the OHV Recreation Access Plan recommendations.
The Strategic Planning and Recreation Services Division will manage this project's planning phase in conjunction with the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division and OHMVR Commission.
I have lots of ideas! How can I get involved?
There will be several opportunities to be involved in this project, including virtual and in-person meetings in 2023 and beyond. These meetings are a great opportunity for the public to provide their input and learn about Senate Bill 155 and State Park's process for searching, selecting, and acquiring property. Please email Planning@parks.ca.gov to sign up for project updates and upcoming meetings.
Please take our survey!
This survey asks about locations, OHV recreational experiences, and potential partnerships State Parks should consider for the OHV Access Project. Your answers will help the department gather information during the planning process. Please use this link for the survey and check back for more information.
There will be several opportunities in 2023 to participate in virtual and in-person meetings. The next in-person meeting will be held:
Date: Friday, March 31, 2023
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Location: Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
Address: 888 Tahquitz Canyon Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262
Meeting Notice: In-Person Public Meeting for the Off-Highway Vehicle Access Project
The meeting will be held in person, and the public can join anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. There will be tables with topics of interest and time to discuss the project with State Parks staff. Please contact Planning@parks.ca.gov if you need assistance and special accommodations for this meeting.