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http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20060130c

Media Contact for This Release: Tom Harvey, (512) 389-4453, [email protected]

Jan. 30, 2006

New Off-Highway Vehicle Decal To Fund Trail Grants
AUSTIN, Texas — As directed by a new state law, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is starting a new Texas Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program that requires people who buy a vehicle sold for off road use on public land in Texas to buy an annual decal. Decal sales revenue will fund grants to create or improve motor vehicle parks in Texas.

Decals are not required for OHV use on private lands.

For the first year of the program, the OHV decal will cost $8 and will be current from Jan. 1-Aug. 31, 2006. After the first year, OHV decals will be good from Sep. 1 through the following Aug. 31, matching the TPWD fiscal year.

OHV decals are now available for sale, and game wardens will begin enforcing the new rules. A person caught riding on public land without a decal could be issued a citation and fined.

Decals can be purchased over the phone with a credit card by calling (512) 389-8917. Eventually, decals may be sold over the Internet and at some OHV parks and dealerships.

The 78th Texas Legislature enacted Senate Bill 155 several years ago, which closed all navigable stream beds in Texas, except for some parts of the Canadian and Red Rivers, to motorized recreational vehicles. That law also directed TPWD to “facilitate development of sites for motor vehicle recreation other than protected freshwater areas.”

The more recent 79th Texas Legislature in 2005 enacted Senate Bill 1311, which created the new OHV decal and program administered by the department.

The department administers another grant program that can fund off-highway vehicle projects. The National Recreational Trails Fund (NRTF) is an 80-20 matching grant that requires recipients to provide an amount equal to 20 percent of the federal grant. Funds come from a portion of the federal gas tax generated by gasoline purchases to utilize off-road recreational vehicles, such as off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles. A federal requirement is that 30 percent of the funds be spent on motorized recreational trail projects, 30 percent on non-motorized trail projects, with the remaining 40 percent discretionary.

“There is a growing demand for OHV recreation areas in Texas, and most off-road enthusiasts will tell you there are too few places for people to ride,” said Steve Thompson with the TPWD Recreational Grants Branch in Austin.

“Our agency has been directed by the legislature to provide more OHV opportunities. We want to do that in ways that are safe and environmentally sustainable and that maintain good relations with neighbors and local communities.”

The Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area in Northeast Texas is one example of an OHV venue. The Texas Motorized Trails Coalition has operated the 1,800-acre site in Upshur County since 2000. Facilities include showers, restrooms, an air station, pavilion, office and campsites with R/V hookups and electricity. News articles have quoted local officials in nearby Gilmer praising the operation as safe and positive in bringing economic development to the area.

Relatively few public parks or public lands in Texas currently allow OHV recreation. The department is compiling a list of public parks or land where OHV recreation is legal. Shown below, the list currently stands at 16 locations, but it is expected to change as TPWD gets new information. This list of OHV legal sites is in draft form. The list is expected to be complete later this month will eventually be published on the department Web site.

Eisenhower State Park north of Dallas is the only state park that offers OHV recreation, but only in a 10-acre Mini Bike Park within the state park. TPWD wildlife management areas are not open to recreational trail riding; however, ATV use by people with disabilities who have an official placard or license plate is allowed for them to travel to and from hunting or fishing locations in WMAs.

Goals of the new OHV program are to establish and maintain a public system of trails and other recreational areas for off-highway vehicles, improve existing trails and other recreational areas and foster responsible use of off-highway vehicles.

The legislation defines “off-highway vehicle” as either (1) an all-terrain vehicle, as defined by Section 663.001 of the Transportation Code; (2) an off-highway motorcycle; or (3) any other four-wheel drive vehicle not registered to be driven on a highway.

The new decal is required for any OHV operating in Texas on public land or on land purchased with grant funding from TPWD.

Parks and Public Lands in Texas Where the Texas OHV Decal Is Required
Austin/Travis County:

Emma Long City Park (Motorcycles only)
Silverton/Briscoe County:

Lake Mackenzie Recreation Area (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
Pampa/Gray County:

McClellan National Grassland (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
Brenham/Washington County:

US Army Corp of Engineers Lake Summerville/Rocky Creek OHV area (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
Montgomery/Walker & Grimes Counties:

Sam Houston National Forest (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
Brownsville/Cameron County:

Boca Chica Beach (ATV’s only)
Gilmer/Upshur County:

Barnwell Mountain Recreational Area (ATV’s, Motorcycles & Full Size OHV’s)
Pottsboro/Grayson County:

Eisenhower State Park (10 acre Mini Bike Park only)
Fabens/El Paso County:

San Felipe County Park (Dune Buggies, ATV’s & Motorcycles)
Trophy Club/Denton County:

Marshall Creek OHV Area (ATV’s, Motorcycles & Full Size OHV’s)
Big Spring/Howard County:

Moss Creek Lake Recreation Area (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
San Angelo/Tom Green County:

Twin Buttes Reservoir Park (ATV’s & Motorcycles only)
Lake Meredith National Recreation Area/Alibates National Monument/Moore & Potter Counties:

Blue Creek OHV Area (ATV’s, Motorcycles, Full Size OHV’s, Dune Buggies & Sand Rails).
Rosita OHV Area (ATV’s, Motorcycles, Full Size OHV’s, Dune Buggies & Sand Rails).
Navigable Rivers: (ATV’s, Motorcycles, Full Size OHV’s, Dune Buggies & Sand Rails).

Canadian River: (Oldham, Potter, Hutchinson, Roberts, & Hemphill Counties) (ATV’s, Motorcycles, Full Size OHV’s, Dune Buggies & Sand Rails).
Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River: (Randall, Armstrong, and Briscoe Counties) (ATV’s, Motorcycles, Full Size OHV’s, Dune Buggies & Sand Rails).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is an unprecidented event. In less than three months time SB1311 was written and passed into law.
It is not perfect.
Street legal vehicles will not have to have a sticker.
What it does is give us, the Texas offroad users, is a dedicated fund to be used as grant money to create and maintain OHV trails. This can be used as the 20% of the 20/80 match to Federal RTP Grants.

The sticker is $8 this year.
It is good for a year like a fishing/hunting license. It will expire the end of August.
Next year it will cost $12.

The sticker fee goes to a fund that must be used for motorized trails.

Any fines from violations must go to this fund that is to be used for motorized trails.

TPWD staff was not prepared for this to pass and then be in effect so soon...they don't have their ducks in a row...but are getting there.

The man in charge, Steve Thompson, TPWD OHV Program Manager, had to quite being TMTC BOD to take the job, he is a dirt bike rider and a wonderful person and we can trust him to make sure this program is run the way we want it run.
He is also the guy who answered folks letters and emails and faxes on the Ozona Property. He's been very busy during his first few months on the new job.

An added bonus....if we the Texas offroad users make this program work...then we may very well end up with access to not only Federal Gas tax money but State gas tax money as well and a % of the tax spent on items bought for offroad use. And us having money vested evidently does mean something.

We are making history, folks.

Call the phone # for the sticker (512) 389-8917...they answer it "Texas Parks and Wildlife OHV Department".

Support the sport...buy a sticker if you need one or not!

Thank You
 

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jfraymond said:
so if you have a brake and light sticker this is not needed?
If you are REGISTERED for the street.

If registration (tags) have lapsed and you take your [insert name of normally street driven vehicle here] to one of the qualifying parks, you will need an OHV sticker.

At least, that's how I read the law.
 

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cool, all I need is registration sticker? not inspection sticker?
 

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Street legal vehicles will not have to have a sticker.
If a vehicle is registered in Texas it also has to have an inspection sticker in order to be street legal.
 
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I told you I would sell you the tires and rims off my blazer just for that reasonjamminzz
 

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4x4Freak said:
If a vehicle is registered in Texas it also has to have an inspection sticker in order to be street legal.
if you have antique plates, they do not require you to have a inspection sticker....L
 

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Mas Tequila
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25 yrs old +


Not the owner, the Vehicle :rofl:
 

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OOOsahhh
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Well this year the Scout is 30 so I can change the plate and not worry about the inspection sticker anymore.Thats good to know.
 

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Dang I should have bought a blazer that was 4 years older!
 

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Buy a sticker and support the people who have supported us so much. Oh hell, buy 2 or 3.
 

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LEPER said:
Buy a sticker and support the people who have supported us so much. Oh hell, buy 2 or 3.
I agree, I could do with 2 less Starbucks / pack of cigarettes to support the OHV sports.

If streetable vehicles don't participate and the 2 wheelers and ATV folks can ***** about it enough, more money would go their way.
 

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I finally got my sticker yesterday. It reminds me alot of the boat stickers.


Ill be looking into getting some antique plates now.
 
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