History of Karen Schambach and the OHV Fund

Issues relating to the California Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation / Green Sticker Fund

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History of Karen Schambach and the OHV Fund

Post by Winston Cup » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:36 pm

This is a bit of interesting history I dug up that's very insightful. The time frame of the post is 2000 it says. Came up on a search so I don't know the poster or what board it was, but it looks like a copy of an article of some type. Kinda tells you when the turning point was and how the door got opened for it to happen.
Link to original thread


Woman singlehandedly changes how CA regulates off-highway vehicle use

By Joshua Chaffin
Friday, July 14, 2000
In her search for peace and quiet in the woods, a California
woman has singlehandedly changed how the state regulates off highway vehicle use.

Karen Schambach moved to the Sierra Nevada foothills of California in
1984. Six months into the construction of her out-of-the-way cabin,
the intrusive buzz of dirt-bikes startled her.

Asking around to find out what authorities could do to keep the bikes
out of earshot, Schambach learned that the state's Off-Highway Vehicle
Division monitors off-road trails in California.

Convinced that the agency was delinquent in its enforcement of
environmental regulations, Schambach began a 15-year battle to force
the division to comply.

Schambach delivered a scathing report to the state of California last
year in which she alleged that the OHV division caused more
environmental damage than it prevented - and that the agency may be
getting more than its fair share of gas tax money from the state.

In her report, Schambach argued the many off-road vehicle enthusiasts
who worked in the OHV division rarely enforced environmental
regulations. Moreover, she maintained, the regulations governing OHV
use were unclear to the public.

Schambach has since made more than a few enemies in her hometown of Georgetown. Resentful off-road vehicle enthusiasts have sent her
threatening mail, buzzed her house with motorcycles and even showed up on her property with guns.

But Schambach also found some sympathetic ears in state government.

She contended that the OHV division used faulty logic to secure its
funding - at taxpayers' expense. In theory, the sale of registration
decals to off-highway vehicle recreationists was to fund the program.
But, Schambach explains, "After only a year, they found the sticker
money wasn't enough. From then on, [the program received] 1 percent of
the state gas tax - about 35 million dollars a year."

[INLINE]
Schambach surveys the damage after a dirt bike endurance race in
Eldorado National Forest of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range.

Today, gasoline taxes fund 80 percent of the OHV program. But there
are twice as many illegal off-highway vehicle users without stickers
as there are registered users. And the division includes these users
in the count it uses to argue for its portion of the gas tax.

Schambach argues that this policy effectively rewards illegal
off-highway vehicle enthusiasts for evading the law.

No other group of recreationists in California gets $30 million a
year, but no other sport supports an industry worth $5 billion
annually. There are 120 official off-highway recreation areas in
California, with 100,000 miles of trail for sport driving. However,
the more trail managers "maintain" those trails, the more they cause
environmental damage, Schambach explains.

Don Amador, one of the seven OHV division commissioners, defends the
division as a "model program." Of Schambach's report, he says, "Almost
every sentence has some sort of fabrication or lie in it."

But even Dave Widell, the division's new deputy director, concedes the
agency has always been "kind of controlled by the users" without
enough input from environmentalists and homeowners.

Schambach says Widell is making a difference. OHV program officials
are rewriting environmental regulations with input from the public.
Schambach hasn't seen all the reforms she asked for, but Widell says
there is a new gas tax study in the works and that the commission will
no longer be stacked with OHV enthusiasts.

All indications show that OHV sports are managed more effectively in
California, thanks in large part to Schambach's tenacity.

Terry Davis of the Sierra Club is positively giddy about the turn of
events. "I never thought I'd hear myself saying this ... but all of a
sudden, they're listening to us!"

Take action
A summary of Karen Schambach's report is available at
[25]http://www.nordicvoice.org/issues/ohv_summary.htm.
Keep tabs on the [26]California OHV program as regulations go
through a public review period.
The Federal Bureau of Land Management publishes an on-line OHV
issues [27]newsletter.
The organization [28]Wild Wilderness is vocal in its support of
America's wildlands.
The [29]Wilderness Society is an outspoken opponent of OHVs on
public lands.
The [30]Bluewater Network works to ensure a quiet experience in
the backcountry.

1. http://www.enn.com/index.asp

25. http://www.nordicvoice.org/issues/ohv_summary.htm
26. http://www.calohv.ca.gov/
27. http://www.mt.blm.gov/ea/ohv/newsletter.8-9-99.html
28. http://www.wildwilderness.org/
29. http://www.wilderness.org/standbylands/orv/index2.htm
30. http://www.earthisland.org/bw/
Last edited by Winston Cup on Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by LoBuck » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:57 pm

Good find Guy!

My stomache started wrenching about half way though. I think this part was definately a :roll: moment.
But even Dave Widell, the division's new deputy director, concedes the agency has always been "kind of controlled by the users" without
enough input from environmentalists and homeowners.
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Post by tomjeeps2 » Sat Oct 28, 2006 9:11 am

Like I said before, perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree with this fuel tax issue and the green sticker program all together. How many Billions $$$ did they say? out of all of this how much the Federal, State and local Governments collect in taxes? and as far as funding for Law Enforcement have you paid any kind of a ticket lately? Perhaps we all need to back up a ways and really look at the big picture as far as tax and revenue, fuel tax, demo fees, tickets, donations both in money and volunteer labor, not to mention the repetitive money generated though a chain of jobs it creates.

Add this all up and figure out what were really worth, then ask yourself out of all the thousands of reads on these threads how many people actually wrote a letter, or even made one phone call let alone walk a precinct. Now what about all that industry, shouldn't they be chipping in? After all it is a mu-ti Billion dollar interest...TJ
The Country is ran by the few that show up.
They are lead by the even fewer that step up.

http://WWW.TEAMSTEALTH.ORG Noise issue information.
http://WWW.OHMVR.COM Total Off Road Recreation!

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Post by jhitesma » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:00 am

The interesting part they left out is that the location Schambach chose to build her "out of the way cabin" was not exactly "out of the way".

It was in fact bordered by a legal riding area which she had apparently failed to notice when buying the property in the first place.

In other words the bikes were there first AND they were there legally.


Kind of like the developers who built a subdivision next to Dorney Lake Park in PA (a 100+ year old amusement park) and then sued the park for being too noisy in a residential area even though the park was there first!


Mrs. Schambach is a near perfect example of the kind of "me only" thinking that is destroying this country. It wasn't her fault that she didn't do her research and bought land that wasn't as quiet and peacefull as she wanted it to be - it was the fault of the people who were there first and made it less quit than she wanted.

What was her solution to her mistake? Did she "man up" and admit she had erred and look for a place that actually did live up to her expectations? No, she resorted to the usual green tactics of emotional non fact based slurs to get the laws changed to reflect her warped position instead of respecting the people who's backyard she had moved into.

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Post by Vincent J Brunasso » Sat Oct 28, 2006 11:01 am

Kind of like the developers who built a subdivision next to Dorney Lake Park in PA (a 100+ year old amusement park) and then sued the park for being too noisy in a residential area even though the park was there first!
Happens to small airports too.
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Post by jhitesma » Sat Oct 28, 2006 1:30 pm

Vincent J Brunasso wrote:
Kind of like the developers who built a subdivision next to Dorney Lake Park in PA (a 100+ year old amusement park) and then sued the park for being too noisy in a residential area even though the park was there first!
Happens to small airports too.
And farms here in Yuma.

The residents in the new developments built in rural farm areas complain about the crop dusters flying too low over their neighborhood...even though the farms and crop dusters were there first.

Now they're complaining that they can't build new schools because state law says schools have to x number of miles away from areas where crop dusting takes place.


It's the same kind of self-centered don't think about the future thinking that results in camp racers, grey water dumpers, kid track leavers, trasher leavers and many of the other dune specific symtoms of this social disease.

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Post by Glamisbound » Sat Oct 28, 2006 4:07 pm

Kind of like the developers who built a subdivision next to Dorney Lake Park in PA (a 100+ year old amusement park) and then sued the park for being too noisy in a residential area even though the park was there first!
Same thing that happened to all the motox tracks in Cal., including some of my favorites like Saddleback, Carlsbad, El Cajon, Palm Ave., etc, etc, etc,...Now the people who live in San Diego Country Estates are trying to get Barrona MX park closed...and it's been there for something like 20 years longer than the homes. People suck sometimes.
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Post by ddjthomas » Sat Oct 28, 2006 5:17 pm

Talk to the native americans :!: The same thing happened to them when the white man moved in :oops:
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Post by tomjeeps2 » Tue Oct 31, 2006 9:33 am

Hey you Folks do get it, TomJeeps2
Like I said before, perhaps we are barking up the wrong tree with this fuel tax issue and the green sticker program all together. How many Billions $$$ did they say? out of all of this how much the Federal, State and local Governments collect in taxes? and as far as funding for Law Enforcement have you paid any kind of a ticket lately? Perhaps we all need to back up a ways and really look at the big picture as far as tax and revenue, fuel tax, demo fees, tickets, donations both in money and volunteer labor, not to mention the repetitive money generated though a chain of jobs it creates.

Add this all up and figure out what were really worth, then ask yourself out of all the thousands of reads on these threads how many people actually wrote a letter, or even made one phone call let alone walk a precinct. Now what about all that industry, shouldn't they be chipping in? After all it is a mu-ti Billion dollar interest...TJ

Dear Fellow ASA Member.
The election is only days away.

The ASA is a member of the California League of Off Road Voters Political Action Committee. In order to elect more off-road vehicle friendly state legislators, the California League of Off Road Voters (CLORV) formed this separate state-level political action committee (PAC) to endorse candidates, provide volunteers, and donate money to off road friendly legislators and candidates.

CLORV is the coordinating umbrella organization dedicated to keeping existing off road motorized recreation opportunities open during this period when environmental extremists are attempting to close down motorized recreation in California at both the federal and state level.

CLORV works to educate state and local politicians that the off-road sport is primarily a family activity and of its significant economic impact. It is estimated that over 3.5 million Californians participate in off-road recreational activities generating an estimated $9 Billion in economic impact on the California economy and creating over 50,000 direct-employment jobs.

On their web site at http://www.CLORV.org, you will find information on legislation, legislators and candidates that affect the future of off-road motorized recreation in California. Most important are the general election voter guides for the Statewide, Northern, Central, and Southern regions of California. Please visit the voter guide section (under Elections) listed on the pull down menu.

The California League of Off Road Voters (CLORV) is comprised of politically active members of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) National, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) District 36, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) District 37 Off Road and Dual Sport Divisions, the American Sand Association (ASA), the California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs (CA4WDC), the California Nevada Snowmobile Association (CNSA), the California Off Road Vehicle Association (CORVA), the Friends of Oceano Dunes (FOD), the Off Road Business Association (ORBA), and the San Diego Off-Road Coalition (SDORC), which collectively have over 100,000 members. Because of the close relationship between the state authorized and directed Off Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation program to the federal agencies who fund Off Highway Vehicle opportunities on federal lands, CLORV also follows federal actions concerning off road activities.

Please VOTE, help keep your sport alive.



Thank you,


The American Sand Association
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The Country is ran by the few that show up.
They are lead by the even fewer that step up.

http://WWW.TEAMSTEALTH.ORG Noise issue information.
http://WWW.OHMVR.COM Total Off Road Recreation!

Tom Tammone

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Post by tomjeeps2 » Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:29 pm

I must have the rudeness to ask why would anyone even want to have a gas tax, no one can understand it and what good dose it do for anyone, not just us. I must submit it's a total fraud, when CARB needs a scape goat they take an extreme example:

http://web.archive.org/web/200008182218 ... fhwymc.htm
Mile-for mile, unregulated 2-stroke off-highway motorcycles create smog forming emissions equal to 118 new cars


Call it the norm and inflate the numbers, a few of us called them on this and they stopped making this statement, however the photo remains as a possible subliminal suggestion, note the approximate number of litter Gary cars shadowing the rider.

Then when it comes to our share of the fuel use tax, the amount of fuel we use is many times less than CARB used in their calculations, but why do this is it because they hate us? I don't really think so however I do believe we were a convenient scape goat but why you may ask, money of course because in order of the State to get their cut of the Federal Fuel tax they need to cut pollution, or at least make the Feds think they did. Now that the fuel use tax survey threatens the whole sport all together, boy then they can say we cut down on a big amount of pollution. The whole State fuel tax system is a fraud, this can be prov-en through their own documentation and when you think about it what good does it do?

It don't fund our program and I'm not to trilled with the condition of our highways, the roads suck and all Cal Trans does is hold up traffic, with useless projects that never get done. So I submit the tax be abolished or diverted only for one purpose, pay off the National Dept...JT
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They are lead by the even fewer that step up.

http://WWW.TEAMSTEALTH.ORG Noise issue information.
http://WWW.OHMVR.COM Total Off Road Recreation!

Tom Tammone

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Post by tomjeeps2 » Mon Feb 19, 2007 11:12 am

http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist12/pdf_previews/sr_74.pdf

This link is an example of our fuel tax money being spent, this project will hold up traffic for 3 years, limiting access the the Wildomar OHV area from Orange County. First of all why 3 years, second of all who the hell wants it, well no one it's just because of higher accident states over that portion of road. OK must we build and Regulate everything to the lowest possible denominator? Also the local Sport bike riders will only just ride faster, now that they have better visibility so nothing will change, as far as the project itself I just wonder where's the CBD when there's real damage going on...TJ
The Country is ran by the few that show up.
They are lead by the even fewer that step up.

http://WWW.TEAMSTEALTH.ORG Noise issue information.
http://WWW.OHMVR.COM Total Off Road Recreation!

Tom Tammone

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