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New Mexico group seeks to preserve motorized riding opportunities

Statewide association to advocate for off-highway vehicle recreation.

By Roger Pattison

Map of New Mexico

Thanks to all for your continued support of the mission of NMOC: "To preserve and promote OHV recreational opportunities in New Mexico"

During the last year, we have continued to send notices of any and all OHV related news, both good and bad. Many many reports have reflected the continued efforts by environmental radicals to close off or restrict our activities on publicly managed lands. This seems to be the trend, in fact, and I don't see many efforts made to open new opportunities.

In that vein, we should look to ourselves to insure riding opportunities for future generations. While it is true that we MUST continue working with the public land managers on a local, state and national level, to educate staff, and to be stewards of those areas we still have open, it would seem imperative that we also look to the long range solutions. That, amounts to buying land, or establishing leases for private land on a long term basis. This might in fact, be the sports only salvation for our grandchildren and their children. Land is not getting any cheaper, and folks are moving here in a continuous stream from places where OHV activities are already virtually non existent. I wish we had started this ten years ago or more, but we cannot use that as an excuse to wait any longer. Several "land" fund raising efforts are being initiated. They amount to systematic donation collecting. We have the support of Kawasaki Motors Corporation and Champion Motorsports in Roswell in the very first major thrust. A new Kawasaki Prairie 400 4x4 Automatic has been made available to give away, in a drawing, on August 31, 2001. Each donation of $5 will be acknowledged with one entry in the drawing. Anyone wishing to donate $5 or more may send the donation to NMOC, c/o Roger Pattison, 2343 SR 209, Clovis, NM, 88101, and we will send you your drawing entry or entries.

On the other hand, anyone who would like to assist in raising the donations, may write or email a request for ticket books to pass out while collecting the donations. There will be several promotional efforts to get the word out. We attended the Powersports Expo in Roswell this past weekend to launch the program and we raised over $500 ! It is an easy sale because nearly everyone is familiar with the closures that are going on.

We have targeted four areas in which to start looking for land. They generally are in each direction from Albuquerque, with access from an Interstate a priority. They should be within 100 miles from Albuquerque, which puts them generally within driving distance of most of the states population. If anyone has ideas about particular land that is a candidate, please share that information. Donations of land are a way to further the cause more quickly, if an estate is looking for a good cause to contribute a legacy to. It is my impression that tax benefits can be derived from such a gift to the public.

These OHV recreational parks would be open to the public for OHV recreation, and managed by NMOC staff for that purpose. Events would be held and promoted by clubs across the state. The land that is most unusable by commercial and agricultural business is the most desirable, with the lowest overall dollar value, making recreation the highest and best use. Please let us hear your input on all this. If anyone has ideas on other ways to raise land funds, please contribute those ideas.

Another effort in the past year has been the establishment of the NMOC web page: www.nmoc.org The page has gotten us some attention so that is good. However, there has been some trouble with the service provider, so it is not always on line. We need to find another provider, preferably instate. Another critical factor is to find someone within our organization who has the skills to keep the page current. Any volunteers?

In the same effort to keep communications open, we need to start an official "list", which can be subscribed to by anyone involved in the sport, and it will be easier to have input from all parties. This also requires an administrator and we are looking for volunteers. Please let us hear from you about the above.

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