State and Local Update



The Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District, is discontinuing paper permits due to increased demand from visitors to the popular Bulldog Canyon OHV area.

Those wishing to visit the area are instead required to obtain a permit online through This transition to an online system also means the public will no longer have to travel to the district office to obtain a permit.

The online process includes a $6 administrative fee. Additionally, while past permits allowed up to five additional household members to be added to the permit, each OHV operator, age 16 or older, will now need a permit on hand while riding in the Bulldog Canyon OHV area. Passengers not operating motorized vehicles in the permit area will not need a permit.

To reserve a permit on the website, search for ‘Tonto National Forest Off-Highway Vehicle Permit’ and follow the prompts to purchase and then print the permit. The permit will include six months of gate code combinations to unlock access gates to the Bulldog Canyon OHV area.

For more information, contact the Mesa Ranger District, (480) 610-3300 from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. weekdays. You can also visit for information regarding access points.


OHVs that need a California DMV-issued identification sticker (e.g. green sticker), such as ATVs and side-by-sides, can now use the road between Big Pine Flats and Horsesprings campgrounds in the Big Bear backcountry of the San Bernardino National Forest.

The access is via 5 miles of Coxey Rd. (3N14), which the Forest Service has designated as open to all vehicles. The campgrounds, likewise, were re-designated as open to all vehicles.


State lawmakers are considering a bill that would require helmets for all motorcycle riders and passengers younger than 21.

A similar bill passed the House in 2019, but failed in the state Senate.


Selectpersons in the town of Poland tabled proposed changes to its ATV ordinances to await the results of a two-year trial use of an abandoned railroad bed alongside Waterhouse Park, according to a report in the Sun Journal.

The Bog Hooters Tri-Town ATV Club will be using the rail bed for recreational riding, beginning in May.

The proposed changes to the ATV ordinance include: changing the name of the provision to the Motorized Recreation Vehicle Ordinance—to include ATVs, snowmobiles, motorbikes and utility task vehicles; deleting rules already addressed in state laws, but subject to only local control; lowering the speed in designated wildlife habitats or shared pedestrian trails; and changing the wording regarding when recreational vehicles can be used, from “May 15 to Dec. 1” to “during a time frame as designated by the Board of Selectpersons, dependent upon weather and trail conditions.”


H.F. 3699, introduced in the Minnesota House, and companion bill S.F. 3605 in the Senate would require the state to move to an E15 blend of vehicle fuel.

If the bills become law, Minnesota would be the first state to require the use of the fuel, which contains 15 percent ethanol by volume. The national standard for fuel is E10 (10 percent ethanol by volume).

The bills would exempt fuel sold at airports resorts, marinas, houseboat rental companies and fuel sold for use in motor sports racing, collector vehicles, and off-road use.

The legislation also requires retail stations to provide one fuel pump with a dedicated hose and nozzle dispensing a fuel blend containing 9.2 to 10 percent biofuel for use in vehicles—such as motorcycles—that are not approved by the U.S. EPA for use with more than 10 percent ethanol.

New York

Lewis County legislators approved a resolution in March asking the state Department of Environmental Conservation to include ATV trails in the recreation management plan for the Croghan Tract Conservation Easement in the Adirondack Park, the Watertown Daily Times reported.

“Taxpayer dollars are used to purchase conservation easements and should provide for all recreation rights and access, including ATV access, especially in Lewis County which is known for its extensive ATV trail system,” the resolution says. “With expansion of the system only enhancing [the county’s] economic development through recreational and tourism features.”

The resolution asks the DEC to work with county representatives, “to develop a plan that acknowledges the economic importance and significance of ATV access and use for recreational and sporting activities in Lewis County” so the ATV-using public can use the “tract like others who are provided access simply because they are in other motorized vehicles.”

The Croghan Tract Conservation Easement includes 12,800 acres in Croghan and Watson.

To obtain a copy of the full plan, go to the DEC website, email r6.ump@ or call (315) 785-2263. Written comments on the draft plan can be sent to NYS DEC, Attn: Matt Nowak, 7327 State Route 812, Lowville, NY 13367 or to the above email address.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed into law a bill that allows motorcyclists to wear earplugs or earphones for ear protection while riding.

Ear plugs can help protect riders and passengers from potential damage to their eardrums from exhaust and wind noise.

The bill was supported by the AMA and ABATE of Ohio.

South Dakota

The Sturgis City Council delayed the annexation of the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club property until May 4 to give the club and the owners of other land time to assess the effect of the annexation.

Jackpine Gypsies representatives told the Council that annexation of the club grounds—which includes a dirt oval race track, motocross and hill climb course—might fall under current or future city restrictions that could impact the ability of the club to continue activities.

The club earlier estimated the annexation would result in about $2,500 a year in additional property taxes.

The proposed annexation is part of a strategy by the Sturgis city manager to ensure residents and businesses that receive city services help pay for them, according to the Rapid City Journal.


House Bill 101 would require hands-free use of cell phones, except for “one-touch or one-tap operation and would elevate distracted driving to a primary offense.

Currently, distracted driving is a secondary offense in Utah, meaning law enforcement authorities cannot ticket drivers for the offense unless they were stopped for another infraction.