Thursday, January 13, 2011

Local race group questions BLM's newly enforced policy

The future of off-road racing in the Superstition Mountain has been questioned, as local race organizers try to deal with newly-enforced procedures and costs. “Basically all the races are in jeopardy, and some have been canceled,” said Roadrunner Off-Road Racing President Chip Corfman. The motorcycle racing group is a not-for-profit organization, and the Bureau of Land Management began enforcing stricter regulations, he said Tuesday before the county Board of Supervisors. The bureau is also recouping costs for the review process and to have rangers, leaving the racing group to have to pay more to host its events. The group has kept jumping hurdles when trying to get permits for its races, though it already had tighter rules than the bureau required, including a 15 mph speed limit in the pit area of races, Corfman said. It could put Roadrunner racing and other groups out of business. The change stems from an accident in mid-August where eight spectators of the California 200 in Johnson Valley were killed and a dozen more injured. The bureau released a report in November, saying the bureau did not adhere to its own permitting procedures for the race. Local offices were told to now closely adhere to the regulations, though every race has different needs, said Jan Bedrosian with the bureau. Some events require fewer bureau personnel based on the number of participants, while other events may call for more staff. “As we’re reviewing the races, our regulations do require us to recover costs from those who are applying for use of public land,” she said...more

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