Federal government action to expand the National Wilderness Preservation System (which bans motorized vehicles) is threatening off-road enthusiasts’ ability to use public land and back-country trails they’ve enjoyed for decades, SEMA officials say.
The trade association has long fought these legislative battles at the federal level on behalf of automotive and motorsports enthusiasts of all stripes.
The threat to the American off-roading scene is very real, SEMA officials say, citing thousands of miles of road and trail closures as a result of restrictive land-use designations by the federal government over the past few decades. Just in California, motorized vehicle access was open to 50 percent of back-country desert land in 1976. That had shrunk to 12.5 percent in 2007. Today, only 2 percent of California desert public land is open to off-highway vehicles (or OHVs.)
SEMA has dedicated a section of the SEMA Action Network site for off-road issues.