California Green Stickers
So how much do you know about these stickers?
Everyone needs a sticker to legally ride an OHV out at the dunes here in California. And if you live in another state, you will need to purchase a special "Non-Resident OHV Permit" if you are not a California resident AND your off-highway vehicle is not registered in your home state. For those in CA, you must have either a Green or a Red Sticker that has been issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles. These stickers are good for two years and the Green Sticker allows vehicles to operate on public land all year. The Red Sticker is for motorcycles and ATVs, model year 2003 and after, that do not meet the emission standards established by the California Air Resources Board. (If the vehicle has a 3 or a C in the eighth position of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) then it does not meet the emission standards and should be issued a Red Sticker) The Red Sticker is exactly the same as the Green except that these vehicles can only be operated during certain times of the year. For the Imperial Dunes the time is from October 1st – April 30th, for Dumont Dunes; November 1st – April 30th and Oceano Dunes September 15th – May 15th meaning no Red Stickers during the busy summer months. To find out when you can operate your Red Sticker vehicle at other places, call the specific riding area that you want to visit or you can look it up on this web site at:
What happens with the sticker money? The California Off Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation Program (OHMVR) receives it. This program has been around since 1971 and created by those in the OHV community and overseen by California State Parks under their OHMVR Division. Most people assume that all the money used in this program comes from their green sticker fees but this is really only a small part. Program funding mainly comes from fuel taxes that are attributable to the recreational use of vehicles “off highway” and also from fees collected at the State Vehicular Recreation (SVR) areas. Also many people don't know that the SVR’s like Oceano Dunes, many Counties’, the DMV and CHP all get their share of the money first to operate the program, then money goes to fund grants. Grants, who gets the grants? Since 1982 a Commission provides policy for the OHMVR Division and authorizes expenditures, including grants. This year the Commission will provide about 18 million dollars in grants to the BLM, US Forest Service and others to provide funding for OHV related projects. Each must prepare and submit a grant proposal to receive the funds needed. And the Commission wants to listen to the views of the OHV Community about what is happening out there in their riding areas. The commissioners welcome your thoughts on ways to improve OHV recreation, where grant money should be spent, or problems you see, along with suggestions for solving them. Contact them at: OHMVR Division Headquarters, PO Box 942896 Sacramento CA 94296-0001 or Email to:
Now for a little more on the OHMVR Commission. Seven Commissioners are appointed to staggered, four-year terms. The Governor appoints three of the members, and the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly each appoint two. The Commission membership is required to represent a broad range of disciplines relevant to off-highway recreation -- OHV recreation enthusiasts, non-motorized recreation interests, biologists, rural landowners, law enforcement, soil scientists and environmental interests. Currently we have an issue as 4 of them are more for environmental issues than opening more or maintaining areas to ride our OHV’s. The term “Green” sticker is becoming more undeniable in their actions with our program. The BLM El Centro Office that manages the Imperial Sand Dunes Recreational Area (ISDRA) used to receive much of their operating and maintenance funding from the program in grants. But the new majority of the Commission over the past few years has placed such regulations and demands on environmental issues, it is like asking for funds to help put up future closure stakes!
The Program was recently audited by the state and they found many issues. The American Sand Association (ASA), Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), and San Diego Off-Road Coalition (SDORC) signed a letter to California State Senator Bill Morrow asking him to request an audit of the State's Off-Highway Motorized Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Program (AKA: The Green Sticker Program). Senator Morrow saw the need and got it done. In August 2005, the State's Joint Legislative Audit Committee released a 155-page report that sites several examples of misuse of funds from California's OHV trust fund. A summary and a link to the report; Bureau of State Audits Report 2004-126: Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Program can be found online at:
Examples of the misuse of California's OHV trust funds according to the audit included:
• OHV trust funds were used to fund State Parks that do not allow any OHV use.
• Trust fund money has been used to purchase "buffer" land that is four miles away from the closest State OHV area.
• $38 million has been allocated to a new State OHV area that requires the purchase of five acres of conservation land for every potential acre available for OHV use.
• Unreasonable amounts of the OHV trust fund have been used for efforts that have little or no benefit to OHV recreation in California.
• Large contracts have been broken into multiple smaller contracts so that they could be awarded to a single vendor, thereby circumventing the normal competitive bidding process.
• And much more!
At one time the California State-managed OHV program was a model showing how a self-sustaining recreation program could be implemented where recreationalists pay their own way to develop and maintain recreation facilities within the state. A total of seven SVR’s were developed in the early years of the program. The OHMVR Commission was composed mostly of members who were involved in OHV recreation with a member included from the environmental community. Right from the beginning, environmental issues were always an important concern for the program. But today they seem to be the only concern, so please contact the Commissioners and let them know your thoughts to where your funds should go…
* Information was provided from the CA State Parks website and ORBA’s website found at: