SUPERVISOR DAVID TENNEY SPEAKS OUT ON STATE BILL
AFFECTING LOCAL TRAVEL MANAGEMENT
Posted: Mar 22, 2013 By: hunter Moore
On Wednesday, March 21, Supervisor David Tenney spoke before the Arizona Senate’s committee on Government & Environment to support House Bill 2551 (HB2551) which removes language from Arizona statute requiring Arizona law enforcement officials to enforce certain federal rules related to off-highway vehicles (OHVs).
The bill is a strike-everything amendment, sponsored by Sen. Chester Crandell, (R)-Heber, that strengthens the State’s authority in how it will enforce travel management rules on federal Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management lands. Under current state law, if a federal entity establishes regulations related to the use of OHVs on roads, trails, routes and closed areas; those regulations are automatically codified by Arizona state law. Currently, if a person operates outside the parameters of the federal regulation, that individual is automatically in violation of state law. The Crandell amendment would modify Section 1 of ARS 28-1174, and remove any reference to enforcement of rules related to the federal government.
"I am very supportive of the amendment that has been proposed by Senator Crandell,” said Supervisor Tenney. “I feel that our forests and other public lands should be enjoyed and used by our residents and visitors in a responsible and law-abiding way, but we should not require state and local law officials to blindly enforce laws that we have not been consulted on or that we do not always agree with."
As the situation currently exists, federal rules, whether created from Washington D.C. or at the individual Forest level, can force Arizona law officials to enforce those rules, without appropriately consulting or involving local agencies like the Arizona Game and Fish Department or the local County Sheriff’s Office.
"I firmly believe that the best form of government is that which is closest to the people, and in this case local views and local issues should take precedence over a bureaucratic system that rarely puts local control at the forefront. We should be more pragmatic and deliberate in how we choose to deploy our local law enforcement and I think this amendment is consistent with that idea."
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