History of the Law
In 1972, legislation was passed that gave the Arizona Game and Fish Commission the authority to perform law enforcement, education, and training related to off-highway vehicles (OHVs). The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) became the primary state agency for Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) activities.
While authority was created for the department to perform these OHV–related activities, it was not until 1989 that funding through the Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Fund was actually provided to administer those duties.
- OHV use in Arizona has exploded (359% increase since 1998).
- Use has outpaced existing funding needed to manage that growth, protect wildlife habitat, and help maintain recreational access.
- A new funding source was needed to bolster existing funding and create programs that pay for trail maintenance, signage, maps, facility development, habitat damage mitigation, education, and enforcement.
Thanks, in large part, to a collaborative effort between OHV enthusiasts, sportsmen, conservationists, elected officials, and the public, Senate Bill 1167 passed through the legislature and was signed into law by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano in June 2008. Its rules and regulations went into effect on January 1, 2009.