NOHVCC Newsletter - August 2010 edition

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In this Issue:

 

Trail Equipment Demos Offered at NOHVCC Conference

by Russ Ehnes, NOHVCC Executive Director

 

MT Trail MaintenanceBuilding and maintaining motorized and non-motorized trails is an important and challenging part of any trails program.  Efficiency is the name of the game with the budget challenges we all face these days.  Doing more work with less investment is the key.  Efficient machinery can increase your ability to maintain trails and will save money over time.

 

The 2010 NOHVCC/ NAOPM Conference will offer attendeesMT Trail Maintenance with Equipment a unique opportunity to see trail construction and maintenance tools in action.  While showing construction equipment at symposiums is not a new idea, it isn’t often that the tools really get a chance to show what they can really do.  That’s exactly what we’ll be doing at the conference.  The machines will be building trail from scratch at Bull Run Guest Ranch near Cascade, Montana.

 

The demonstration will include the new Sutter 500 Trail Dozer, the brand new Single Track 240 trail machine, several mini-excavators, material haulers, loaders, and trail rakes.  Manufacturers and trail building and operating experts will be on hand to demonstrate the machines.  There will even be an opportunity to try some of the machines yourself.  See you there!

 

 

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Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area CRT Award

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator

 

 

SnowmobilersContinuing with the coverage of the 2010 CRT awards which include motorized recreation or groups, this issue will highlight the Agassiz Recreational Trail.

 

Nestled in the shadow of Mount Katahdin, just south of Maine’s Baxter State Park, The Nature Conservancy’s Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area (DLWA) is a 46,271-acre ecological reserve that welcomes multiple recreational uses.  The Nature Conservancy purchased the DLWA in 2002 as part of the nationally recognized Katahdin Forest Project.  It provides a vital link in nearly 500,000 acres of contiguous conservation land Man walking up dry streambed(connecting Baxter State Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Maine’s Nahmakanta Reserve, and the Conservancy’s Trout Mountain Preserve).  The land encompasses a 15-mile portion of the “Hundred Mile Wilderness” section of the Appalachian Trail adjacent to Baxter State Park. 

 

Debsconeag means “carrying place,” named by native Micmac Indians for the portage sites where birch bark canoes were carried around rapids and waterfalls.  The DLWA contains the highest concentration of pristine, remote ponds in New England.  It holds thousands of acres of mature forests, some of which have not been harvested in 70 to 100 years, or even more.  These lands have a long history and great variety of recreational uses and today hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting, fishing and snowmobiling on authorized trails are all welcome on this preserve.

 

Prior to the Conservancy’s ownership, the DLWA included dozens of miles of established traditional foot trails that were etched in place decades or even centuries ago.  These trails were often made by the feet of thousands of individuals – but with little benefit of modern trail planning and construction techniques.  As a result, trails tended to proceed in a straight line to the destination of interest (often straight up steep slopes or through wet ground) with little accommodation for environmental protection or the comfort of the hiker.  Out of necessity, snowmobile trails proceeded through boulder fields and grooming was difficult, restricting the length of the sledding season.  The Recreational Trails Program has made it possible to improve the existing trail system and even add a new trail to the previously inaccessible but popular “Ice Caves,” which allow hikers to descend and find remnants of winter well into the summer.

 

This project won the 2010 Multiple-Use Management and Corridor Sharing.  Congratulations to all involved.

 

The Coalition of Recreational Trails is a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests. It has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, to support its implementation and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. The awards are part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. The Coalition gives out 7 project awards and 2 state awards each year. A full list of award winners can be found on their website. Get more information about the Coalition.

 

The Recreational Trails Program needs all of our help to ensure that it is included in the next transportation bill. Be sure to contact your legislators [again] and explain that this program is a pay-to-play program. The money from the Recreational Trails Program comes from the un-refunded gasoline tax used by off-highway vehicle recreation.

 

 

 

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Coalition of Recreational Trail Users

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator

  

boy demoing a small dirt bike at boothThe fourth and final 2010 CRT awards which include motorized recreation or groups, is Minnesota’s Coalition for Recreational Trail Users (CRTU) Educational Trailer.

 

In 2007, the coalition recognized the need to educate the motorized trails communities, as well as the general public, regarding safe and responsible motorized recreation; the rules, regulations, and maps of designated trails; the changes being implemented by the MN Department of Natural Resources’ (MN DNR) Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) travel management process changes; and the state associations themselves.

 

To answer these needs, CRTU developed a plan for an education and outreach trailer.  The trailer would be stocked with rules, regulations, maps, safety, youth safety training CDs, and state association information; in both paper and multimedia format via an integrated flat screen display, computer and DVD player. CRTU Trailer Guy Expo The trailer would be manned with members from the partner organizations who were knowledgeable about the states’ and associations’ programs.  The member organizations’ goal was to educate their membership and rider enthusiasts who were not members of any club or association since it has been shown that club and/or association membership leads to more responsible and better informed riders.  We felt that by giving safety and appropriate riding information out to peers by peers, the messages would be received better.  We could also more effectively explain why club and association membership is important to the future of the sport.  A secondary purpose was to expose members of the general population to motorized recreation as a legitimate activity and give them an opportunity to view one of the many positive aspects of the rider community.

 

The CRTU created a proposal and submitted it to the MN DNR to obtain funding from the Recreational Trails Program education fund.  The matching grant money was provided by contributions from all of the partner organizations.  The project was awarded later that year.

 

The CRTU also applied for a Yamaha OHV Access Initiative grant and was awarded $10,000 to keep the trailer running in 2009, develop additional literature, and upgrade the displays.

 

The trailer was purchased and outfitted in 2008 and began its journey that year. The reception of the educational trailer in the motorized community has been very positive.  In 2008, the trailer traveled over 3,000 miles, made 15 appearances at locations with over 101,000 attendees.  In 2009 the trailer again traveled over 3,000 miles and made 14 appearances at locations with over 226,000 attendees including a day at the MN DNR area of the Minnesota State Fair.  That single day at the State Fair exposed us to thousands of people in the non-motorized community, many of whom stopped by to see what we have to offer and what our purpose is.

 

Thousands of pieces of literature have been handed out, but more importantly, association representatives have made contact with thousands of peers, spreading the message of safe and responsible use of our trail system and public lands.

 

The Coalition of Recreational Trail Users is a partnership of Minnesota’s motorized recreational trail user communities.  It is composed of:

  • The Amateur Riders Motorcycle Association (ARMCA, operating as District 23 of the American Motorcyclist Association)www.armca.org
  • The All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) www.atvam.org
  • The Minnesota 4 Wheel Drive Association (MN4WDA) www.mn4wda.com
  • The Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MNUSA) www.mnsnowmobiler.org

 

This project won the 2010 Education & Communication.  Congratulations to all involved.

 

The Coalition of Recreational Trails is a national organization representing the nation's major trail interests. It has been working since 1992 to build awareness and understanding of the Recreational Trails Program, to support its implementation and to help insure that it receives adequate funding. The awards are part of the Coalition's ongoing effort to promote and celebrate this highly successful program, which has greatly enhanced the quantity and quality of trail experiences available to the public. The Coalition gives out 7 project awards and 2 state awards each year. A full list of award winners can be found on their website. Get more information about the Coalition.

 

The Recreational Trails Program needs all of our help to ensure that it is included in the next transportation bill. Be sure to contact your legislators [again] and explain that this program is a pay-to-play program. The money from the Recreational Trails Program comes from the un-refunded gasoline tax used by off-highway vehicle recreation.

 

 

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Ron Morgenthaler - OHV Advocate

by Jack Terrell, NOHVCC Senior Project Coordinator

 

Ron MorgenthalerOn the night of August 9th we lost Ron Morgenthaler, NOHVCC Washington State Partner, after a heroic five-year battle with cancer. Ron’s legacy as an OHV enthusiast and advocate in Washington state and on the national level will endure for decades to come. Future generations of riders will enjoy the benefits of his tireless efforts to protect our right to ride.

 

Ron was a member of the original design team that laid the foundation for the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), and he served as an officer and board member of the NOHVCC for many years. He was inducted into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame in 2006.

 

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, ElRae, and members of his family. He will be truly missed by all of us.

 

A Facebook page has been started to celebrate Ron’s life. Please visit it to read more about this amazing man who accomplished so much for all of us in the OHV community: 

 


 

 

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