NOHVCC Newsletter - September 2015 edition
Read the other NOHVCC newsletter issues
This year is our 25th Anniversary at NOHVCC and we are celebrating all year!
In this Issue:
Good OHV Policy Decisions Start With A Good OHV Ride, Say These Trail Planners
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Seventh in a series. Is it important for land managers, recreation planners and off-highway vehicle (OHV) program managers to know how to ride a dirt bike, ATV or ROV? How does being a rider help them in their work managing trail systems, promoting rider safety, and partnering with OHV user groups? In this article series, we’ll talk to decision makers in state and federal agencies to find out. Over two dozen people replied to our request to participate in this series and offer their views. Some are lifelong riders, some learned to ride as part of their job. We’ll hear from as many as we can in coming months.
This OHV specialist believes engaging riders is the key to healthy trail systems
Jahmaal Rebb grew up riding motorcycles on old sugar cane roads and rough and rugged mountain trails of Kauai, Hawaii. Today, he rides the steep and technical single-track trails of the Tillamook State Forest in Oregon, where he is an OHV Specialist. “We have roughly 500 miles of trails spread over 175,000 acres,” said Rebb. “Approximately half are open to motorcycle only, quad and motorcycle trails second, and 4-wheel drive trails as well. We manage everything from trail planning to development, construction and maintenance.”
Early in his career, Rebb worked for Hawaii’s State Parks System and Kauai Department of Land and Natural Resources. When he moved to Oregon, he worked in the logging industry and with Harley-Davidson Motorcycles. He studied at Oregon State University, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Sciences, and has been with the Oregon Department of Forestry for 8 years.
“I fell into a gem of a job,” Rebb said. “Oregon is a great state for motorized recreation, and all types of terrain I enjoy riding. Oregon Department of Forestry manages the 375,000 acre Tillamook State Forest in northwest Oregon. It has a long history of motorized use, fires, and timber harvest. It’s a very active forest. Tillamook produces roughly 90 million board feet of timber annually, and that impacts our trail system. We work very hard with our roads and marketing units to minimize closure time and manage the recreational opportunity.”
Did being a rider help Rebb get the job? “Oh, definitely,” he said. “To be successful, it’s required to have good knowledge and experience with all types of motorized recreational vehicles, and be able to work with the OHV community. We draw a lot from our volunteer base. We have a large Adopt-A-Trail program and very supportive local clubs that help with grants and the whole gamut of work that’s out there. Our OHV program consists of two OHV specialists and two equipment operators. Having the public actively engaged is essential.”
“We want to have responsible recreationalists that create positive peer-to-peer interaction. I can ask the guys with the rock buggies to help me make a rock crawl, they’ll tell their friends, and they all come out to the work parties, where they help design it, and I can talk to them about our challenges. There are three things that close trails: off-trail travel, excessive erosion, and trash. I feel that if I get them thinking about these things, they help maintain and help manage the areas better. They all come out with trash bags on their rigs. If they see illegal routes going off-trail, they block it off. Everything they help with allows us to spend more time on trail system development and staging area improvements.”
Trails in the Tillamook State Forest vary in difficulty from entry level to double black diamond, and are open year-round; offering a diversity of trails for all types of OHVs. “We apply proven, sustainable techniques to our trail design, to minimize the movement of sediment and keep our stream systems clean,” said Rebb. “We have 500 miles of trail in steep terrain, 100 plus inches of rain annually, close proximity to a large population, active timber sales, major fish bearing streams, in a very environmentally conscious state. It’s very challenging here.”
Everyone involved in trail policies and funding should understand rider needs, says this long-time trail advocate
“It's vitally important for land managers, and state grant and program people to deeply understand the people and activities they are addressing.”
When Stuart Macdonald talks about the importance of getting first-hand experience on trails, both motorized and non-motorized, he includes everyone who has a hand in planning, designing, building and funding them. He speaks from experience.
“I spent about 20 years working in Colorado, as their first State Trails Coordinator,” said Macdonald. “I was there before they had an OHV program, and then I wrote the first research paper when they started the OHV funding, the registration program. I started there in 1984, and I worked there until 2003, just short of 20 years.”
Macdonald had never been on an OHV prior to taking that position. He grew up in San Diego, body surfing, which to this day, at age 67, is his main outdoor interest. He got a degree in English from San Francisco State, and Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from Utah State University. “I was glad I had written a lot of term papers, because I wrote the whole plan for managing OHV recreation in Colorado. I knew absolutely nothing about riding one.”
That all changed when he met riders with the Colorado OHV Coalition (COHVCO), whom he credits for getting him out on the trails to better understand the riding experience. Said Macdonald, “They very wisely realized that they needed to get more respect, and educate the people who were involved in the planning, making the decisions, and working on the grant administration, especially project selection. That was me.
“They got me to learn how to ride. They had a class to learn the basics. Gradually, they took me on harder and harder stuff. I think back now and realize how important it was that OHV activists very gently got me involved in motorized recreation. It was important not just for doing my job, but for my whole career. I would never have had those experiences in the backcountry, or widened my views of the many ways people love our public lands.
“My point is, I think people who are making the decisions, or doing the planning or selecting the projects for grants, they really need to have those kinds of experiences, feel the exhilaration and also the physical pain and difficulty. We’re not just funding parking lots and miles of dirt. We’re funding an experience, and something that contributes to physical and mental health, not to mention economic health and the health of our outdoor resources.
“The job of State trails people is to fairly evaluate the resources and recreational opportunities, and to make good decisions based not on an ideology or policy generated in the basement of a State Capitol somewhere, but based on experience. Riding helps you make a good policy decision, and to recognize that there are two or more sides to an issue, and to not be so swayed by politics or misinformation.”
Macdonald has been working with American Trails since the late ‘90s, when he started writing and managing its web site. A national, non-profit organization, American Trails works on behalf of all trail interests. He gradually phased out of his job in Colorado, which gave him more time to edit the organization’s newspaper, which became a magazine and now an e-newsletter. “I help write applications and reports for a variety of contracts that support the work of American Trails. I’ve been involved in all kinds of motorized and non-motorized issues.
“I’ve said many times that one of the lasting legacies of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is that the funding encourages all trail users to work together, and find what they have in common. And that’s exactly the point of the State trails committees. The most effective way of getting people to respect each other is to have a good experience with all these activities.”
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OHV User Groups Worked Together And Persevered On BLM Decision For New Mexico Rec Area
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
When 6,100 acres of New Mexico’s Glade Run Recreation Area were designated a “quiet zone” by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), some riders saw it as a check in the loss column. Darryl Dunlap considers it just the opposite.
“I’m very happy with the outcome,” said Dunlap, who grew up riding in the area, and owns Dunlap Performance and Motorsports in Farmington, New Mexico. “I’ve been working on the Glade Run project since 2002. We still have maintained a majority of our true trails in that zone. Plus, we have gained thousands of acres of new trails and riding area.”
The Glade Run Recreation Area is 19,000 acres of sandy arroyos and slick rock. It is famous for its world-class rock-crawling terrain and national-level 4-wheel-drive competitions. According to the BLM web site, it has two off-highway vehicle (OHV) use zones. The northern three-quarters of the Glade are managed for limited trail use and 3,800 acres on the south end are managed as an open OHV area. Approximately 42 miles of marked trails for motorized trail bike and mountain bike riders are located in the limited OHV portion of the Glade.
Dunlap was instrumental in bringing together all the user groups, county government, and the Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau, on which he serves as a board member, to work with the BLM to keep the popular riding area open for motorized use. In May of 2015, the BLM approved the latest Glade Run Recreation Area Resource Management Plan. The Decision Record amends the 2003 Farmington Resource Management Plan to designate OHV use areas, a new boundary for the Glade Run, and identify the Glade Run as a Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA). As reported by Dunlap in the July newsletter of the New Mexico OHV Alliance (NMOHVA), “The plan approval comes after many years of work by, and sometimes high tension between, the local user groups. But after all the dust settled and the ink on the final document had dried, the BLM and the local user groups finally had a completed plan.
“Clubs like the Cliffhangers (4WD), San Juan Trail Riders (motorcycle), along with local UTV/ATV enthusiasts have all worked hard for many years to keep our local public lands open and accessible. Their success is proof that perseverance does work.” Motorcyclists lost the most in the Decision, adds Dunlap. “They used to ride the single-track mountain bike trails too, but now they can’t. All-in-all, however, the motorcycle riders have more trails than other groups.”
Dunlap says the main message of this long project is that dedicated user groups worked together for many years and were willing to compromise with the BLM. “I asked people to come up with five things they want, and be ready to sacrifice one of those things. That has worked,” he said.
Dunlap also encourages OHV user groups to always get local government agencies involved in trail projects. “The user groups can organize, but local government has more say than we do. They want off-road tourism. If you consider the entire county, we have more miles of trails than Moab, desert sand wash, and world-class rock crawling.”
Local OHV clubs are working to complete the trail inventory, as well as signing and mapping the newly designated riding area at Glade Run. Dozens of riders volunteered for a work day on the last Saturday in September, which is National Public Lands Day.
For more information on the Glade Run Recreation Area, visit: http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/farmington/Glade_Run_Recreation_Area.html
To read more about this and other public land access issues in New Mexico, visit the web site of the NMOHVA and join its email list at: http://nmohva.org/main/index.php.
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NOHVCC Has The Tools To Help You Build Or Re-Build Your OHV State Association
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Third in a series. Why are some off-highway vehicle (OHV) State Associations vibrant, active and growing, while others are struggling or folding altogether? What is the state of your State Associations? Send your comments to email@example.com. Please include your name, address, and phone number so we can contact you and include your insights in future articles.
Advancing Your State Association Starts With A Phone Call
Over the years, NOHVCC has been instrumental in helping OHV riders and clubs work together to build and maintain healthy OHV State Associations. It has held State Association Development Workshops in States across the country, and continues to work at a variety of levels to help Associations meet their organizational challenges.
Often, it starts with a phone call or an email.
“There are a lot of resources available to clubs and enthusiasts who are interested in getting something going in their state, but too often they just don’t have a clue where to start,” said Jack Terrell, NOHVCC Senior Project Manager. “The first tool is to contact NOHVCC. Let us know what the situation is, and ask what we can do to help, because every situation is different. We don’t have a magic bullet that works for everything.”
Terrell stresses the importance of individual OHV enthusiasts to rally other riders and local clubs, if they exist, to form a State Association. “Sometimes it’s hard to impress on people that they have to have an organization, an entity. It just can’t be Joe rider going down and talking to the local Forest Service. A lot of people don’t grasp that. We have an enthusiast in one state who’s all fired up to get it done, but he is not aware of all the required steps to make it happen, so we are providing assistance to help him work through the process.
“After discussing the situation with them, our next tool would be to help them hold a State Association Development Workshop, State Association Building Workshop or, more informally, partner with them on a program that helps them through the steps to get an organization going.”
Strong State Associations lead to improved trail systems and riding opportunities, as well as better partnerships with State and Federal agencies, OHV policies and funding mechanisms. NOHVCC's experienced staff members and network of State Partners continue to assist local clubs, bringing together all forms of OHV recreation to collaborate and organize. They walk OHV enthusiasts and clubs through the creation of bylaws, meeting set-ups, membership considerations, and all of the details that make it difficult to get an Association going. As an outside party, NOHVCC facilitates discussions and helps groups reach consensus.
Terrell sites two states where OHV enthusiasts have recently contacted him. One to create a State Association, the other to re-build one. “We had started a State Association in the Midwest a long time ago,” said Terrell. “It was very active and vibrant, and then it went away. There is still an organizational shell there, so we recommended to that person to build on it, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel. In some cases, we’re doing those kinds of things at a distance, as opposed to setting up a formal Workshop.
“We put him in contact with people who were involved previously, and with some of the key people in the State government at the DNR and State Forest. Talk to them. They are willing to help, and want to see an organization get started that they can deal with on OHV trail issues.”
To contact NOHVCC, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-348-6487.
Next month: Tools and tips on attracting, motivating and retaining members in OHV clubs and State Associations.
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COHVCO Workshop Shows The Value Of Partnering With Local Communities
by Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC Project Manager
The 2015 Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition’s (COHVCO) Annual Workshop was hosted by the town of Meeker, and featured the theme “Partnering with Local Communities to Connect Trails and Towns.”
In following that theme, COHVCO leadership invited representatives from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), Rio Blanco County, and other towns and counties that would benefit from endorsing OHV recreation. These organizations served on a steering committee for the Workshop.
The workshop, held July 15 to 17, consisted of one and a half days of educational sessions, followed by a mobile workshop on BLM and Forest Service managed trails near Meeker. Representatives from Rio Blanco County shared their experiences in creating an OHV trails Master Plan for the county and partnering with local land managers. They also reported on the positive economic impacts that OHV recreation has had on their county.
Many other topics were covered, including the Colorado Parks and Wildlife OHV Enforcement Program, a NOHVCC presentation on economic impacts of OHV recreation, and how to write successful OHV grant applications.
Aaron Grimes, Outdoor Recreation Planner for the BLM White River Field Office, conducted a brainstorming session after the mobile workshop to identify specific issues to be addressed in a Recreation Plan. “The session challenged everyone to provide practical solutions for a sustainable trail compatible with the multi-use activities occurring in the area,” said Jack Terrell, NOHVCC Senior Project Manager.
The workshop was well attended, with approximately 75 people participating. COHVCO provided scholarships to club members and representatives from small communities who might not have been able to attend on their own. It was made possible thanks to a grant from the Colorado OHV registration grant program.
One of the biggest success stories of the Workshop was how well it and the following Wagon Wheel Trail Ride were embraced by the local community. The Meeker community, local government officials, chamber of commerce members, business owners and staff, all displayed a solid understanding of the workshop and the ride, and have completely embraced the positive economic impact of OHV recreation.
Workshops are a vital part of keeping OHV volunteers and professionals charged up and enthused about the projects they are working on. The sharing of ideas and social aspect of these educational opportunities reminds us of why we do what we do.
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Over 25 Years, NOHVCC Teams Evolved With Changing Times & OHV Challenges
by Jack Terrell, Senior Project Manager
Ninth in a series. This year, the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Throughout 2015, we’ll be including articles in this newsletter about the history of NOHVCC, its challenges and accomplishments, leading up to the annual conference in late October.
A brief history of NOHVCC Teams
As we celebrate NOHVCC’s 25th anniversary, we have the opportunity to look back in time, and see how a vision developed 25 years ago by a dedicated group of OHV enthusiasts has progressed to become the internationally-recognized, motorized recreation educational foundation it is today.
Their vision to “Create a positive future for responsible OHV recreation” required the development of an organization that could identify the challenges to be overcome, and to provide the tools necessary for enthusiasts and land managers to achieve that positive future.
Today, NOHVCC is comprised of volunteer State Partners and Associate State Partners from the U.S., and National and Provincial Partners from Canada. These volunteers meet at an annual conference (held twice a year in the early days). They serve on one of five NOHVCC Teams: Network Development; Clubs & Associations, Youth & Education, Public Lands, and Private Lands. They also elect a Board of Directors that provides direction to the Executive Director and staff. In non-corporate terms, the Teams are the heart and soul of NOHVCC, the think tank, the communication link, the eyes and ears. If you go back and trace how the Teams evolved, it provides an interesting look at how NOHVCC developed and matured.
In the beginning, there were four Teams: Organization, Image, Communication, and Education. As a start-up entity, NOHVCC needed to establish 1) an organizational structure, 2) an image or identity to present to the outside world, 3) an internal and external communication network, and 4) educational tools to help enthusiasts and land managers protect and expand OHV recreation opportunities. The Team composition reflected those primary objectives.
By its fourth year, the NOHVCC Teams were reorganized into Administration, Education, External Relations, Partner Management, Club Management, and Resource Development. The Organization Team became the Administration Team, the Image Team became part of the External Relations Team. Communication Team responsibilities were assigned to several of the new Teams. This change reflected the fact that the NOHVCC image (brand) had been defined, an organizational structure and communication network were in place, and that new Teams were needed to provide additional attention in areas identified as key to NOHVCC’s future effectiveness.
By the late 1990s and for the next 10 years or so, NOHVCC operated with five Teams: Network Development, Education, Youth, External Relations, and Resource Development. This change reflected NOHVCC’s desire to devote additional resources to expanding our network of partners, and to develop more tools to reach youthful OHV enthusiasts. It also was a result of the corporate structure adopted by NOHVCC during this time period.
In 2008, the Team structure was revised to its current composition: Network Development, Clubs & Associations, Youth & Education, Public Lands, and Private Lands. This realignment indicated the importance of maintaining and expanding our network of partners, and providing additional support to local clubs and State Associations of OHV enthusiasts. It also recognized the need to provide more specific support to maintaining and expanding OHV recreational opportunities on public and private lands. As more tools were developed by the Youth Team, it was possible to combine the Youth and Education teams.
There is no doubt that NOHVCC’s Team structure will continue to evolve in its second 25 years of existence. We are confident that those changes will allow it to meet new challenges and provide for a positive future for OHV recreation.
To read more about the goals and objectives of the five NOHVCC Teams, visit: http://www.nohvcc.org/About/Teams.aspx
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Mixed Gear Bag
You know we have to be creative in our titles. Miscellaneous is too normal and
potpourri doesn't sound very rider like. Below are up-coming events and other
assorted items of interest.
As part of our year long celebration, each month we will be asking a NOHVCC history trivia question. All of the correct answers received will be put into a drawing for a prize.
Q: How many years did NOHVCC hold a biannual conference?
Send your answers to us at email@example.com by October 17, 2015
This year's NOHVCC/INOHVAA conference
will be held in Folsom, a suburb of Sacramento the week of October 25 - November 1, 2015. The conference page
is up. Registration is open. The registration date passed, so if you haven't registered yet, do it now.
The Great OHV Trails guidebook has been delayed, but not for a very long time. The guidebook will be available some time before our conference. It might be the day before, though.....
Who would have guessed that there is more than one definition of what is part of the 'Florida Panhandle'. Some people consider it all to be in the Central Time Zone. For others, the panhandle extends a little further and includes the Apalachicola National Forest, which has over 100 miles of designated OHV trails. However you describe it, adding an OHV trail area like the Clear Creek project is a good thing.
The Forest Service has improved the planning for riding in the Florida National Forests with website services. You are now able to purchase your OHV trail passes for the Apalachicola and the Ocala National Forests at online at Recreation.gov. They are running a spotlight article right now that gives riders great ideas for planning their trips.
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