NOHVCC Newsletter - February 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:




Original “Design Team” Set The Stage For NOHVCC’s Growth And Success

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer


Second in a seriesThis 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. 


Last month, we looked back at how NOHVCC was originally created in the summer of 1990. This month, we honor the original NOHVCC “Design Team” that set the stage for the organization’s growth and success.  


celerating birthday at early NOHVCC conferenceBy January, 1991, just 6 months after an organizational meeting that created the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), the “Design Team” had grown to 24 individuals that moved NOHVCC forward. Their names are listed on a 1991 NOHVCC brochure, along with the team’s original vision statement, which has stood the test of time and today is the NOHVCC motto:


“Creating A Positive Future For Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation”


Here is part of what was printed on the 1991 NOHVCC brochure:


Vision: A nationwide system which addresses the issues and opportunities facing people concerned with creating a positive future for off-highway vehicle recreation.


Mission: Create an ongoing communication forum through which OHV enthusiasts and their organizations and supporters can share information and experience, participate in educational opportunities, and become partners in creating a positive image of the sport.


Purpose: The Design Team identified six focus areas which Original Adventure Trail trailerprovide a framework for NOHVCC action.

  1. Strengthen existing OHV groups through improved organizational skills and increased membership.
  2. Promote a positive public image of the sport with land managers, government officials, and the general public.
  3. Create a nationwide communications network of OHV enthusiasts and their supporters.
  4. Provide ongoing educational opportunities and reference materials in volunteer development, organization/club management, community action, meeting management, resource development, and others.
  5. Develop partnerships with “decision-makers” to help them recognize that OHV use can be effectively managed.
  6. Ensure that all OHV enthusiasts are aware of the impact of their actions on the environment.


NOHVCC would like to acknowledge and thank all the members of the original Design Team, whose vision, hard work, and dedication to responsible OHV recreation gave NOHVCC its very start. Here are their names and titles at the time, as listed on the first NOHVCC brochure:


Original NOHVCC “Design Team” Members:

  • Tom Crimmins, U.S. Forest Service
  • Jeff Devol, WV OHV Association
  • Steve Gunderson, Idaho Trail Machine Association
  • Nancy Huddleston, Trail Riders Association of Illinois
  • Howard Johnson, Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan
  • George Lear, Northern VA Trail Riders Association
  • Lloyd Liebetrau, Colorado Parks & Rec. Trails
  • Eric Lundquist, American Motorcyclist Association
  • Ryck Lydecker, Motorcycle Industry Council
  • Charlie Morey, Dirt Rider Magazine
  • Ron Morgenthaler, Northwest Motorcycle Association
  • Jack Orlinski, NY State M/C Trail Riders Association
  • Randy Harden, Lakeshore ATV Club of WI
  • Jim Pilon, AMA, District 37
  • Steve Thomas, Midwest Trail Riders Association
  • Mark Schmidt, Seminole Honda-Kawasaki
  • Beverly Evans, 4H ATV Safety Program
  • Chuck Wells, Idaho State Parks and Rec.
  • Linda Van Wyck, Utah ATV Association
  • Susan Halbert, Facilitator; Training
  • Paul Slavik, American Honda
  • Lynn Umemoto, American Honda
  • Silvio Carrara, American Honda
  • Bob Clever, American Honda


Thanks to our Design Team for creating the structure to make NOHVCC so effective throughout our 25 years!



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State Partners Bring The NOHVCC Mission And Tools To OHV Clubs & Associations

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer


Imagine a birthday cake in the shape of the Unites States and Canada.


If you put a candle in every state and province that has a NOHVCC State Partner, there would be 45 candles. Light all the candles and you can start to see the impact of this network of experienced, dedicated volunteers -- creating a positive (and bright) future for off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation.


NOHVCC State Partners at view pointThe National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The key to its longevity and success are many talented, hard-working State Partners and Associate State Partners. NOHVCC was founded not as a member organization, but a service organization. From the very beginning, its role has been to assist and support the work of OHV clubs and state associations, not compete for membership. “This was not a president-top-down approach but a council of OHV leaders, all at the same level,” said Paul Slavik, who helped organize NOHVCC in 1990. (See “Honda’s Vision Became NOHVCC’s Mission” in last month’s newsletter:


State Partners and Associate State Partners act as a liaison between NOHVCC and the OHV communities in their states. They promote and distribute the many “tools” NOHVCC has compiled over 25 years, on safe and responsible riding, building and maintaining sustainable trails, and related issues. Partners also assist OHV enthusiasts in organizing local clubs and state associations, attend the annual NOHVCC conference, and regularly report to NOHVCC news on their state’s OHV events, legislation, trails and related matters.


NOHVCC Partners work closely with the NOHVCC Staff and Board of Directors. However, they are not official media spokes-persons for NOHVCC. “NOHVCC Partners support the NOHVCC mission by being informed on important issues and speaking on behalf of their clubs and associations, but they do not speak on behalf of NOHVCC,” said Russ Ehnes, NOHVCC Executive Director. (See the October, 2014, Newsletter:


Join this incredible network of OHV advocates


Currently, there are 15 states and provinces withoutNOHVCC Partners Collage a NOHVCC State Partner. They are Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Wyoming, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon. Of the states with State Partners, those with openings for Associate State Partners are: Kansas, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.


Please note: Even if your state has Associate State Partners, consider applying to join that list. There is no limit to the number of Associate State Partners, and NOHVCC’s goal is to have representatives in each state and province from all types of OHVs.


For a complete list of the responsibilities, qualifications and benefits of becoming a NOHVCC State Partner or Associate State Partner, go to this page of the NOHVCC web site:


To receive an application to become a State Partner or Associate State Partner, contact NOHVCC by sending an email to, calling 800-348-6487, or writing to NOHVCC, 427 Central Ave West, Great Falls, MT 59404.


To identify and contact the current NOHVCC State Partner and Associate State Partners in your State, go to




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“Yes I Make OHV Trail Decisions. No I Don’t Ride Or Want To Learn.”

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer


“No, I’ve never been on an off-highway vehicle,” said the state trail planner. “And our state’s land managers aren’t interested either.”


Trail closure notice if foreground and ATV rider viewing overlook in backgroundThat comment, made during a phone interview last year, took me by surprise. I might expect to hear it made by a recreation planner in a National Forest, someone dealing with all forms of outdoor activities on public land. But not by a person working for a state’s department of natural resources, whose job it is to plan recreational trails. 


There are over 40 states in the U.S. with programs for off-highway vehicles (OHVs). There are over 150 National Forests that each year must publish Motorized Vehicle Use Maps (MVUMs), with hundreds of District Rangers deciding which Forest Roads and trails will be open to OHVs, closed to OHVs, or decommissioned. 


How many state and federal agencies like to hire recreation planners, technicians and OHV program managers who enjoy riding OHVs on their days off? How many encourage their people to learn how to ride?


The number is likely higher than it was 25 years ago when the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) was first organized. NOHVCC and the OHV clubs and state associations have made great strides in partnering with agencies to promote responsible OHV riding, protect riding opportunities and create sustainable OHV trail systems on public lands. Each year, many representatives of state and federal agencies attend the joint conference of the International OHV Administrators Association (INOHVAA) and NOHVCC, sharing information and tackling common OHV issues. Some ride OHVs, some don’t. Does it matter?


In coming months, this newsletter would like to do a series of articles on agency folks involved in motorized recreation who ride OHVs of their own, or who have learned to ride OHVs since joining an agency. How their passion for riding helps them in their work. And the changes they see (or would like to see) occurring in the hiring practices of agencies. 


If you know someone working in the OHV program of a state, the U.S. Forest Service or the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and who enjoys riding off-highway motorcycles, ATVs, ROVs (Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles, also called side-by-sides) or 4WD trucks, let us know. Send an email to




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This Dealer’s Business Model Includes Giving Back To OHV Clubs, Riders & Racers

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer


Tenth in a series. Motorcycle and ATV dealers are often the first point of contact for new riders, helping them decide which vehicle to buy. Some also provide customers with information on where to ride, clubs to join and safety materials from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the ATV Safety Institute (ASI). What is your local dealership doing to help create a positive future for OHV recreation? Let us know by sending an email to NOHVCC at:


Peninsula Motorcycle Store keeps customers engaged and informed


Pennisula Motorsports loans motorcycle to a local racerTed Abernethy is 58 years old. But when he talks about his career racing motorcycles, selling motorcycles, and giving back to the industry in Washington State, he’s as fired up as a teenager gearing up for his first motocross.


“I raced for 30 plus years, motocross and dirt track, and some off-road,” said Abernethy. “I owned Motorcycle Works Of Renton. Sold it in 2005, retired at 50 and ran out of money at 58. It made me realize how lucky I was to be in this industry. I get to sell toys for a living. You look back on your career and see the things you did wrong and the things you did right.”


One of the things Abernethy proudly admits he did right, was give back to the local off-highway vehicle (OHV) community. When he owned his motorcycle shop, he donated eight percent of his store’s net income to promote OHV events, sponsor motorcycle racers and get new riders set up to race. “I’ve always helped kids get started. My theory has always been ‘I don’t care if you’re the fastest. I just want you to be a nice guy and send business my way, riders that represent the sport’.”


Last month, Abernethy went back to work, as the parts and service manager at Peninsula Motorcycle Store, in Port Orchard, Washington. It’s a Triumph and Husqvarna dealership in the middle of a relaunch that includes new hires and a new building. He’s excited to be back at work, teaming up with general manager Kevin Holt, who shares his vision of giving back to clubs and race events not just as a goodwill gesture, but as part of the dealership’s business model.


“You buy a new Husqvarna from us, we’ll get you a membership to the Northwest Motorcycle Association,” said Abernethy. “You bought this brand new bike, here’s something you can do with it to get involved with the motorcycle community. They handle the off-road series, they’re a great legislative watchdog. Everybody that rides off-road in Washington should belong to it.”


Peninsula Motorcycle Store also sponsors club rides, races, and poker runs held by groups of off-road, on-road and dual-sport adventure riders. Abernethy knows how hard club members work and how often they get shot down by dealers when asked for support. “The guy that comes in who’s putting on a poker run, he’s going to walk out with a prize,” he said. Prizes are proportional to the size of the event. The store is donating a trip for two to Hawaii as the grand prize for the Iron Man Poker Run, a 70-mile ride held in conjunction with the Desert 100, the largest off-road motorcycle event in the Northwest. It’s in Odessa during April, and is organized by the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club. “For the race you get a handshake and a trophy. For the poker run, you can win big,” said Abernethy.


“Our theory is: make it fun”


Also part of the business model at Peninsula MotorcycleOHM on Single Track-Montana Store is keeping customers informed and having fun. Just across the bay is the town of Bremerton, home port of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. Abernethy recently sold a half dozen motorcycles to young men serving on the ship, and he hopes to keep them customers for life.


“Imagine you just came in on the Nimitz and you’re not from Washington,” he said. “You walk into a shop and someone sells you a bike and they say ‘thanks have a good day, bye!’ When you walk in here, we’re also going to keep you abreast of what you can do, where you can ride, and what’s going on in the OHV community.


“Back to my theory, if you keep the people enthused and having fun riding every weekend, they’ll keep coming back to your store and spending money. We sell them the toy, then we show them a place to play with the toy. A lot of the shops lose track of that, after the daily grind.


“The industry has changed because of the internet. To keep the brick-and-mortar stores going, the shops have to be involved, they have to be out there, but most of all they have to be fun.”


After decades of riding, racing and selling motorcycles, Abernethy is still excited to be part of the OHV community, and giving back. “The friends that you make in this sport are the friends you’ll always be close with,” he said. “The people I raced with in the ‘70s, I still hang out with them. And we’re still riding, so that’s kind of cool.”


For more information on the Stumpjumpers and the Desert 100, visit For details and to join the Northwest Motorcycle Association see


To learn more about Peninsula Motorcycle Store, go to their website:




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New York County Launches Mobile Apps To Promote Trail Tourism

by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer


Lewis County NY Summer Trail Map AppThere are over 3,000 counties in the United States. Not many manage trail systems for off-highway vehicles (OHVs). Lewis County, New York, does. And it recently launched a mobile app to promote its trails, show riders their GPS location while riding on them, and much more.


Last September, Lewis County released its “Summer Recreation” mobile app, giving residents and visitors the ability to use their mobile devices to see all the recreational opportunities the county has to offer, including riding on its system of 50 miles of trails and 450 miles of seasonal roads open to ATVs. A second, “Winter Recreation” mobile app includes 600 miles of snowmobile trails.


“We did it with the idea that it would be advertising for the county to bring in more tourists,” said Jackie Mahoney, Director of the Lewis County Recreation, Forestry and Parks. “It was a partnership between my department, the Planning Department and the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce.”


The Lewis County Summer app gives riders the abilityTug Hill region trail map app to view the entire trail system on smartphones and tablets. They can see the roads and trails open to ATVs, then add layers of information that show destinations and rider services, including campsites, historic sites, parks and waterfalls, plus gas stations, restaurants and lodging. The newest layer is a “Maple Trail,” showing the location of the American Maple Museum and six maple syrup operations, some accessible by ATV. Ride planning can be done on a web site, created with the same design as the mobile app.


While riding their ATVs, app users can mark and save favorite spots as waypoints. They can also capture and save a route they ride as a “breadcrumb track,” then email it to themselves or friends to display in Google Earth or in their copy of the app.


Mohawk Valley GIS developed the apps for Lewis County. Based in Utica, NY, it provides technology and GIS services to businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. It has also created mobile apps for snowmobile trails in several other New York counties, as well as for the entire snowmobile trail systems in New York and Vermont.


In addition to ATV and snowmobile trails, the Lewis County Summer and Winter apps show the full extent of recreational opportunities in the county, including map layers for hiking, mountain biking, road biking, golf, fishing, horseback riding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. For the first 5 months the apps were in use, about 1,500 downloads were recorded. That number is expected to rise sharply when the ATV trail system opens in the spring. The county tracks the gender and age of those using the apps, and the number of times users view the businesses listed, so it can report the level of success to the county board and the chamber of commerce. That helps them know where to focus resources in the future to meet the needs of residents and tourists. “We use Google Analytics to collect our data,” said Frank Pace, Director of Planning. “We can break it down for ATV riders, to tell us what pins are being pushed on the app, and how many people visited each business or facility on the app.”


As you might expect, young adults and parents with small children use the apps more than their parents and grandparents, and represent a key target audience the county and chamber want to reach. “For that 25 to 34 age group, technology is the driver. With the apps, we wanted to make sure we reach those groups of people,” said Pace. He reports that of all app users, 27.5% are 18 to 24 years old, 33.5% are 25 to 34, 15.5% are 35 to 44, 12.5% are 45 to 54, and less than 5% are 55 to 65.


The county has signed agreements with three rider clubs to maintain its ATV trail system: the Highmarket Wheelers ATV Club, Tug Hill Wheelers ATV Club and Tug Hill Adirondack ATV Association. 


The new web site and mobile apps were funded through an economic development program, and just six months in use are proving successful. “The biggest thing we’ve noticed is an increase in downloads and an increase in sales tax in the county,” said Mahoney. “We can’t relate the tax to any one thing. We had a great snow season last year. And we’re getting more day use (of recreation opportunities). The county has committed to this and we’re hoping to see an even bigger increase.”


The Lewis County Summer and Winter Recreation mobile apps are free, and available on app stores. They can also be downloaded from the county’s recreation web site: Once downloaded, when the GPS on a mobile device is turned on, cell service is not required to use the mobile apps.




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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: When (month and year) was the first joint conference between NOHVCC and the agency program managers?  Extra credit is the conference location.

Send your answers to us at by Mar 20, 2015
(yeah, other than the extra credit, only 1 entry per person)

Answer to January Trivia Question:

No one was able to accurately answer the January Trivia question, but we had a lot of great answers.  Thanks to everyone who submitted a guess. 
Q: How many states have hosted a NOHVCC annual or biannual conference?  An extra entry for those people who can correctly name all of the states.
A: 22 states have hosted a NOHVCC conference.  They are (in no order) MO, UT, AZ, VA, NJ, OH, WI, CA, GA, NV, LA, OR, AL, WV, NM, TX, MT, MN, FL, CO, ID, NC


Dirt Rider Magazine March 2015 Edition (p. 74) has a great article regarding ISDE veteran Scott Bright's Trail Manners. It includes information regarding signing in to areas, gates, designated routes, intersections, trail encounters, and posting only responsible use videos.  Thanks Dirt Rider and Scott Bright for the great information! 


Planning ahead for next year's NOHVCC/INOHVAA conference?  It will be held in Folsom, a suburb of Sacramento the week of October 25 - November 1, 2015; most likely using the same schedule as last year.  Details will be coming soon! 




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