NOHVCC Newsletter - March 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:
NOHVCC Hall Of Fame: Passionate Advocates Of Motorized Recreation
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Third 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.
In previous newsletters, we looked back at how NOHVCC was originally created in 1990, and honored the original “Design Team” that set the stage for the organization’s growth and success. This month we thank all the dedicated volunteers who have been inducted into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame.
“Your continuous dedication to NOHVCC is unparalleled. Thank you for helping make NOHVCC the organization that it is today."
Those words are inscribed on the NOHVCC Hall of Fame award. Each year, a highlight of the NOHVCC conference is the announcement of the newest inductees into its Hall of Fame. It’s an impressive list of people, from all walks of life, who throughout the years have made a positive impact on NOHVCC’s mission and values.
There have been 24 inductees since the award was established in 2006. Their OHV resumes are long and impressive. They are the past employees of American Honda Corp. Inc, who helped organize NOHVCC 25 years ago. They are directors of national OHV advocacy organizations, including the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), American Motorcyclists Association (AMA), Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), and the Americans For Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA). People who have tackled major OHV issues over the years, at both the state and federal level. They are NOHVCC State Partners, Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Coach Trainers, and ATV Safety Institute (ASI) Instructors. They are members of the NOHVCC staff and board of directors, who year in and year out work hard to create successful conferences, mobile workshops and OHV workshops around the country. They are founding members of many thriving OHV state associations and clubs.
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) is, more than anything else, a network of people who strive for the same goal: 'Creating a Positive Future for OHV Recreation'. To all NOHVCC Hall of Fame members, thank you for helping make NOHVCC the successful organization it is today.
NOHVCC Hall of Fame Members:
Class of 2006
Class of 2007
Class of 2008
Terry Lee Cook
Class of 2009
Class of 2010
Kathy Van Kleeck
Class of 2011
Class of 2012
Class of 2013
Class of 2014
Editor's Note: We have the full list plus photos of the winners on a special website page dedicated to these people to thank them, always, for their service and vision for NOHVCC.
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At This Indiana Dealership, Promoting Trails, Clubs And Rider Training Is Part Of The Job
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Eleventh 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newburgh Powersports Goes Full Throttle On OHV Advocacy
- Teaching rider courses.
- Organizing poker runs for local non-profits.
- Starting a “Friends Of” group for a state recreation area.
- Hosting meetings for off-highway vehicle (OHV) organizations.
- Giving new buyers information on clubs and local trail systems.
Many powersports dealers are able to work a few of those into their busy work schedule. Newburgh Powersports does them all...and more.
Tom Hartman, owner of the southern Indiana dealership and the Indiana NOHVCC State Partner, is as passionate about promoting OHV recreation as he is about selling the machines. For the past 20 years, he has been speaking to rider and dealer groups as part of his OHV advocacy work. “I can tell you from experience, it’s easy for dealers to get caught up in the day-to-day work,” said Hartman. “It just bowls us over and we don’t seem to have time for anything except what’s right in front of our face. Well, years ago, I refused to fall victim to that. I got started on the right foot because of my involvement with rider training. That kept moving me through the system to make sure I wasn’t too busy to participate. Once you join one group and see how fun it is, you join more.”
Hartman, 62, has been involved in rider training since 1984, when he was managing a dealership in Evansville. In 1998, he bought an existing dealership, and the next year built a 14,000 sq. ft. addition, which included a 30x50 ft. meeting room to host motorcycle and ATV rider training classes and other OHV-related meetings.
When the State of Indiana bought thousands of acres of reclaimed mining land, Hartman started a non-profit corporation and, later, “Friends Of Interlake, Inc.” to work with the state to develop a management plan with a variety of motorized and non-motorized recreation. It included turning user trails into what is today a popular OHV trail system in the Interlake State Recreation Area. “We’ve been holding multiple events up there,” he said. “I belong to the Indiana Illinois Kentucky Enduro Riders Association. For 50 plus years, they have been putting on enduros in the area. A few years ago, we started the Southern Indiana Grand Prix Series. We’ve developed it into a 6-race series and are able to hold one of them at Interlake. It improves the property in terms of riding. We’re competent trail builders that have worked with the DNR personnel. We build new trails and make sure that existing trails are self-sustaining. If they’re not, we close them off and reroute to make sure all we’re using is sustainable trails.”
Newburgh Powersports provides its customers with information on rider training, trail systems and organizations to join and get involved in OHV issues, including the AMA (American Motorcyclist Association). It also makes sure all buyers obtain an off-road permit, which became mandatory in 2013. “It’s part of the package,” said Hartman, a past president of the Motorcycle Dealers Association of Indiana (MDAI). “We fill out the paperwork and mail it in for them, to get them started on the right foot. There are still some dealers that don’t know that law exists. We try to make them aware of those things but it’s a struggle.”
As with many powersports dealers, a common question Hartman hears from first-time buyers is “Where can I ride?” That always surprises him. “There’s a community 2 miles from Interlake. And there are people there who we sell to all the time that don’t know about it. They’re shocked when they learn they can ride on 3,500 acres just down the road from their home. I don’t know why, but I expect people to be more aware.”
Hartman started riding at age 13. “My uncle brought home a little Honda 50 moped and I was fascinated by it. I rode it for a couple hours and I was sold. The first motorcycle I purchased was a ‘66 Honda CB160 Scrambler. Then I jumped on a DT250 Yamaha and never looked back.” Those memories help keep him focused on having fun. Once a month from spring through fall he holds a demo ride at Interlake, and sets them up to also be staff appreciation and experience rides.
“For me it’s a lifestyle,” said Hartman. “It’s how I relax, to go out and adventure ride or put on events and race. It’s being able to be around all the people I see day in and day out, have fun with them on their level, and relate to what they’re doing and what they need in the field. That’s great for me because I’m constantly learning about new tricks and new equipment, which enhances my enjoyment.”
To learn more about Newburgh Powersports, go to: http://www.newburghpowersports.com/. For more information on the Enduro Riders Association, visit: http://www.blackcoal.org/
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INOHVAA Board Members Agree: Learning To Ride Is A Big Plus For State Program Managers
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
First 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.
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 email@example.com.
Has riding helped you in your work with a state OHV program?
There are over 40 states in the U.S. with OHV programs. Many administrators and managers in those states are members of the International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association (INOHVAA). It’s a professional, non-political advocacy association, working to increase communication among state agencies on important OHV issues, such as building high-quality, sustainable OHV trail systems, and rider safety. It also works with federal OHV program managers and other valued OHV-related partners. For this month’s article, we talked to those in leadership roles with INOHVAA.
Chris Gamache learned to ride on the job
Chris Gamache, the chair of INOHVAA, is Chief Supervisor of the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails. He grew up riding street motorcycles. When he took a job as ATV Program Specialist in 2001, the State Legislature was just starting to address ATV issues on public lands. “It was a quick baptism by fire when I started,” said Gamache. “My boss said ‘get on the machine and let’s go’. I needed to be out showing legislators the trails and our best management practices. I picked up a 4-wheeler that was going to be assigned to me. I also learned how to ride snowmobiles.”
Fourteen years later, Gamache believes that, in his role as an OHV administrator, it’s important to understand what it takes to ride and have some riding experience in order to have productive discussions on OHV topics. “Theoretically, anyone could do my job. But it’s harder to do a quality job if you don’t participate or aren’t willing to experience it from the perspective of the user groups that you’re dealing with.
“You have to be able to relate to them and speak on their terms. Someone with the local club can tell me there’s a major issue to address. If it’s something I’m expected to be knowledgeable about, I need to know the details of what’s out there on the ground. So I’ll ride and go look at it.”
That boots-on-the-floorboard experience is also helpful when it comes to administrators working on OHV policies and state funding, adds Gamache. “If you hold that position, you’re expected to have a degree of expertise and knowledge on the topic. The legislators look to you to educate them, they don’t come to the table knowing everything you do.”
Today, Gamache and his family are all riders. “Anyone in land management should hike and have taken at least one ride on an OHV,” he said. “I consider it a necessity on the job. But that learning has also become a personal life choice now for me and my family. My kids are 15 and 13, and have their safety certificates and can drive their own vehicles. We still hike, snowshoe and camp, but now 4-wheeling is an activity we choose to do as a family. And we bought machines to do it.”
Being a rider helped Marc Hildesheim find a career
Marc Hildesheim, INOHVAA co-chair, is OHV Program Manager with the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish. He’s been with that department 3 years, after working 4 years in the Idaho OHV program. He’s been riding dirt bikes since he was 4, and went to his first travel planning meeting with his family when he was in elementary school.
“I wouldn’t be in this field if I hadn’t been a rider,” said Hildesheim. “I got to be a trail ranger for Idaho because I knew how to ride. They taught me how to build trails and clear trails. From there, I got to be considered for a full-time position. That led me to work for Idaho Parks & Rec full time, and build my qualifications to come into New Mexico, help build their OHV education program and then be the program manager. Ultimately, if I didn’t know how to ride, I wouldn’t have gotten through a door into this field.”
Hildesheim is passionate about OHV recreation and building new opportunities for OHV riders of all ages. “I definitely think it’s important for a program manager to ride,” he said. “If you can’t go out and see the trail and feel the flow of the trail, you’re not going to understand what your riders are talking about. Those are the terms that they’re going to use. You can read about it in the manuals. But until you feel it, you won’t understand what they’re looking for in that recreation experience.”
Understanding the needs of different user groups also helps program managers build better multi-use trails, says Hildesheim. “I’ve seen projects where they go out and build a trail to mountain bike standards. A switchback on a mountain bike standard is really tight. It’s not rideable on a dirt bike. They’re building sustainable, fun trails for the experience they understand, but if they don’t ride it on a dirt bike, they can’t understand why it’s a problem.”
Whether you’re building a trail system in the East that involves dozens of private landowner permits, or in the West on large swaths of public land, working with state and federal land managers, Hildesheim believes being a rider is helpful. “Either being a rider when you come into it, or learning to be a rider, it’s beneficial wherever you are. I don’t think that relating to users through a shared interest or a shared experience is going to be less important in any part of the country.”
Rhonda Fowler credits a State Association for encouraging her to ride
Rhonda Fowler is the secretary/treasurer for INOHVAA. For the past 7 years, she has been the Program Planner and Education Coordinator for OHV and snowmobile programs with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. She was hired to do primarily administrative work, but within a month she also took on the role of helping run a new ATV safety education program.
“Our state OHV association had a strong interest in getting an education program in place and on the ground,” said Fowler. “We had conservation officers who wanted to go through the ASI (ATV Safety Institute) training and become certified instructors. I took the student course, and that was the first time I had ridden, about 30 days into the job.”
There are 8 ATV parks in Iowa, some with up to 35 miles of challenging trails, and built through cooperation between the Iowa DNR and Iowa OHV Association. “I want to highlight and emphasize that our State Association made a point that I needed to get out there and ride, and get the rider perspective. Dan Kleen (NOHVCC president), who was the Association’s executive director at the time, got a machine that was available for me to ride. That partnership was really valuable.
“All the ATVs in our inventory for conservation officers were too big for me to ride. Dan helped get me a machine that would fit me. Getting out to the ATV parks in Iowa really helped me understand the importance of having the rider perspective, to see what they see on the trails, and know why they’re so passionate about their recreation.”
Editor's Note 1: The INOHVAA Executive Team is made up of 5 members: Chair, Co-Chair, Secretary/Treasurer, and 2 Members-At-Large. The first three are listed in this newsletter. The other two members will -hopefully- be listed in next month's newsletter.
Editor's Note 2: This newsletter article was the last official act for Marc Hildesheim as the Co-Chair of INOHVAA. Beginning in April, Marc will be reporting for work as the new Project Manager at NOHVCC.
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ATV Simulator, Posters And Free T-Shirts Advance OHV Safety Education In Pennsylvania
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Last month, the Pennsylvania Off-Highway Vehicle Association (PaOHV) set up its OHV safety education booth at two major outdoor shows, talked with hundreds of families and gave away 300 “Access Army” T-shirts.
The Association’s colorful and inviting booth uses the theme “Rules of the Trail Challenge.” To earn a free T-shirt, kids must answer a few questions about rider safety and show proper riding technique aboard an ATV simulator.
“We make it sound like a challenge, but it’s not tough,” said Denny Mann, board member and past executive director of PaOHV. “First we go through a list of 10 safety rules. We actually read it to three or four kids at a time, and ask them to recite three rules back to us. Then we get them on the ATV simulator. We suit them up with a helmet, gloves and goggles. We demonstrate how to get on the ATV, the proper body position for turning and going up and down a hill, and for going across a hill.”
In February, PaOHV members set up and worked the booth at two of the state’s largest outdoor shows: the 9-day Great American Outdoor Show, and the 2-day Motorama. Both were held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, in Harrisburg. The 10 x 30 ft. booth features a backdrop of the Adventure Trail posters, created by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). A colorful poster of the “Rules of the Trail” stands eye-level on an easel next to the ATV Simulator, which is owned and operated by the Association. Proper riding gear is also displayed.
The PaOHV board recruits as many members as it can to help out at the shows. There are two shifts a day, with three people working each shift at the booth. “It draws a crowd once we start in, and we don’t want to miss anyone,” said Mann. “One person goes with the kids and reads the list. Another person visits with the parents, who sign a release form, and gives them the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) card.” It lists the “Golden Rules” of ATV safety and an 800 number to call and sign up for an ATV RiderCourse. Parents are also invited to take a picture of their child riding the ATV simulator. “The third person fields all the questions, such as where in Pennsylvania they can ride and what the state rules and regulations are,” adds Mann.
Each child who completes the challenge receives a free T-shirt. It’s the color of desert sand. The front features “The Access Army” below the PaOHV logo over a tire track and splash of mud. The back features an ATV rider and “Top 5 Rules of the Trail.” Adults who join PaOHV at the shows also receive a free T-shirt.
At these and other events, Association members place a big emphasis on getting kids to take an ATV safety class, either through ASI or the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR). “We found the simulator and T-shirts very beneficial,” said Mann. “It’s a great way to show kids that it’s not something terrible to take a class. It’s fun. It’s not like we’re just putting you in a classroom...we’re riding!”
PaOHV “Rules of the Trail Challenge”
Using rider safety information from a variety of sources, PaOHV came up with 10 Rules of the Trail that could be easily read to and understood by kids:
- Take an OHV Safety Course
- Wear Approved Safety Gear
- Respect Riding Area Rules, Other Users, and PA Law
- Ride in Control and Within Your Abilities
- Ride with Landowner’s Permission and Respect Others
- Obey Signage
- Let Someone Know Where You are Going and When You Will Return
- Always Stay on the Trail and Never Chase Wildlife
- Use and Maintain an Approved Spark Arrestor
- Never Ride Under the Influence of Alcohol and Drugs
For more information on PaOHV, visit www.paohv.org. For more information on Adventure Trail posters, as well as coloring books and crayons -- available from NOHVCC for the cost of shipping -- send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-348-6487.
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CCC Of Michigan Moves From Printed Maps To Flash Drives And Mobile Apps
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Each year, during the last week of July, over 100 members of the Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan gather for the Michael R. Burlingham Memorial Six Days of Michigan event. It’s the club’s biggest event of the year -- 6 full days of riding, with options for trail rides, dual-sport rides, on-road rides and kids’ rides for skilled riders age 12 to 15.
Last year, for the first time, those firing up their dirt bikes for the off-road rides were able to download each day’s map to their smartphones and see their GPS location while out on the trails.
Bonnie Hammond Ott, the club’s secretary/treasurer, did the upfront work, downloading the pfd maps from the web site of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. She then sent a text to all the riders who were interested, which contained a link to the map of that day’s ride. At pre-ride meetings, she showed the riders how to download the map to their smartphones, then copy and paste the map to a mobile app that works with the GPS on their phones.
“I was trying to make it easier for the riders, and more fun for them,” said Ott. “It became very popular and very advantageous for the riders. They could see their GPS position within the map. They knew what was coming up on the trail and were better prepared.”
It’s common to see GPS units mounted to the handlebars of on-road and dual-sport motorcycles at ‘Six Days’. Most off-road riders at this event prefer to use printed maps and follow arrows marking the trails, but were enthusiastic about having the map on their phone as a backup. “I asked them, ‘What would you think of us going to complete GPS?’ There were some that said, ‘Absolutely not. I’m not putting that on my handlebars’,” said Lewis Shuler, CCC executive director. “We even offered to give them a GPS. I only know of one person that used a mount for their phone. The ones that were downloading this into their phones, it was exactly that, a backup.”
How to put your smartphone to work on Michigan trails
You don’t have to be a member of CCC to use this same technology. Anyone riding dirt bikes, ATVs or ROVs (recreational off-highway vehicles, also called side-by-sides) on Michigan’s 3,900 miles of off-road trails and ORV routes can use their smartphone or tablet to see their GPS location. It’s basically a 3-step process.
- Go to the app store for your mobile device, search for the free Avenza PDF Map app, and download it.
- Using the browser on your mobile device, go to the web site of the Michigan DNR: www.michigan.gov/dnr. Do a search for “ORV Trail Map.” Open the link. That will take you to a page with a map of Michigan and a list of all the available trail maps. Tap on the map you need. When it opens, press and hold your finger on the URL. That copies the URL address.
- Go back to the Avenza app home page, tap the plus (+) sign, then press and hold your finger on the area marked “From The Web” until the “Paste” sign appears. Tap it and the map will be imported to the Avenza app and appear under “Maps.”
Repeat the procedure for other trail maps listed on the Michigan DNR ORV map page. Then, when you’re out riding, you can open the map and see your GPS location while riding. The process can also be used for dual-sport and on-road rides. “I’m a street rider,” said Ott, who teaches business and technology at Ovid-Elsie High School. “Let’s say you were doing a dual-sport ride in the UP (Upper Peninsula). As long as there’s a PDF map of it, you can download it onto the Avenza app and enjoy GPS positioning within that map.”
The Michigan DNR web site has links to 100 ORV/ATV trail maps. In addition to importing them to your smartphone or tablet, you can download them to your computer and print them out. You can also click on the data link for a particular map, to download a zip file in the GPX format, which can be imported to your GPS unit.
For many years, CCC of Michigan printed a map book for its members. To reduce the club’s expenses for printing and postage and make use of existing technology, this year it will be putting all the maps on a flash drive. It will be included as part of the club’s membership package.
CCC of Michigan is a non-profit organization committed to the conservation of Michigan’s wild lands while promoting the sport of off-road motorcycling, with a network of member chapters throughout the state. For more information on the organization and its many ride events, visit their web site: http://www.cycleconservationclub.org/index.html.
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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: What was the first year NOHVCC gave out awards and name 4 of the 7 award categories.
Send your answers to us at email@example.com by April 25, 2015
(yeah, other than the extra credit, only 1 entry per person)
Answer to February Trivia Question:
Chris Gamache and John 'JP' Parrinello successfully answered at least 1 part (location) of the February trivia question. Congratulations!
Q: When (month and year) was the first joint conference between NOHVCC and the agency program managers? Extra credit is the conference location.
A: The first OHV Managers Association (then called the National OHV Program Managers Association) was held in April of 2002 in New Orleans.
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!
April 1st is the deadline for the annual Coalition for the Recreational Trails awards. Get your RTP funded motorized project in! All of the details are on the American Trails website.
The biannual American Trails International Trails Symposium will be here soon. Don't forget to register today.
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