NOHVCC Newsletter - April 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:
Preserving Public Access Takes Dedication, Hard Work And A Declaration Of Your Right To Ride
Written by Mike Hawkins
Condensed by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
A manifesto is defined as “a public declaration of policy and aims.” The article below is written by Mike Hawkins, an author, speaker and avid off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiast, and reprinted from the Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) newsletter. Hawkins gave a presentation on this topic at last year’s Colorado 600.
Riding dirt bikes was my favorite pastime growing up. My dad and I rode together. My friends and I rode together. We raced together, for fun or competitively in enduros, hill climbs, flat track, and motocross. I credit riding dirt bikes as a youth for building my self-esteem and teaching me valuable life lessons. While I’m no longer racing, dirt bike riding is still one of my favorite activities and something that my children and I do together as often as we can. It’s a great family activity that I hope will be enjoyed by generations to come.
Studies on OHV recreation find that around a quarter of the U.S. population is involved in some type of OHV recreation. Yet in recent years many of our country's public riding areas have been closed to motorized use. While OHV recreation is a growing pastime for tens of millions of people, the availability of public lands for our use is shrinking. We are at a point now that our public lands are not very public anymore. Many parks and forests are now off limits to those of us who choose to recreate on motorized vehicles.
As a citizen concerned about maintaining abundant OHV recreation opportunities for my family and friends, I joined several others in Summit County, Colorado, in 2006 to resurrect an old OHV club called SCORR: Summit County Off-Road Riders. We formed the club with three objectives: 1. Establish a common voice for our local user group. 2. Protect our right to ride on public lands. 3. Change the local perception of our user group.
To establish a common voice, we recruited club members through advertisements, booths at local events, participation in local parades, hosting of club meetings, and our website (www.SCORR.org). We also leveraged other OHV organizations such as the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition ( www.COHVCO.org ) and the Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance ( www.ColoradoTPA.org) to spread the word about our club.
To protect our riding privilege, we met with local, state and national land managers, including National Forest supervisors, district rangers and staff, county open space managers, county commissioners, and other elected officials. We let them know about our club and our intent to promote responsible OHV recreation on their lands. We asked for their support and offered our support to them in return.
To change the local perception that our user group was irresponsible, we instituted trail maintenance and clean-up days. During the summer, we work one day a month to maintain our local trails. We promote "Stay the Trail" ( www.staythetrail.org) riding. We volunteer to help the Friends of the Dillon Ranger District ( www.FDRD.org). We educate our club members on responsible riding through our messaging and the example we set. A number of our members have earned crew chief designation who lead trail maintenance projects.
As a club, our first major project was in an area called the Golden Horseshoe, a 6,000 acre area of trails in the heart of Summit County. By participating in a multi-user task force, we were able to keep many motorized trails as well as create a few new ones that were reroutes of existing trails considered unsustainable.
Our second major project was to replace an old user-created motocross track in the Keystone area that was located on property owned by Summit County. By working with county open space staff and the general public through a county appointed task force, we were able to reach a compromise on track location and hours. We designed and built the track as a subsidiary club with membership dues to fund its management and maintenance.
Our third major project was in an area near Keystone called the Tenderfoot Mountain, managed by the White River National Forest. Many miles of single-track trails were closed to motorized use as part of its Travel Management Planning process. We appealed the plan, secured grants, conducted noise studies, completed environmental assessments, and performed wildlife impact assessments. We met with elected officials, attended community open-house events, and participated in a task force with local homeowners. After several years of work and many compromises, we won approval to build over 20 miles of new trails.
There is still much more work to be done, but we are proud of what we have accomplished. Our club is also honored to have been awarded two COHVCO "Club of the Year" awards. My colleague, Chuck Ginsburg, has also been honored with an FDRD crew leader "Volunteer of the Year" award. When I think about our success, I believe it comes down to a few key principles:
- Being proactive - not waiting for someone else to take the lead or do the work that needs to be done. It includes starting the club, recruiting passionate members, and targeting people of influence.
- Building relationships - getting to know people of influence, understanding their needs, and helping them do their jobs well. This includes working with local elected officials, land managers, and staff.
- Maintaining a common voice - pulling together a group of people with a common interest that is large enough to get work done and get the attention of people of influence.
- Establishing a positive image - being professional, respectful, and competent at what we do. Respecting other's opinions, listening, and looking for win-win solutions rather than complaining.
- Persuading - selling the benefits of OHV recreation, including its economic impact, value to our user groups, value to families, etc.
- Assigning owners - delegating and empowering critical tasks to good people. We are fortunate to have people in our club like Fred Niggeler, Kent McGrew, Jeff Stackhouse, David Love, Mary Patterson, Tim Nixon, Rover Pederson, Stuart Bower, and Brian Wray.
- Persisting - being persistent, staying engaged, continually coming up with new ideas, and not giving up
If you agree that maintaining our OHV riding privilege on public lands is a cause worth fighting for, join me in being more involved. Rather than be frustrated or complain about losing our right to ride on public lands, do something about it. Recruit your family and friends to become advocates for our cause. Join your local club, or create a club if one doesn't exist. Join your state and national organizations, like the TPA (www.coloradotpa.org), COHVCO (www.cohvco.org), Blue Ribbon Coalition ( www.ShareTrails.org), and the American Motorcyclists Association ( www.AmericanMotorcyclist.com). Get to know your local land managers and help them support the building and maintenance of motorized trails.
I propose we all adopt this OHV Manifesto:
JOIN local, state, and national OHV organizations. Show support, be counted, and stay informed.
VOLUNTEER time to OHV organizations. Provide the much needed help with administration, fund raising, events, and countless other activities.
GIVE money to OHV organizations. Help fund and sponsor events, advertising, facilities, equipment, legal defense, and other activities that support our cause.
WRITE letters every time an OHV organization makes a request to do so. Your concerns and opinions are of no value if they are not communicated and counted.
COMMENT and give feedback to land managers and elected officials every time they do something OHV related (good or bad). Provide editorial commentaries to newspapers, magazines, and online channels.
SHOW UP for OHV-related government hearings and task-force meetings. Attendance at these meetings is perceived to reflect the broader public's interests.
RESPECT your OHV riding privilege. Ride responsibly. Obtain any required permits. Stay the trail. When communicating our cause, be respectful and respected by being candid, but also polite, constructive, and professional.
SUPPORT and stay on good terms with land managers. Meet with them and build relationships. Make it easy for them to be supporters of our user group. Ask how you can help them be OHV advocates and help them do it. Provide housing for trail maintenance crews. Become a crew leader. Support and encourage them in their efforts to advance OHV initiatives.
SCORR promotes responsible off-road motorcycle recreation in Summit County, Colorado. For more information, visit www.SCORR.org.
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Helping The NOHVCC “Design Team” Focus, Communicate And Address OHV Issues Of The Early ‘90s
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Fourth 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, we honored the original “Design Team” that set the stage for the organization’s growth and success, and we thanked all the dedicated volunteers inducted into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame. This month we’re visiting with Susan Whitman Halbert, an expert in organization development, hired by Honda to help facilitate the initial meetings of off-highway vehicle (OHV) leaders from around the country who created NOHVCC.
I understand you spent most of your career with 4-H. How did you first get involved in OHV issues?
“I was an associate professor at the University of Alaska, and the State 4-H Director, responsible for the program statewide. The ATV issue was big in Alaska. Being in the field of youth development, I wrote an ATV safety curriculum for the state’s youth in 4-H, called “Making Tracks Safely with your All-Terrain Vehicle.”
When did Honda reach out to you to help with the first NOHVCC meetings?
“In 1989, I was with National 4-H Council. Honda had invested in a nationwide ATV safety program with 4-H. They saw how we orchestrated our program and materials, and engaged people all over the country. Silvio Carrara (a Honda vice president) asked if I could work with them on another project. That was 3 or 4 months before the first meeting.”
What was your role in those first meetings?
“My expertise is in organization development, meeting management, negotiating and listening skills. At the first meeting, we went through a simple strategic planning process, a framework I had used in other places. That’s where the group came up with their vision, mission, goals, action plans and measurable goals. Bob Clever (a senior manager at Honda) and I were key partners every step of the way in designing the structure of those meetings, the facilitation, the fun parts, the whole thing.”
You mentioned fun. Is that an important component?
“You can’t just work, work, work. Fun has to happen at meetings of all kinds. At all of the meetings, there was some time for (OHV) rides, and some good casual time to get acquainted. There were a lot of really different points of view in that group, a lot of strong perspectives and strong people. My purpose was to make sure they knew each other as real people, so when they got down to business they could really be honest and direct with each other.”
So your job was to help them be successful?
“My job was to be at the cloud level, looking at things they needed to be successful. Like having hard research instead of quoting something someone saw but didn’t have a handle on. They also needed actions they could take at the state and local level to address their specific situations and skills for collaboration.
“Almost all those folks, and almost anybody who wants to start an organization today, think they have to organize with bylaws and officers and all that. An underlying part of my job was to first help them come together as a group with a purpose, move ahead and have some actions and solid ground, knowing what their path was and moving along that path.”
How fast was the group able to focus on the OHV issues of the day?
“That group got invested very quickly. They were all really passionate about the issue at hand. They knew that they weren’t going to have a place to ride if they didn’t deal with the subjects and the issues that were in front of them. We papered the walls 4 or 5 times to get all that detail out, that was a massive amount of work they did in the first few days we were together. They came prepared to really be invested.”
Do you think that group created a unique organization?
“That was my absolute goal and purpose the entire time I was with the group. To help them work more as a team, everyone at the same level, everyone moving on the game plan that we created at the first meeting.”
How did the idea of having State Partners instead of members evolve?
“The whole partnership language was part of the initial plan. We needed partners around the country. We didn’t need a 5,000 member organization. We needed people who were willing to do the work. We needed action on the ground in order to achieve their goals. I’m sure they’re still going through how to find effective State Partners. You need someone who is going to be engaged.”
How long were you a consultant with NOHVCC?
“Until 1995 or so. I was with them about 5 years. By then they had a president for a couple of years, and we were not meeting as often. It was more clear as time went on that they didn’t need me anymore. They gave me a gift. I remember Dana Bell handed it to me. It’s a framed poster of a Dalmatian puppy that has all different colored spots. And the quote line is ‘Dare to be different’. So maybe that was their understanding of me and my process by that point. That poster still hangs on my office wall and I love the message.
“If I could say one thing that is my guiding principle in working with groups, it is that each one of us wants to be heard and valued. If you can help people be heard and feel valued as part of any group or any process, a lot more can happen.”
Any final thoughts on NOHVCC looking back 25 years?
“Without that founding, core group at Honda, and without that group that came together for the first year, it just wouldn’t be. It was a very fun, very hard-working, exhilarating time to see people who could get that much done. I can safely say, I‘ve never worked with a more focused, more hard working, or more fun-loving group of people. And you can quote me on that.”
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North Dakota Dealership Pins The Throttle On OHV Advocacy
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Twelfth 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.
Mandan’s ‘Open Road Honda’ Goes Above And Beyond
Since Open Road Honda opened its doors 13 years ago, it has helped create a riding area for young dirt bike riders, lobbied to increase the OHV license fee to boost the state’s trail fund, and informed hundreds of families about North Dakota’s unique OHV rules and regulations.
And that’s on top of working six days a week running a Honda Powerhouse Dealership, family-owned and operated in Mandan, North Dakota.
“We’re doing our best,” said Annette Behm-Caldwell, who owns Open Road Honda with her husband, Dusty. “We try to create a fun environment. You have moms nervous about their kids riding dirt bikes. We make sure they’re comfortable with it, with the right safety gear and a safe place to ride. We have a gravel area in back and encourage everyone to test ride.
“We also work hard to make sure that if parents are buying bikes for new riders, they get one that fits, not one that the kids are going to ‘grow into’. The last thing we want to see is for them to make this investment, and 15 minutes into it have a crying 8-year-old who says ‘I don’t want to do this anymore’.”
Where to ride & being legal
After the sale is made, the dealership staff makes sure its buyers, especially those new to the area, know where they can ride and what the state laws are. Said Annette: “In North Dakota, you can ride in the ditches, but if you’re under 13 you have to have a North Dakota Parks & Rec OHV certification. We title OHVs, including dirt bikes, ATVs and side-by-sides. And if you’re not on your private land you have to have proof of liability insurance. A lot of folks don’t know that. We even have an insurance agent who offices in our dealership, making it convenient for customers.”
The store also makes sure riders 16 and older know that, if they have a driver’s license, they can ride on most county, state or township roads, but their ATV or dirt bikes needs a headlight, taillight, brake light, rear view mirror and a horn.
Partnering to create riding area
With few public trails in the state, and local officials concerned about roads and ditches being impacted, Open Road Honda worked with the state to develop a riding area at the nearby Missouri Valley Fairgrounds. “We saw a need for that,” said Annette, who is also the NOHVCC State Partner in North Dakota. “It’s a mini riding area. We’ve got a figure 8 for brand new riders, and another smaller one with a little table top, and a couple of little jumps, for kids who are a little older.”
Legislation for trail funding
In 2006, Annette was part of a group that encouraged the state to increase license fees on OHVs by $10. Many people questioned the increase. But the reasoning was clear to Annette. “I spoke as a dealer and testified, and worked on legislation with North Dakota Parks and Rec. There wasn’t enough money in their budget. We needed to come up with a funding mechanism that we ourselves wanted and that can’t be taken away, that will be used for trail development.”
Dirt Bike Night
Once or twice a year, Open Road Honda holds Dirt Bike Night at the fairgrounds track. They invite everyone in the area, serve up some food, and bring out a variety of ATVs and dirt bikes to demo. “It’s fun for our customers to come and get to ride units they’ve never ridden before. Our guys come out and have some fun too,” Annette said.
Reaching young riders with “Stupid Hurts” stickers
Everywhere they go, the staff at Open House Honda passes out Honda’s long-standing and still popular “Stupid Hurts” sticker in the shape of a Band-Aid. Annette calls it the best marketing tool she has. “The kids will laugh at it. I’ll say ‘do you know what this means?’ And they say, ‘if you do something stupid you’re going to get hurt.’ You can tell kids all day long to wear their helmet and ride with buddies and when you come to a county road look both ways. But when you say ‘Don’t be stupid’, they get that.”
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Three State OHV Program Managers, Three Views On Being An OHV Rider
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Second 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.
In Idaho, the interview process starts with: “Do you ride?”
“How many years have you been riding single-track trails on a motorcycle?”
“Are you confident in your ability to change a flat motorcycle tire in the field?”
“Describe your experience on maintenance and repair of motorcycles and chainsaws.”
Those are just a few of the questions on the 3-page application to become a Trail Ranger with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR). Qualified candidates must then pass a riding skills test, on a trail motorcycle geared up with a chainsaw, pulaski, shovel, gas and oil. “We take our Trail Ranger bikes exactly as they are set up for work, take them to a fairly gnarly, tough place to ride and say ‘follow me’, said Dave Claycomb, Bureau Chief, Recreational Resources. “If they can make it, we hire them, if they can’t, we don’t.”
In Idaho, being a seasonal Trail Ranger is an entry level position to the state OHV program. Being a skilled off-road motorcycle rider is mandatory, in order to reach destinations for trail building and maintenance on Idaho’s vast network of single-track and ATV trails. It’s been that way since the trail program started in the early ‘70s. Chuck Wells, a motorcycle racer himself, ran it for 30 years, retiring in 2003. “He was the architect of our program,” said Claycomb. “Being an enthusiast was the absolute bare minimum requirement for job interviews. He was very open with that, and it’s a tradition we carry on today.”
Claycomb, who started riding motorcycles in grade school, learned about the Trail Ranger job while studying Natural Resource Management at the University of Idaho. “It sounded like the best thing ever, to ride motorcycles and clear trails,” he said. “I tested with the agency and made it by the skin of my teeth. I was probably the worst rider ever, but I was good with a chainsaw and worked my tail off with the pulaski, so they hired me.” He later worked as a Sweco Trail Cat Operator, a Regional Trails Specialist, and the OHV Program Manager, before taking the job as Bureau Chief 5 years ago.
Claycomb is proud to carry on a strong philosophy of public service to OHV user groups, started by Wells three decades ago. Especially groups whose trails are built using dedicated funds from vehicle registrations. “We’re public servants. I think that notion is lost on many people these days in government, unfortunately. I remind my staff regularly that it’s not our money. It’s not even our program. It’s the users’ program and it’s the users’ money, that they’ve allowed us to manage on their behalf. That philosophy is a big part of who we hire and why we hire them. If you start with that premise, it’s really hard to go wrong.
“Being a rider also gives you credence. You can’t fake that. You can’t show up at an OHV meeting and say ‘Oh, I’m one of you’ if you’re not. It takes them 2 seconds to sniff that out. And if you are a user, it gives you standing on difficult conversations about things like education, enforcement and mitigation, the hard stuff. Maintenance and riding opportunities, those are easy things to discuss. When you look at some of the more difficult subjects, it’s a lot easier to have those conversations when they understand that you are one of them.”
Claycomb, his OHV Program Manager and Regional Trail Specialists are also in tune with non-motorized user groups. He rides a mountain bike to work. Others on his staff ride and race them. Almost everyone is a serious back country hunter. “It’s not as if it’s a one-sided perspective. All of the trails our enthusiasts ride are multi-use. Anything open to motorized use is also open to any type of non-motorized use. In my staff evaluations with goals and objectives for performance, I ask them to cross-train, to work with the other programs."
“The other part of what makes Idaho unique is that if you’re an enthusiast yourself, this becomes more than just a job. It becomes a passion. When a lot of government folks clock out at five, they’re done. That’s not the case with the IDPR staff. These are issues that we care about, that we talk about and work toward pretty much year-round.”
In Maine, being a rider is secondary to understanding and respecting private landownership.
Scott Ramsay is the Director of Maine’s Off-Road Recreational Vehicle Office. He and his staff of 14 full-time and seasonal workers manage the state’s snowmobile and OHV trails. And in a state where 95% of the land is privately owned, being a rider is secondary to knowing how to work with private landowners.
“It takes a very special person to do these jobs,” said Ramsay. “We’ve been very lucky getting the right people. A few own ATVs and ride recreationally, but most are not what I would call avid riders. For the most part, they are semi-retired or retired. Folks who have worked in the woods their whole life, as game wardens or private forest managers. They understand the importance of landowner relations, and well designed trails. When you get those rounded people like that, it’s the best of both worlds.
“But I should also say that they do have to understand what the riders want and why people ride. They ride ATVs, they’re on them. They visit clubs, GPS trails and go look at projects. I own a snowmobile and ride a fair amount in winter. I ride ATVs as part of work, but don’t ride much recreationally.”
Ramsay grew up riding mini-bikes and motorcycles. He attended Unity College and got a degree in Environmental Sciences, with emphasis on Law Enforcement. He was a Park Ranger for 5 years, and also worked as a seasonal Heavy-Equipment Operator. A snowmobile rider at heart, he took a full-time job in 1982 running Maine’s snowmobile program, building trails and supervising the winter workers. In 1987, the State Legislature passed Maine’s first comprehensive ATV law. It included creating an ATV program, so “Off-Road” replaced “Snowmobile” in both the department name and Ramsay’s title. His new job description included building an ATV trail system, at a time when ATVs were controversial. “Everybody hated them, except the ones that owned them,” he said. “There was no program, so they were riding wherever they could. That started the bad relationship with the snowmobile community, because for the most part they were riding snowmobile trails, impacting them, not paying their way and not getting landowner permission.”
Thirty-three years after joining the state program, he and his staff have earned the respect of landowners, and created one of the best multi-use trail systems on private lands in the country. It took time, patience and a lot of work by his department and many clubs and volunteers, says Ramsay. “We’re up to 62,000 vehicles now. We have 140 clubs and we’ve managed to open up over 6,000 miles of ATV trails. About 2,500 of those miles are snowmobile trails in winter, helping with cost sharing. And on 310 miles of rail trails - we call them shared-use trails - we promote them for mountain bikes, ATVs, horses, snowmobiles and dog sleds, seasonally all operating on the same trail. It’s pretty remarkable, pretty unique. We know what people want, we ride ourselves, but we have a healthy respect for private landownership.
“Could I be an administrator if I never got on a vehicle? Sure, because I know some that don’t. But you might be more successful if you have that tool in your tool bag, to know what riders need, and what they’re looking for. I think it just makes you a better program manager.”
Oregon’s OHV Specialist was born into the culture of riding off-road.
Reid Brown rode his first trail motorcycle at age 3. He grew up riding Oregon’s steep, technical single-track trails. He raced motorcycles all around the world. In 2012, he was a member of the U.S. Team at the International Six Days Enduro (ISDE), held in Germany. Today, Brown is the OHV Specialist for the Tillamook State Forest, 45 minutes from where he grew up.
“My dad (Barrett Brown, former land use director with Oregon Motorcycle Riders Association) grew up riding motorcycles, and so did his family when he was a kid. So I was definitely born into the scene and culture of riding,” said Brown. “When I was in college, I met Dave Hiatt, who preceded me in this position. I didn’t know a job like that existed until I met him. I knew that was the type of job I wanted. I got my degree in Recreation Resource Management from Oregon State University, with a minor in Forest Management.”
Brown went to work for the Oregon Department of Forestry in 2013, in the Forest Roads Engineering Unit. When Hiatt retired, Brown applied for the position of OHV Specialist. He got the job and started in December of 2014. “I’m fairly new in the position, but I don’t feel new because it’s the same stuff I’ve been doing my entire life out here,” he said.
In Oregon, as in Idaho, being able to competently ride all the trails in the Forest is part of the job description. Brown believes that being a life-long rider who grew up in the area gives him two distinct advantages. “From a sociological perspective, because I was part of the user group that I am helping to benefit now, I have a really good relationship with the users,” he said. “Most of the people who know me, knew me before I got this job. I’ve had a lot of support from them. That helps me convey some of the agency objectives to them, that maybe they wouldn’t be as open to, if they didn’t know the person it was coming from. Having those relationships with the users is probably the most beneficial that I can point out.
“From the purely on-the-ground standpoint, I think that building and maintaining trails is more of an art than science. It’s a lot nicer to be looking at a blank slate of ground and then say ‘yea, I know that this is going to work, or this won’t work’. I know how trails need to be built to be sustainable and still be fun. I understand their difficulty rating and know the difference between a hard trail and an easy trail. That’s the experience you can only get by being a rider. It’s one of the most important things as well.”
Having ridden and worked on the Tillamook trails all his life, Brown says he has a good grasp on trail building, but is always learning. “It’s an ongoing education for me. When you try something new on the ground, you’re constantly evaluating what you’ve done, or if you should go back to something you’ve done before. Being able to adjust your techniques is instrumental to success in a position like this.”
Unlike the multi-use trails in Idaho and Maine, the Tillamook’s trails are divided into zones for motorized and non-motorized uses. Compliance rates are good, reports Brown. He credits strong motorcycle and 4-wheel-drive clubs for taking on much of the work load to build the trail system that exists today. “Our terrain lends itself more to dirt bikes. It’s very steep where we ride. We have roughly 200 miles of single-track, 150 miles of ATV trails, and 50 miles of engineered, 4-wheel-drive specific trails. All of our Forest Roads are open to OHVs as well.”
As for being a state worker who rides for work and play, Brown shares the opinion of his counterparts in Idaho and Maine. “Being a part of the culture of riding motorcycles or ATVs or four-wheel drive, it’s irreplaceable when it comes to knowing what users are looking for on the trail, and communicating with them.”
Idaho Parks & Recreation celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. For more information visit: https://parksandrecreation.idaho.gov/activities/atv-motorbike. To learn more about riding opportunities in Maine, go to http://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/trail_activities/atv/index.shtml. And to check out riding in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest, see http://www.oregon.gov/odf/tillamookstateforest/Pages/index.aspx.
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Spotlighting Jaydon Mead, Recreation Technician, BLM Price Field Office
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Jaydon Mead is a Recreation Technician with the Price Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Utah. He has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Resource Management from Utah State University. He applied for and was awarded a scholarship for the Marshall University On-Line OHV Recreation Management Course. The scholarship was funded by the Right Rider Access Fund (RRAF) and administered by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). We checked back with Jaydon to find out more about his work and what he took away from the on-line course.
How long have you worked at the BLM Price Field Office?
“I’ve been at Price about 4 years. This job was unique because it was partially funded by the BLM and a grant from Utah State Parks and Recreation.”
What is your title and main responsibilities?
“My title is Recreation Technician. Some of my main responsibilities are to act as the OHV/Volunteer Coordinator for the office, which means a lot of my time is spent working on OHV trails and working with user groups to plan and complete volunteer projects. I am also responsible for helping maintain recreation sites and facilities, such as campgrounds, trailheads, view areas, and other sites of interest. The BLM Price Field Office manages nearly 2.5 million acres of land, and has thousands of miles of designated routes and roads. Needless to say, trying to keep up with maintenance and making sure all of the trails are signed keeps me busy.”
What got you interested in working in OHV management?
“I grew up riding OHVs and have always enjoyed it. I didn't know a job like this was available until I started working with the BLM. After jumping back and forth between seasonal firefighting and temporary recreation jobs, I decided to stick with recreation. I was lucky enough to start an internship with the BLM in the OHV/Volunteer Coordinator position and go to school at USU working towards a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Resource Management. I graduated with that degree nearly a year ago, and converted into the permanent Recreation Technician job I am in now.”
How did you hear about the Marshall Scholarship Program?
“I heard about the Marshall Scholarship from the NOHVCC newsletter.”
What on-line class did you take?
“It was PLS-453: Operation and Management of Off-Highway Vehicle Trail Systems.”
What did you get out of the class?
“I was able to learn a lot about how OHV parks are developed and operated. Here in Utah, most of the OHV riding is on public lands and there are many miles of trails spread out over large areas. Learning about OHV parks and how they are developed and operated was good. It made me think a lot about the possibility or need to maybe have some sort of training area and beginner skills course in Utah someday.
“Another thing I got out of this class is the need to develop a good maintenance plan and schedule for our Field Office. We are currently going through a Travel and Transportation process, and will hopefully be able to complete a Sign and Maintenance Plan during that process.”
Did you get college credit for the class?
How will the class help in your overall career?
“This class will help my overall career because I plan on staying in recreation management for a long time. The more I know about properly managing trail systems, the better.”
Would you recommend the course to others?
“Yes, I would recommend it to anyone who works with OHV trail systems.”
What do you like most about your job?
“There are two things I really enjoy about my job. The first is being able to work outdoors and getting paid to spend my time on the trails in the scenic San Rafael Swell, even if I am completing work tasks. The second is being able to work with the public and volunteers to accomplish projects. It can get frustrating at times during the planning stages, which can sometimes take a incredible amount of time, but the sense of accomplishment when those projects are completed on the ground makes it all worth it.”
Thanks Jaydon! NOHVCC and RRAF offer our congratulations and wish you the best in your career in OHV recreation.
To learn about the Marshall On-Line OHV Recreation Management Program, go to: http://www.nohvcc.org/Education/MarshallU.aspx.
To find out more about the Right Rider Access Fund, go to their webpage at http://www.riderfund.org/. For more information on the BLM Price Field Office, visit http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/price.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: Who is the longest serving NOHVCC staff person and what year did that person start with NOHVCC?
Send your answers to us at email@example.com by May 22, 2015
(yeah, other than the extra credit, only 1 entry per person)
Answer to February Trivia Question:
Nobody got the right answer for the March Trivia question.
Q: What was the first year NOHVCC gave out awards and name 4 of the 7 award categories.
A: The first year awards were given was in 2002. The award categories were: Perseverance, Leadership, Attitude, Achievement, Teamwork, Innovation, and Excellence.
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!
The American Motorcyclist Association updated with Government Relations section of their website with an "Advocacy Center" page. The Advocacy Center is about the future challenges facing motorcyclists at the federal and state level. This information is constantly changing. The legislation affects off-highway and on-highway vehicles. The Federal Action Center takes you to legislation that has been introduced in Congress and rules and regulations being considered by federal agencies. It presents an opportunity to address your concerns.
NEW Functionality on RiderX.com - Request Trail Access RiderX.com has been redesigned to help clubs easily create and maintain your trail systems.The “Request Trail Access” feature will allow you to identify specific trails that you are responsible for in your area. Once approved, you will have the ability to provide near real-time updates to trail information.
The biannual American Trails International Trails Symposium will be here soon. Don't forget to register today.
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