NOHVCC Newsletter - October 2016 edition
Read the other NOHVCC newsletter issues
In this Issue:
Joint NOHVCC/INOHVAA Conference Sets A Positive Course For OHV Recreation
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
“It’s been an amazing year.”
“The Great Trails book and Great Trails Workshops have laid the foundation for NOHVCC success in the future.”
“The NOHVCC conference recharges my battery for the work I do back home.”
“We do this because it’s our passion, not our living.”
Those are just a few of the many positive comments made by those attending this year’s joint conference of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) and the International OHV Administrators Association (INOHVAA). Over 110 people attended the annual event, held October 11-16, 2016, in Great Falls, Montana.
The theme for the 2016 conference was ‘Great Trails: The Next Generation’. “The joint NOHVCC and INOHVVA Conference is the largest gathering of its type anywhere,” said Russ Ehnes, NOHVCC Executive Director. “It brings together many State and Federal land managers, and many leaders from the national and international OHV recreation communities, at one time, in one place. This year, we’re proud to be joined by our neighbors from Canada, as well as OHV advocates from Australia and Iceland.”
“The conference is also an opportunity to get recharged for the year ahead,” adds Dan Kleen, NOHVCC president. “It’s an incredible communications forum, where land managers, enthusiasts, organizations and industry share information and experiences, and grow in their partnership to further the NOHVCC mission of “Creating a Positive Future for OHV Recreation.”
Here is a summary of each day’s events.
Tuesday: Day One of the joint conference included a meeting of the NOHVCC Staff and Board of Directors; and an Agency Program Round Table discussion by OHV agencies from around the country, hosted by INOHVAA.
Wednesday: The annual meeting of INOHVAA was led by Chris Gamache, INOHVAA Chair, and included a general business session, election of officers for the coming year, and group discussions on a variety of topics (see separate article). Afternoon sessions included these titles:
- Trail Training: Information regarding the NOHVCC Great Trails training workshops, such as why hold a workshop and what are positive outcomes from the training.
- Maintenance Partnership: A discussion on the unique trail maintenance partnership between the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association and two federal agencies, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.
- Forest Service Trail Specifications: Presented by Kent Wellner, USFS.
- Finding Solutions on the Trail: Presented by Chris Murphy, USFS Enterprise Team.
Thursday: This year’s Mobile Workshop consisted of a Trail Management Tour and trail tour, attended by roughly 90 riders. It was held at the Bull Run Guest Ranch, located south of Great Falls. The Management Tour of the ranch included stops for field demos on 1) the proper way to sound test vehicles, 2) using the Avenza Maps Mobile App for navigating OHV trails, 3) walking along a single-track trail built with a trail dozer during the 2014 Mobile Workshop, with discussions on trail design and maintenance, 4) observing a Sutter trail dozer creating a 50-inch trail on a hillside, with emphasis on building in the fun factor and resource protection. Guided trail tours on dirt bikes, ATVs and ROVs (Recreational Off-Road Vehicles) were also provided. Vehicles were provided for the Mobile Workshop by American Honda Motor Co. Education Centers, Polaris Industries, Polaris RideCommand Mobile Trails App Program, Kawasaki, Arctic Cat, Bull Run Guest Ranch, NOHVCC staff and their families, and a number of other individuals.
Also held on sight were the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) ATV Rider Course, Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Dirtbike School, and Recreational OHV Association (ROHVA) Driver Course. A number of conference attendees went through the various training courses.
Thursday evening featured a reception and dinner for all conference attendees, and included the annual INOHVAA awards presentation (see separate article).
Friday: The day started with a breakfast meeting for new NOHVCC State Partners and Associate State Partners, hosted by the NOHVCC Board of Directors and Network Development Team. It was followed by a welcome session to the joint NOHVCC & INOHVAA Conference. Presentations were made throughout the day, covering a wide variety of topics:
- What Makes a Great Trail Great? presented by NOHVCC staff joined by several trail partners.
- Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Update, video conference with Christopher Douwes, Federal Highways Administration (FHWA) Community Partner.
- Developing a Shared Vision, Josh Jurgensen, USFS
- Forest Service Citizen’s Handbook, Chris French.
- Great Trails In Canada, a panel discussion on agencies using the Great Trails guidebook.
- Tillamook State Forest Management Strategies, presented by Jahmaal Rebb and Reid Brown, Tillamook State Forest.
- Noise Studies and Sound Improvement, Chris Real, DPS Technical, Inc.
- Building a Map Story, Drew Stoll and Jim Brewer, Great Outdoors Consulting
- Building Travel Management Objectives, Josh Jurgensen, USFS and Tom Crimmins, NOHVCC Consultant
- Maps, Apps, and Smart Phones, presented by Marshall Clark USFS
- Uncompahgre Field Office Skills Development Course, Located at Peach Valley Recreation Site, presented by Julie Jackson.
- Youth Corps Presentation: Montana Conservation Corps, presented by Julie Walsh and Mariela Certain
Saturday: This was the second day of the NOHVCC conference. Following a morning kick-off and discussion of the election process for NOHVCC officers, the following presentations and panel discussions were made:
- Promoting Your Club and Trail Using the Media, presented by Clif Koontz, Ride with Respect and NOHVCC State Partner
- Insurance Issues: panel discussion on a range of insurance issues facing the OHV industry; with Tom Umphress, Scott Jones, and Mona Ehnes
- Western Slope ATV Association, Success and Strategies, Ken Sanders
- 110 Years: Making British Columbia Dirt Biking the Best Ride, presented by Peter Sprague
- Safety Marketing in Australia, Roger Pitt, Australia Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
- NOHVCC Private Lands Team Survey Results, Danny Hale NOHVCC Private Lands Team Leader and with Vermont ATV Sportsmen Association; and Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC staff
- State Liability Statutes: A panel discussion on open vs specific statues among states; moderated by Barrett Brown, NOHVCC State Partner.
A breakout session for “Team Time” allowed everyone to gather for a few hours and discuss OHV successes and challenges in their states, and elect team leaders for the coming year. Current teams are: Network Development, Clubs and Associations, Youth and Education, Public Lands, and Private Lands. NOHVCC is currently re-organizing the Team Structure to improve communications and progress of NOHVCC Partners. Watch for details in the near future.
Wrapping up the conference in the evening was a Celebration Dinner and NOHVCC Awards Ceremony (see separate articles on awards and Hall of Fame inductees).
“We would like to thank all of our sponsors, who helped make the 2016 NOHVCC and INOHVAA Conferences possible. We truly appreciate their support,” said Dan Kleen, NOHVCC President.
Sponsors who made this year’s conference possible include: Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), Speciality Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA), U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, NOHVCC Management Solutions, Right Rider Access Fund, Montana State Parks, Polaris, Kawasaki, Honda, KTM, Husqvarna, Great Outdoors Consultants, Minnesota DNR, Sutter Equipment, Cycle Trader, ATV Trader.
A round of applause goes to the NOHVCC staff for their hard work organizing this year’s conference: Russ Ehnes, Mona Ehnes, Jack Terrell, Karen Umphress, Marc Hildesheim and Laura Feist. This year’s conference presentations will be made available on the NOHVCC web site on the “Education” page.
NOHVCC and its State Partners work hard to meet its mission: “Creating a Positive Future for OHV Recreation.” For more information, visit www.nohvcc.org. To contact NOHVCC about its many tools and educational materials available to OHV clubs, agencies and schools, send an email to email@example.com or call 800-348-6487.
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INOHVAA Presents National Awards To Agencies And Individuals In Montana, Colorado and Iowa
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
The International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association (INOHVAA) held its annual meeting October 11-15, 2016, in Great Falls, Montana, during the joint conference of INOHVAA and the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). Updates were given on standing committees, including By-laws and Resolutions; Legislative; Web/Marketing; Planning; Financial Survey; Trails; Safety, Enforcement, Education; and Awards and Nomininations. INOHVAA also approved a document titled “Guidelines for Trail Signing and Placement for Off-highway Vehicles.” It is designed to provide general guidelines, helping State, Federal and Provincial agencies work toward standardizing recreational OHV trail signs and their placement.
The INOHVAA awards ceremony was held on October 13th. Chris Gamache, INOHVAA Chair, presented three awards this year.
Special Recognition Award: Colorado Parks & Wildlife OHV Good Management Program
“As motorized recreation managers, we all know that areas with good management and clear direction have good OHV recreation and resource protection. So having a great program in place is important to everyone,” said Gamache. “This year, we recognize the Colorado Parks & Wildlife OHV “Good Management Program”, which consistently manages the most important OHV recreation areas in Colorado, and hopefully will be a model for the rest of the country. It takes a holistic management approach, looking at riding opportunities while protecting sensitive areas, to keep open those areas that are most important to all of you, and all the riders you represent, while trying to work with the folks that might otherwise want to shut them down in some places.”
Accepting the award was Tom Metsa, OHV/Snowmobile Program Manager for the State of Colorado.
INOHVAA Hall Of Fame Award: Russ Ehnes
Gamache presented the first of two 2016 INOHVAA Hall of Fame awards to Russ Ehnes, Executive Director of NOHVCC. “Russ’s support over the years actually helped form INOHVAA,” said Gamache. “He has encouraged NOHVCC to keep working with us, and keep us going. He’s supported our meetings and been involved in every one of them since the organization started. He has pushed the administrators to become more of an independent organization, and get more involved around the country. I’m very happy and proud to present this award while in Montana, and to be able to recognize Russ Ehnes.”
“I’m stunned,” said Ehnes in accepting the award. “I truly appreciate this recognition. I’ve told the story about another person who equally deserves this award, and who was recognized several years ago, and that’s Bob Walker. We were sitting around a campfire when we came up with the concept of an administrators association that would be similar to the snowmobile association (International Association of Snowmobile Administrators). It’s been absolutely amazing to see the level of excellence your group has achieved in a short time. I’ve only played a small role, and appreciate being recognized. It means a lot.”
INOHVAA Hall Of Fame Award: Rhonda Fowler
Rhonda Fowler is the ATV Education Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. In presenting the award, Gamache said: “Rhonda Fowler, Secretary/Treasurer for INOHVAA, has worked tirelessly behind the scenes for a number of years to keep us organized. She stepped up right away to be the first Secretary for the organization. Then, when the first Treasurer resigned, she agreed to take on that role as well. Rhonda has been unable to join us in person for several years, but continues to work for INOHVAA year round. We will be sure she receives this award. We want to thank Rhonda and recognize her for all the contributions she has made to INOHVAA.”
Photo of Rhonda taken at a later date.
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OHV Leaders In Utah and Minnesota Inducted Into NOHVCC Hall of Fame
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
Each year, a highlight of the annual conference of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council is the announcement of the newest inductees into the NOHVCC Hall of Fame. It’s an impressive list of people who have made a positive impact on NOHVCC’s mission and values.
“This is a prestigious award,” said Russ Ehnes at the awards banquet of the 2016 Conference, held October 13-15, in Great Falls, MT. “It means that you’ve really paid your dues, worked tirelessly for the sport of OHV recreation, and been an advocate not only for NOHVCC, but for your own state and local clubs. It is with great pleasure that we induct two very deserving OHV leaders into the 2016 class of the NOHVCC Hall of Fame.”
NOHVCC Hall of Fame Inductee: Clif Koontz
Clif Koontz is the Program Director of Ride with Respect, a non-profit organization promoting diverse recreation on public lands in Utah. He is also the NOHVCC State Partner for Utah, and on the NOHVCC Board of Directors.
In presenting the award, Russ Ehnes read a letter from Duane Taylor, Director of Federal Affairs with the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), and a 2013 NOHVCC Hall of Fame Inductee. Taylor’s letter states:
“I would like to nominate Clif Koontz for NOHVCC Partner of the Year or another award for his outstanding efforts related to the Utah Public Lands Initiative (PLI). He’s invested an inordinate amount of time and effort to ensure that responsible OHV use would be protected by the Legislation that resulted in the PLI process. Clif is an outstanding partner to work with on any issue, and exemplifies the character, patience and acumen that an ideal NOHVCC Partner should demonstrate. At the time of writing this, it is unclear whether PLI Legislation will ever be enacted or if the Administration will go ahead with the plan and designate much of the area as a National Monument. Clif’s work should be recognized, whatever the outcome. All of us in the OHV industry realize that success is not possible without participation, and Clif’s participation will ensure that OHV interests will be preserved should the PLI be enacted or even if it is not. Clif has been an ambassador throughout the process. His efforts will undoubtedly result in relationships with nontraditional allies as well as strengthening our relationship with our existing champions, including members of Congress.”
Added Ehnes as he presented the award to Koontz: “Clif has the courage to ask the hard questions that we need to think about. On the NOHVCC Public Lands Team, he is always thoughtful and makes us scratch our heads, challenging us to keep looking for the right answers. I appreciate all he does. Clif, you truly deserve to be in the NOHVCC Hall of Fame.”
“Any effectiveness that I’ve had reflects back to NOHVCC,” said Koontz. “The truth is, there are going to be more storm clouds before the sunshine. But the silver lining in those clouds is what you’re doing here. Things like this keep me going. Thank you.”
NOHVCC Hall of Fame Inductee: Karen Umphress
The second Hall of Fame Award was presented to Karen Umphress, NOHVCC IT and Project Manager. “Karen, you truly do deserve to be in the NOHVCC Hall of Fame, for your tireless dedication to OHV advocacy in Minnesota and beyond,” said Ehnes. “Karen was able to transform a passion into a job, and still treats it as a passion. Karen has been an advocate in Minnesota, and wherever she goes. She’s been our representative on American Trails, and she’s been an incredible staff person. She digs into every project, and doesn’t quit until it’s done, and it’s done right. The conference this year is largely attributed to her, and she did an amazing amount of work over 4 years on the Great Trails book. Congratulations.”
Upon receiving the Hall of Fame Award, Umphress thanked NOHVCC, and acknowledged the work of her long-time friend and co-worker on the NOHVCC staff, Mona Ehnes, who is retiring and received a special honor at the banquet. Said Umphress: “When I grow up, I want to be like Mona.”
Koontz and Umphress received standing ovations during the awards ceremony.
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NOHVCC Presents Awards To Nine Outstanding Individuals And Organizations
by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) recognized nine individuals and organizations at its Celebration & Awards Dinner, held October 15th during the 2016 NOHVCC Annual Conference, in Great Falls, Montana. The awards are presented in recognition of outstanding achievements that have advanced the NOHVCC mission: “Creating A Positive Future For OHV Recreation.”
Association Of The Year Award: Maryland OHV Alliance (MDOHVA)
The Association of the Year Award was presented to MDOHVA “for their continued growth and development, and their efforts to preserve access for all OHV enthusiasts in Maryland.” Jack Terrell, NOHVCC Senior Project Manager, accepted the award on the Alliance’s behalf, saying, “This award is much appreciated. It is the work of our NOHVCC Associate Partner in Maryland, Ken Kyler, who has done a fabulous job there. There was absolutely no OHV riding anywhere on State land in Maryland. They had shut down every inch of trail there. The attitude was that the way to manage OHV trails is to close them.
“Ken was one of those guys that wouldn’t accept the words ‘no’ or ‘you can’t do that.’ He formed the Maryland OHV Alliance. The interesting thing is, that some of the officers don’t even live in Maryland. What they have accomplished in the last couple years is incredible. The State DNR has agreed to open up a new riding area. They put out a bid to construct the riding area. The bid package has been approved by the State and the trails will be under construction in the next couple of months. It’s a situation where the riders in that State have no opportunities and have had to go ride out of State. They will now have a place in-State to ride. It’s a most deserved award for them, and I am more than happy and honored to accept it on their behalf. We are going to be doing a Great Trails Workshop there 10 days from now, and I will make sure that Ken and the Association receive this award.”
Club Of The Year: Golden Eagles Motorcycle Club
The Club of the Year Award was presented to the Golden Eagles Motorcycle Club, Rochester, Minnesota. Tom Umphress, NOHVCC Minnesota State Partner, accepted the award on their behalf, saying, “The Golden Eagles Club has been running trail rides and hare scrambles for years; they also added an endurocross a couple of years ago. Their trail ride is at an area where we rode during the NOHVCC Conference in 2011. It’s actually an area with horse trails. The club does trail work, in order to get a permit to ride motorcycles there twice a year. This spring they had 1,028 riders, from the Midwest, Europe, Canada, from all over.
“The best part has been watching them revitalize over the last 7 years. They have turned into such a great family club. They have family ride days at private properties and ranches. They put on Dirt Bike School for club members, and for the Minnesota DNR staff so they can understand what our sport is all about. They are the primary OHM club of two Grant-In-Aid trail projects. They are putting some single-track in at another riding area. They are a great club to work with, we’re proud of them in Minnesota, and they are very deserving of this award.”
Partner Of The Year Award: Bryan Much
The Partner of the Year Award was presented to Bryan Much for his strong OHV advocacy in Wisconsin. Much is president of the Wisconsin Off-Highway Motorcycle Association (WOHMA), and is a NOHVCC Associate State Partner. He championed the State’s new off-highway motorcycle (OHM) sticker program, allowing motorcyclists to generate funds in order to build and sustain OHM trails. Thanks to Much’s groundwork and perseverance, the program received a unanimous vote in the Wisconsin Legislature. Much also is supporting the development of OHM clubs in Wisconsin, so additional OHM trail systems can be built around the State.
“He’s been an inspiration to everyone in the State,” said Alex Bub, NOHVCC State Partner in Wisconsin, and founder of WOHMA. “He wrote a great white paper on an OHM program and where we wanted it to go in the State. Bryan became the one point of contact with the State. He took the OHM registration program through the State Capitol and did a fantastic job.”
“Thank you,” said Much in accepting the award. “Truth be told, when I retired from the military, I swore I wasn’t going to go to another meeting and wasn’t going to get involved in anything. That didn’t work out. But thank you for this award. It puts some figurate ‘gas in the tank’ to keep hammering away at things.”
Success Story Of The Year: Peach Valley Recreation Site
The Peach Valley Recreation Area is part of the 64,000-acre Gunnison Gorge National Conservation Area. The BLM manages the NCA in ways that protect and improve the health of the land and provide quality recreation experiences for all users. This year, in partnership with the Colorado Parks & Wildlife and Bureau of Land Management, an OHV training area and challenge course were added to the staging area of the Peach Valley OHV riding area. It was designed to help improve the riding skills of riders from beginners to experts, and introduce riders to obstacles they might see when riding in the area. Rocks, logs, cobbled turns, a side hilling area and other obstacles are featured, each with easy, intermediate and advanced lanes.
Scott Jones, NOHVCC State Partner from Colorado, accepted the award on behalf of the Peach Valley Recreation Site, saying, “This has been a spectacular project, that so many people poured their heart and soul into. If you’re in the area, be sure to check it out. It’s rapidly becoming a destination. I’m sure they will appreciate this award deeply. Thank you.”
Upon being notified of the award, Jack Placchi, Travel Management and State Coordinator, CO State Office for the BLM commented, “I just wanted you to know how much BLM locally appreciated being recognized for the NOHVCC Award. We at the State Office are very proud of Julie and her staff as well.”
OHV Program Manager Of The Year Award: Troy Elmore
Troy Elmore is the OHV Program Manager for Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation (IDPR), and this year’s recipient of the OHV Program Manager of the Year Award. “This award is for management of an outstanding trail maintenance program and for working with clubs and associations to protect the Idaho State OHV Program during the 2016 Legislative Session,” said Russ Ehnes, NOHVCC Executive Director. “And it’s more than that. Troy Elmore has been working in OHV recreation for decades. He came up through the OHV program, and does a fantastic job managing the overall program. For NOHVCC, Troy has been an incredible partner. When we need help with projects or at workshops with machine operators, Troy is always there. We couldn’t do what we do in this region if it wasn’t for Troy and the guys he works with, and we deeply appreciate the work he does.”
“This comes as a complete surprise,” said Elmore in accepting the award. “Thank you for your support. My employees make it easy for me. I have really good folks working in Idaho, and was lucky to take over a program developed by passionate OHV enthusiasts who care about the future of the sport. It’s been a great ride and it’s great to work with people like you, and come to the conference and be re-invigorated. Thank you very much."
Volunteer of the Year Award: Ken Fastner
The 2016 NOHVCC Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Ken Fastner, with the Straight Arrow Enduro Riders Motorcycle Club, a non-profit organization in Minnesota chartered by the American Motorcyclists Association and ARMCA, the AMA’s District 23. It promotes and supports off-road motorcycle racing and recreational trail riding. Fastner was given the award for his dedication to providing OHV access to Minnesota’s Nemadji State Forest, where his club builds, signs and maintains single-track motorcycle trails, and his ongoing efforts in the State Grant-In-Aid Program.
During 2016, the northern portion of Minnesota was hit with 3 large storms. The damage caused to the forests during the storms was huge, causing trees to look like pick-up sticks across the trails. Ken not only organized several groups of riders and worked with the DNR to get local foresters into the areas to harvest the down trees, but put in countless hours working with a chainsaw to remove tree-fall. Several crew members reported working 6 – 8 hours to clear ½ mile of trail.
Tom Umphress accepted the award on Fastner’s behalf, saying, “You can’t ever doubt Ken’s passion and dedication to providing great trail opportunities in the Nemadji State Forest in Minnesota. On behalf of Ken, thank you.” Photo taken at a later date.
Perseverance Award: Danny Hale
The NOHVCC Perseverance Award is presented “for showing steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in success.” This year’s award-winner is Danny Hale, Executive Director of the Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association, Inc. (VASA). Said Ehnes during the award ceremony, “This award is presented to Danny Hale, for his ongoing role as the leader of VASA, for his continued efforts to provide quality OHV recreation in the State of Vermont, for leadership roles in national organizations like NOHVCC and BRC (Blue Ribbon Coalition), and for his longtime dedication to OHV recreation. And Danny, I want to tell you how much I value you as a board member and a friend. You’ve been an incredible asset for us and you’ve done a phenomenal job in your State. We appreciate everything you do.”
“It’s my passion,” said Hale in accepting the award. “I’ve been very fortunate to turn it into a career. Thank you all.”
Integrity Award: Lewis Shuler
This year, the Integrity Award was presented to Lewis Shuler, “for the honesty and high moral standards he has displayed for many years of involvement with the Cycle Conservation Corps of Michigan, as well as his role on the NOHVCC Board of Directors.”
“Lew Shuler is always looking out for the OHV riders in Michigan and beyond,” said Ehnes. “He is always making sure that the OHV community is looked at in a positive light. He does not believe in taking short cuts, knowing that they most always come back to bite us in one way or another. This year, he again volunteered to pick-up several ATVs and OHMs from the Honda Training Center in Troy, OH and hauled them out for the mobile workshop. He helps out any way that he can.”
“I think Lewis has more miles on his Kubota doing trail work than he has on his 300 KTM riding those trails.” Added NOHVCC President Dan Kleen, “This guy is so dedicated, he’s literally everywhere all the time.”
“Thanks!” said Shuler. “It’s a long drive out here and back. I’m looking forward to having the NOHVCC conference in Michigan in 2018.”
Special Recognition Award: Connecticut Off Road Enthusiast Coalition (COREC)
A Special Recognition Award was presented to the Connecticut Off Road Enthusiast Coalition (COREC), “for their collaboration with the State of Connecticut to provide legal designated riding areas in the State, and for their efforts in educating the public about the dangers of illegal use of OHVs on public land.”
Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC Project Manager, accepted the award on the group’s behalf. “It’s the dream of two local OHV enthusiasts, one in 4x4 and one in ATV,” he said. “They really got tired of driving all over the State looking for a place to ride. They got together and are working hard to build up enthusiasm in the State for people to take the right approach to get those riding areas. It can be a rough path. Connecticut is a State with no riding opportunities, and had the opinion that if it’s a problem, shut it down. These guys have a lot of enthusiasm. They’re learning some hard lessons, but haven’t given up. We did a NOHVCC Workshop with them a couple weeks ago, to help keep them on the right path. They’re grinding away and making some real progress.”
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by Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer
At this year's conference, NOHVCC made a couple of special salutes.
Special Tribute To Mona Ehnes, Who Is Retiring
Prior to the awards ceremony at the 2016 NOHVCC Conference, the NOHVCC staff honored Mona Ehnes, long-time NOHVCC Executive Assistant, who is retiring. Russ Ehnes, NOHVCC Executive Director (and Mona’s son) said:
“Mona Ehnes has decided at the young age of 77 that she wants to semi-retire. She said retire, but I’m saying semi-retire.
“Mona started riding motorcycles back in 1960. She and my dad got married then and started riding together. They started a Hodaka dealership back in the day. As kids, on the weekends we either went bike riding or snowmobiling. That tradition carried on through our family and our children. Mona is in the AMA Hall of Fame for activism. Not many people can say they live vicariously through their mother, but I do. She’s my hero, and in the Hall of Fame, and I’m not.
“She was the glue that held the local OHV community together from the late ‘60s all the way to the early ‘80s. The shop was the center of activities. I’ve always joked that my first meeting was at age 4 because she didn’t have daycare.
“Mona was one of the founding members of the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association (GFTBRA), in 1985. And a founding member of the Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association (MTVRA) in 1986. She has been the Secretary/Treasurer of both organizations, I think uninterrupted, since that time. She was on the Governors Noxious Weed Trust Fund Advisory Committee for many years. Since 1987, she’s administered all of the grants for MTVRA, and for GFTBRA, and for Friends of Pipestone, and for NOHVCC. She’s also the bookkeeper and co-manager of Bull Run Guest Ranch.
“Mona started working for NOHVCC a short time after she retired from General Distributing in Great Falls, where she worked for 20 years. She started as administrative assistant for NOHVCC, and part time, which means we didn’t care which half of the day she worked as long as it was 12 hours.
“In 2009, we took a significant budget hit, and had to change our staffing. We needed someone with bookkeeping and office management, and Mona said she would do it. She did that for a couple years for a whopping $12,000 a year, because that’s what was needed to make ends meet at NOHVCC. We are forever grateful to her for getting us through those challenging times.
“I’m so proud to be her son. She’s instilled the work ethic in me that I have. I can’t hold a candle to her as far as energy, and it’s going to be really hard to make the transition. But it’s going to work out.”
All those attending the awards banquet give Mona a long, standing ovation. Russ presented Mona with a bouquet of flowers and gift cards to her favorite stores in Great Falls.
Said Mona: “I have really enjoyed it all. And I want to thank you all.”
NOHVCCC Trail And Management Tours Held In Honor Of Bill Hamilton
At the 2016 NOHVCC Conference, the mobile workshop, trail management tour and trail tours, held October 13th at the Bull Run Guest Ranch, were dedicated to Bill Hamilton, who passed away unexpectedly two weeks earlier. “He was a close, personal friend and a great friend of NOHVCC,” said Ehnes. “He’s been a strong OHV advocate, and has helped us at the conferences, always enjoying leading the rides at Bull Run. His family has always been a great support to NOHVCC.” A fund-raiser was held at the conference to assist the family.
We will miss you, Bill. Rest in Peace.
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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.
The 2016 annual NOHVCC conference is in the books. The conference wrap-up is underway and should be available on the website soon.
Looking forward to 2017
, the annual conference will be held in Manchester, New Hampshire at the end of August. Details are being worked through and information will be out by the end of this year.
2016 Recreational Trails Program report now online.
The latest Annual Report on the Recreational Trails Program highlights program funding and administration, the RTP database, and examples of trail projects across the country. The 2016 report was produced by American Trails in partnership with KMS Enterprises for the Federal Highway Administration. It also documents the many benefits of the program and national issues affecting trails. Read more and download the report..
Photo contest for National Recreation Trails
American Trails sponsors the annual contest for photographs of designated National Recreation Trails across the country. Our annual contest provides awards in several categories. The goal is to highlight the diversity of the NRTs and to make more Americans familiar with these great trails. We're looking for good photos of trail users as well as special facilities, art on the trails, management issues, construction, and volunteers. Deadline for submissions is December 15, 2016. Learn more...
Call for Presentations deadline December 9
Keeping in line with the Symposium theme, "Trails Take Flight: Connecting People, Places, and Possibilities,"American Trails welcomes proposals that address at least one of eight unique topic areas as they relate to the theme. Proposals can be for national or international presentations and are due by December 9, 2016. Learn more and download the CFP...
Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program on track for 2017 Back to the Top
Applications will be available in early November for the Hulet Hornbeck Emerging Leaders Scholarship Program, which bring up to 16 young adults (ages 21-25) to participate in the 2017 mentorship program at the Symposium. The program will immerse the scholarship recipients in learning best practices and trends in the field to blaze a pathway to careers in natural resource management. We welcome sponsors/partners for this program and will soon have an application recruiting mentors who will be paired with the scholarship applicants. Lets get some motorized applicants and mentors for this ITS. Learn more...