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7 Facts You Can Use To Address Wilderness Proposals In Your Riding Area
Wilderness Proposals from various advocacy groups frequently assert that there are numerous benefits resulting from the addition of public lands to the Wilderness system. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) has released extensive new research contradicting these assertions.

Often, discussions with elected officials take a far more favorable turn for multiple-use recreation, when the officials realize that the benefit of putting land into Wilderness designations accrues to a very small portion of public users, and negatively impacts many important issues being faced by the USFS throughout the country. This new research includes the following conclusions, which you can use to address Wilderness Proposals in your riding area:

1. There is no need for additional Wilderness for recreational usage. 20% of USFS trails are in Wilderness areas (Source #1 below), and these areas receive only 4% of all visitor days to USFS lands (Source #2). Routes in Wilderness areas are difficult and exceptionally expensive to maintain, due to strict management limitations (Source #3). Teams of horses and mules can move large amounts of materials but are not cost effective when compared to a pickup truck, and the maintenance equipment cannot be left on the mules overnight……Read more

“I ride…I ride fast…I ride hard…and I work for the government.”
Jason West is an Outdoor Recreation Planner at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Vernal Field Office, in the northeast corner of Utah. West, 41, was recently 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 Jason to find out more about his work and what he took away from the on-line course.

Did you grow up in a riding family?
“I did, mostly 4-wheelers and rock-crawler trucks. I didn’t have a dirt bike until I started this job. I wanted to get in touch with dirt bike riders and the only way to do that was to show that I could ride with them. It was like I unleashed the whole West to exploration and fun and trail riding and high speed and challenges and physical exhaustion at the end of the day. And the camaraderie of riding with other riders, it’s just amazing.”…..Read more

“Big Ed” Goes The Distance On OHV Safety Education
Idaho is big on OHV safety education. And has the trailers to prove it:

Two 26-foot enclosed tow-behind trailers, and a 32-foot enclosed gooseneck trailer appropriately named “Big Ed.”

“Idaho is set up on a regional basis, so we have North Idaho, East Idaho and South Idaho,” said Rich Gummersall, Off-Highway Vehicle Education Coordinator with Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR) for the past 10 years. “At each location, we have an education trailer and ATV training simulator, and they go out to events within their area. We average 20 to 25 events per year, and about 60,000 visitors go through the trailers each season.”…..Read more

Online ATV Safety Training Enhances Educational Program For Iowa DNR
ATV regulations in 24 States require riders of certain ages or born after a specific date to have a safety education certificate to legally ride on public lands. More and more of those states are including online instruction as an option to hands-on rider training in order obtain a certificate. Iowa added online training in January of 2011. Today, for every rider who takes hands-on training, three take the online option.

To learn more, we talked with Rhonda Fowler, OHV and Snowmobile Program, Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

The Iowa DNR ATV regulation book says that youths age 12-17 must have an education certificate to ride on public lands. How long has that been in effect?

The state mandate to have an education certificate became effective July 1, 2004. I believe ASI (ATV Safety Institute) was already offering education courses in Iowa before then…..Read more

60 From State And Federal Agencies Attend First-Ever NOHVCC Trail Maintenance Workshop
The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) held its first Trail Maintenance Workshop on May 6-8, in Boise, Idaho. Developed in response to requests by OHV trail managers and OHV trail construction managers to provide hands-on field training, the workshop was the result of months of collaboration between NOHVCC, Regions 1 and 4 of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), the Idaho office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Idaho Parks & Recreation (IDPR).

The three-day workshop included one day of classroom sessions in Boise, and two days of field sessions at the Danskin Mountain OHV Area, located in the Mountain Home Ranger District of the Boise National Forest. IDPR provided trail crews and equipment for the field demonstrations and exercises….Read more

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 2014 conference will be the week of August 17 – 23 and will be back in Great Falls, MT. The schedule is:

Tuesday, August 19th – Program Manager’s Round Table

Wednesday, August 20th – INOHVAA Annual Meeting and Sessions

Thursday, August 21st – Mobile Workshop

Friday, August 22nd – Joint INOHVAA/NOHVCC sessions and annual banquet

Saturday, August 23rd – NOHVCC sessions and team time

See the conference page for information about the 2014 conference. More information is being added as it comes in and the agenda is being created. Registration is now open!

Is your State helping to fund the NOHVCC OHV trails guidebook? You still have the opportunity to get your State’s logo on the book and website pages. This is eligible for RTP education funds. Send us a message at trailhead@nohvcc.org for more details.

We Can be Even More Effective With Greater Numbers! There are a seemingly unlimited number of legislative, regulatory, and other issues – both locally and at the state and federal levels – that come up in the course of a year that we will be in contact with you about. But, perhaps the most important thing you can do to help is to encourage your like-minded friends to join ARRA and to actively participate! And – take their brief survey about recreationalists.

The American Trails Advancing Trails Webinar Series continues. See the list of up-coming webinars:
•JULY 2014: Urban Trails in Difficult Places (presented by Bob Searns, The Greenway Team, and Bill Nuemann, DHM Design) Details coming soon
•AUGUST 2014: Fundamentals of Mountain Trail Sustainability ~ Part 2 of 3 (presented by Hugh Duffy, National Park Service) Details coming soon
•SEPTEMBER 11, 2014: How to Build Top Notch Equestrian Facilities (presented by Jan Hancock, Hancock Resources LLC) Details coming soon
•DECEMBER 11, 2014: Towards a Mountain Trail Sustainability Ethic ~ Part 3 of 3 (presented by Hugh Duffy, National Park Service) Details coming soon

Confused about the Buy America program? I have heard questions from a number of people. There is no specific Buy America requirement either for the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) or for Trail Groomers. The RTP Guidance on Buy America is here: ; it refers you to the main FHWA Buy America website.

American Trails has a bill widget on their website to help people follow federal bills, including a new bill which emphasizes volunteer use for maintaining trail systems.