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Welcome to the UFWDA eNews edition for September 2020

It's been a tough Summer for many people in the USA with COVID-19, wildfires and storms, but it seems that people have been trying to avoid crowds by heading into the outdoors. Yep, that's meant crowds on the trails and a lot of inexperienced participants with accompanying rubbish and damage. A fisherman's thoughts

United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc  Director of Environmental Affairs,Jerry Smith, is working towards getting us all to advocate that PUBLIC LANDS ARE NOT TRASH RECEPTACLES!!
If there are readers out there who might help with artwork design, or working with Jerry to promote this campaign, we'd like to hear from you.

It has been great to welcome back to UFWDA a large number of New Mexico four wheelers and UFWDA look forward to working with you to help keep your lands available to our recreation.(As an aside, it was back in 2001 that I attended my first United Annual Meeting in Farmington NM)
We need to also recognize the New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Association Inc. (NZFWDA) who have rejoined as an international member after a couple of years away... largely because UFWDA didn't send out membership renewal reminders, which we are now in a position to do!

Please feel free to forward these editions of UFWDA eNews to other four wheelers. Because some of our member organizations don't enroll their members as members of UFWDA, we don't have email addresses of those individuals.  Member numbers count when advocating for a cause.

Here at UFWDA, we are volunteer based and our Board members are geographically dispersed, so regular 'online' meetings have been our primary management tool for quite some time. Our 'overheads' are minimal, but we still need to have a good membership base. You can join or renew at https://united4wd.org/join-ufwda
Stay safe
Peter Vahry: editor
Read more about resources geared toward off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts.
Restoring Outdoor Majesty: New Law to Reduce Maintenance Backlog on Federal Lands
 
Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). This SAN-supported law will dedicate $9.5 billion over the next five years to address the maintenance backlog on federal lands by creating a national parks and public land legacy restoration fund, enabling the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and several other federal agencies to rebuild and improve trails, roads, docks, campgrounds and more. The bill will also appropriate $900 million annually to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for projects that help to protect natural areas, water resources, cultural heritage sites and to provide recreation opportunities. The GAOA will benefit SAN’s off-roading community in addition to those who use RVs and boats to enjoy the nation’s parks and recreation areas.


Courtesy of SEMA
 https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#search/great+american+outdoors+act/FMfcgxwJXpQssdWSFjbqGQCrTPSXhlCM
 

 

Letter sent 14 September
Support of Endangered Species Act Amendments of 2020

Dear Senator Barrasso
Please accept this correspondence as the vigorous support of the Organizations noted above for the proposed 2020 Amendments of Endangered Species Act (“The Proposal”) targeting enhanced partnership efforts between Federal and State species managers in implementation of the Endangered Species Act. The Organizations were active participants in the Western Governors Association collaborative meetings and efforts organized by the Western Congressional Caucus addressing species conservation and ESA reform and are thrilled to see that process continue to move forward with this Proposal....
Read the full letter
 

Unhappy trails

 
By Liz Teitz on Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Unprecedented backcountry recreation is damaging the environment and taxing limited resources. Officials hope increased education and enforcement will stem the impacts.

  • Ouray County Sheriff Justin Perry and Ouray Police Chief Jeff Wood intercept drivers headed up County Road 361 near Senator Gulch on Monday. The officials have started a public education campaign to talk with drivers about trails etiquette after increased conflicts, accidents and damage on high country roads, which are experiencing more visitation. Perry attributes the popularity to COVID-19 and people wanting to get outside. Photo by Erin McIntyre
    Ouray County Sheriff Justin Perry and Ouray Police Chief Jeff Wood intercept drivers headed up County Road 361 near Senator Gulch on Monday. The officials have started a public education campaign to talk with drivers about trails etiquette after increased conflicts, accidents and damage on high country roads, which are experiencing more visitation. Perry attributes the popularity to COVID-19 and people wanting to get outside. Photo by Erin McIntyre
  • A Jeep with a “OURAYCO” vanity license plate from Michigan waits to head up Engineer Pass south of Ouray. Local law enforcement officials have noticed more accidents, more visitation and more conflict on high country roads between users who aren’t used to trail etiquette. Traffic counts on the bridge below this turnoff, at the Ice Park, show roughly 40 percent more traffic along the route in July, compared to July 2019. Photo by Erin McIntyre
    A Jeep with a “OURAYCO” vanity license plate from Michigan waits to head up Engineer Pass south of Ouray. Local law enforcement officials have noticed more accidents, more visitation and more conflict on high country roads between users who aren’t used to trail etiquette. Traffic counts on the bridge below this turnoff, at the Ice Park, show roughly 40 percent more traffic along the route in July, compared to July 2019. Photo by Erin McIntyre
 

As a steady stream of Jeeps, ATVs and side-by-sides headed up County Road 361 Monday morning, Ouray Police Chief Jeff Wood and Ouray County Sheriff Justin Perry held up their hands, stopping each vehicle as it approached Senator Gulch.

“We’ve had a couple issues with people driving off the trail,” Wood told one driver, handing him a flyer detailing the rules of backcountry etiquette.

“We’ve had a few incidents of people driving on the tundra,” he said, “so just take a look at it when you get a chance.”

In about two hours, the pair handed out more than 50 of the flyers to drivers on Camp Bird Road and at the entrance to Engineer Pass, both popular sites for off-highway-vehicle drivers, who are swarming the region this summer. Though the Alpine Loop is always a popular destination for four-wheel enthusiasts, the gateway communities to the route are noticing the impacts of its popularity during the pandemic.

The unprecedented number of visitors who are driving and hiking trails and backcountry roads is putting pressure on local resources and, in some cases, causing damage to fragile tundra and other public lands. Local law enforcement, Forest Service employees and outdoor enthusiasts are also making efforts to educate people about the impacts of their behavior to mitigate the effects.

Read the whole article 

Reproduced by permission.

Please consider a donation to Report for America, a nonprofit organization that is placing journalists like Liz in newsrooms across the country. It is through those contributions that Liz is able to do the sort of work that she did with this article. Here is the link if anyone would like to consider making a contribution:https://checkout.fundjournalism.org/memberform?org_id=reportforamerica&campaign=701f40000003GXw&theme=Ouray+County+Plaindealer+newspaper&installmentPeriod=once
 
Signs at front entrance of Oceano State Vehicular Recreation Area

Important meetings coming up on Oceano SVRA

From Jeff Blewett, Cal4Wheel Northern Natural Resource Consultant

Oceano Dunes SVRA has three important meetings coming up in the next few weeks and here is your chance to get involved and help save the dunes from permanent closure.

The dunes are scheduled to be reopen on October 1, but many of the anti-access groups are mobilizing to do anything it takes to keep the dunes closed forever.

This is your opportunity to get involved and take an active role in the fight to help to get Oceano Dunes SVRA reopened on October 1.

Please take a minute to register and speak at these meetings:

APCD BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING:
September 23, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.
Zoom Meeting ID: 923 4448 6965 or Zoom Webinar Meeting sign in link: https://zoom.us/j/92344486965
 
STATE PARKS OFF-HIGHWAY MOTOR VEHICLE RECREATION (OHMVR) COMMISSION MEETING:
September 24, 2020 at 8:30 a.m.
To speak at the commission meeting, please register via the zoom link provided:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_io7Iolb0RR2fVK-RpC6R1g
 
CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION:
October 7-9, 2020 at 9 a.m. each day
To speak at commission meeting please register via CCC website:
https://www.coastal.ca.gov


Land Use Update - The Gulchesprofile photo
What do you know about The Gulches? Are they open, closed, and what is there future? We have seen numerous questions like these over the years and in early 2019 CORE began working on a long-term solution. Unfortunately, what we discovered was the deliberate and willful attempt to close The Gulches forever. You won’t believe what has happened over the last 18 years!!!
Please  watch our video and email the Park County Commissioners, the South Platte and South Park Rangers, the Forest Supervisor and the reps for Doug Lamborn and Cory Gardner.  
We need your help; we need all our voices to be heard. 
1.
Get educated  watch the video at this link
https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=400961300872079
2.
Draft an email requesting all recipients work together with multiple user groups to ensure multi-use recreation is able to continue on The Gulches Trail System. Ask them to work with CORE and other motorized user groups to find an acceptable management plan. Tell them closure is not management and that they need our help. Tell them how you feel, and why you love to recreate in Park County.
3.
Email your comments to:
Park County Commissioners:
MBrazell@parkco.us
RDouglas@parkco.us
DElsner@parkco.us
District Rangers:
bbanks@fs.fed.us
jvoorhis@fs.fed.us
Forest Supervisor:
diana.m.trujillo@usda.gov
Lamborn Rep:
Joshua.Hosler@mail.house.gov
Gardner: cory@corygardner.com

CORE: landuse@keeptrailsopen.com

https://www.facebook.com/keeptrailsopen/videos/400961300872079



HOLLY OAKS ORV PARK IN MICHIGAN IS MOVING FORWARD


After years of planning, an off-road vehicle park in Oakland County, Holly Oaks ORV Park, is moving forward. As part of a long-term goal of the Statewide Trail ORV Plan, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources wanted to create an opportunity for legal, public off-road vehicle recreation in southeastern Michigan. Oakland County was selected as a prime area to develop such an opportunity because it has the highest percent of licensed ORVs in the state, but no legal public riding areas.

Read about it

This project has had a long gestation and connection to UFWDA people like past president Jim Mazzola III who comments... " It's hard to realize that I had just gotten out of High School when I was first recruited by the ORIGINAL pioneers to help work on a new off-road bill that was eventually become P.A. 319 of 1978 ORV law. These pioneers should also be recognized for their efforts. Most of those original GLFWDA framers of the law are no longer around, Like Putt Caverly, Harry Wolfe, Claude Conn.
Holly Oaks wasn't the first attempt at a ORV facility in S.E. Michigan. The most notable was Island Lake Recreation Area near Brighton, MI. It, and others, failed due to many reasons. Primarily because of the 'management' of introducing the concept to the community and the surrounding affected individuals. Public outcry killed all previous attempts for this type of facility.
This is the area where I have to tip my hat to Jim Kitson and ALL the OCPR individuals who managed this aspect correctly and 'sold it' more successfully than any previous group did.
After nearly 4 decades we finally have our S.E. Michigan ORV Facility that was promised to us in 1978!!!!
I hope everyone enjoys and RESPECTS the efforts so many have fought for for so many years!"
 

 


UFWDA Facebook updates
 
The UFWDA Environmental Director, Jerry Smith maintains a steady flow of information through Facebook  which includes updates from sources such as the Federal Register  and its notice about the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Rio Grande National Forest Land Management Plan (Forest Plan). The Forest Plan for the Rio Grande National Forest will become effective June 11, 2020.

 ORBA publication

https://offroadmediaventures.com/digital_magazines/vol3-issue7

 

NOHVCC webinar USFS Risk Assessment Guidance


NOHVCC’s webinar series continues– join us on September 30!  

Title: USFS Risk Assessment Guidance

Anyone who organizes or participates in events or performs volunteer efforts on National Forests should join us for our September 30 webinar.  Sandy Bearden, Safety Manager, United States Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region will describe the new Forest Service guidance that will impact the way volunteers and others assess risk in projects.  This webinar will allow you to hear directly from the Forest Service about any new expectations, as well as provide an opportunity to have questions answered.

When: September 30, 2020
Time: 8:00 PM Eastern
Cost: FREE!

Register For the Webinar Here!

If you register for the webinar – NOHVCC staff will reach out to you with information on how to log in within a few days.

Primary Presenters include:
Sandy Bearden, Safety Manager, United States Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region
Duane Taylor, Executive Director, NOHVCC

Any questions should be directed to trailhead@nohvcc.org.

Please keep an eye on NOHVCC’s website (and on your emails) as we will be providing more information as additional webinars are scheduled.

SFWDA EDUCATIONAL VIDEO SERIES 

 SFWDA Educational Videos are produced with volunteers through our SFWDA Grant Program
which is focused on supporting our core mission of Education for the OHV community as a whole.

“ We strongly believe and hope that through education we will provide everlasting stewardship" 


https://www.sfwda.org/education
UFWDA eNews is published monthly, about the 15th of each month. Compiling eNews depends on you, our readers, for material about events, land access issues, etc. The monthly deadline is the 10th of each month and material, or links to sources should be emailed to editor@united4wd.org 
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