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                         Welcome to the February 2021
                                   UFWDA eNews 




The first week in February for the last 9 years, including this year, has been KOH (King of the Hammers) Week.  Last year the event was the biggest year ever but was pre-COVID.  Last year was my first year camping in my Motor Home and it was great to have it to tow my Jeep and have such a nice to stay.
 
This year things were a bit different, but I did get to go again.  Thanks to the efforts of Dave Cole and his team they were able to put together a plan to hold the event.  A negative COVID test was required along with other measures to get the permit from the BLM and satisfy the requirements of the county.  I had my test several days before the event and was also fortunate to get my first vaccination the next day.  It did appear that the attendance was down just a bit and many of my friends were unable to go. 
 
Traffic in Hammertown was down, as parking was much easier than the previous several years.  There were not the parties every night as in the past and while there were many vendors, some were also noticeably missing.  I also did keep my distance from others most of the time and only visited with some friends while being careful to protect myself and them. 
 
The races seemed to go off without a hitch and the competition was great.  I did relax a lot in the motorhome and must admit I watched some of the races on the live feeds.  Overall, it was a great experience as it had been in the past.  For the first 7 years I attended, I also volunteered to work the gate for my good friend Steve Gardiner.  Unfortunately, Steve passed away suddenly in 2020 and this was my first time there when he was not with us.  We did have a small memorial service for him in Hammertown on Wednesday night, in conjunction with the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of CORVA.
 
 Congratulations to all the racers that finished the race, a great accomplishment.  ORBA’s own Greg Adler did very well in the race and was in 5th place for a large portion of the race and finished 17th. I also got to check out the GenRight pit several times and Jordan Pellegrino
finished 22nd. The team worked extremely hard and it paid off this year.  I look forward to returning in 2022 when hopefully things will return to more normalcy and more people can enjoy the racing in the Southern California Desert. 
 
I hope you can remain safe and healthy and enjoy the outdoors this year no matter where you are in the world.
Steve Egbert
UFWDA President

 
Stuck overnight until I happened along

Inline for gate
(Bottom)Campsite (more arrived later) and four and two door Bronco's at Hammertown

 

UFWDA Members... 

TRR Top Image


The Trailridge Runners 4WD Club is a group of four wheel drive vehicle enthusiasts who follow the guidelines of Tread Lightly!

    We are very involved with the public land managing agencies, and act as public lands stewards by doing annual Volunteer projects, including 4WD road maintenance, campground re-constructions, picnic ground cleanups, and signing projects.
    Since 1990 our club members have put $617,550 worth of volunteer time, skills, materials, and grants on the public lands.
    We promote the outdoor ethic of cleaning up after ourselves and others while enjoying the outdoors. We work to educate others on the proper use of a 4WD sport utility vehicle by team work and teaching newcomers to the sport of four wheeling.
     More details about our club can be found on our Information page. The best way to find out more about the Trailridge Runners 4WD Club is to join us at one of our club meetings. They are held once a month, usually the second Wednesday. We meet at 6:30pm for social time, and start the meeting at 7:00pm.
     The Trailridge Runners explore the history and scenery of the west. We enjoy casual sight seeing trips, remote camping, challenging 4WD roads, and working together as a team. Our trips range from one day trips to week long excursions. Difficulty levels vary from fall color runs to the high Colorado passes.

ADDRESS:
P.O. Box 1716, Longmont, Colorado 80502

 

Get 2,400+ Overlanding Routes with the New Trails Offroad
and Gaia GPS Partnership

by Laura Friedland February 11, 2021

Trails Offroad, a premier source for overlanding routes in the U.S., brings thousands of hand-curated, offroad routes directly to your Gaia GPS account. With Trails Offroad, you can discover 2,400+ off-road routes sourced from hundreds of experienced off-road experts and outdoor enthusiasts. Thanks to this new partnership, you can now take any route with you offline in the Gaia GPS app with just one click.

Uploading routes from Trails Offroad to Gaia GPS is available to everyone with a Trails Offroad and Gaia GPS account, including free accounts on both platforms. In addition, All-Access Trails Offroad Members can import waypoints, color-coded difficulty ratings, and include the option to download the GPX file directly from Trails Offroad.

Read more

State Parks offers dramatic new vision for Oceano Dunes.
Here’s what it has planned

The Tribune                                                                              Dunes image

BY MACKENZIE SHUMAN  FEBRUARY 11, 2021 

Roughly 900 pages of documents released by California State Parks reveal the possible future of off-road riding and camping at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area and the neighboring Pismo State Beach.

The Draft Public Works Plan and resulting Draft Environmental Impact Report outline new development ideas, safety and infrastructure improvements and environmental damage mitigation efforts at the popular parks in southern San Luis Obispo County — predicting what’s ahead for the area for the next 20 to 30 years if it’s approved by the California Coastal Commission.

The plan, which was released in December 2020 after nearly two years of work, aims to “strike an acceptable balance between motorized recreation and protection of natural resources while complying with the (California) Coastal Act.”

Yet, advocates on both sides of that precarious balance — off-highway vehicle (OHV) users and conservationists — expressed disappointment at State Parks’ plan.

Leaders of local environmental and conservation organizations told The Tribune that the plan is “insulting” to their efforts to protect the natural ecosystem of the Oceano Dunes area and called some of the development plans “completely illegal.

Read the full article
 

UFWDA moves to help at Mohave 
February 8 2021
MOJAVE — The US National Parks Service addressed some of the problems and concerns regarding off-highway vehicles on the Mojave National Preserve during a quarterly community meeting on Thursday.

Alex Van Vechten, the acting chief ranger of visitor resource protection, said some of their primary concerns with people driving off established routes are the desert animals who have underground burrows and the destruction of plants.

“We have scenic vistas that demonstrate the beautiful desert wilderness that we have here that just one set of tire tracks can alter for years,” he said.
“We’re trying to at least communicate the things you should not do within the Mojave National Preserve and many of them focus on these new tracks that are not on established roads,” Van Vechten said
. Read that article here

UFWDA are proposing that the concept of Colorado's 'Stay the Trail'  education and advocacy be implemented for the Mohave area and to achieve that will need to find local support and individuals to back the project. If you are interested in helping, could you indicate that to our  Environmental Director, Jerry Smith, along with a little bit about your background in our recreation.

 

Finding 4x4 access problem answers?

A question posed in a short survey in the December eNews was "Would you join an online discussion about land access matters?” While the reply numbers so far are small, those who have responded are certainly respected names in the 4x4 community, thank you.
That survey is still open 
.

Moab residents sound off against OHV noise. Lawmakers listen, advance bill that may silence the vehicles at night.

Measure would empower resort towns to pass time limits; debate hinges on “local control.”

(Murice D. Miller | Special to The Tribune) Millions of visitors flock to Moab every year, and city and county officials said they're receiving a flood of complaints about noise from off-highway vehicles on city streets.

(Murice D. Miller | Special to The Tribune) Millions of visitors flock to Moab every year, and city and county officials said they're receiving a flood of complaints about noise from off-highway vehicles on city streets.


By Zak Podmore
  | Feb. 10, 2021, 1:32 p.m.
| Updated: 3:18 p.m.
When state Sen. Jacob Anderegg and his family visited Moab in October, they were unable to sleep in during their vacation.
One morning at 5 a.m., two dozen two-stroke cycles came roaring down Main Street, the Lehi Republican told his colleagues on the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee on Monday for a hearing that advanced SB168, a bill that would allow certain municipalities in Utah to limit the nighttime use of off-highway vehicles.
“They are very loud,” he said. “It woke my whole family up.”
Throughout his stay, Anderegg — who referred to himself as “a four-wheeler” and said he makes several trips to Moab annually to recreate — saw 20 similarly noisy groups of OHVs at a time of year when the tourist season is typically starting to die down.
Full-time residents of the 5,400-person town in southeast Utah who spoke at the committee hearing said Anderegg’s experience was no aberration. Some described not being able to open their windows on summer nights. Others recounted regular disruptions to their children’s sleep schedule.

“My windows actually shake from the noise dozens of times a day as convoys up to 30 vehicles long drive by, many at high speeds,” said Chloe Hedden, who launched a petition called Make Moab Quiet Again urging officials to respond to the noise. It has 3,700 signatures, she said.
“I was born and raised in Moab,” Hedden added, “and I can tell you I’ve never seen people here so upset or unified about an issue.”
Anderegg’s recent trip pushed him to support advancing the measure — sponsored by Sen. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork — out of the committee Monday. The current version would allow 18 legally defined “resort communities” in Utah, including Moab, to craft ordinances limiting OHV use on city streets from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
“Had I not experienced this myself this last October,” Anderegg said, “I would most likely be voting against this bill because that’s how I feel about access and not restricting it.”
Under current state law, municipalities and counties are not allowed to prohibit or restrict the use of street-legal OHVs on city or county roads, which Grand County and Moab officials say hampers their ability to address the noise complaints. Previous attempts to respond to the issue through education campaigns and lower speed limits were ineffective, multiple officials reported.

Bill proponents said it would advance local governments’ ability to solve problems in their communities. “I’ll vote for [the bill],” said Sen. Karen Mayne, D-West Valley City, “because I believe in local control.”

Opponents called it “discriminatory,” arguing it would lead to clogged trailheads and expressed fears that it could be used as a step toward a complete ban on OHV use in Moab.

“This bill does nothing to solve the problem,” said Piute County Commissioner Darin Bushman, a Republican. “And what it really does … is it discriminates against a certain class of recreationists that have been painted as poor stewards.”
Two employees of the pro-recreation BlueRibbon Coalition made the case that local governments aren’t inherently virtuous. Ben Burr, the coalition’s policy director, referenced a recent article in Rolling Stone magazine about a stretch of highway in Afghanistan that’s overwhelmed with lawlessness, including kidnappings and murders.
An Afghan mayor profiled in the article, Burr said, “has survived her car being sprayed with bullets by the world’s most committed supporters of local control, who would be the Taliban.”

Burr added that many military veterans enjoy off-highway recreation and that the bill would harm those users. “It is disappointing that the leaders of Moab who have petitioned for this bill have refused to understand the off-road community on its own terms,” he said. “Instead of starting from a point of inclusiveness and understanding, they have chosen to start from a point of control and discrimination in a way that is hurtful to veterans, the mobility-impaired and families.”
Sen. Ann Millner, R-Ogden, noted that the bill has “strong guardrails” to keep it from being abused. It allows local governments only in a small number of resort communities to design their own nighttime restrictions, which would not apply to state highways.
Moab Mayor Emily Niehaus called the bill a “compromise” that can “can help us in the city mitigate noise at night while also supporting our industry.”
“It’s my job to protect my community,” she said. “To me, this includes my community members deeply frustrated with the increasing noise levels in our residential neighborhoods as well as my neighbors that own ATVs for recreation, my friends that own ATV-related businesses that take visitors out on tours or rent them for visitors to explore on their own, and, finally, and most importantly in this discussion, my law enforcement officers that are asked to shoulder the very difficult logistical and financial burden of noise enforcement.”
Limiting the hours that OHVs are allowed to operate on city streets would be much easier to enforce than a noise ordinance, Niehaus said.

The bill advanced out of the committee with a 5-2 vote, though several lawmakers who supported it, including Anderegg, said they want to see changes such as possibly modifying the language to allow OHV restrictions only between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.
Zak Podmore is a Report for America corps member for The Salt Lake Tribune. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep him writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by clicking here.
 

City officials table further OHV restrictions, focus on proposed state legislation

  • Anastasia Hufham Moab Sun News  Feb 11, 2021 
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

Trailfest 2021, April 30th-May 2nd

Join the Southern Four Wheel Drive Association for Trailfest 2021, April 30th-May 2nd . Trailfest 2021 will be held at Adventure Offroad Park in South Pittsburg, TN this year. The park is located 34 miles west of Chattanooga, Tennessee and has fantastic facilities to go along with numerous and varied selection of trails.
www.adventureoffroadpark.com

Our event schedule will include Excursion Rides, educational training sessions, ladies only rides and guided trail rides!

Trailfest will have all day riding, guided rides, the family fun zone, and educational courses. Single day and weekend tickets are available (*note* Saturday is the main event day). Daily Tickets start at just $50 per person. SFWDA with the support of our key Business Partners will be conducting a raffle on Saturday evening. The event will also include a kids play area and other family friendly activities.

Come join us to share a great weekend in Tennessee and support your Southern Four Wheel Drive Association.

Join the 10th Annual Bantam Jeep® Heritage Festival

We're celebrating our 10th Anniversary June 11-13, 2021 and we hope you'll plan a road trip to Bantam! Be part of our 10th Anniversary Jeep Parade & Jeep Invasion in downtown Butler and sign up to experience our new trails on the property we just purchased in June 2020. We'll also be offering your favorite activities like the Best of Bantam competition, our On-Site Trails & Jeep Playground obstacle course and the scenic Moraine Trail Ride. You'll also want to check out the latest parts and accessories from more than one hundred of the top names in the Jeep industry! From military history lovers and Show 'n Shiners to off-roaders and all types of Jeep owners, All Roads Lead to Bantam!

http://www.bantamjeepfestival.com/                              2021 10th Logo Color.png

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  
There is now a link to that FB page on https://united4wd.org/land-use-access
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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