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Welcome to the August 2022
UFWDA eNews 

 

From The Top
Positive is not always easy.  I have been needing to write an update for some time, but I wanted it to be very positive since there is so much negative going on.  First positive, my 2005 TJ is moving again.  I completed the MetalCloak long arm, installed the Advance Adapters Rubicrawler, go a new Tom Woods driveshaft and the big one replaced the leaking heater core.  I now just must overcome the registration issues with DMV, re-gear the axles and add lockers.


 
This year I again was registration chairman for the 55 th annual Sierra Trek.  We made some changes to the process this year with the help of Suzy Johnson, and it went very smoothly.  For those that do not know, Sierra Trek is a Cal4wheel event held at Meadow Lake in the Tahoe National Forest.  Sierra Trek primarily runs on the Fordyce Creek trail and camp on private property at Meadow Lake, at the location of the former gold mining town of Summit City. 
 
This year, despite gas prices, was up from last year and we had over 670 people registered.  Costs for food increased this year, so we did have to charge more for the event than we did last year.  The crowd had a great time and for the first timers on the trail, the sense of accomplishment was clear when they got to camp.  The turn-out and spirit of the participants showed that despite the challenges of the economy, we can continue to have a great time with family and friends.
 
Despite the great event, there were some issues that relate to our community.  I have been talking about our community for the last several years and that we need to come together to make progress in the land use arena. 
 
Art Stine is the President of the Friends of Fordyce and following Sierra Trek he posted several issues that were not necessarily related to Sierra Trek, but to the users of the trail.  His comments related to campfires when there are fire restrictions and users ignore the restrictions.  Trail maintenance issues that impact the user experience in the eyes of the Forest Service.  Respect for private property along the trail.
 
And finally, how the users behave on and around the trail. These are all concerns of the Forest Service, and they will address the issues one way or the other.  Art and the Friends of the Fordyce have a great working relationship with the Forest Service and the OHV staff from the Tahoe National Forest.  Our community must get its act together to address these issues and that is what Art tried to bring to light in his post outlining the problems and successes.  Sadly, as often happens in public forums, the attacks began. Art posted genuine concerns to keep the trail open, working with the Forest Service and several in the community immediately did not like the truth.
 
For years we have talked about wins for the off-road community, with this trail and that, saved here or there and that we need to do more for our community to keep trails and land open.  Groups that do this work are often criticized for not doing enough to fight the anti-access groups.  Well quite frankly, when is our community going to get it together and get a handle on the bad users that make the fight so much more difficult?
 
I have been at this for 18 years and I again do not know the answer, but keep trying.  If you see bad behaviour on the trails, be like Art, call it out, because only you can prevent public land closures.
 
Link to Art's  Aug 16 post...https://www.facebook.com/friendsoffordyce/   
Thanks, Steve Egbert
UFWDA president

If you would like to see the PSA’s visit our YouTube Channel

 

Vale Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith, the UFWDA Environmental Director sadly passed away back in mid May. Jerry had battled health issues for quite a while but those had hardly slowed his passion for four wheeling and its advocacy. He'd started in Montana but spent over fifteen years as a member of Colorado's Grand Mesa Jeep Club. Quoting that club.."Jerry was best known locally for re-opening the trails around Gateway and Glade Park, including his favourite trail Calamity Mesa near Gateway. Jerry’s life revolved around four wheeling, and it was a passion that he carried with him in everything he did. Happy Trails was the name of his trusty Jeep, which he wore out on our local trails, exploring every side track road that came along. Jerry would always say, “if you come to a fork in the road…. take it.”

Personally I had great respect for Jerry's input to our recreation and back in 2019 I had the pleasure of his company for two days when I visited Moab. His writing in support of and about four wheeling was always inspiring, such as the example repeated in this edition.
Thank you Jerry Smith, you are greatly missed.
Peter Vahry
UFWDA Editor and International vice president

                                 
 

’50 for 50′ Grant Program Will Fund 4WD Trail Work in All 50 States

There’s no question that trail work is critical to the adventure junkie lifestyle. There’s equally little conjecture that it’s expensive.

Quadratec’s new initiative looks to support both points. The company builds and sells the most aftermarket products for Jeeps worldwide, and its “50 for 50” trail stewardship initiative is set to make an impact on trails in every U.S. state.

Throughout the next 24 months, the brand will “fully support” one trail project in each state that “enhances or improves” off-road or public land access. Operated as a grant fund, it will help project managers pay for equipment, fees, volunteer resources, food, fuel, signage, and any other typical trail expenses.

Poughkeepsie Project Video

https://fb.watch/epW1f0P-KS/ 
CORE is a motorized action group dedicated to keeping trails open in Central Colorado

Burning Rock Off-Road Park Events

Burning Rock Off-Road Park in Sophia, West Virginia will be hosting UTV, dirt bike and full-size riders all contributing to a good cause; making Christmas a little brighter for kids less fortunate on Dec 3rd 2022.

This is the annual event that is held each December which brings much needed support to the local community.  Just a few of the West Virginia Jeep clubs, a multi-state off-road organization, park guests, locals and their families make up the riders contributing to the cause. Offroad Hooligunz, brings in riders from Virginia and North Carolina to take part in the effort.

Before the toys for tots ride you can support the “Trunk and Treat” event held Halloween weekend at Burning Rock.  Each year riders from all over the middle Atlantic come for a day of riding then stay and hand out candy from their trucks and side by sides.  The past few years have had over 4000 children have come dressed in their favorite costumes. 

You can find out more about Burning Rock Off-Road Park at www.burningrockwv.com or on their Facebook page.  If you’re in the area around these two events come and  join in the fun and support the local community.

For Your Pleasure

By Jerry Smith
Let’s take a virtual ride on one of your favorite Jeep trails into the Great American BackCountry of public lands. Take a moment and really think about your last foray into the wonders and beauty we have when out on the trail.

Do you feel that awesomeness creeping into your soul? What colors do you see? Are you in a lush green forest or maybe in a desolate desert where the heat is oppressive? Canyon country has those high tan and red cliffs and the sparse, but scenic Juniper and Pinon Pine forests. Maybe you chose a high mountain trail to explore and soak in the air while feasting your eyes across the vast expanses before you.

Anywhere you go, if you take the time to really SEE and FEEL and EXPERIENCE the wonderment of the creation in front of you, Nature will provide the incredible elements to make each trip, each day, each hour, and even each minute a new memory.

When you “get in the zone” while out in the greatest terrain we have, the experience can be exponentially multiplied. You just need to open your mind to SEE what’s around you. You can FEEL the vibrations of Nature stimulating your brain. You can hear the heartbeat of the earth pounding it’s rhythm and your heartbeat will join with it as you become one with the universe.

This is how a simple trip becomes a memorable participation with Nature. You begin to remember certain obstacles more intensely. How you read the perfect line and overcame the difficult challenge with ease.

Or maybe you came up to an obstacle that looked intimidating and you were rejected multiple times. Then, finally, you found the right rhythm and conquered that obstacle like a pro. Can you feel the smile on your face? Are you reliving the joy you felt? The feeling of accomplishment is soaking you with adrenaline and you sense the exhilaration.

Those are the golden memories. Accomplishment is an event with the strong senses and rushes that come with the final goal overcome.

Those same feelings needn’t be from something done physically. Taking a moment to just stop and experience the surroundings can provide a sense of calm and serenity.

For those inclined that way, you may become one with God in these moments. A connection of this kind can overwhelm you with sensory overload. This is another memorable experience to file away for another day. And don’t forget to offer your appreciation for these outstanding experiences. The return blessings will be subtle, but worth every thought of that appreciation.

So on your next trek into the Great American BackCountry, make sure to make time to slow down for a few beats. Let Nature immerse you in its complex essence. Those memories live on for your pleasure at any time you choose.
Now, go make some memories!

           

 

Off-Road organizations and the Forest Service worked together to make this all happen.




On the Madison District of the B-D, recreation crews and partners finished constructing a total of five bridges - three bridges on the North Meadow Creek Trail (#6340) and two bridges on the Kid Mountain Loop (#6338).

The North Meadow Creek Trail is complete and now open for business! The partners involved in this project have been working on this for about 6-8 months now and helped coordinate materials, rental equipment, getting bridge materials out to the remote sites, hauling lodgepole stringers to the sites, and working together with Madison District to build 5 bridges in 8 days.

The Montana 4x4 Association, Trail Riders Anonymous, Bozeman Mountaineers, Citizens for Balanced Use, Rory Edwards and the Madison District Trails, Wilderness and Recreations Crew all worked together to see this project through. There were even volunteers that showed up as individuals to help just because they had heard about it.

It really is incredible what work gets done on the Forest with ‘our powers combined’ and the difference that is made in such a short amount of time when many hands are involved. The enthusiasm, commitment and spirit is catching, and we are so grateful that we have groups and individuals in our communities that are pursuing this type of synergy with our Madison District Recreation Program.

Richard Hiltz
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
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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