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Welcome to the UFWDA eNews edition for
July 2020

With the continued problems associated with COVID-19, the number of 4x4 related events being cancelled in the U.S.A. for this year, continues to grow,  Across the country however, many areas are re-opening to recreation which has to be good for four wheeling... just watch that 'social distancing'!

We asked Ford about using the new Bronco images etc. and Michael Levine from Ford media replied... "Thanks for checking with us. Yes. You can use images on the united4wd.org website. We’re thrilled! The Bronco images will be live on media.ford.com "

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://www.united4wd.org/join-ufwda

Stay safe
Peter Vahry: editor

UFWDA programs highlighted in ORBA publication


ORBA have renamed their online magazine  as  "Off-Road Business"  and among the articles, highlight  the UFWDA  Volunteer Trail Patrol Program and the 4WD Awareness Program
 They also remind readers of the issues around copyright .



Senate-Passed Great American Outdoors Act Heads to the House

On June 17, the Senate passed S. 3422, the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA) by a strong bipartisan vote of 73-25. Among other things, this landmark legislation would address the $20 billion maintenance backlog on America’s public lands and waters, as well as fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.


Photo courtesy of Moab Tour Company (from discovermoab.com)

RTP Included in House-Passed $1.5T Infrastructure Bill

The Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Full Funding Act of 2020 (H.R. 5797) was part of the recently passed $1.5 trillion infrastructure bill (H.R. 2) by the House. H.R. 2, known as “The Moving Forward Act”, passed by a 233-188 vote and was almost entirely along party lines. The bill would ensure that we get back tax dollars that recreational interests pay into the National Highway Trust Fund every time we fill up our motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, snowmobiles, 4X4s, etc., and it could provide nearly three times the amount of funding for recreational trails than the current RTP formula.

By now many four wheelers will have seen details of the new Bronco family and ...

The Legend Returns

Get out there and find your wild in America’s original sports-utility vehicle. With a legacy that can’t be broken, the entire Bronco family is designed, engineered, and built for adventure. So, get ready to mount up and get dirty because the one and only legend is making its long-awaited return. The Ford Bronco – Built Wild. Three all-new SUVs with 4X4 capabilities have been Built Wild for a thrilling off-road experience with the capability and confidence to take you deep into the extremes of outdoor adventure. https://www.ford.com/bronco/?intcmp=hp-bb-brncobrand

Cleaning up
Many UFWDA members may be involved in the recently promoted National Trail Clean Up Day over the weekend of July 18-19. A concept that UFWDA pioneered almost twenty years ago, although the date used to be the first weekend in October, which offered reasonable temperatures for most regions of the U.S.A. and in fact worldwide. It was for a while well supported, both locally and internationally and given the increasing awareness of environmental impacts of discarded rubbish on public lands, the UFWDA Board are interested in determining what interest our members have in once again promoting an October 'clean up' program?

You can indicate your preference by answering two questions of this survey.

Judge denies Nevada off-road challenge to grouse protection

by SCOTT SONNER - Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2020

RENO, Nev. (AP) - A federal judge has upheld the U.S. Forest Service’s authority to keep a 250-mile (400-kilometer) motorcycle race out of sage grouse habitat in Nevada’s high desert, rejecting a lawsuit by off-road vehicle enthusiasts who argued the agency illegally short-circuited the environmental review process.

The lawsuit filed in December 2018 challenged Forest Service rules barring off-road travel within 4-mile (6.5-km) buffers around bi-state grouse breeding grounds between March 1 and June 30 in the Mono Basin along the California-Nevada line.

That forced the Sierra Trail Dogs Motorcycle and Recreational Club to postpone the now 25-year-old Mystery 250 dirt bike race traditionally held in mid-June to mid-July, a move the group said greatly increased fire risk and safety concerns due to greater heat and reduced moisture.

The club and others argued that the travel prohibition was broader than previously considered and wasn’t specifically included among alternatives subject to public comment on either the draft or final environmental impact statements issued by the agency.

They said the Forest Service should have been required to conduct a supplemental environmental review to consider the impacts of the broader rules, and that failure to do so was a violation of the National Environmental Policy Act.

U.S. District Judge Miranda Du in Reno disagreed. She said in a July 7 ruling the standard the agency adopted was a minor variation of the one included in the final environmental review and that a supplemental review wasn’t necessary.

Her decision was cheered by conservationists who have been involved in a decade-long legal battle to protect the bi-state grouse and had sided with the Forest Service as federal intervenors in the case.

Read the full article

A New Zealand trail cut back  
http://friendsof42traverse.nz/news.html
It was always going to be a risk to attempt a cut back project during winter in the Tongariro Forest, but that didn't deter 32 volunteers from turning up at Owhango on a Saturday morning. They worked until 3.30 pm  and 14 of them turned up again by 9.00 am on Sunday to work from the Kapoors Rd end of the 42 Traverse. Overall their efforts made a great difference and contributed over 200 man-hours of labor.

The weather was kind and ideal for the work being done, which was great, as there were people who'd traveled from Wellington, Napier, Taupo, Auckland, Rotorua, Tauranga and many other places... Thank you!

Again the primary source of volunteers was the four wheeling community and support from other user groups would be welcomed.
Checking GPS co-ordinates, it looks like there was almost 10 Kilometres trimmed on the Saturday and 2 Km on the Sunday.
That leaves about 10 Kilometres still to do across the central section and there's a suggestion that maybe another effort in late November 2020 might achieve an overall cutback. A tentative date is November 21/22.


USFS proposing to update its handbook on operation and maintenance of recreation

Forest Service is proposing to issue a proposed directive to update its handbook on operation and maintenance of recreation sites on National Forest System lands that contain infrastructure or amenities authorized by the Forest Service for public enjoyment and resource protection

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/09/2020-14785/forest-service-handbook-230913-chapter-50-operation-and-maintenance-of-developed-recreation-sites?utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list

 

2020 Survey of four wheelers by UFWDA


United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) have at various intervals over our 44 years of existence, conducted surveys of the four wheeling community to identify demographics, trends and other patterns around our recreation.

Our survey closed on June 1 and  while not completed by as many people as the 2015 survey, it has identified some areas for UFWDA to follow up.
While it's steadily becoming a concern for many organizations to find volunteers to assist with the management,  it was interesting to note that there are 72 people who identified themselves as willing to be involved with organizations like United Four Wheel Drive Associations. Thank you and we'll be in touch soon!
The overall response to the survey was weighted in favor of the eastern part of the USA which may reflect the style of membership ... often being through a regional organization as individuals, rather than just the organization / association being a member in its own right. In that type of 'mass' membership it is not always easy to reach through to the members of such associations without having direct links to individuals and needing to rely on that organization to pass on UFWDA information such as these UFWDA eNews.

Custer Gallatin National Forest

The Forest Service is revising the Custer Gallatin National Forest's 1986 and 1987 Land and Resource Management Plans. The Forest Service has prepared a final environmental impact statement (final EIS) for the revised land management plan, and a draft record of decision (ROD). This notice is to inform the public that a 60-day period is being initiated where individuals or entities with specific concerns about the Custer Gallatin National Forest's revised land management plan and the associated final EIS may file objections for Forest Service review prior to the approval of the revised land management plan.

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/07/10/2020-14825/custer-gallatin-national-forest-montana-revision-of-the-land-management-plan-for-the-custer-gallatin?utm_campaign=subscription+mailing+list&utm_source=federalregister.gov&utm_medium=email

 


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.

The Mapping of The Rimrocker Trail - an Overland Route from Colorado to Utah.  This is not of the extensions that we are attempting to add to this existing trail.  This is the first 165-miles of the 565-miles of trail if we can add the two extensions legally.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iWwaCLJlrWM&feature=youtu.be

 

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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