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Welcome to the October 2021
UFWDA eNews 


 
From The Top
It is the time of the year for the Annual Meeting.  The meeting will be via Zoom from the SEMA Show.  The date is November 4th at 4:00 pm Pacific Standard Time.  I hope you can join us, we will send out the link to the meeting about a week ahead of time.

I hope everyone is looking forward to the coming fall weather.  Here in California, we again endured a fire season with forest closures, losses due to fire and poor air quality.  We even shared the poor air quality with our neighboring states.  I do not see how we can continue to go through this year after year.  Our local PBS station did a documentary on last years Creek Fire.  There was an environmental activist associated with the John Muir Project that argued that Forest Management was worse than the fires and that the fires were good, amazing!  If you would like to see the film, you can access it at valleypbs.org look for Afterburn the Creek Fire Debate.  It is part of American Grown series.

My job depends on AG and supported by our local business, supporting Agriculture so we can feed the world from the Valley.
I hope to stay positive and hope for change.   
Steve Egbert 
UFWDA president

Forest MISmanagement Causes Wildfires

By Jerry Smith

Director of Environmental Affairs for

United Four Wheel Drive Associations

 

Once again, the subject of forest MISmanagement comes to the forefront.

Forest MISmanagement is, even more, the cause for the extreme wildfires we suffer from than climate change.

                         

Nature will cull certain areas

If you take a broad angle look at current forest health, it will show you trees much the same age and few open areas as there once were.  

When Nature was left to manage the earth’s forests, it used fire as the primary way of keeping the forests healthy. As man began suppressing fires, less and less of the woods were subjected to “Nature’s way.” 

“Nature’s way”

Nature had a way of keeping a patchwork of the forests. That allowed new growth adequate sunlight, and other necessary elements to grow in one area, mid-growth would have its areas, and mature growth would be in yet another.

Islands of Green

Back up the calendar about 57-years (before the Wilderness Act of 1964), and we had healthy forests, logging essentially made up for the lack of Nature’s fires.  

By removing mature growth trees, room for the next generation of timbered woods was made. Forest fires of the past would leave small islands of green, healthy growth. From these islands, new seeds would spread to reforest the burned areas.

Today’s wildfires burn everything top to bottom and hot enough to sterilize the soil as much as 6” down. What kind of “conservation” does that equate with??

New Laws, Less Access

Then, along comes the mid-sixties and do-gooders who managed to push through new land management laws with their Wildernesses, Wilderness Study Areas, Roadless Areas, and dozens of smaller named areas to “conserve” and “preserve and protect” the forests and, of course, protect the “endangered” species.

Now the forests essentially had no fires and minimal logging. Abandoned, entire forests have grown and matured at the same time. When a tree matures, it cannot deal with stress like a thriving, healthy growing tree. 

Multiply that one tree by the millions in our forests, and you have an old, tired, sickly forest. A forest with 50+ years of fire fuel buildup on the forest floor is the topper.

Now, any drought or other stressor can kill or maim those trees, making them susceptible to any disease or insect that comes around.

At that point, entire areas of trees die and become fuel for the subsequent fire that comes along.

The Remedy

The most straightforward remedy is to resurrect the logging industry while there is still some commercial value in the standing timber.

Loggers could go into an area and cut the dead and dying along with the few green trees left. 

Compared to the present-day “treatments” the USFS uses, loggers can work in multiple areas to maximize their profits and do more to restore the forest to health.

Much growth in the forest is not commercially viable as lumber, but it might be chipped for paper pulp or other uses.

“Treatments” vs. Logging

Where the “treatments” are nearly insignificant in terms of the percentage of the forest returning to health, logging would involve heavy equipment and a motivated business owner working to make a profit. “Treatments” are mainly done to help protect something. 

This leaves an open area ready for new growth. In many instances, planting seedling trees will be the next step. The only problem with planting seedlings is that it only happens once. Given the opportunity, Nature will replace the sick or dead seedling with a new one for several years if necessary. 

The bottom line is that the Department of Agriculture and USFS MUST change their management from failed “conservation” and “Preserve and Protect” to where they operate under the Multiple Use and Sustained Yield LAW. If they do not, many, if not most, National Forests may become mountain deserts.  This would allow for more landslides and erosion.  We all know what landslides onto forest roads mean.  Closure!!!

In case you’re wondering, “What does this have to do with 4-wheeling?” put your thinking cap on and imagine places you explore in your 4-wheel drive.

Do you go into the forests in your 4wd??

What do loggers need to access the timber they cut??  

The answer would be “roads.” They often build new roads or reopen old, closed ones, allowing us to explore new places. Last, how often are burned areas closed to the motorized public for years?? The scenery is not something you desire, either.  Now, do you see the relationship??                                                            

In case you’re wondering, “What does this have to do 4-wheeling?” put your thinking cap on and imagine places you explore in your 4-wheel drive.

Do you go into the forests in your 4wd?? What do loggers need to access the timber they cut??  

The answer would be “roads.” They often build new roads or reopen old closed ones, allowing us to explore new places. Last, how often are burned areas closed to the motorized public for years?? Now, do you see the relationship??

Call Congress and Tell Your Lawmakers to Pass the RPM Act
Support for the bipartisan Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act), H.R. 3281 and S. 2736, continues to expand each day as members of Congress receive an outpouring of support for the bill from racers and the motorsports community. It’s clear the letters SAN members have sent are being noticed on Capitol Hill and are making a difference (109 members of the House and 18 Senators have cosponsored the RPM Act).
If you’ve already sent a letter to Congress about the RPM Act, please follow up by making a short call to their office to voice your support for the bill. SEMA has made it easy to call your elected officials by using the following link—phone numbers for your lawmakers’ offices and talking points are included:
CALL CONGRESS NOW
The RPM Act must be enacted into law to guarantee your right to modify street cars, trucks, and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles. It is imperative that lawmakers continue to be reminded of the importance of passing the RPM Act.

Find out how to help
 
Keeping UFWDA alive
In Steve Egbert's introduction to this edition he's notified the date and time for the 2021 Annual Meeting and it will be vital to have member participation. It should be simple to join the Zoom call, but you will need to register beforehand to get the access details. Of course if you're at SEMA  you can attend in person by arrangement with Steve.

An annual meeting is when the direction of an organization is determined  by the members and their choice of association officers.  It is an opportunity to inject fresh volunteers to guide United and for that to happen we need people to step up to take on the various roles of the Board of Directors (BoD). The term of office is for two years.

It does not matter if there is already someone in a BoD role, if you believe you have the ability to take on that role and maybe do it better or differently, then join the annual meeting and put your 'hat in the ring', or contact Steve beforehand to advise your interest.
(Section 4. TERM OF OFFICE. Each Director shall hold office for two years or until a successor is duly elected. Terms of Directors shall be staggered, the President, International Vice President, and Director of Membership elected every even year and Vice-President, Director of Public Relations, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Treasurer elected every odd year).

As the current International vice president and UFWDA editor, I can advise that as of the 2022 meeting  I will be bowing out after over twenty years representing UFWDA as a BoD member. I will continue my interest in UFWDA through my 'Ambassador' membership
.
That is of course a future opportunity for our  non USA members to get involved, as the international vice president is only elected from members outside the USA. 
Peter Vahry,
UFWDA international vice-president
UFWDA editor
UFWDA ambassador 

OHV plan may curtail harm

By Scott Shumaker    October 11, 2021
On Wednesday, Oct. 9, the Sedona Chamber of Commerce unveiled the first fruits of talks it convened this summer with off-highway vehicle businesses and Coconino National Forest officials to develop plans to mitigate impacts from OHV recreation west of Sedona.

In July, Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West had floated the possibility of road closures if progress wasn’t made.

In Wednesday’s release, the chamber announced the formation of the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew, a coalition of local ATV and Jeep rental businesses, along with Tread Lightly!, an OHV industry group that promotes ethical motorized recreation.
The Sedona Chamber of Commerce announced the formation of the Red Rock OHV Conservation Crew on Wednesday, Oct. 6, to address the rise in off-highway vehicle recreation west of Sedona. The RROCC is comprised of more than a dozen local OHV businesses who have agreed to contribute 1% of sales to Coconino National Forest for land preservation and rider education. Photo by David Jolkovski/Larson Newspapers

Read the full article

Looking for inspiration to get out and explore the road less traveled? 

OutdoorX4's Annual Gear Issue has dropped in digital and you can view it FREE by clicking HERE . This issue features a variety of engaging stories and photos to inspire your next adventure including:
  • The Gear Issue
  • Adventure Motorcycling in South Dakota
  • Built for Adventure Land Rover Defender
  • Goatpacking
  • Fly fishing in Tennessee
  • The Great Escape
  • Plus much more!
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Your  3-Month Gaia GPS Premium Membership  details will be provided when your subscription order is received.

Enjoy our Gear Issue and subscribe today!
.

Montana Overland & 4x4 Adventures

An interesting web and Facebook site...
 
@montanaoverland4x4  
   We are a small group of off-road 4x4 enthusiasts who are simply into enjoying our great big wonderful backyard in Montana. We also try to highlight what is going on in the off-road community around the state. We gladly share our experience and knowledge.
  http://www.montanaoverland4x4adventures.org/home.html  
Durango four-wheel drive vehicle club commits to removing Kennebec Pass graffiti
https://www.kob.com/new-mexico-news/durango-four-wheel-drive-vehicle-club-commits-to-removing-kennebec-pass-graffiti/6222922/?cat=500
 


https://themint400.com/donttrashthedesert/
Check the YouTube video
 

 

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 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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