NOHVCC Newsletter - April 2018 edition

 

In this Issue:



NOHVCC 2018 Annual Conference -Call for Presentations

2018 Great Trails Workshop Line-up Kicks Off in Arizona

Resources For Parents Of Children Who Want to Ride

New OHV Group In South Carolina Focuses On The Big Picture






NOHVCC 2018 Annual Conference – Call for Presentations

 

As we have noted before, the 2018 NOHVCC Annual Conference will be in Grand Rapids, MI on August 16-18 – immediately following the start of the INOHVAA conference which begins on August 14.  NOHVCC staff and partners in Michigan continue to actively plan for the conference, and we are well on our way to providing another exciting and successful event! 

 

The agenda for the conference is filling up fast!  As a result, now is the time to make suggestions for topics, potential presenters or other ideas.  There are a limited number of available slots for presenters – so act quickly!  Preference will be given to ideas and topics that have not been covered recently, new presenters, and suggestions that fit well with the 2018 theme of “Building on Success.”

 

Please send an email by May 25 to trailhead@nohvcc.org with any suggestions.  While there may not be enough time during the conference to cover all suggested topics – all will be considered and will be useful to NOHVCC staff as we continue planning. 

Building on Success!

 

The Theme of the 2018 NOHVCC Annual Conference is Building on Success! Everyone in the OHV community has faced adversity - restrictions, closures, lost opportunities, etc.  But, it is important to remember that progress has been and is being made towards NOHVCC's goal of “Creating a Positive Future for Responsible OHV Recreation.”  Michigan is the perfect state to showcase our theme of Building on Success. Michigan features nearly 4,000 miles of trails and routes for OHV use plus many other opportunities - some of which you can sample during the Mobile Workshop.  The Cycle Conservation Club of Michigan is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  Much progress has already been made, so now it is time to Build on Success.  With NOHVCC, it is also time to Build on Success.  There have been big changes in the last year, but NOHVCC must keep moving forward without letting momentum slip.  Please join us in Grand Rapids August 14-18 and be a part of OHV recreation's positive future - all while recognizing those who got us to where we are today!

 

Scholarships

 

NOHVCC will award scholarships for a limited number of qualified individuals to attend the NOHVCC and/or International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association Annual Conferences in Grand Rapids, Michigan, August 14-18.  We recognize that attending the Conferences is an expensive proposition, so we want to make sure we have the best and brightest from the OHV community participate.  These scholarships will cover the cost of travel, lodging, registration and most meals of awardees.  

 

Invited to apply are active Associate State Partners, agency personnel (particularly those who cannot receive reimbursement for out-of-state travel) and others interested in attending.

 

To receive a copy of the scholarship application, send an email to trailhead@nohvcc.org.  Applications are due May 4, 2018. 



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2018 Great Trails Workshop Series Kicks Off in Arizona
By Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC Project Manager



The 2018 series of Great Trials Workshops started off strong March 6-8 in Cave Creek, Arizona with 30 excited and engaged participants. The classroom portion of the workshop was held at the Anthem Civic Building where NOHVCC introduced updated presentations as well as new sessions to promote group interaction and discussion. NOHVCC was happy to be joined by Tonto National Forest Supervisor, Neil Bosworth, and Cave Creek District Ranger, Micah Grondin. Dick Dufourd of RecConnect LLC once again served as the main facilitator of the workshop.

The field portion was held at the Wildcat Staging Area on the Cave Creek Ranger District of the Tonto National Forest. The group discussed trailhead design and facilities, learner loops and tot-lots, and how to reclaim illegal trails in a desert environment. The group participated in a trail layout and design exercise that led to robust discussion and participants coming up with creative trail outlines.

One of the field sessions was topped off with a lunch and impromptu trailhead clean-up by the Tonto Recreation Alliance (TRAL). TRAL is a volunteer enthusiast organization that helps maintain and promote off-highway vehicle access. TRAL works with government agencies, 4x4 clubs, corporate vendors, mining companies, and local ranchers to maintain designated routes and educate the public about the Tonto National Forest. To learn more about TRAL, and how to get involved, visit http://www.tontorecreationalliance.org/.

NOHVCC thanks Arizona Parks and Trails, the Central Arizona Trials Club, the Tonto Recreation Alliance, and the Tonto National Forest for making this workshop possible. The next Great Trails Workshop will take place in Isle, Minnesota April 26-28, followed by two training workshops in Colorado in partnership with the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO).

 

 

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Resources For Parents Of Children Who Want to Ride
By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer



“How do I know if my child is ready to ride a dirt bike or ATV?”

“Do they need training?”

“Where can they get training?”

 

Those are popular questions fielded by off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs and powersports dealers, as well as land managers and OHV program managers with state and federal agencies. 

 

Children express an interest in OHVs at an early age. Some young riders are ready. Some are not. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available, both printed and downloadable, to help parents who want to teach their children about safe and responsible use. 

 

TEACH CHILDREN ABOUT SAFE AND RESPONSIBLE USE AT A YOUNG AGE

 

“Would your child like an ATV Safety coloring book and crayons?” That’s the best ice breaker there is when visiting with families at community events about riding OHVs safely and responsibly. The “Adventure Trail Activity Book” and accompanying box of crayons is a great educational tool for children of all ages...and their parents.

 

Created over a decade ago by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) -- the 20-page booklet is filled with word games, mazes and coloring pages with important messages about riding OHVs safely and responsibly: wearing the proper safety gear, riding the right size vehicle and trail etiquette. 

 

Since 2004, NOHVCC has printed one million copies of the Activity Book. Also available in the Adventure Trail series are a fun one-page OHV safety quiz for kids, and a series of 14 posters with safety messages, commonly displayed in school classrooms, community centers, and safety education trailers. 

Adventure Trail materials can be obtained for the cost of shipping by contacting NOHVCC by phone at 800-348-6487 or by e-mail at trailhead@nohvcc.org. Depending on the destination, the shipping charge is about $20 for a box of 275 Activity Books. The crayons are shipped separately, and cost varies depending on the number sent and the destination. To learn more, check out all the Adventure Trail materials at http://www.nohvcc.org/Education/AdventureTrail.aspx .

 

TEACH THEM RIGHT

 

The OHV industry has everything parents need to decide when their children are ready to ride, and where to go for training. Here are the websites your club, dealership or agency can visit to download or order materials:

 

ATV Safety Institute / ASI -- One of the first questions parents need to ask themselves is whether their child is old enough, big enough, and mature enough to handle an ATV. The ATV Safety Institute website has an “Are They Ready” section https://atvsafety.org/are-they-ready/ to help parents evaluate whether or not their child is ready to learn how to ride an ATV.

 

ASI also has two booklets you can download at https://atvsafety.org/free-booklets/ or order online on its website. “Parents, Youngsters and All-Terrain Vehicles” is 42-pages of helpful information. “Tips and Practice Guide for the All-Terrain Vehicle Rider” is 52 pages of tips for children, teens and adults to become better riders.

 

ASI offers hands-on and online training for children and adults. The ATV RiderCourse is a half-day, hands-on training session that includes pre-ride inspection, starting and stopping, quick turns, hill riding, emergency stopping and swerving, and riding over obstacles. Also covered are protective gear, local regulations, places to ride and responsible trail ethics. 

 

The ASI E-Course, available online at https://atvsafety.org/atv-ecourse/, features custom designed instruction for adult, teen (12-15 years old) and youth (6-11 years old) audiences. The adult E-Course also includes tips and advice for parents and guardians to coach and supervise youth throughout the learning process. Each self-paced ATV Safety Online course generally runs about two hours and focuses on ASI’s “Golden Rules,” the operation of the ATV itself and riding, with an emphasis on risk management and avoidance.

 

Motorcycle Safety Foundation DirtBike School -- DirtBike School is a fun, one-day, hands-on training session available to anyone 6 years old or above. At approved training sites, MSF-certified DBS Coaches teach basic riding skills and responsible riding practices, including risk management and environmental awareness. The Closed Range Exercise provides hands-on rider training with an emphasis on safety and skill development. For more advanced learning, the Introduction to Trail Riding is the next level DirtBike School course, designed to familiarize riders with riding off-road on actual trails.

 

The MSF main website also has booklets you can order for your club, dealership or agency, and distribute to families. They include the titles “Parent, Youngsters & Off-Highway Motorcycles,” and “Tips & Practice Guide for the Off-Highway Motorcyclist.”

 

State Departments of Natural Resources -- Many states require young riders to be certified to ride on public trails. Club members can check with the websites of their state agency to get involved and obtain information to provide to parents.

 

FREE TRAINING DURING ATV SAFETY WEEK

Adults and children ages 6 and older can sign up to take ASI’s ATV RiderCourse for free during ATV Safety Week: June 1 to 10, 2018. It’s available at participating training sites across the country, listed at https://atvsafety.org/about-atv-safety-week/.

 

 

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New OHV Group In South Carolina Focuses On The Big Picture
By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

 

“It's incredibly easy to get caught up in the thick of thin things.”

That’s a quote from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” a popular book written by Stephen Covey 30 years ago. And, says Nick Wagner, it’s a valid warning to off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs about taking their eye off the big picture.

 

Wagner is the South Carolina State Partner with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). Seven years ago, he created an OHV club called the Coastal Off-Road Riders Association (CORRA). It was standing room only at their organizational meeting in January of 2011. Today, that non-profit is down to just a few people. Most everyone left the group, including Wagner. Recently, he created a new club called TREC - Trail Riders Enthusiast Council. He has some helpful advice for those starting new clubs or trying to re-energize old clubs.

 

What did you learn from your experience organizing, leading and then leaving CORRA?

“My main message is that you have to stay focused on the big picture. You have to do your best to not get caught up in the thick of thin things, like Covey wrote in his book.”

 

What ‘thin thing’ did you get caught up in, that diminished CORRA and its membership?

“In that group, we made great strides with the Forest Service and had many successes over 7 years, but we got so focused on grooming and maintaining the trails that we never grew the organization outside of the core group that did the work. We didn’t have time to do club rides. That pushed a lot of people away.”

 



What is the goal of the new group?

“I started the Trail Riders Enthusiast Council around a group of positive and motivated riders that want to help grow the sport. Our mission is to bring riders together to promote, protect, and expand OHV opportunities in South Carolina.  And have fun!”

 

So, the social aspect, with club rides for members, is equally important?

 

“Yes. We are all about preserving the trails we have, but also promoting the sport we all love. We have the foundation of a new group in place and want to build the community around it. We want to find new places to ride and focus on the big picture.”

 

Are you still partnering with the National Forest on trails?

“We are still working with the Francis Marion National Forest at the Wambaw Cycle Trails, and this year we added the Manchester State Forest OHV trails to the list as well.”

 

We did an article about CORRA’s initial success with the Forest, obtaining an RTP grant to build a beginner’s loop and hardening very sandy trails. Is that partnership still strong?

“Unfortunately, no. We had a changing of the guard thru retirements at the National Forest. When you have the head of recreation, the trail technician and the ranger all retire, and a new person comes in that doesn’t know anything about OHV trail systems, it puts success on hold. Nothing we did on the trails was documented. So, with as many successes as we’ve had over the last 7 years with the Forest Service, it has been frustrating to have to start over and gain their trust.”

 

So, the focus of Trail Riders Enthusiast Council is a change for the better?

“Absolutely. The sky is the limit. If we get enough people behind us, with a lot of energy, we can do a lot more than in the past. We’re not going to sit back and get caught in the weeds about the little things. We look forward to many happy years moving forward.”

 

To learn more about TREC, keep an eye on its website (still in development) at:  https://trecsc.ridetrails.org/about-us/.

 

Many OHV clubs have expressed frustration about the regular turnover in U.S. Forest Service supervisors and district rangers and having to start over in building relationships with them. As in Wagner’s case, the replacements may have little or no experience working with OHV groups on trail issues. It’s also important for OHV clubs to understand how the Forest Service works. The NOHVCC “Public Land Advocacy DVD” can help. It’s designed to be used by clubs, OHV organizations, and agency land managers, so everyone is working together to build sustainable trails. It’s very useful information for understanding the Forest Service structure and Travel Management processes, and for building relationships with Forest supervisors and district rangers. 

 

The Workshop DVD has 14 chapters, ranging in length from 7 to 33 minutes each. Show a chapter or two at your club meetings. The chapter titled “Success Stories” highlights four of the country’s best OHV trail systems: the Paiute ATV Trail in Utah, the Rock Run Recreation Area in Pennsylvania, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails in West Virginia, and the Highwood Mountains Trail System in Montana. All four were designed, planned, constructed, and maintained using the management techniques from NOHVCC workshops. To order copies of the Workshop DVD for yourself, your club, or agency trail planners in your area, send an email to trailhead@nohvcc.org, or call 800-348-6487.

 

Complementing the DVD, another helpful OHV club “tool” is “A Citizens’ Guide To National Forest Planning.” Published in 2016 by the USFS, this 86-page document invites the public to engage in Forest planning. This link takes you to a printable version of “A Citizens’ Guide to National Forest Planning,” available for downloading or viewing on your screen.

 

 

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Upcoming Events:


April 26-28, 2018- Minnesota Off-Highway Vehicle Great Trails Workshop
          - Minnesota Great Trails Website
         
June 22-24, 2018- Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Great Trails Workshop- Canon City
         - Canon City Website

July 13-15,  2018-Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Great Trails Workshop- Breckenridge
          - Breckenridge Website

August 14-18, 2018- NOHVCC and INOHVAA Annual Meeting
           - Grand Rapids, Michigan
           - Conference webpage will be available soon