NOHVCC Newsletter - December 2017 edition

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In this Issue:










From the Executive Director- 2017 Year in Review
By Duane Taylor


Wow – What an exciting year!  2017 was a year of change for NOHVCC.  Russ Ehnes stepped down in June and I came onboard as Executive Director.  A lot has happened in the last seven months, so we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect a bit and share with you some of the great things NOHVCC has been doing.

First – NOHVCC’s crown jewel is the annual Conference.  This year it was in New Hampshire – and yet again, it was a huge success.  Since I started in June and the Conference was in August I was concerned about how it would go, but I didn’t need to be.  NOHVCC’s great and experienced Board Members and staff rallied to the cause and relied on muscle-memory (and skill) to put on an exciting and educational conference.  The mobile workshop was well attended, informative and fun.  Kudos to the staff, volunteers and others who made the week possible.  The conference sessions were as enlightening as ever and led to many productive conversations that I am sure continue even as we head into a new year.  Finally, NOHVCC once again joined with the International OHV Administrators Association (INOHVAA) to put on concurrent conferences – and as in previous years, all attendees seemed pleased. 

Next year’s annual Conference will be August 14-18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  NOHVCC staff, Directors and local contacts have already begun planning for this event and we all look forward to having all of you join us to learn and to share your experiences.

Great Trails

The Great Trails guidebook, authored by Dick Dufourd and published by NOHVCC has been internationally recognized as the must-have guidebook for OHV trails. Demand continued to grow in 2017 with requests for 900 electronic copies and shipment of over 600 printed versions. The book provides the curriculum for our Great Trails workshops, and in conjunction with North Idaho College, we now can offer Continuing Education Units (CEU) credits to workshop attendees.


NOHVCC continued its Great Trails Workshop series with five events in 2017 – one each in Florida, Oregon and Minnesota, and two in Colorado.   These workshops focus on the design, layout, construction, maintenance and management of fun and sustainable Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails. Hands-on field training is emphasized. The intended audience is trail managers; trail construction and maintenance supervisors and crews; engineering staff involved in trail planning, design, maintenance and construction; trail contractors; OHV club trail volunteers; and other interested stakeholders.

For each of the workshops NOHVCC staff worked with local representatives from federal and state agencies, local OHV clubs and associations, and other interested stakeholders.  I had the opportunity to attend the Oregon workshop and see the NOHVCC team in action and I have to say I was very impressed.  Over four days we participated in both classroom and field exercises.  I was struck by the combined knowledge in the room from both NOHVCC staff and the workshop participants. I learned a lot, including just how difficult trail design and construction actually is, and how happy I am that NOHVCC has such knowledgeable staff and contractors to help put great OHV trails on the ground.

National Motorized Recreation Strategy (BLM)

NOHVCC continues to partner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and OHV enthusiasts to inform the BLM on how it can better provide access to high quality OHV recreation experiences on BLM lands. NOHVCC and the BLM have partnered to develop a National Motorized Recreation Strategy that will help the BLM develop individual state strategies for providing high quality OHV opportunities and develop partnerships to help maintain those opportunities. The strategies will guide the BLM in future Resource Management Plans (RMP) and Travel Management Plans (TMP).

A strategy was completed for New Mexico in 2017 and the process continued with multiple public listening sessions in Arizona in January and Nevada in November.  These state strategies are developed to help guide BLM decisions and provide a real opportunity for engaged public comment.  NOHVCC will continue its work in Nevada and other BLM states next year and into the future.

Ride Trails

NOHVCC has partnered with Ride Trails to develop a website template for new clubs that can be included in the NOHVCC "start-up kit." This template may also be used by existing clubs with a desire to refresh their web presence. This template is easy to set up and use, simple in presentation of information, facilitates recruiting membership, and facilitates online payments of membership dues.

RideTrails currently has 16 member organizations (12 OHV clubs, 3 State Associations, and one OHV park). Total self-reported membership of these organizations is 23,943 riders. Twelve sites are live and four are currently in some phase of on-boarding.

Border 2 Border

The Border-to-Border Off-Road Vehicle Touring Trail (B2B trail) will be a continuous Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) riding opportunity in Minnesota.  It will primarily utilize existing public right-of-ways to link the shores of Lake Superior with the North Dakota border.  Trail planners will work with local communities to identify connections to local communities with significant natural, cultural, and historic areas of interest. In 2015 the Minnesota Legislature authorized the redistribution of funds from a dedicated account created from OHV registrations and the non-refunded gas taxes from OHVs.  The Legislature authorized
the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division (PAT) to oversee the project in cooperation with the Minnesota 4-Wheel Drive Association.  The MN DNR hired NOHVCC as project managers and subject experts for the project.

NOHVCC and the MN DNR held eight B2B listening sessions during January and February of 2017.  During these listening sessions, the team gathered information on 36” x 48” maps of each county showing interstate routes, US routes, State routes, county and township routes, and forest roads in the jurisdiction of the US Forest Service, the State of Minnesota, and the local counties. 

From the information gathered from the public meetings and online comment forms, the team worked with the MN DNR to create a smaller potential route alignment, termed the “corridor of consideration”, ranging from a corridor width of 12 miles in the northeast to 30 miles in the northwest.  The team intends to review the corridor of consideration with the MN DNR Regional and Area teams, to ground-truth potential routes, and to assist the MN DNR with presenting the corridor of consideration to the local units
of government that fall within the corridor of consideration.  NOHVCC will continue working with Minnesota partners through completion of the project.

Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable

At the invitation of the Motorcycle Industry Council, NOHVCC actively participates in the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable (ORIR).  The ORIR is a coalition of America’s leading outdoor recreation trade associations working to promote the policy and legislative reforms needed to grow the outdoor recreation economy. Roundtable members represent the thousands of U.S. businesses that produce vehicles, equipment, gear, apparel and services for the millions of Americans who enjoy our nation’s parks, waterways, byways, trails and outdoor spaces. Combined, the various business sectors within the outdoor recreation industry generate $887 billion-per-year in economic activity and provide an estimated 7.6 million direct jobs. Coalition members produce the eight largest recreation trade-shows in the U.S. and their members annually contribute $40 billion in federal excise tax, sales tax and duties.

In July, ORIR representatives met with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. During the hour-long meeting, the recreation leaders provided nearly 30 offers of private investment on public lands totaling more than $80 million, calling them just the first wave of thousands of opportunities that will emerge over the next few months. NOHVCC staff outlined several projects to improve OHV opportunities on BLM lands where a nominal investment from the MIC and other groups would have a broad, positive impact on visitors’ experiences, including trailhead improvements, maps, signage and parking improvements, as well as attention to other areas that would boost safety and enjoyment.

This is already running long, but NOHVCC has had a very active year.  We are continuing to work on and expand Adventure Trail – more to come on this soon.  We are working on organizational changes as well.  NOHVCC is downsizing our base of operations in Great Falls, Montana and NOHVCC Board Members and staff are engaging in a review of the organization’s structure and outreach.


2018 will be a very busy year as we continue NOHVCC’s many existing initiatives and maybe take on  some new challenges, all while focusing on creating a better future for OHV recreation.

Happy Holidays!




‘Listening Sessions’ Set The Stage For Improved Riding Opportunities On BLM Lands
By David Halsey, NOHVCC Contributor


For six days in November, OHV riders attended Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “Listening Sessions,” organized by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) at six locations in Nevada. The title alone found some of those in attendance entering the meeting rooms with mixed feelings ... of both hope and skepticism. But it didn’t take long for the meetings to take a turn to the positive. 


“People come in, some defensively at first, thinking they are there to defend their trails from closure,” said Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC Project Manager. “But then they discover the meeting’s focus is on the future. The BLM wants their input in order to make positive enhancements to OHV trail systems. Some really great discussions break out. Members of OHV clubs, county commissioners and BLM recreation planners start talking about partnering to improve their trail systems and bring new riders into their areas. All of the meetings in Nevada were really fun.”


Since 2015, NOHVCC has partnered with the BLM to develop a National Motorized Recreation Action Strategy. The goal is to create individual State strategies for providing high-quality OHV riding opportunities, and partnerships with user groups to help maintain those opportunities.


Nevada is the fourth State where the NOHVCC Public Meetings have been held. At the invitation of individual BLM State offices, NOHVCC has organized meetings in Montana in 2015, New Mexico in 2016, and Arizona and Nevada in 2017. Brad Colin with the BLM helped pave the way for the initiative, and attends all the meetings. He works one month out of the year as the Motorized Recreation Subject Matter Expert for BLM’s Washington, D.C., office. The rest of the year, he works out of the BLM Field Office in Butte, Montana, as an Outdoor Recreation Planner. Keri Wanner of Driven, LLC, and Alexis Nelson of Lat + Long Resource Group, LLC, recently joined the project team, and served as independent, third-party facilitators and presenters at the Nevada meetings. 


The meeting process was similar in all four States, and represents a departure from past BLM meetings with OHV organizations. Said Hildesheim: “It’s not an agency coming in with four alternatives and saying pick one. They have asked NOHVCC to find out what OHV enthusiasts want, so the BLM can build the trails program that fits their needs.”


Input from OHV riders and organizations, with a lot of experience in their States, has been detailed and very helpful, says Hildesheim. “There are common themes everywhere. That communication needs to improve between the agency and the public; people need better maps and websites; they want looped trails; and they would like to see new OHV riding opportunities to provide a positive economic impact in their communities.”


In Nevada, 123 people attended the Listening Sessions, including OHV riders and clubs, county commissioners, representatives of chambers of commerce, and the U.S. Forest Service.


Following each series of meetings, a report is submitted by NOHVCC to the BLM, with recommendations based on the discussions and specific input for that State. The report is reviewed at the BLM Washington, D.C., office, which then works with BLM recreation planners at the State level to zero in on which recommendations are in line with their local resource management plans (RMP) and travel management plans (TMP). The result is an OHV Action Plan, which the recreation planners use as a blueprint for moving forward. In Montana, which held community meetings in 2015, the BLM Action Plan has resulted in the addition of trails to one OHV trail system, a new OHV Friends Group to help monitor and maintain another trail system, and the replacement of a dilapidated vault toilet, with more projects in the works.


The BLM’s OHV Action Plans are part of an initiative called “Connecting with Communities,” designed to enhance partnerships between the federal agency and local communities, by promoting a wide range of recreational opportunities. “That is the key goal of this partnership between NOHVCC and the BLM,” said Hildesheim. “We want to help them improve their relationship with OHV user groups, and OHV riding opportunities, as part of the overall NOHVCC Mission: Creating a Positive Future for OHV Recreation.”



A fun marketing idea for OHV trails everywhere: Arizona Peace Trail Marketing
By David Halsey, NOHVCC Contributor


If you are planning to head out into the desert of western Arizona and tackle the Arizona Peace Trail, John Geyer will give you the shirt off his back to help you find your way...literally. 


Geyer has printed the route of the rugged 750-mile trail -- and some of the points of interest along it -- on the back of a T-shirt. It’s the signature marketing tool for the Arizona Peace Trail, used to promote awareness of the wild and scenic route, and give those who ride it a memorable souvenir to go along with their photos and memories.


“We’re shifting from first to second on marketing,” said Geyer, Promotions Chairman for the Arizona Peace Trail. The trail project, started 4 years ago, today involves 15 off-highway vehicle (OHV) clubs, many towns and businesses along the route, and supporting government agencies at the county, state and federal level.  

The Peace Trail T-shirt is colorful and unique, specially treated to give it a mottled look that resembles the desert dirt. It features the Trail Logo on the front and a map on the back, showing towns and caricatures of trail features, and gets the trail and clubs a lot of attention. “When people ask where the Arizona Peace Trail is, you just turn around and say, ‘right here’,” said Geyer. The design was created by Joel’s Tee’s & Design in Lake Havasu City. Geyer first sold the Tees out of his car, but now sells them through many trail-supporting vendors along the route. Having powersports dealers, RV parks, cafes, State Parks and chambers of commerce sell them turned into a win-win. Proceeds from the sale to vendors go toward trail development and signage. The retail outlets mark up the shirts a few dollars and display them with the map side out. Other marketing materials for the Peace Trail include decals, promotional flyers, an on-line store featuring the trail logo on all kinds of gear and merchandise, and a colorful new website.

Also available are GPX and KML files, and a trip itinerary 

Of course, a T-shirt map won’t help you navigate the mostly unsigned loop that winds its way among countless other desert trails throughout Yuma, La Paz and Mojave Counties. But Geyer has that covered as well. He and other trail organizers have created a variety of navigational tools for the Peace Trail route, including GPX and KML format files. Riders on all types of off-highway vehicles can use them to take day trips from Lake Havasu, Quartzite, Kingman or other towns along the route. For more adventurous riders who want to make the entire 750-mile journey, Geyer and others who have ridden the entire route numerous times have created a 5-day 4-night trip itinerary with suggested stops for lodging, food and fuel. 


For riders opting to do the entire loop, Geyer recommends a minimum of 5 vehicles, in case there are mechanical problems or breakdowns out in the desert. On a group ride he took with others just last month, two vehicles broke down at the same spot. “You have to have a GPS,” said Geyer. “It’s a desert. There are lots of places with no cell service. When I do my rides, the week before we head out, I get everybody together and tell them their supplies should include food and water for at least a day. I also bring an emergency satellite locator.”


The Arizona Peace Trail stretches from Yuma in the south to Bullhead City in the north. Riders will experience dramatic elevation changes from 170 ft. along the banks of the Colorado River to 7,070 ft. at the top of the Hualapai Mountains. Along the route are thousands of tall saguaro cactus, red rock landscapes, sand filled washes, narrow canyons and mountain passes, plus abandoned mines, ghost towns and other interesting artifacts from the past.


In just 5 months, 400 T-shirts were sold at the retail level. Geyer just ordered 150 more.  Future marketing plans include a navigational app for smart phones, and a book showing the route, history and attractions along the trail. Geyer is also on the OHV Advisory Group with the Arizona State Parks & Trails, and founding and past president of the Havasu Side by Side Trail Association.

J.C. Sanders, Chairman of Arizona Peace Trail, Inc., made a presentation on the trail’s development and marketing efforts at the annual conference of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), held in August in New Hampshire. Long-term goals for the trail include: recruiting local OHV clubs to adopt segments to sign and monitor; establishing staging areas at strategic locations; defining and mapping day loops; and promoting the trail nationwide.

To read more about the Arizona Peace Trail and the clubs working to create it, see the February, 2016, NOHVCC Newsletter.

For more information on the Arizona Peace Trail, with links to obtain GPX and KML files,  a trip itinerary, and a list of locations where you can purchase a T-shirt, go to: .

NOHVCC State Partners Have The Horsepower To Give Your OHV Group More Traction
By David Halsey, NOHVCC Contributor

In Texas, it’s Carol Smith.

In Iowa, Dan Kleen.

In Vermont, Danny Hale.


Across the U.S. and Canada, NOHVCC State Partners are known names. They are experienced riders, often club or State Association leaders, and respected by agencies for their professionalism in advocating for responsible off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation.


The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) was founded in 1990, not as a member organization, but a service organization. A council of dozens of OHV industry leaders, all working at the same level. Their role? To assist and support the work of OHV clubs and State Associations.


NOHVCC State Partners stand ready to assist you. They are a friendly voice that can answer your questions, direct you to helpful club- and trail-building tools and resources, and connect you to dedicated OHV-industry professionals in your State and across the country.

State Partners and Associate State Partners act as a liaison between NOHVCC and the OHV communities in their States. While not official media spokespersons for NOHVCC, they support the NOHVCC mission by being informed on important issues and speaking on behalf of their clubs and associations. They promote and distribute the many “tools” NOHVCC has compiled over 27 years, on safe and responsible riding, building and maintaining sustainable trails, how to successfully partner with State and Federal land managers, and other OHV-related issues.


“We've been able to help other clubs and local officials who may have an interest in OHV recreation, but simply don't know where to start,” said Carol Smith, NOHVCC State Partner in Texas. “We can educate them on how it's done, safely, legally and responsibly in other States. Provide them with working examples, and the names of other officials they can speak with personally. The single largest property acquisition ever funded from the federal Recreational Trails Program (RTP / $1.3 mil - 3200 acres!) probably wouldn't have happened without the assistance of the NOHVCC.


“If you have a problem or situation, your NOHVCC State Partner has a nationwide network of OHV enthusiasts, as well as land managers and OHV program managers to speak with, and to glean information and assistance from. NOHVCC State Partners can provide a wealth of information and assistance; it’s what we're here for!”


Bring the experience of a national OHV network to your State.


If you don’t know who your State Partner is, look them up on the NOHVCC website, give them a call and introduce yourself. If they can’t answer your questions, there’s a good chance they know someone who can.


Consider joining this incredible network of OHV leaders. Currently, there are 12 States and 5 Provinces with a NOHVCC State Partner vacancy. They are Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wyoming, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.


If you -- or someone you know -- is passionate about and involved in advocating for OHV activities in any of these States or Provinces, please contact NOHVCC at


In addition, there are some states with State Partners that have openings for Associate State Partners. Even if your State has Associate State Partners, consider applying to join that list. There is one State Partner per State, but no limit to the number of Associate State Partners, and NOHVCC’s goal is to have representatives in each State and Province from all types of OHV recreation.



For a complete list of the responsibilities, qualifications and benefits of becoming a NOHVCC State Partner or Associate State Partner, go to this page of the NOHVCC website:

Upcoming Events:

 January 2018: Arizona Great Trails Workshop- more information in upcoming weeks

August 14-20th: NOHVCC Annual Meeting in Grand Rapids Michigan