NOHVCC Newsletter - May 2018 edition

 

In this Issue:



NOHVCC Could Use Your Trail Pictures!

Neither Snow nor Mud Can Delay a Great Trails Workshop 

Anger or Opportunity? 

Trail Evaluation: Last Of The “4 Es” May Be The Most Important

 

 



NOHVCC Could Use Your Trail Pictures!

 

NOHVCC is always on the lookout for high-quality OHV pictures.  If you are an amateur photographer (or, better yet, a pro), please share some of your favorite pictures with NOHVCC. 

Specifically, we are looking for shots that promote NOHVCC’s safe and responsible ethic and portray riders wearing appropriate safety gear.  If you have pics of yourself, friends or family responsibly riding ATVs or dirt bikes, or driving ROVs (side-by-sides) or full-sized 4WD vehicles please send them along.  Shots of enthusiasts with machines in the background are also useful.

Please note that these pictures may be used in NOHVCC’s newsletter, on our website or social media and we may not be able to credit all the photos we use.  But, you may get to see yourself in NOHVCC’s communications, and you will be promoting the sport you love!

If you have pictures you would like to share (and maybe see featured by NOHVCC), please send them to
pictures@nohvcc.org




 

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Neither Snow nor Mud Can Delay a Great Trails Workshop
By Jack Terrell, NOHVCC Project Manager


A week before the scheduled Great Trails Workshop the trail system near Onamia, Minnesota was under twelve inches of snow. The All-Terrain Vehicle Association of Minnesota (ATVAM) secured a Recreational Trails Program grant to fund the workshop and contracted with NOHVCC to conduct the workshop April 26-28. Luckily the snow melted, but the trails turned to mud. So, field sessions were conducted on foot.

 

Approximately forty OHV enthusiasts, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources managers and staff, and staff of three local counties participated in the 3-day workshop.

 

 

In addition to the core curriculum of a NOHVCC Great Trails Workshop, sessions included Minnesota-specific wetlands regulations, identification, delineation, permitting, mitigation, and approved construction techniques for wetlands crossings.

 

The field sessions included on-the-ground application of subjects covered in the classroom sessions, and trail layout and design exercises. Attendees commented that the field sessions provided practical knowledge and experience that they could apply to their trail systems.

 

This Great Trails Workshop was preceded by a one-day OHV Recreation Management Workshop on April 24, 2018 at the same location.  NOHVCC partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to conduct the workshop which was developed for upper level program managers.

 

The two dozen attendees included managers and staff from DNR Divisions including Parks & Trails, Lands & Minerals, Fish & Wildlife, Forestry, Enforcement, and Ecological & Water Resources. The workshop was successful in expanding attendees’ knowledge of OHV recreation management and emphasized the importance of coordinating the activities of all DNR Divisions in support of sustainable trail systems.

 

NOHVCC provided sessions on:

            4Es of OHV Management: Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation

            Key steps for success: planning, design, implementation, maintenance and management

            Four aspects of sustainability

            Development of Trail Management Objectives (TMOs)

 

DNR staff provided information on trail project funding, Grant-In-Aid Trail Review Process, permitting, environmental review steps, and a case history of a trail design and location project.

 

If the OHV trail program in your state could benefit from a NOHVCC Great Trails Workshop or an OHV Recreation Management Workshop, contact us at trailhead@nohvcc.org   

 

 

 

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Anger or Opportunity?
By Perry May, ATVAM 2nd Vice-President 

 

For every Trail Manager there comes a time when off-trail travel is observed, the trail is damaged due to irresponsible riders, or from a rider type you did not plan for.  What to Do?  Anger is typically the first emotion that takes place, maybe some cussing, then disappointment, then unplanned actions such as more signs, more barriers, and eventually trail closure. The trail that you and your volunteers designed and maintain for responsible riders has been compromised by a few. The trail reopens, the rider behavior does not change, and the angry cycle begins again.

If any of you have attended a Great Trails Workshop, you would ask yourself, “WWDDD” / What Would Dick Dufourd Do? Dick is an OHV Consultant specializing in off-highway vehicle management and author of the Great Trails Resource Guide Book in association with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council. (NOHVCC). As a former student, I can hear Dick say, “With every Action there is a Reaction”, and with this situation Anger = Opportunity.  Now is the time to walk your trail in the impacted area and question yourself why the rider behavior is not changing while looking for opportunities that will positively change the behavior.

 

The three key elements for Great Trails are:

  • Provide for the riders needs
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Develop an effective Operations and Management Program

 

                                                                                                                 

Providing for the Riders’ Needs. What does this mean?  If the rider is looking for mud or other potential high impact activities does a Trail Manager give it to them? Not necessarily. It means that the manager evaluates the site to determine what experiences can be reasonably and sustainably provided.  During a recent weekend on the Emily/Outing ATV Trail, a group of riders decided to form their own mud pit in the middle of the trail, making the trail impassable to the average rider and resulting in trail closure. 

The previous 10 days for this trail location was dry, and the trail system did not offer a dedicated, yet managed, mud area for this type of rider; “The Mudder.” The section of trail, which was impacted, travelled through a low area, holding water from the winter snow melt.  It provided the perfect spot for the high-fun factor opportunity the riders were looking for. Was this a site chosen by the Trail Manager for mudders? No, and unfortunately, this was not a site that could sustain or be managed for this type of riding experience.

 A theory that has been validated in numerous trail projects is; When riders find what they want ON trail, they will not look for it OFF trail. Trail Managers play an important role in providing the overall trail riding experience.  Unmanaged OHV recreation can lead to user-created trails, unacceptable resource impacts, poor recreation experiences, conflict with other stakeholders or other recreationists, antagonistic community and media relations, and litigation. Our challenge as a Trail Manager is to take anger and transform it into an opportunity. Evaluate all the different types of riders that use your trails, and the possible sites which can provide the various high-quality recreational experience they are looking for.  You may just find your bad-behavior riders become compliance riders.

 

 

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Trail Evaluation: Last Of The “4 Es” May Be The Most Important
By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

 

Engineering, Education, Enforcement and Evaluation.

 

The “4 Es” are the guiding principles to building and maintaining a successful off-highway vehicle (OHV) trail system. This article focuses on the Fourth E -- Evaluation -- the last and perhaps the most important to ensure continued success.

 

Building the trail is just the beginning. After the kiosks are in place, the signs have been posted, the trail has been opened and compliance is encouraged and enforced, everything must be evaluated to know what is happening on the trail.

 

“Monitoring is the component that ties all of the Es together,” writes Dick Dufourd in his book “Great Trails: Providing Quality OHV Trails and Experiences”, a resource guide published in 2015 by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC).

 

The 11th chapter of the book is titled “Conducting Assessments.” It outlines how to create a system for continual trail monitoring which allows trail managers to know how to plan, act or react and how to discover if an OHV trail has an issue.  

 

Assessments can be either routine or formal. “Observe, Record, Report” is a motto that forms the basis for routine assessment, says Dufourd. The goal is to detect symptoms before they become problems. Field personnel don’t necessarily have to know how to fix the issue, just observe it, record and report it.

 

Formal assessments are often requested as a reaction to an issue that is no longer a symptom, but a problem. These reports are usually precursors to management action. The three main types of formal assessments are: feasibility or site assessment, safety assessment, and condition assessment.

 

Dufourd goes into greater detail on routine and formal assessments in Chapter 11, what they should include and how to work them into trail management.

 

Who should do the Evaluation? Everyone. “For the best results, have everyone perform it,” says Dufourd. “Anyone involved in the project site should be involved in the monitoring of the site. This includes the riders, all field personnel, law enforcement, trail patrollers and management.”

 

Chapter 11 also presents 38 “Issues” commonly discovered during the Evaluation process. Each “Issue” presented in the book is illustrated with a photograph highlighted with the “Concern” the issue presents (rider safety, agency risk, resource impacts, etc.) and the “Action” required to solve the problem.

 

For example, one Issue states: “Trail washout due to under-sized culvert.” The “Concerns” that follow are: “rider safety, erosion, sedimentation.” The necessary “Action” is: “(A) Conduct watershed analysis and install properly sized culverts; (B) Install a ford or bridge if that option is allowed. Other issues include: creek draining into trail, ineffective drainage, confusing signing, trail tread is lower than surrounding ground resulting in flooding, and improper trail maintenance.

 

Fixing and re-fixing problems only wastes time and money. “Too often trail managers choose to pour time, money and materials into fixing a poorly located trail when the remedy of relocation would be less expensive and far more sustainable in the long run,” says Dufourd. “Assessments can help managers identify the source of problems and make the right decisions to correct them.”

 

By sticking with the 4 E’s, we effectively manage OHV use. And when we do that, we provide quality recreational experiences, resource protection, agency confidence, proactive management, fewer social conflicts, and economic benefit to communities.

 

For more information on improving the Evaluation of your trail system, see Chapter 11 of the “Great Trails” resource guide. You can order copies of the 350-page, fully illustrated book for $30 each, or download the free PDF versions. To get started, go to this link: http://gt.nohvcc.org/.

 

 

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Upcoming Events:


      
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