Protect, promote and provide 4x4 opportunities worldwide
DECEMBER 2015 • Volume 42 • Issue 3
Board of Directors President Tom Mandera– email@example.com Past President Jim Mazzola III– firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President Vernon Ball- email@example.com International Vice President Peter Vahry – firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer Bob DeVore – email@example.com Director of Membership Richard Hiltz - firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Public Relations (Vacant) email@example.com Director of Environmental Affairs Jerry Smith - firstname.lastname@example.org
Extended Board of Directors
4WD Awareness Coordinator Craig Feusse - email@example.com Website Administrator Milt Webb Design – firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal and Marketing
Legal Counsel Carla Boucher – email@example.com Business Development Manager (Vacant) firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial and Design
Editor, Peter Vahry Consulting Editor, Phil Hanson
UFWDA Office and Contact PO Box 316 Swartz Creek, MI 48473 Email: email@example.com Phone: 1-800-44-UFWDA
Tom Mandera Vernon Ball Peter Vahry
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Comment: “One Voice” is Seeking Partners The Trail Braiding Trend, Can We Stop It? Is there a future for United Four Wheel Drive Associations? A Message From Your Favorite Trails Motorized Land Use Commitment; Do You Have It? “Trail User Experiences” Your Experience vs. My Experience National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) VLLS FaceBook Chat
10 14 17 29 34 36 40 45
News and Events: New Horizons SEMA 2015 Chile Challenge 2015 Bald Eagle State Forest Exploratory Run
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Lists: 2016 Event Calendar Business Members Member Organizations
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Cover photo of 2015 Chile Challenge by Bill Bonahoom Stories and articles are submitted from various Association Members and other contributors. The views and opinions expressed in the stories and articles within are solely those of the individual, or individuals who submitted said stories or articles. United Four Wheel Drive Associations may neither advocate, endorse, nor recommend any of the said views or opinions.
Introductions get us where we are. Tom Mandera UFWDA President
Winter is here for the northern climes, and there is snow in the mountains. That means it’s either a good time to go wheeling, or a good time to huddle up in the shop and prepare for summer - depends on your preference and the trails available in your area. Here in Montana, a few feet of snow is about the only way we get a “challenge” route to drive, so we’re heading to the hills - with our long underwear and insulated bibs, and shovels. In the summer, we have a difficult time finding unclosed routes that require engaging 4wd for even short sections. We have some scenery to see, and some great picnic spots, but seldom do we fight an hour to go yards in the summer. All is not lost, of course. We still have routes. We still have places to go, things to see. We still have a few feet of snow to get stuck in in the winter on the routes not designated as “groomed” and thus off-limits. On the one hand, we should be thankful for what we have - if not for the actions of our forebears in forming, and staffing, United 4WD Association in the 70s, the environment movement - itself a positive and necessary response to the transgressions of the past - may have succeeding in going as far “green” as we had been “black.” A gross over-correction was in our future - and just like when the rear end of your 4x4 “steps out” you can apply the right amount of correction and straighten it out, or you can overdo it, and find yourself making a quick 180, or 360, or more and wonder how badly things will go before it all settles down and you straighten it out again. That was the course we were all on - spinning wildly out of control and wondering where we might wind up when it was all over. Fortunately like Harold Brown, our current Land Use leader Jerry Smith, and others saw the crisis looming, and took action to organize us - before many of us were born (that includes me) these folks were taking time out of their busy lives to help protect what we now - still - enjoy. It took people of vision, and an investment of time and material to
So, first, let us give thanks. ‘Tis the season. Then, since the season is really about the giving, not the getting, consider for a few moments how you might help contribute to future generations. The United BOD still needs a few energetic volunteers. We all have other conflicting priorities in our lives - work, family, other hobbies - but we find some time to help keep things moving in a direction that is generally positive towards vehicular recreation. A few hours a week - or a few hours a month - is a few hours more than we would otherwise have. If you have the ability to invest a few hours here and there, you can make a difference. We’re still short a PR person. We still need some Business Managers - there are businesses that want to support UFWDA, but they need us to contact them and make the arrangements. High pressure sales tactics are not required. Previous experience is not required. Just a desire to help out. I don’t want to dwell on the past, I want to talk about the future. I’d love to hit on the progress our new PR Director is making, and our new supporting businesses next time. This is also an excellent opportunity for any of you that may grumble about the lack of action or activity or direction - you can continue to grumble from a darkened corner, or you can do something about it. Join the BOD and you can help solve the problems in the way only you know how to do. Let us all share in your talents and we’ll all be better for it. Our membership director, Richard Hiltz, knows all about this. He had the audacity to complain about the job our then non-existent Membership Director was doing, and found himself with a job. While we still have a ways to go, Richard has made big strides in correcting and streamlining our process. Noteworthy actions since our last Voice? Land Use Director Jerry Smith, and VP Vern Ball went (on their own dime) to SEMA to meet with several groups and vendors, and that included discussions with ORBA on their new communications plan. Inexplicably, they met with some cold shoulders from some fellow full size motorized recreation groups - some of which had been full roster members in United in the past, and thus had every opportunity to mold UFWDA into whatever organization they wanted it to be. We would welcome them all back into the fold, and there are plenty of opportunities to set direction and take action.
Our Vice President, Vern Ball, also put his (and his wife’s) money where his mouth is, and went to Southern’s annual meeting, while also stopping to engage representatives from the NASCAR track in Kentucky. UFWDA’s international name brand and recognition is valuable, and helped open the door with the track. We are negotiating with them for access to 1100+ acres of recreation opportunity, which eventually may provide a new set of trails for members in the area. We hope to start smaller, and use some of Craig Feusse’s updated Awareness training as an ice breaker, and to bring in some new recruits to organized 4x4 recreation. We need to add to our membership - locally, regionally, and nationally - and our growth avenue is the mass popularity of the Wrangler JK. Sure, many won’t ever see dirt, but aside from providing the rest of us with a strong used Jeep market in a few years, they can still benefit from knowing how to operate their new ride, and if they want to help support the idea that they could go wheelin’ in their Jeep, we want to help them. Not many Sierra Club members have the means to take a trip to Africa and see a large preserve, but they all support the idea financially. We need to plant the seed and let it grow. If, in the meantime, we also set the hook in a few and they become vibrant new club members out on every trail ride, we’ll take that, too. Lots of possibilities are out there, we just need some willing volunteers to help capitalize on them. We owe Vern a big Thank You for taking it upon himself to head down to Kentucky and get the ball rolling. Look for a report from Vern in this issue. As to me, different priorities had me at home instead. Like the rest of you, I have a full plate (and sometimes, my eyes are bigger than my stomach) and continue to nibble at it. At least my daughters have concluded their Nutcracker performance and we’re done with ballet practice for a little while. Maybe I’ll finish the basement bathroom (that was due before Joleigh (now 9) was born) over the Christmas break. Or I could wrench in the garage - I have a few projects that feel neglected. Decisions decisions. What I really need to do is grab the family and drive until the altitude makes us light headed, make a campfire, cook some hotdogs, and laugh as our boots steam by the fire and the girls improvise a sled from an Action Packer lid. Tom
Vernon Ball Vice President
UFWDA, ORBA & SEMA
Jerry Smith and I attended SEMA 2015 as UFWDA representatives; Monday we participated at the NAMRC (North American Motorized Recreation Council) annual meeting. Each group spoke of their respective association, snowmobiles, ATV’s, on-line clubs (NAXJA) and full size 4x4’s from all over the U.S. It was interesting hearing all of the struggles and successes, comparing notes and definitely adding some great ideas to help our local clubs and UFWDA. Cal4 and SFWDA associations seem to be the ones growing and gaining memberships. UFWDA being in attendance was noticed and appreciated, many noted their surprise. They are watching to see where we are headed and what the future of UFWDA will be. Many thanks to Del at BRC (Blue Ribbon Coalition) for hosting and overseeing the NAMRC meeting. Following the meeting, NOHVCC (National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council) presented a seminar on working with the Forest Service and being effective, the guest speaker was a former Forest Service manager and a semi-retired consultant. Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon meetings continued in the ORBA lounge, set up for the ORBA members to utilize for meetings and/or breaks from the SEMA show floor. UFWDA and ORBA banners were strategically placed inside the room and out in the hall, noting the two groups working together. NOHVCC spoke more in depth on working with the Forest Service managers, building working relationships and the challenges that face motorized groups. ORBA is working to empower UFWDA by adding member benefits that help us answer the old question....” What does UFWDA do for me?” Most are aware of the B.F.Goodrich Outstanding Trails grant; well ORBA’s business partners offer similar grants. If an ORBA supporter has a need or is aware of a land use need, ORBA will process a grant request by finding one of their business members that might offer a grant. UFWDA would
be able to offer this as a member benefit, the member would approach UFWDA or if we are aware of a need, we could offer to help them by filling out paperwork/send it to ORBA who would then facilitate the process. ORBA is wanting a representative in each central area of the United States. ORBA and its business members know that by the time our local clubs learn of a pending closure or planning, the decision has already been made in Congress. The businesses are fighting Congress. They know that if we lose trails they lose business; they will only thrive if 4x4 recreation thrives. How does UFWDA work into this equation? We have the numbers. If ORBA can make UFWDA and members aware of an upcoming bill or discussion affecting 4x4 trails, they can give direction and guidance on how to be heard and how to make a difference. Whom to call, what to say, or how and what to write. If hundreds of members call or write to their local representative or congressman, then we mimic what and how the “greenies” do. We become proactive not reactive. We become a force to be reckoned with. UFWDA is the voice for “One Voice”. Success drives memberships, and memberships drive decisions. Recently the Kentucky Speedway approached UFWDA regarding use of their facility. Not only does it feature a NASCAR track but also has 1100 acres with it. Tom Mandera asked me to reach out to the track and determine if UFWDA could benefit its members. I spoke with the track management and they basically want to rent the property for events, as most of the time the property sits underutilized. I then reached out to SFWDA president Ray Stanley. The thought process is that UFWDA offers an opportunity to a member group, in turn they offer it to their membership, noting that UFWDA brought this to them. SFWDA invited UFWDA to attend their annual meeting via webinar. After speaking to UFWDA President Tom Mandera, I requested to attend the SFWDA meeting in person. I flew into Cincinnati Airport December 3 and met with the Kentucky Speedway representative. Jared, the facility manager shared my vision of UFWDA and the speedway relationship is moving forward. A working relationship was secured. I then drove to Tennessee to attend the SFWDA meeting in person. On Friday night I met with President of BRC Todd Ockert and Southern’s Ray Stanley. Ray has taken SFWDA from a broken organization to a thriving and membership driven organization in just 2 years. His philosophy is
“boots on the ground”, meet in person, determine what needs to be fixed and developed a vision that many could follow. Saturday December 5th the meeting had 40 in attendance in person and 40 listening online. SFWDA is a proud supporter of United and many others such as BRC, Tread Lightly! etc. Understanding each entity is important and offers something that keeps our sport alive. I learned so much from Southern that could only be achieved by being there in person. I spoke to Southern about UFWDA, ORBA and the Kentucky speedway opportunity by joining their organization personally. Southern has great leadership and members, and it meant a lot that UFWDA attended in person.
Peter Vahry International VP Editor
Another year is upon us and 2016 is notable for being the fortieth anniversary of the founding of United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA). There are probably thousands of four wheelers who were not even born when the founders of UFWDA recognized a need for a nationally based organization to represent a fast growing recreation, that even then was being constrained by closures of public lands to vehicles. This last edition of 2015 contains some blunt messages about the need to face up to the realities of keeping our recreation viable into the immediate future and just as importantly; the future of UFWDA. Jerry Smith, the UFWDA ‘land use guy’, is passionate about four wheeling and what’s needed to keep land access available for the enjoyment of our recreation and the back-country spaces. Please read his comments and encourage others to also do so. We need to get the message out that UFWDA are still working diligently to “Protect, Promote and Provide 4x4 Opportunities” and need your help to do so more effectively. Volunteer, donate or just keep us informed, so that UFWDA can make a bigger difference in our 40th year and beyond.
“One Voice” is Seeking Partners By Jerry Smith
One Voice is the earthquake propelling the tsunami that will stop motorized trail closures! Yes, that is a bold statement, but we can back it up. What is “One Voice”? For those not familiar with the Off Road Business Association, (ORBA), it is a national non-profit trade association of motorized off-road related businesses, formed to promote and preserve offroad recreation. You may know some of the company names that make up ORBA: TransAmerican, 4-Wheel Parts, SEMA, Poly Performance, BFGoodrich, OmixADA and many more. See: http://orba.biz/orbamembers/ for a full (impressive) list. The One Voice program has launched and is
building new and strong relationships between the Motorized Recreation grassroots and the corporate world of accessories and services for their vehicles, through the partnership between the UFWDA and ORBA. Will you become a partner with the “ONE VOICE” program? You might wonder; “Why is this important to me?” Here’s why. For over 50-years, motorized recreation has been losing access to our Great American BackCountry roads and trails. At first, it was to Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, Roadless Areas, and other “conservation” reasons. National Monuments, Lands with Wilderness Characteristics, and other non-motorized entities
are now the leading ways of closing vast areas… often without any consulting of State and local governments or user groups. One Voice is how we stop much of this from happening. It will take some time, but we WILL do it. For the most part, up till now our battles have been done at the local level. Yes, there have been SOME victories… but, as you know, many, many more losses. It is time to take this battle to the top level. Washington, DC is where the changes of substance are needed. So Washington, DC is where we are going. To begin this process, a One Voice Advisory Committee must be chosen. One Voice has seven regions across the nation that require a representative. One Voice Advisory Committee 1. Seven Regions Western Region California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Hawaii North West Region Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska Mid-West Region North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Central Region Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas Northeast Region Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island East Region New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Indiana Southern Region Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Florida 2. One elected/appointed representative per region Recommend having a backup Have authority to speak and vote for their respective region Participate in the majority of committee meetings and/or calls Agree to sign a confidentiality and conflict of interest statement
Call to action. Each region must elect/appoint a representative and alternate Someone who can communicate the local regional issues to the One Voice Advisory Committee. Be able to relate how these local issues relate to NATIONAL issues Is it an Endangered Species Act issue? Is it an Environmental Protection Agency issue? Is it an Antiquities Act issue? What law(s) or land use rule(s) are the focus issues? Present this in such a way as to “Sell” the Advisory Committee and then the ORBA Board of Directors that this is a plan worthy of their support. Show them “HOW TO” change the law(s) or rule(s). For those of us who have been working land use issues for some time, “excitement” is a dull way to say how we really feel. More details will follow soon, but for now we suggest that each region begin the process of choosing their One Voice Advisory Committee representative and an alternate. For any questions, please call or email Jerry Smith, Director of Environmental Affairs for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations at: (970)433-6021 or email at; landuse@UFWDA.org
New Horizons Jennifer Watson
Want to find out how to drive some new off-road trails that are not open to the public? Then continue reading and learn how you too can legally drive some new routes whilst enjoying a scenic guided tour. PA Jeeps Inc. had the opportunity recently to take some scenic tours with a new up and coming business, Offroad Consulting and Driving Instruction. Both tours consisted of trails any stock 4x4 could handle. On November 15, PA Jeeps Inc, went on a coalmine tour at Rausch Creek Off Road Park in Pine Grove PA. The tour started at 9am and lasted six hours, including eating our lunch out on the trail. The tour takes place in 900 acres of the 8500 acres of land leased by Rausch Creek Trail Riders, a quad and bike club. There are many old buildings, springhouses, shafts and mine openings, to see and explore. We got to hear about the history of the coal mines and the town. We saw the remains of the old mule stalls still standing on the mountainside; it looks like they had quite the view back in the day. The land is only open to guided rides by Rausch Creek and Offroad Consulting for OHV use with their tours. The following weekend, November 22, PA Jeeps Inc, attended another tour, this time at the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) in Shamokin PA. There are many natural sites to see around this park, many bodies of water and the ‘Whaleback’. The whaleback is a natural formation
of folded rock covering about seven acres in total, and as the name suggests looks like the back of a huge whale. Among the many past mining areas, you can stop and find fossils in the anthracite. This newly acquired county run land covers over 6500 acres. They are even in the process of gaining more access to land through some state sales and leases. The park has been getting help with funding with grants and sponsorships from the PA DCNR, Yamaha, BFG and Polaris. Although the park is newer to our area, officially opening May of 2014, it is steadily growing with help from the Director of the park Dave Porzi, eight staff members and many volunteers. Originally run by a board of five members, Dave has stepped up to help make the business better managed and keep it moving forward. New policies and procedures have been implemented, and new maps and trail markers are in place. It takes time to build a park but it is coming along. They have had over 8600 visitors this year alone. To sign up for one of these tours visit Off Road Consulting’s website www.offroad-consulting.com. There you will find the numerous products offered. Despite being a relatively new company, the owner of the company, Kyle Buchter has been working in the off road community for 20 plus years and as an off road instructor for 15 years. Kyle has certifications with the International Four Wheel Drive Trainer’s association and Tread Lightly; he has also managed off road parks. Off Road Consulting has been in the works for a few years but has really taken off the past two years. The
companyâ€™s goal is to promote safe and responsible off road driving and to educate people from the beginner through to seasoned off roader. They believe education is the key to promoting safe and smart driving, protecting the vehicle as well as the environment. From beginner 101 classes to winch/recovery classes they offer training for all skill levels. They also include the Adventure Ride Series with historical, scenic, geocaching and National Forest trail rides. Kyle is also a spokesperson for the four-wheel drive community in PA; he is working with the DCNR to gain more access to state land for OHV use. We would recommend both tours as great ways for you and your family to have a day out in the countryside exploring new areas, learning a little of their history, all whilst enjoying driving your stock or modified 4x4.
The Trail Braiding Trend CAN WE STOP IT?
By Jerry Smith; Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations Many of us who frequent the “Off Highway” roads and trails are beginning to whisper about an alarming trend called “Braiding”. For those not familiar, here is a description of braiding (NOT mine): “When you lack the skills to ride sections of a particular trail, so you go around technical features and obstacles, creating easier paths that go to the same place.” Personally, a little simplification might be in order. MY description of braiding is:
Now, let’s look at that first braiding “description” a minute. “When you lack the skills to ride”. Is that YOUR real problem? In most cases, I’m going to say no. So what is it that prompts so many to “go around technical features and obstacles”?? As a very anal trail user and student of trails and trail riding in a Jeep, there are some observations that have come to my attention. Some may be from a perspective that is not fully qualified, but the outcomes of these observations DO still apply. These are some of the observations:
Rather than staying on an established trail, users unwilling to negotiate an obstacle will venture to one side or the other to avoid the obstacle, thereby widening the trail… usually UNNECESSARILY!
Ø 95% of these occurrences are
This braiding situation is becoming a land management problem, so IF we trail users don’t make a change in our bad habits, THE LAND MANAGERS WILL make some for us!! Their usual method is CLOSURE of the trail.
Ø Does this mean there ARE times
when it is necessary? Later…
Ø 100% of these occurrences are done by EVERY user group. Ø Most of these “braids” are caused by excessive speed. Some I have talked to about this agree with the assessment that the overwhelming majority of braiding is 95% unnecessary. There ARE exceptions to most rules. One of the exceptions would be major bogs or mud holes. Most of us do not want to venture into a deeply rutted bog or mud hole where the likelihood of getting stuck and very muddy exists. This is one place I might have to say that going off trail has some merit, but at what cost to the trail and land management’s decision-making process must be asked? Might this be the time to ask yourself; “Can I repair this problem now?” Or maybe; “Can I come back another time to repair this?” Next question; “Is the potential for losing access to this trail worth braiding it now?” How important is it “REALLY” that you continue this trip? Even if you are simply following others who may have already created a braiding route, is following THEIR poor example of trail use what YOU want to be known for?? Last question; “Is this a good time to practice good trail stewardship and just turn around?” Added to the last question might be something like; “I will go report this problem to my organization (club, association, or other) and to land management to set-up a trail repair party.” In many cases, simply placing rocks or downed trees to block the braiding route will at least temporarily curb the use. Most of the “braiders” are too lazy to remove a blockage. Some might even be “getting the message”.
The observation, “Most of these braids are caused by excessive speed” takes a little explaining. Some of you are going to take offense to this… tough!! This is the truth, if you can’t handle it, STAY HOME!! When many ATVs, UTVs, and motorcycles are out on a trail, they run as fast as possible. When approaching an obstacle or rough section, rather than slow to a safe, comfortable speed, they avoid the obstacle – causing braiding. In a full-size vehicle, we seldom try to go at a high speed because the ride is too rough. It is seldom that we pass an ATV, UTV, or motorcycle. Mountain bikes often pass us too. But because there is already a “smoother looking route” around an obstacle, most full-size rigs will take it. Personally, I have found that going over the obstacle is a better ride than the braid for a full-size rig. This happens on hiking and biking trails where a “short-cut” across a corner or other reason is used and later followed once it is established. Some of the local Grand Junction bike races have created new (unauthorized and unsustainable) routes. Shaving a second or two off their times is apparently not an issue. The bottom line is… we ALL need to stop this practice!! Simply slowing down to negotiate a rough section and “Stay the Trail” does not create an undue pain for anyone. The continuation of braiding will eventually result in a serious pain for EVERYONE. When they begin closing problem trails because of the braiding, we ALL LOSE !! Now go out and enjoy a day in the Great American Back Country. Don’t create any new braiding and when you see some existing braiding, block it!
Is there a future for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations? Even MORE Importantly, Is there a future for YOUR Trail Access? By Jerry Smith Director of Environmental Affairs â€“ United Four Wheel Drive Associations
On Oct. 22, 2015, we held a UFWDA Delegate meeting. There was quite a lot discussed in a relatively short hour-long meeting. Most was about the inner workings of the UFWDA, as would be expected. We did cover other subjects like: The UFWDA “Four Wheel Drive Awareness” program. The new partnership with the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) The upcoming UFWDA SEMA show attendance The move of the UFWDA store to Billings, MT Different grant programs The possibility of having a ORV park on the Kentucky Speedway And other topics. One of the subjects I would like to highlight in this article is how UFWDA member associations and clubs all over are losing members and how that affects the UFWDA. The UFWDA was formed to work on national issues affecting the sport of 4-wheeling… primarily to fight trail closures across our great country. At the time I worked behind the scenes with Harold Brown who was a major driving force in organizing UFWDA. UFWDA struggled to get off the ground the first few years. Memberships were not so much the problem as was the money needed to run such an organization. After some time, the funding improved and there were some battles won. In the last few years, the bank accounts have dwindled to the point that, as our Treasurer Bob DeVore put it tonight, “Our income is less than the American poverty level.” Yes, it is truly that bad.
With the new partnership between UFWDA and ORBA, we have an opportunity like NEVER BEFORE!! This is not just serious people… it is above extremely important. How many trails have been closed in YOUR local area? What could you have done to prevent those closures? I’m going to postulate “very little”. (Both you did little and that there was little you could do). Do you KNOW what needs to change to maintain access to those trails? Hey, this IS DAMN SERIOUS!!! Do you KNOW what needs to change to maintain access to those trails? Let me put it to you like this: The motorized sports community MUST come together and make changes to several laws and land management rules. What it will take to do this is an enormous undertaking. Between ORBA and UFWDA, we have the ability to do this, but not with the current support level UFWDA is receiving. To change/amend these laws and rules will require several somebodies to attend many meetings all around the US. We must be able to spend enough time with Senators, Congressmen, land managers from DC down to the state and local field offices and ranger district offices. In some cases, county governments will be necessary to have the right kinds of relationships with. THIS is going to be a huge job… one most of you have neither the time nor the inclination to do. Hey, we understand that you must work and have a life… been there, done that. But the few of us who have the time and inclination need something from you that you do have. With all of the thousands of members we currently have, only about 5% are supporting UFWDA with even $1 each. Several of our member associations support UFWDA by sending $100 total to say they are members of the UFWDA.
We are often asked, “What have they done for us?” I am going to reverse that question: “What have YOU done to allow us to do SOMETHING for YOU?” Think about this a minute… has your state or regional association been able to lobby the federal government (congress and the senate) or the DC offices of the Departments of Interior or Agriculture (the BLM or FS)?? That would be a NO!! The opportunity to do that is NOW!! We have a national working partnership that can and will do these things, but even with the corporate influence of ORBA, we need the grassroots support and influence of all the thousands of motorized voters to make this all happen. What it comes down to is this. If you can’t or won’t individually DO the work, expend the time, or write the letters of support, PLEASE DO THE OTHER… either donate directly to UFWDA or ask your state or regional association to send a fee of even just $5 OR $10 per membership. Have your club or association do some kind of fund raising event that will support United Four Wheel Drive Associations. Together, we CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!! We cannot afford to lose 50% more of the trails left at this time to closure. Imagine the traffic jams on backcountry roads and trails if we allow this to happen. Hunting, camping, fishing, Jeeping, ATV, UTV, and Motorcycle riding, and picnics will all be only a memory. Please don’t take this wrong, but we support many other charities much better than we support our own sport. We are totally behind the continued support of those charities, but there is a definite need to support land use as well. How many roads and trails can we lose before it is too late??
Now, it is up to you. Do we fight this battle to win, or do we throw in the locks for the gates? “Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others. Unsuccessful people are always asking, “What’s in it for me?”” - Brian Tracy The “What’s in it for me?” is what’s in it for YOU!! “When you come to a fork in the road… take it!!” – Jerry Smith
Join our community of Adventurers expeditionportal.com
SEMA 2015 By Jerry Smith SEMA 2015 had some spectacular opportunities for anything automotive. The 4-wheel drive accessories manufacturers, dealers, and shops were very well represented. Suspensions, bumpers, winches, and every other after market product had several for your perusal. LED lighting seemed to be the BIG thing as every time you took a dozen steps, someone else was there with more lights. Although the “Show” was over the top interesting, my major purpose for attending was directed at meetings and meeting some of the BIG names in land use. Monday was spent mostly in the North American Motorized Recreation Council (NAMRC) meeting. NAMRC brings together some of the powerhouses of our national organizations. Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC), United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA), California Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (Cal 4), Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association (PNW4WDA), AZ State Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs (ASA4WDC), Southern Four Wheel Drive Association (SFWDA), Montana 4x4 Association (M4x4A), Utah 4 Wheel Drive Association (U4WDA), and several others were represented at the meeting. Many of the organizations seem to suffer the from the same land use issues. Different areas and
trails, but the same overall issue(s). For the ending of the NAMRC meeting, a presentation by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) featuring Tom Crimmins, (retired US Forest Service) was given. NOHVCC and Tom held another meeting about “Dealing with Land Managers” later in the week. The “Highlight” of the week (in my humble opinion) was the “Kickoff” of the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) and United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) partnership. ORBA consists of many of the Off Road Accessories manufacturers and was formed to protect access to the trails on public and private lands. “ONE VOICE” is their program that will spearhead this effort and the United Four Wheel Drive Associations will be working hard to be the intermediary between the “grass roots” and “ONE VOICE”. Issues such as the Antiquities Act… by which US Presidents have single-handedly been naming large National Monuments, the Endangered Species Act that has been used to close large areas, trails, and to some extent even industries, and other laws and rules that strongly favor “Preservation” in favor of “Multiple Use” will be addressed through lobbying and other measures. We are looking forward to working with “ONE VOICE” to maintain a strong network of trails across this nation.
Pictures from this event taken by NM4W members:
Bald Eagle State Forest Exploratory Run
Written by Andrew Taylor, CORE President Photos Courtesy of Cherie Taylor, Fred Granruth and Yâ€™Shua Lewis
Video on the website Courtesy of Marlon Miranda
We’re always looking for new places to legally wheel and explore. When a member suggested a day trip up to Bald Eagle State Forest in PA it wasn’t hard to get a group together to check it out. He’d heard it was a good spot for overlanding and so thought it was worth a look, to figure out if we wanted to go back later for a longer stay. We had a fun assortment of vehicles show up to the ride including an Xterra, a LR4, 3 Wranglers and a 4Runner. Most of us met up at the meeting point in Frederick, MD where we gassed up and grabbed last minute items, then we caravaned up to PA. On the way up we ran into one problem when we found State Route 235 which crossed the mountain was closed due to roadwork. The way around added an hour to our trip! We fueled up again on the detour and eventually met up with our last vehicle at our 2nd planned meeting location, near the trailhead (40.836145, -77.192642), a parking lot that was a good spot to air down at. After airing down, securing cargo, getting to know one another and a brief drivers meeting we headed just north of the parking lot to our first trailhead. We started at the eastern trailhead for Henstep Valley Trail which had a welcoming sign that read “Drivable Trail, Open for use by Licensed Motor Vehicles.” The trail as a whole was pleasant. All traversable by a stock SUV. There were some spots with a little mud, some spots that were tight and pinstriping was an issue, and narrow spots where the soil was surprisingly sandy for an unpaved path on top of a mountain in central Pennsylvania! We did find one long dead pine tree that had fallen across the trail so we pulled it to the side of the path and out of the way so that we and others could pass. At the end of the trail we accidentally took a right onto Weikert Run Road which was off the intended route. We turned around and went in search of the eastern trailhead of Little Mountain Trail. We didn’t find it and so instead of turning everyone around just continued on and decided instead to explore Bull Hollow Road. Bull Hollow starts out beautiful as it parallels a shaded stream that is cascading down small waterfalls as it goes through the woods. Then the road turns away from the stream and you get to negotiate some basketball sized rocks and stumps at a few spots in the road. Eventually we did get to a point where the road ends for full-sized vehicles (at a hunting lodge or house) and the trail continues only for motorcycles. After a few pictures we turned around and went back the way we came. We stopped at the Snyder Middleswarth Picnic Area to use the facilities and stretch our legs. One
vehicle decided this was a good time for them to head home and so we said our goodbyes to them. From there we kept going west on Swift Run Road until we got to the trailhead for Knob Ridge Road. This ended up being the most exciting road we took, offering several places for lines which flexed the vehicle a bit but also offering lines which were stock friendly. There was even a large mud puddle that some went through. At the western end of the road we turned north onto Red Ridge Road where we were rewarded with a great open view to the south across several mountain ridges. After enjoying the view we continued on and then turned left onto Strong Mountain Road and then onto Longwell Draft Road. These ended up being stock friendly with a few places that flexed the suspension a bit but for the most part was just a casual drive through the woods. By the end of Longwell Draft Road we were ready to call it a day. We took Weikert Run Road back to Hunter Road, making it eventually to PA 235 and back to our meeting spot. We aired back up in the parking lot and then headed off at slightly different times. A few of us bumped into each other again on our way home after some folks got turned around in another closed road, and we ended up caravaning down to a McDonald’s for dinner. From there it was a straight shot home, with some of us getting home after midnight. It was a long day but we had fun meeting new people and checking out a new place. Bald Eagle State Forest appears to have a vast network of dirt roads of different levels and conditions. While we encountered nothing that was not traversable in a standard four wheel drive vehicle, there were definitely places where a lift and bigger tires made certain obstacles easier or gave you more interesting options. It was clear there are a lot more roads up there to explore and a lot of great camping sites, many that appeared plenty big for a group of a few vehicles or more. The map that the state gives out is well done and easy to follow and all 4x4 trails are clearly marked with signs. We were also told by another person we bumped into that we should check out the hike to Chimney Rocks which includes a suspension bridge and a pretty spectacular view apparently! Hopefully we’ll find a good time to get back up there to spend a weekend, maybe overlanding with new camps each day or maybe just setting out in a different direction each day to explore new areas. Either way, it’s worth a trip back in the future.
UFWDA and several other 4x4 linked organizations are doing what we can to encourage financial support for this TV mini-series about the origins of the 4x4 vehicles that we take for granted now and are the basis of our recreation. The aim is to produce a world class TV production that will also generate revenues to be shared among our organizations. Click on the ad above to find out more and how to be involved.
A Message From Your favorite Trails
By Jerry Smith Director of Environmental Affairs United Four Wheel Drive Associations
December 10, 2015 Hi. I am one of your favorite “motorized” trails out here on some of your public lands. It gets lonely out here… all alone since the federal government closed me to motorized travel.
Didn’t I provide some special times in your memories? Wasn’t I something to cherish? Didn’t the times you rode my twists and turns, my hills, valleys, and steep off camber climbs mean anything special to you? They sure were to me!!
They closed me and won’t tell me why… hell, they won’t tell you why if you ask them to. Have you even asked?? Do you even care??
Didn’t that trailside lunch with all of your friends mean anything? How about the deer hunting I brought you to.
I used to enjoy all the emotions I could instill in you as you rode along my length.
And don’t forget the historical places along my way. You still have those pictures don’t you? Wouldn’t you love to have some more?
Crossing the washes, deep with sand and rocks of varying size in the bottoms seemed to bring a smile to everyone’s face… once you were safely through them. I liked the apprehensive looks as you entered the washes not knowing if you were good enough to make it or not.
I loved seeing the looks on the faces of your family as they questioned the sanity of traversing me. Scaring some until a fearful tear formed in their eye.
It was always something of a thrill to watch as I brought your customized, “one of a kind” vehicle to a halt while you got out to look the situation over. That was a smart move you know? I had that trap set to stop any vehicle.
UNTIL --- they saw the panorama at the top of the rise that took their very breath away. Let me tell you, seeing that tear of fear turn to one of exuberant joy was a major thrill for me. It just made me want to quake with overwhelming feelings of happiness… but I did not want to scare all of you away.
You outsmarted me on that one though. Moving those rocks must have taken quite an effort on your part. That rushing flood water had a lot of power behind it to place those rocks to block your progress.
There has always been a strong connection with you and me. Your times on my back were very special to me. I miss you so very much.
I admired your persistence. Where was that persistence when it came to resisting the government when THEY decided to close me?? I could have used a little help you know? You see, those land managers don’t listen to me much. I am just a commodity to them… something to be managed is all. They don’t give one damn about me as a resource. Multiple use… ha! That’s just old, out of date bologna. I’m just a “linear feature” to them. I’m also a maintenance expense that they can’t cover and a source of “conflict” between user groups. So they take the easy way out and close me for now. They are just waiting for the time to come when they can take me out of their inventory, drop me from their maps, and then I am included in another “Roadless Area” so the “Preservationists” can name me to another Wilderness Study Area or similar entity. Why don’t you care???
I thought YOU cared about me. How could you just let them take me away?? Was it something I did? Was I not enough fun and excitement for you… were there not enough great memories? What did I do wrong?? I’m sorry I let you down! Now that you must go elsewhere for your vacations and weekend trips, I hope you know that those trails will be more crowded because they are the few left for your pleasure… FOR NOW!!! Oh yeah, didn’t they tell you? They are already planning to close them too. You’re “overusing” them and it is causing too much environmental damage that they can’t afford to fix. Guess what… that short drive to them will cost you two or three times as much to get to the next trail that they will leave open ---- until that one is “overused”!! Get the picture? It’s a cycle that YOU have allowed to grow into a repetitive sequence. Your neglect to protect me has allowed the Preservationists to win nearly every battle… not that YOU EVER REALLY FOUGHT FOR ME.
Did you write to the government agencies about how you loved me? Did you call them and voice your concern for me?
I know that you don’t like writing letters, attending meetings, learning the land management laws, and all that stuff.
How about all those meetings that you could have attended? Did you take an hour or two to support me??
But you CAN do something. Really!!
How about the organizations like the United Four Wheel Drive Associations that had people there representing YOU? Did you even respond to their pleads of support? Did you even rejoin them this year? You DO know how much your membership means to them. Do you see how your membership in large numbers being represented is vital to this effort? The few membership dollars from each of you help them carry YOUR voice into the land use battles you know? They work hard for YOUR ACCESS to YOUR TRAILS. Is it right that the very few who fight for YOUR ACCESS to YOUR TRAILS should do it all at THEIR expense? Don’t you care at all that I could have still been providing you and yours the thrills and enjoyment that I once did? Hey, I miss you!!! I want you back!!! Will YOU DO SOMETHING to get me back?? PLEASE!! I know that your time is limited. I know that you don’t think your voice is heard.
Donate to the United Four Wheel Drive Associations so that they can work their hearts out on YOUR behalf. Make it easier for them to travel to those vital meetings. Share their expenses doing what YOU do not wish to do… but MUST BE DONE!!! Their personal money can only go so far before it can no longer be counted on. They have families to care for just like you… THEY are supporting YOU. Can you do less than help them do that??? This new program, “One Voice”… has the promise to make changes that will make trail closures a thing of the past. But this will require the few who do the heavy lifting to work even harder FOR YOU!! Please support those people in any way you can. Instead of that light bar, make an investment in your trails. Without the trails, what good is that light? I want to be there for you!! Will you be there for me?? Signed; Your favorite public roads and trails… I miss you!! Please come back.
Motorized Land Use Commitment
Do YOU Have It? Many new advocates of Motorized Access to public lands mistakenly assume that they can put forth a plan for preserving motorized access, get it agreed to by all parties in a year or two, and their job is over. Not one thing could be further from reality!! When you commit to supporting motorized access on public lands, you just signed up for a lifetime position. Having signed up for this back in about 1975, I have seen many who haven’t had the staying power. That’s a shame because there have been some top-notch people come and go. From all this experience, I have learned that there is ONE major cause for our leaders to lose their commitment. I’ll tell you about that in a minute. Passion for a sport you love is never lost. Other priorities may overshadow it but you’ll seldom totally lose the love for it. Often, when there is little or no immediate satisfaction, discouragement will set-in and the passion will wane. In this world of high-speed change and instant gratification, it is a common for many to lose focus and shift to another issue. Working in land use is much like working in some sales positions that I have had. You have to keep your focus on the long-term. Many disappointments will be experienced in the shortterm where your efforts to “make the sale” are lost or at least delayed, but your relationship must be maintained.
By Jerry Smith
Land use is much like sales. Building a positive long-term relationship is the only way your career will succeed. You must become known in your local land management agency offices and political offices and become a welcome (or at least tolerated) person with new ideas that can help the people who make all the decisions do their job easier and better. In all the many years of working in the land use stew creation, there have been some mighty good people come and go. Some were excellent at the relationship building. Others were terrific with their knowledge of the land and trails. Still others were great with comment writing. Some seemed to enjoy attending meetings. Few have had all of those abilities at one time. There IS one, or maybe two things, they DID all have in common… time and money. Building and maintaining good relationships with land managers and politicians requires a huge investment of your time. It is common for your relationship to just get on track when the land manager changes position and/or moves to another office or the politician reaches a term limit or lost an election. Now you must start all over with new people who don’t know or care about all that work you just saw go down the drain. The other thing in common is all the funds you must expend from your own income to be able to attend all the meetings. Every time you go out, get in your car and drive to a meeting… either local or
across the state or even into another state, the cost of fuel and cumulative maintenance of your vehicle, the meals, the hotel rooms, and the office supplies used to record your findings will nearly always come directly from your wallet. This will eventually cause many good people to just say “NO MORE!” and give up. After all, why should people who spend much of their free time also be required to spend their own money too?? Let me say that again; why should people who spend much of their free time also be required to spend their own money too?? Yes, they are doing it to support THEIR chosen recreation. But are they supporting YOUR chosen recreation as well?? What have YOU done to support YOUR chosen recreation?? Come on, what have YOU done?? Have you participated in the fun stuff? Maybe you went out on your favorite trail and had a good day enjoying yourself and your 4x4. Did you spend some of your hard earned money on fuel and a cooler full of drinks, a lunch, and a snack or two? Factor in a percentage of the money you spent building and maintaining your ride. How much did that day of fun really cost?? Did you even consider the cost of keeping that favorite trail open for your enjoyment? The precious few trails that remain open to motorized recreation do have a cost you know. The question is: “Have you paid your dues to keep that favorite trail and others accessible to you and your motorized vehicle(s)??” At the current pace, trail closures will have you down to about 10 to 15 local trails left for your enjoyment in less than 20-years depending on your location. Do you think that’s hyperbole?? In this round of Forest Planning and BLM Resource Management Plans, the average trail closure rates are significantly over 60%. How many times can 60%+ of your trails be closed before there are just a few left?? How often can you drive the same old trail before you begin looking for another form of recreation??
Really look at it! You now must ask yourself… “What am I willing to do?” “What can I do to keep the value of my recreational vehicle(s) and the enjoyment it provides me from dwindling to near zero?” Not all of us have the time to devote to land use. Not all of us have the interest to devote to land use. Not all of us have the passion to devote to land use. Hey… that’s perfectly fine – really! Not everybody has the time, interest, and/or passion to fly, cook, swim, or speak in public either. But if you REALLY love to go out into the Great American BackCountry, there IS something you can do. JOIN an organization or two that supports keeping your trails open to motorized uses. DONATE to an organization or individual that supports keeping your trails open to motorized uses. SUPPORT an organization or individual that supports keeping your trails open to motorized uses any way you can. Help make it easier for the people who are DOING the work you can’t, won’t, or don’t want to. Do you support a doctor when you are sick or need medical attention? Do you support a mechanic when you need a vehicle repair done? Do you support a grocer when you buy food for your table? Do you support the gas station owner when you fill your tank? If you can afford to go out for a day of motorized recreation several times a year, you should be able to find a few dollars to support the folks who make that time of enjoyment possible.
How much will your motorized vehicle(s) be worth when there are three local trails to drive it on? Will you even care??
We who spend our precious time and money supporting YOU and YOUR enjoyment will appreciate your support more than you can imagine and will make an even better effort to make your support worthwhile. Knowing we have YOUR support as we travel the miles to another meeting will make that travel less of a burden.
So here we are. Look at the problem.
Thank you for your continued support.
“Trail User Experiences” Your Experience vs. My Experience
By Jerry Smith
Some time ago while attending a Grand Valley Trails Alliance (GVTA) meeting, Andy Windsor who is one of our very knowledgeable local BLM people gave us a few “for instances” of the kind of things the BLM hears and must take into consideration when making decisions regarding land use issues. Having worked somewhat extensively in land use for many years, what he was saying had a real affect on most of us there. The “theme” of Andy’s talk was “Trail User Experiences”. He gave us several scenarios of trail user interfaces and the experiences of both users during those interfaces. I will attempt to relate similar instances here.
Interface #1. 1. You are out on a mountain trail enjoying driving your 4x4 and having a great day in the Great American Back Country. You have already seen some deer and supreme scenery and all is well. As you come around a corner, in the trail ahead is a couple and their dog hiking on the trail. When they hear you coming, they step to the side of the trail allowing you to pass. Nothing sinister here you think. You wave and give a big smile and receive a big case of “stink-eye” as her hand is placed across her nose and mouth. The man is having a difficult time controlling the dog. You don’t know it, but you are the 2nd vehicle to pass them in the last few
minutes. What do you think their experience just turned to? 2. Now let’s look at it from the hiker’s vantage. You and your wife are hiking up a very scenic and serene trail. Your dog is running around sniffing and checking out everything as dogs do. You have just regained your stride and your heart rate is back up like you want it from the last forced stop to let a vehicle pass by. Here comes another *&%@ vehicle. You have to call the dog over and attach the leash again while you step to the side of the road. You know there is about to be another cloud of thick dust and the stench of exhaust, not to mention the noise that will break the mood. The dog in the vehicle is raising hell barking at your dog and your dog is pulling hard at the leash to get to the vehicle. How is YOUR day going about now? Interface #2. 1. You drive your 4x4 along a road and encounter a hiker. This hiker is greatly enjoying his day and he doesn’t hear you coming up from behind. He continues to walk up the middle of the road blocking you from passing. What do you do? Right about now, your opinion of this guy is probably not very high. But have you even considered this man is possibly deaf or is just into his own world of enjoyment so deeply that he really doesn’t know you are there? We don’t really KNOW that he isn’t just being ornery and blocking the road on purpose. Even if you take those possibilities into account, how satisfying is your experience right now? Do you think the rating may have slipped a bit? Once the hiker becomes aware of your presence and steps off the road, has his experience diminished? Again, do your dust, exhaust, and noise make his experience level jump or take a nosedive? Interface #3. 1. You are driving along on a narrow trail in your 4x4 having a wonderful time and in your mirror, you see an ATV approaching from behind. You find a wide spot and pull over and wave for the ATV to pass. The ATV passes at full-throttle with dust and rocks flying. Did your attitude just make an adjustment?
2. You are the ATV rider. You are enjoying the ride and pushing yourself and machine to the limit. You come up behind a slower vehicle and must slow down and wait to pass. The vehicle ahead is raising a thick cloud of choking dust and you can smell stench of the exhaust even through the dust. FINALLY, the slower vehicle pulls over and waves you on. Has your experience been altered by the slower moving vehicle? Did you enjoy breathing the dust and exhaust? Do you “repay” that driver with a little dust and exhaust of your own? Interface #4. 1. Here you are driving up a steep, narrow mountain road. It’s nearly straight up on the left side and straight down on the right. You must dodge large rocks in the road and the trail is off camber to the point of scary in places. You’re loving it. From around a corner, you encounter another vehicle coming down the trail. There have been no turnouts for some distance behind you. What do you do? Has your experience been interrupted? ** The BackCountry rule of thumb is for the uphill traffic to have the right-of-way. (There are several occasions where that rule should be ignored… but that is for another story). 2. You are driving down a steep, narrow mountain road. It’s nearly straight up on the left side and straight down on the right. You must dodge large rocks in the road and the trail is off camber to the point of scary in places. You’re just loving it. From around a corner, you encounter another vehicle coming UP the trail. There have been no turnouts for some distance behind you. What do you do? Has your experience been interrupted? Are you pleased to see them? Interface #5. 1. Now you are driving that same steep, narrow mountain road, only now you are coming down. The views are outstanding and the trail has enough challenge that you are really enjoying your afternoon. Just down the road a short distance, another vehicle is coming up the road. There is no room to pass between you and you know about the BackCountry rule of thumb. You know you must back up until you can safely provide room for the other guy to pass. Maybe you
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are a good backer… or maybe not. Backing up a steep, rocky, off camber trail is not what you came out here to do today. Where has the needle on your experience meter gone? Interface #5. 1. You are walking along on an easy backcountry road. The day is going just as you dreamed of. The birds are flitting around as you pass, the air is crisp and clear. Life is very good. All of the sudden, you hear a vehicle approaching breaking the silence and the entire mood of things. You turn to see a whole line of vehicles coming. “Crap!” you think. Dust, noise, and exhaust are about to enter your serenity, but you step to the side anyway. 2. The line of vehicles is coming up the road with everyone enjoying their day out in the wilds. The dust is a little heavy, but everyone is otherwise content with the way things are going. Up ahead there is a hiker standing off the side of the road covering his mouth and nose and with a nasty look in his eyes. Your thoughts go to something like; “If you don’t like a little dust, don’t walk on a vehicular road!” Has your experience changed from positive to negative? Interface #6. 1. You are riding your horse along with a couple of friends on a remote mountain trail. The trail is a narrow and on a steep mountainside. The day has been a good one with all sorts of wildlife sightings.
Out of seemingly nowhere, two noisy motorcycles come tearing up the trail at a high rate of speed and can barely get stopped before running into you. The horses spook and become hard to handle and bolt off the trail nearly falling. How is your attitude about motorcycles about now?? 2. Your and your friend are riding your motorcycles up a mountain trail. The trail is a fair challenge and you’re greatly enjoying your afternoon. You come around a blind corner and encounter two equestrians in the trail ahead with barely enough time to stop between you. The horses spook and one nearly runs over you. Did your experience just take a whole new turn? There are innumerable experiences like these out on the roads and trails every day. How we handle each of those experiences will determine what we will feel at the end of the day. Did we have a terrible day because we had to deal with so many other trail users, or did we decide that each encounter was just another obstacle in the trail? No more than a rock to drive over or step around. Remember, we are ALL EQUAL owners of the Great American BackCountry. There is no “This is my trail and you are trespassing” attitude allowed. YOU have the ability to change your attitude. Everyone has the right to use our public lands, roads, and trails… unless the land managers say otherwise. Let’s ALL help the land managers make better decisions about keeping motorized access to those public lands by not causing other trail users to complain. Respect from all parties is required.
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) By Jerry Smith
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA)
I’m going to guess you have never heard of the NHPA. It’s only been a little over a year ago that I did. Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) mandates federal agencies to undergo a review process for all federally funded and permitted projects that will impact sites listed on, or eligible for listing on, the National Register of Historic Places. Specifically it requires the federal agency to “take into account” the effect a project may have on historic properties. The typical Section 106 Review involves four primary steps: 1 - Initiation of the Section 106 Review; 2 - Identification of Historic Properties; 3 - Assessment of Adverse Effects; 4 - Resolution of Adverse Effects.
the effect a project may have on historic properties. Now we of the motorized user community must convince the State Historic Preservation Office of each state that these roads and trails have sufficient “Historic Value”, cultural value, and heritage value to be preserved. I am presently working in the state of Utah to do just that. 2.
The Utah state BLM office is presently formulating a “Programmatic Agreement” (PA) that will impact all future BLM field office Travel Plans. YES, this is important!!
Further steps may be required if there is a disagreement among the consulting parties on adverse effects or the resolution of the effects.
The Utah BLM is working with the Utah State Historic Preservation Office, the county commissioners of Utah counties, and a group of interested parties to create an agreement that will guide the Utah BLM when they find “Historic” sites and items that “might” be impacted by traffic on a nearby trail.
We (the UFWDA and the rest of motorized recreation) maintain that some roads and trails should receive the same attention that “archaeological or historic” entities have. Most roads and trails are over the normally accepted age of 50-years and there are significant cultural and heritage values to current and past users.
Now, I’m all in favor of preserving historical artifacts and sites, but you have to wonder how much impact a recent finding of some historical object will sustain just because it has been found near an existing road or trail? That trail has been used since day one with no noticeable detriment to the site.
If for no other reason, roads and trails have one or more destinations that may be historical or have a cultural or heritage connotation.
Even if this impact is significant, is there no other way to lesson this impact without the closure of the trail?
Think about this; if a historical place has no access to it, does it lose its value? The access to this historical place is an integral part of the historical place.
And at what point is this “finding” significant? Why is it that some arrowhead or a pile of chips from some arrowhead knapping “significant” enough to warrant the closing of a trail??
An example would be a family history of hunting and camping on a certain road for generations – not an uncommon happening.
With the number of potential “sites” out there, when is one more significant than another?
People and organizations have been using and even maintaining roads and trails for many years and have heritage and culture values attached for doing this. These values must be acknowledged under the NHPA. Closures of these roads and trails will effectively allow them to be reclaimed by nature. This is a federal action on a “Historic entity worthy of Preservation” that, according to the NHPA, should require the federal agency to “take into account”
The answers are vague and subjective. To an archaeologist, old things are much more valuable than to the average layman, but the trail is more valuable to the layman than to the archaeologist. With just a smidgen of common sense and a little negotiating, don’t you think that a compromise could be made? Foot note: I am in the middle of reading the 126 page “Programmatic Agreement” for California. This is not a good day.
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2016 Event Calendar Cal4 2016 Convention – Feb 19-21
Pacifi Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association
PNW4WDA Winter Convention - Hosted by Region 6 Jeep Beach 2016
April 20 – 24, 2016
02-12-16 - 02-14-16
2016 Easter Jeep Safari 50th Annual Saturday, March 19 - Sunday, March 27, http://www.rr4w.com/event-details.cfm?eventid=8
The Patriot Crawl -- March 20th, 2016 in Moab, Utah
Reno Off-Road & Motorsports Expo Reno-Sparks Convention Center -- March 18, 19, 20, 2016 http://www.lockettshows.com/#!off-road-and-motorsports-expo/c1yn8
Colorado Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs 2016 1st Quarterly meeting -- January 16, 2016 in Pueblo, CO http://www.hightrails.org/
Mile High Jeep Clubs All-4-Fun
-- July 30, 2016-August 6, 2016 Location http://www.hightrails.org/15-2016-all-4-fun
Grand Mesa Jeep Clubs Rock Junction & Rocky Mountain Off-Road Expo -- June 1, 2016- June 4, 2016 Location: Grand Junction Colorado http://www. gmjc.org/#!rock-junction/c15en
VLLS FaceBook Chat
By Jerry Smith
For those not familiar with VLLS (Volunteer Leadership and Land Stewardship), it is a program that Del Albright of the BlueRibbon Coalition put together some years ago and has raised from the dusty corner of neglect. Del’s program, for me this past March, was a good kick in the pants to shift into another gear on land use. Probably the most important thing coming away from the meeting was all of the contacts I had made with other people and organizations that deal in land use.
• Currently forming One Voice Advisory Committee • Beginning DC lobbying efforts • Beginning amending and rewriting land use laws and agency rules on the NATIONAL level. 4. Many letters to Congress and Senate written
Last night, December 9th, 2015, we held an hour-long FaceBook chat to tell of some of our accomplishments over the months since the VLLS meeting.
5. Several comments written on RMPs (Resource Management Plans), and TMPs (Travel Management Plans). BLM and USFS.
The following is not meant as “SelfAggrandizement”, but to give you a sense of what myself and United Four Wheel Drive Associations have done to maintain motorized access to our public roads and trails.
6. Working with Utah 4wd Association/ Utah BLM on Programmatic Agreement – Section 106 of National Historical Preservation Act.
I am not the only one doing this kind of work, but I don’t think most people know what it is we are doing behind the scenes. We don’t like bragging about this, but if you don’t know what it is we actually do with the resources you provide the United Four Wheel Drive Associations, why would you want to support us? The following is a short version of what we have accomplished since March of 2015. 1. Still Director of Environmental Affairs for United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) 2. Director of Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) 3. Helped form a partnership between UFWDA and Off Road Business Association (ORBA) ONE VOICE
7. Have attended many meetings all over Colorado, Utah, and DC. (BLM, USFS, County Commissioners, Grand Valley Trails Alliance, Colorado Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Coalition, SEMA, and others.) 8. Have manned booths at Easter Jeep Safari, Rock Mountain Off Road Expo, All-4-Fun, and others. All of this was done without one dime of reimbursement. Thousands of miles of travel and lodging expenses came from my wallet because UFWDA and other organizations I work with do not have the resources to pay for it!! Just wanted to let you know what United Four Wheel Drive Associations does FOR YOU. When we ask for your support, there is a reason or two. Now you may have a little concept of why we ask.
Business Members UFWDA thank you for your support
4 Wheel Drive Hardware (330) 482-4733 www.4WD.com 4x4 Wire (619) 390-8747 www.4x4Wire.com BF Goodrich (877) 788-8899 www.BFGoodrichTires.com Badlands 4x4 Adventures, Inc. (310) 347-8047 www.4x4Training.com Big Dogs Offroad (410) 440-3670 www.BigDogsOffRoad.com Bill Burke’s 4 Wheeling America, LLC 970-858-3468 www.BB4WA.com
Moses Ludell’s 4WD Mechanix Magazine www.4WDMechanix.com Muirnet.net (619) 390-8747 www.4x4Wire.com Olathe Toyota Parts Center www.parts.olathetoyota.com Poison Spyder Customs (951) 849-5911 www.PoisonSpyder.com Quadratec (800) 745-2348 www.Quadratec.com Survive Off Road LLC (602) 321-0833 www.surviveoffroad.com
Blue Springs Ford Parts (800) 248-7760 www.BlueSpringsFordParts.com
Susquehanna Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Ram (717) 252-2412 www.Susqauto.com
Bushwacker (503) 283-4335 www.Bushwacker.com
Tom Wood’s Custom Drive Shafts (877) 497-4238 www.4xShaft.com
California Assn of 4WD Clubs, Inc. (800) 4x4-FUNN www.Cal4Wheel.com Expeditions West (928) 777-8567 www.ExpeditionsWest.com ExtremeTerrain (800) 988-4605 www.ExtremeTerrain.com Hi-Lift Jack Company (812) 384-4441 www.Hi-Lift.com Jeep Action Magazine +61 02 6656 1046 www.jeepaction.com.au
Trasharoo (714) 854-7292 www.Trasharoo.com Turn5 Inc. www.turn5.com X-Treme Mobile Adventures (800) 370-3308 www.XTremeMobileAdventures.com
United Four Wheel Drive Associations would like to thank our Direct Members, Clubs and Associations for their support. 4 Lakes 4 Wheelers, Inc. (Wisconsin) http://www.4l4w.org/
Mesa 4 Wheelers http://www.mesa4wheelers.com/
ACES 4X4 Club (Michigan) www.aces4x4.com
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.mafwda.org/
Arizona State Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs www.asa4wdc.org Association of All-Wheel Drive Clubs-Southern Africa http://www.aawdc.org.za/ Badgerland 4×4 TNT Club http://www.badgerland4x4.org/
Capital Off Road Enthusiasts www.core4x4.org
PA Jeeps www.pajeeps.org
Eagle Valley Off Roaders www.eaglevalleyoffroaders.com
Mid-Atlantic Jeep Club www.midatlanticjeepfestival.com
Baltimore Four Wheelers http://www.baltimore4wheelers.org/
Midwest 4 Wheel Drive Association http://www.mw4wda.org/
Between the Hills Trailheaders 4×4 Club http://www.trailheaders.net
MN Trailriders http://www.mntrailriders.org/
California Association of Four Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc. http://www.cal4wheel.com/
Montana 4×4 Association, Inc. http://www.m4x4a.org/
Central North Carolina 4×4 http://www.cnc4x4.org/ Central Ontario 4×4 Club http://www.co4x4.com/ Colorado Association of 4 Wheel Drive Clubs, Inc. http://www.hightrails.org/ Creeper Jeepers Gang 4WD Club http://www.creeperjeepers.org/ Demon 4×4 Demon4x4.com Four Wheel Drive Australia http://www.anfwdc.asn.au/
New Mexico 4-Wheelers http://www.nm4w.org/ New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc. http://www.nzfwda.org.nz/ Rim Country 4 Wheelers, Inc. http://www.rimcountry4wheelers.com/ River City 4X4, Inc. http://www.rivercity4x4.org/ Rock Crawlers for the Preservation of Future Access (RCPFA) http://rcpfa.com/ Rough Country 4 Wheelers http://www.rc4w.com/
Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.glfwda.org/
Scrambler Owners Association http://www.cj-8.org/
Hall of Fame 4×4 Trail Riders http://www.hof4x4.com/
Seven Hills Jeep Club http://sevenhillsjeepclub.org/
Havasu 4-Wheelers, Inc. http://havasu4wheelers.org/
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.sfwda.org/
Indiana 4 Wheel Drive Association http://www.ifwda.org/
Carolina Off Road Extremists (CORE) http://www.core4x4club.com/
Indonesia Off-Road Federation
Carolina Trailblazers 4WD Club http://www.carolina-trailblazers.org/
Cumberland Off-Road http://www.cumberlandoffroad.com/
Damn Locals 4×4 Club http://www.damnlocals4x4.com/
East Tennessee 4WD Club http://www.et4wd.org/
Extreme Ridge Runners http://www.myspace.com/extreme_ ridge_runners
Bay to Blue Ridge Cruisers www.bbrcva.org
Blue Ridge Rock Mafia email@example.com • Capital City Fourwheelers www.capitalcityfourwheelerssva.com •
Hard Rock Crawlers www.hardrockcrawlers.org
KMA Off Road Jeep Club www.kmaoffroad.org
Middle Tennessee Trailrunners 4WD Club http://www.mttr4x4.net/
Lost Jeepers www.lostjeepers.com
Ohio River Four Wheelers http://www.orfw.org/
Mechanicsville Mudders firstname.lastname@example.org
Rattlerock 4-Wheel Drive Club http://www.rattlerock.org/
Mid-Atlantic Jeepers www.midatlanticjeepers.com
Rocket City Rock Crawlers 4WD Club http://www.rocketcityrockcrawlers.com
Middle Peninsula Jeep Association www.mpjai.com
Rock Solid Jeep Club (No web site)
Off Chamber Crawlers www.offchambercrawlers.org
Rocky Top Trail Riders http://rockytoptrailriders.org
Poor Boys Four Wheel Drive Club www.poorboys4wd.com
Scenic City 4WD Club http://www.sceniccity4wd.com/
River City Trail Runners www.rivercitytrailrunners.org
Smoky Mountain Trail Runners http://www.smokymtntrailrunners.org/
Seven Hills Jeep Club www.sevenhillsjeepclub.org
Southeast Toyota Land Cruiser Association http://www.stlca.org/
Shenandoah Valley 4 Wheelers www.sv4w.org
Southern Mini 4×4 www.myspace.com/443172858
Southern Jeeps http://www.southernjeeps.org/
Southwestern Virginia 4 Wheelers www.swva4w.org
Trick ‘n’ Traction 4WD Club http://www.tnt4wd.org/
Tidewater Fourwheelers www.tidewaterfourwheelers.org
Georgia Bounty Runners 4WD Club http://www.gbr4wd.com/
Southern High Rollers 4×4 Club http://www.southernhighrollers.com/ Southern Illinois Jeep Association http://www.sija.org/ Southside Jeepers http://southsidejeepers.com/ Sundowners 4×4 Club http://www.sundowners4x4.com Two Trackers http://www.twotrackers.org/ Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.va4wda.org/
Western Maine Mountain Jeepers http://www.jeepmaine.com/ What Lies Beyond Jeep Club of Michigan http://whatliesbeyond.org/ White Pine 4-Wheelers jeeptrailcat5440 (at) yahoo.com Wisconsin 4 Wheel Drive Association http://www.w4wda.org/ Wisconsin Off Highway Vehicle Association www.wohva.com Wolverine 4-Wheelers http://wolverine4wd.org/
United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) online magazine.