Protect, promote and provide 4x4 opportunities worldwide
September 2017 â€˘ Volume 44 â€˘ Issue 2
Board of Directors President Tom Mandera– firstname.lastname@example.org Past President Jim Mazzola III– email@example.com Vice President Steve Egbert- firstname.lastname@example.org International Vice President Peter Vahry – email@example.com Treasurer Fred Wiley– firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Membership Vacant - email@example.com Director of Public Relations James Dixonfirstname.lastname@example.org Director of Environmental Affairs Jerry Smith - email@example.com
Extended Board of Directors
ORBA Representative - Fred Wiley firstname.lastname@example.org Business Development Manager Ray Stanley- email@example.com 4WD Awareness Coordinator Craig Feusse - firstname.lastname@example.org Website Administrator Milt Webb Design – email@example.com
Legal and Marketing
Legal Counsel Carla Boucher – firstname.lastname@example.org
Editorial and Design Editor, Peter Vahry
UFWDA Office and Contact PO Box 316 Swartz Creek, MI 48473 Email: email@example.com Phone: 1-800-44-UFWDA
Introductions: Tom Mandera Peter Vahry
Cliff Lake The Rising Cost of “Preservation and Protection” Has anything changed apart from the logo? Jeeping and the Outdoors: What it Means to Me? Mountain Driving Tips Looking Back Just Ten Years How to be Prepared for Snow Wheeling Public Lands Access Matters Just a Matter of Time
8 15 19 23 26 30 41 45 47
News and Events:
California Legislators and Governor Make the Off Highway Vehicle Program (OHMVR) a Permanent Part of the State’s Recreation Plan California Native Plant Society Applauds Passage of Senate Bill 249 as a Win-Win for Conservation and State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Division Color Run Australia 1975... to Cape York UFWDA Congratulate Kendall Flint Holbrook as their 2017 Four Wheeler of the Year Beach Spring-Clean Good Things Done Elkhorn HURL 99 Rivers 2017,,, New Zealand Overlanding in Style Images from the 50th Sierra Trek
Business Contacts Member Organizations
11 12 14 20 21 25 31 32 37 43
Cover photo and inside; courtesy of Tom Mandera 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 WheelDrive Associations may neither advocate, endorse, nor recommend any of the said views or opinions. Copyright; United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc. 2017
Introductions when the choice is “Go wheeling on Saturday” or “spend Saturday pretending I’m in the typing pool from the 60s” I hope you all understand the preferred choice. Electronic submissions mean a little re-ordering and we can upload the data and we’re in business. Tom Mandera UFWDA President
Do please encourage your membership to include their email address - without it, we can’t deliver the Voice, or eNews. -Tom
President: This year’s AGM is behind us. The slides are available if you missed the meeting. Attendance was well below capacity. Aside from the Fred Wiley replacing Bob DeVore as Treasurer, and the Membership Director remaining vacant, the Board is otherwise unchanged. Congratulations to Flint Holbrook, of Southern, the UFWDA Outstanding Four Wheeler of the Year. While we’re still behind on membership packets - to my knowledge none have gone out this year - we are getting the roster database in order, and we do have new stickers on hand and Steve and Fred have some resources available to help us mail things out. We do still need a Membership Director if you know of someone that can be pressed into service.. Fred will lead a committee to examine what our next steps should be with the 4WD Awareness program - we have material, but we lack instructors and scheduled classes. We are examining some avenues in which we can make the information available to our membership outside of a classroom. If you have a desire to participate on the committee, please contact the Delegates list. Do you like having a hard-copy membership card, or would you be happy with something you can print yourself? Completing and mailing the cards has been a burden on the Membership Director position for some time, and perhaps if we can reduce that burden we can retain a Director! Also, please send in your rosters electronically, in a spreadsheet format. Excel. CSV. OpenOffice. Anything, but please don’t send just a printed copy, or a PDF. That means someone on the Board has to manually rekey everyone’s information, and
Thank you Bob DeVore for your years of service Long-time UFWDA Treasurer, Bob DeVore, has retired from an active role on the UFWDA BOD after many years of tireless service. When the UFWDA Board was thin on bodies, many duties fell to Bob to handle, which he ably did. He has been an important cog in seeing us through the past few years of belt-tightening and cost cutting, sorting out our back-taxes and filings, and generally getting things in order. While Bob has earned his respite, his presence will be sorely missed. Fred Wiley volunteered to run for Treasurer, and ran unopposed. Jerry Smith retained his position as Director of Environmental Affairs. Steve Egbert continues as Vice President, Jim Dixon returns as the Director of Public Relations. Membership Director remains vacant and remains our most pressing gap to fill. Thank you for your service, Bob, and thank you Jerry, Jim, Steve, and Fred for your continued contributions. -Tom Mandera President UFWDA
Peter Vahry International VP Editor
Somebody asked recently when another edition of Voice would appear and I had to admit that this was again late because of a dirth of content. As Editor, I’d love to tour the four wheeling events to report directly... but for UFWDA we’d rather any money is spent on advocacy, which means we need our members help to provide the material needed to assemble a magazine. Keep it in mind next time you’re on a 4x4 run please. There’s a couple of ‘look back’ references in this edition and one relates to our ‘Endangered Species’ logo which has recently been identified as being used commercially without permission.If you’ve seen products with that logo, we’d be interested to hear about them.
While Tom Mandera has thanked Bob DeVore, I’d also like to do the same as Bob has been fantastic to work with and despite his claims of not being keyboard savvy, he could always find stuff and references much faster than most! Thank you Bob for your generosity towards UFWDA as a volunteer and your financial control. Talking finances... because UFWDA is primarily an ‘advocacy’ organization we are rarely eligable for much of the funding offered for organizations that can achieve hands on type maintenance of trails. I guess that’s because from a marketing angle there can be tangible evidence of a trail maintenance effort but most advocacy and lobbying can take years for results with often little to show apart from maybe a change in legislation. Full marks to all those in California who battled for the survival of their Off Highway Program! From the ‘international’ department things are quiet and possibly our fault as we’ve not had much to offer over recent years. If they are reading this, UFWDA would still enjoy your involvement.
Cliff Lake Tom Mandera
At the August meeting of the Frontier 4-Wheelers we decided to head somewhere we don’t get to go very often, and offers some challenging routes for this part of Montana – North Meadow, or McKelvey (and Cliff) Lake. We met an hour earlier than usual, leaving the parking lot near McDonald’s by 8:00am instead of the usual 9. We also had more than our usual number of tow-vehicles in use – McKelvey’s trail head was more than an hour’s drive away. Being so far from home brought us within range of some other Montana 4x4 Association clubs and after heading south on Interstate-15 to Boulder, then across to Cardwell and crossing over I-90 and continuing south, we met up with some folks from Dillon and Bozeman at the gas station in Norris. I was glad to see old friends, Wayd Walker and Brad Davidson back on the trail. I had been with Wayd on his very first trail ride, 15 years earlier, on this very same trail. Brad had
mothballed his 4-Runner and this was the first time in 6 years its tires had seen fresh dirt. We also had several members of our local club, and a guest from Texas up for the week joined in on the fun, too. We were a little slow getting moving – Brad had a U-joint that needed replaced before we really got started, so we broke the group up and sent the Jeeps on ahead, while it seemed every non-Jeep stayed back to change a U-joint.
With the U-joint fixed, we motored on and caught up with the rest of the group – the trail is rocky and the going was slow for some of the vehicles. Mike Kelly couldn’t resist a slight detour as he pulled away from the U-joint party. His Early Bronco based Welder-Boy built buggy is quite the machine – and while my Scout still sports most of the fenders, the 42” TSLs stick out enough to make an enticing obstacle.
(Wayd Walker outside of his 1985 4-Runner)
Partway to our destination is a Forest Service cabin. In past years, members of the Bozeman Mountaineers have rented the cabin and stayed here.
(Wayd making his way through the rocky section, with Mike Kelly’s Bronco in pursuit) The rocks made for a challenging path up – there’s one particular section with a large rock in the middle, and run-off had eroded everything around it, making for a challenging obstacle in the middle of the road. Challenging, but not impassable. Other obstacles along the way include several wooden bridges that are just a bit wider than a fullsize, but sometimes they involve a tight turn to cross them, making the bridge narrower
McKelvey Lake than it otherwise would be. I was fortunate to encounter a hiker on the trail that was kind enough to spot me across the bridge. We arrived at McKelvey Lake well after lunch, took some photos, and then continued up a little further to Cliff Lake.
were used to a group of filthy 4x4-operators staggering in around 10pm and wanting to order some burgers – not the $35 special of the day. They were accommodating, agreeing to put us in the backroom and out of sight. Still, it was food, and we were hungry. After our dinner we went our separate ways – Don and Kathy in the big orange Bronco went to their motorhome parked nearby, Rob and Shannon towed the ‘74 Bronco back to Dillon, and Michelle and I, with Audrey in the backseat backtracked through Cardwell, to Boulder, and back to Helena.
Tom approaching Cliff Lake Rob and Shannon Currier (from Dillon, in the 1974 Bronco), Brad in his 2nd generation 4-Runner and Wayd in his 1st gen ‘Runner stuck around and fished for a bit and let the rest of us get a head start on the way back down. It was 4 or 5pm, and we had a lot of rocks, several bridges, and a lot of miles to cover just to get back down to the county road, then to the gas station and trailers, and then there was still an hour long drive back home. Some of us gathered up at the end and went in search of some food before we headed home – we eventually found ourselves in McAllister, MT in an establishment that had gentrified a bit since our last visit. I’m not sure they
Audrey Mandera is all smiles at Cliff Lake If you want to take a trip, the trail is just a bit outside of Yellowstone National Park, not far from Ennis, and east of I-15 and south of I-90, between Butte and Bozeman.
California Legislators and Governor Make the Off Highway Vehicle Program (OHMVR) a Permanent Part of the State’s Recreation Plan United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc. (UFWDA) has been supportive of the efforts to ensure the future of the OHMVR Program being signatories to several letters to the California Legislature and as the Off Road Business Association (ORBA) President/ CEO and UFWDA Treasurer, Fred Wiley stated; “After nearly a year of work with the California Legislature, State parks, Governor Jerry Brown, and stakeholders from across the country, the California OHV program has been extended. In addition, there’s a partner bill that makes the program a permanent part of recreation in California. S.B. 249 and S.B. 159 are the legislative bills that Governor Jerry Brown signed into law. The California OHV program was introduced in 1971 and is funded by self-imposed user fees and taxes. The program does not utilize general tax funds to accomplish its goals. The program also has an extensive “Grant Program” that provides funding for education, law enforcement and restoration through state, federal and local communities across the state Over 80% of OHV opportunities in California are on federal land and facing budget
shortfalls at all levels. The OHV program is an integral part of making sure that responsible and meaningful motorized recreation continues in California and provides the necessary funding to help augment those short-falls. While it may seem that a complicated state like California would never allow OHV use, this proves that a viable, responsible and important program can work its way through a super majority and become stronger. Our original goal was to keep the existing program intact while at the same time make it permanent. With strong collaboration and hard work, we have accomplished these goals and are now looking forward to the future of off road recreation.”
California Native Plant Society Applauds Passage of Senate Bill 249 as a Win-Win for Conservation and State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Division SB 249 improves environmental protection measures while also supporting responsible OHV recreation, providing a great example of bi-partisan cooperation from this year’s California legislative session. Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) use causes ongoing and permanent environmental damage. Here, hillside erosion from illegal hill climbs at Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area in the East Bay. SB 249 was always about finding a win-win for California. Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) September 19, 2017 A California Senate bill to reform off-highway vehicle recreation in California unanimously passed through both houses last week, clearing the Senate on Thursday. The Governor now has 30 days to sign SB 249 (Sen Allen-D, Santa Monica) into law. The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a lead member of an environmental coalition that supported the bill, which reforms the State Park’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Division in response to growing environmental degradation and illegal OHV activity. “Over time, damage from OHV use has outpaced California’s efforts to repair and regulate it,” says CNPS Conservation Director Greg Suba. “We’re thankful to Senator Allen and his staff for helping us take an important first step to improve conservation standards without penalizing responsible riders.” SB 249 will put into law a number of important environmental protection measures, including:
Formally recognizing natural and cultural resources protection as a priority for the OHV Program
Incorporating best available science into the Program’s planning, monitoring, and management
Preventing unauthorized OHV trails from being grandfathered into the State Parks trail system
Requiring a full California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review process for new trails
Increasing repair and restoration opportunities through the OHV Grants Program
Revisiting the Commission’s leadership through a stakeholder review process and a 5-year sunset
As part of the amendment process, the OHV Program, which was set to sunset at the end of 2017, has been permanently authorized. The Governor’s Administration, the State Parks Department, OHV groups, and environmental groups supported the final bill. This bill was never intended to penalize the riding community, emphasizes Suba, who believes solutions going forward can come out of OHV and conservation groups working together. “SB 249 was always about finding a win-win for California,” he says. “Nobody wants to see California’s natural beauty destroyed, so we’ve got to keep working together around our shared values.” In addition to CNPS, the coalition in support of SB 249 included a number of community-based, state, national, and international organizations. The environmental groups worked together for more than two years in anticipation of the Program’s sunset period to address growing concerns around endangered species protection, air quality, erosion, and ongoing illegal riding into protected areas. About the California Native Plant Society: The California Native Plant Society is a statewide organization working to save and celebrate California’s native plants and places via plant science, advocacy, education, and horticulture. CNPS has nearly 10,000 members in 35 chapters throughout California and Baja to promote its mission at the local level. http://www. cnps.org
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Color Run Jeff Bates
The Grand Mesa Jeep Club is centered in Western Colorado, and surrounded by scenery which stirs the soul. From the red rocks to our west and the high mountains to our south we get to take in views that grace the pages of wall calendars around the world. Every fall we plan “color” trips to watch the leaves of the aspen groves turn from green to the yellows, reds, and orange colors that signal the changing of the seasons. This year’s trip started out like most others from previous years. But the fall season in the Rocky Mountains, can test you. Soon the crisp fall air had a little harder bite to it, and the distant clouds were not as distant. What started out as a drizzle, soon turned to a wet heavy snow. The ground was still warm, so once it hit the ground it melted away pretty fast. Part of being a Jeeper is being prepared. Much like the old Boy Scout motto. We are usually ready for anything. So a little snow just added to the experience for the day. The worst part was not being able to take the photos of the trees. Oh sure, pictures were taken, but the flat light, and lack of sunshine made the photos, not up to par, as compared to the normally vibrant colors of the golden trees. The bear picture in this article is from last year, and we checked this year, but he was not around. Last year we caught him filling up on apples under an apple tree, to the point where he didn’t mind a bunch of 4x4 fanatics snapping countless pictures, like the paparazzi of Facebook. The weather is supposed to change, which is something you can count on. We still have a little more time to try to catch some leaves before they fall to the ground.
The Rising Cost of “Preservation and Protection” By Jerry Smith
Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations
Let’s say you are fortunate enough to live in or near one of our National Forests. Outside your home is the little piece of heaven that you worked so hard to afford. The tall trees sing their lungs out each evening as the variable cool breeze bends them into a swaying rhythm. Sunsets from your patio are something you live for each evening while you grill your main dish for dinner. How could life be any better? Having feasted on your BBQ chicken, you finally get around to opening the days mail. It’s the usual… an electric bill, a credit card offer, and your property insurance company has sent you notice that your donation this year will be double what it was last year. WHAT?? How can my property insurance have doubled in one year? That’s got to be a huge mistake!! The letter explains about the high cost of losses the insurance industry is suffering from homes like yours are being burned to the ground in wildfires in our National Forests and other rural settings. Your home is now regarded as being in an extremely high-risk fire area. What once was considered a lovely, secluded home in the tall timber is now seen as an open box of matches waiting for a spark. This scenario is becoming more common around the country. Property insurance in some areas is nearly impossible to afford… that is IF you can even get a quote!!
This lack of insurance availability affects more than just your homeowner insurance. If you were to be looking to buy a home in such an area, what is one of the requirements of receiving a mortgage? That’s right… you MUST keep the home insured to cover the cost of rebuilding in case of a natural disaster such as fire. Otherwise, you can’t get a loan in the first place. If you can’t get a loan to buy a home in certain areas, how does that affect the value of an existing home? Whoa!! Can you say CHEAP? Now your pride and joy home in the woods isn’t worth the money you paid for it just a few years ago. How can this be?? What happened that caused all of this? There are several reasons. Some are valid, some are just smoke distorting the view. One of the more prevalent arguments you hear often is “Global Warming” or “Climate Change”. How does a changing climate affect your home’s value and insurability? That answer is in the “smoky” category. Climate change no doubt has some affect, but the definition of “climate change” in the context of the current political scene is not likely going to make much of an impact. Drought is another one of the arguments you’ll hear often. Yes, drought is a definite factor.
Insect invasion (beetle kill) is something they will claim, and they’d be right! One not too often offered is disease. Our forests are subject to several diseases that can cause vast numbers of trees and other plant life to die. What they are NOT telling you is that drought, insects, and disease are only SYMPTOMS of a larger problem. That larger problem, the majority CAUSE of all the trees dying is mismanagement of our National Forests. Now before you start thinking bad things about the US Forest Service, let’s take this to another level. There is much blame to lie at the feet of the Forest Service, but they are NOT the entire culprit in this story. Enter the “environmental” community. All those wonderful people who claim to be the “protectors”, “preservationists”, and saviors of all public lands. Is it not noble to want to protect an endangered or threatened species or keep the dastardly evil energy companies from deforming the unique natural landscape of every square inch of public lands? How can saving an endangered species raise your property insurance rates? Isn’t that being iconoclastic? Actually, there is empirical proof for that statement. The whole of the US National Forest Service (USFS) has lost sight of their original forest management direction and mission. This is a gradual systematic change that began in approximately 1964 and has been growing at an increased pace since that time. In 1964, Congress passed the Wilderness Act. This was the beginning of the present day “Environmental Movement”. Even though laws such as The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the “National Forest Management Act of 1976”, Multiple-Use Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, Endangered Species Act (ESA), and others dictate that the Secretary of Agriculture develop and administer the renewable resources of timber, range, water, recreation and wildlife on the national forests for multiple use and sustained yield of the products and services, “preservation and protection” of our National Forests has become the overwhelming focus of the USFS. In most regions of our National Forests, it takes about 50-years for an average tree to mature. In
the 50+ years since the Wilderness Act, many changes in forest management have been made. Most of them have occurred at such a slow pace, they have gone largely unnoticed by most. Management’s focus has gone from one of “Multiple Use and Sustained Yield” to one of “Preservation and Protection”. The proof is easy to see if you look at all the things that are now allowed in Congressionally designated Wilderness that the original Wilderness Act would have eliminated immediately. The major definition of Wilderness LAW; “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” has been so diluted that only Interstate Highways and high-rise buildings are not allowed… YET!! These changes have come by way of unwise and prejudicial “Rule” changes, NOT law. Present Wilderness Study Areas contain old logging sites, various irrigation systems, buildings, roads, trails, mining digs, and other “man-made” instances. Some of the roads that encroach into Wilderness even have vehicular gates and signage stating “Route Closed”. This was NOT the intention of the Wilderness Act of 1964. In the 1980s, one of the major management tools of the USFS was largely curtailed. The logging industry was nearly put totally out of business in the name of “Preservation and Protection”. The results of this are just beginning to show. Most of our National Forests are all maturing at the same time. Mature trees are far more susceptible to drought, insects, disease, and wildfires. An overall healthy forest would be better able to naturally combat beetle infestations. That is how forests have survived for eons. The watersheds are suffering because there is no emergent growth to stabilize the soils and hold the ground water as nature does. Wildlife habitat is in poor condition because the forests are largely all in the same term of growth. A healthy forest is diverse in its levels of growth. There are new growth areas intermingled with medium and old growth. This is how wildlife habitat is supposed to be. Any wildlife biologist will tell you it takes a diverse habitat for a healthy, thriving wildlife community.
Some wildlife needs the young plant life for its source of food and cover. Others require a more medium growth for the same reasons. Still others must have the old growth for nesting and the places to hunt from. Without all stages of growth, all other plant life and wildlife suffer.
Managed properly, reintroducing logging practices is the only way that will return our forests to being healthy. The wisdom of Multiple Use and Sustained Yield can be the right “medicine” if the USFS can break away from its present “Preservation and Protection” mode of operation.
Because of the “Protect and Preserve” ways of managing the forests, great accumulations of fuel cause extreme wildfires. Wildfires now burn so intensely that everything is incinerated. Not one living thing survives in huge areas. Erosion and pollution amounting to more than what all the tires ever produced now takes place every year in burned areas. More silting and erosion into streams and rivers from one fire occur than from all the old forest roads and trails combined.
If your home happens to be in or near forests left untended for many years, your home is in jeopardy of being burned when the forest finally succumbs to wildfire… and it will.
In a healthy forest, islands of green growth are left in the wake of a fire from which Nature can reforest. Seeds that require heat from a fire to begin their germination are brought to life. Wildlife can survive on these islands in the interim. Presently, nearly 60% of the USFS annual budget is used for wildfire suppression. Imagine what GOOD could be done with even half of that money.
Insurance companies know this. If you were going to be liable for an inevitable wildfire and its aftermath, would you want to be let out of that contract? They do too. So, by raising their rates to astronomical levels, most people will quit paying and the insurer is off the hook. The bottom line comes down to this; the “Protection and Preservation” way of managing public lands is a huge failure. Every time you hear that another “environmental” organization has taken public land management to court, think about what that is doing to your homeowner’s insurance rates. Yes… it DOES affect you personally!!
Has anything changed apart from the logo? Tribes Breaking down the barriers of our own creation by Scott Critchfield, President, Highriders Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association
We are all so very proud of our rigs, no matter their appearance, state of readiness, or equipment. I know that I wouldn’t trade my ‘84 Toyota Land Cruiser, that I’ve owned for some 14-odd years, for a brand-new anything. Whenever I see a decal of the mischievous little spiky-headed guy urinating on the crest of another vehicle manufacturer, or a similar crest with a red line strike through, I become saddened, and just a little bit frustrated. I understand that the Ford/ Chevy rivalry that has existed since my grandfather was a young man, will probably continue to exist, if only while bench-racing, long after the federal government outlaws automobiles altogether. While we expect and accept this form of expression on the disproportionately oversized, shiny rig of the drugstore cowboy, it is my opinion that this type of expression is counterproductive and creates unnecessary animosity (even if it is only intended in fun) within the community of serious offroaders. The people that want to shutdown our trails and access roads are united in a common goal: Abolishing off-road vehicle use through legislation. They are organized. They are well connected. Many of their members are celebrities with willing media support, and they are crystal clear in their mission. We off-roaders on the other hand, are somewhat divided. Organizations such as the Sierra Club, Greenpeace
and Earth First are not distracted by what kind of granola bars are best, what breed of whales are more worthy of saving, or who knows the best tiedye artist. Yet the alienation of one another, and the bickering between those who prefer Jeeps to Land Cruisers, or Blazers over Broncos is alive and well. We are all missing the point, and we are all guilty at one level or another. In the past thirty-five years,_ we have witnessed the greatest erosion of the Constitution that has ever taken place. Most people don’t notice it, and to that end, I would have to say the other side is doing their job extremely well. Incrementalism is the method of change by which citizens of free societies have always been converted into subjects of statist societies. It is often said that those who refuse to learn from history are destined to repeat it. As Americans, we need not look back more than one generation, as it is happening right before our eyes. This is not a phenomenon that is germane to the United States, but has already taken place, and continues to grow in Western Europe, as well as other American nations that have adopted quasi-American democracy as their model. The problem is much larger than outdoor recreation access. Twenty years ago, whoever would have dreamed that tobacco companies would be held financially and morally responsible for physical harm done to people, that have willfully paid for, and used their products? Ten years ago, who would have believed
that a World War Two veteran would be labeled as a criminal, simply for possessing a firearm that he had brought home from Europe or the Pacific as a battlefield trophy, because of the way this weapon looks? At the time, I would have viewed these Constitutional atrocities as defeatist fiction, borne of a second-rate Orwellian novel. These examples have however manifested themselves into reality. Getting Jeep Junkies and Cruiserheads on the same page is only the first of many steps that must be taken. It is essential that we have all outdoor recreation area users with us. As four-wheelers, we are undoubtedly the least popular group among all other outdoor enthusiasts, but we cannot give up on our efforts to transcend specific methods of recreation, and to form our alliances based on the big picture. Motorcyclists, ATVers, and snowmobilers are right behind us in line to be shut down. If mountain bikers, equestrians, and backpackers think their recreational lives would be Utopian with the removal of motor vehicles, they are dead wrong. Sure as God makes little apples, they will be next; you can count on it. As it stands now, this is a land use access issue. If we miss our opportunity to be proactive, it will become a Constitutional issue. Recent history teaches us that rescinding any law that has become part of the Constitution is an exercise in absolute futility; regardless of how devoid of logic a law may be.
Organizations such as the American Motorcyclist Association and United Four Wheel Drive Associations are to be commended for their tireless efforts and achievements in combating federal and state land-grabs, as well as responding to negative propaganda from private environmental organizations. We too are an environmental organization ... we’re just not organized enough. It’s time for us all to get off of the sidelines and get in the game. Join as many pro outdoor/off-road recreation organizations as you can afford to, including, and especially Tread Lightly. Be Responsible: Clean up after yourself and stay on the trails; responsibility for maintaining and preserving the American wilderness for future generations ultimately lies with those of us who use it regularly. Get involved politically at the local level. Strike up a conversation and exchange information with any and all of our brethren when on the trail, regardless of what make, model or type of vehicle they choose, if any at all. Remember, the guy on the Yamaha doesn’t enjoy the outdoors any less than the lady in the Wrangler, or the kid on the Polaris, or the couple on the Cannondales. Breaking down the tribal barriers that divide us is the most important first step in the many challenges that lie ahead.
Australia 1975 ... to Cape York Back in 1975 a couple of intrepid four wheelers decided to drive to the northern tip of Australia and this is their story. https://www.4x4australia.com.au/explore/qld/1705/video-fj40-toyota-land-cruiser-in-cape-york-1975 For comparison... some more recent video along the way to Cape York: Gunshot Creek Jardine River crossing Ferry & Cox’s Crossing
UFWDA Congratulate Kendall Flint Holbrook as their
2017 Four Wheeler of the Year
The Board of Directors, Southern Four Wheel Drive Association, nominated their own Kendall Flint Holbrook for the UFWDA annual award of United Four Wheeler of the Year. Flint has served the SFWDA association for five + years in the role of Director, Conservation and Land Use. During Flint’s tenure on our board, he has been a strong advocate and voice for our association in matters related to land use, environmental impacts and commitments to our missions of “…Conservation… Education…Recreation.” Several key highlights of Flint’s tenure include driving the design of the SFWDA Grant Process for our member clubs and supporting groups. Here are some excerpts from our web page, www.sfwda. org/grants: The SFWDA Grant Program: The SFWDA Grant initiative is our largest annual project committing a significant portion of the association net income to this program. The SFWDA Grant initiative supports the membership and regional projects focused on our core missions – Conservation, Education and Recreation. The Southern Four Wheel Drive Association Board of Directors approved during the on-line meeting on April 21, 2014 the introduction of the SFWDA Grant Program. This new initiative by your association has been established for the benefit of its members and their OHV areas, both public and private. The SFWDA Grant initiative is our largest annual project committing a significant portion of the association net income to this program. The SFWDA Grant initiative supports the membership and regional projects focused on our core missions – Conservation, Education and Recreation. The grant funding will be limited to $5,000 per project application and requires a cost sharing portion from the requesting party in order to qualify. SFWDA has committed a fixed amount of Association funds annually and we will consider applications carefully to manage apportioning. The
decision process includes the application process; Grant scoring based on the goals and scope of the project; and a commitment to maintain best operating practices for a period of three years. Additionally SFWDA will post signage designating the project as a SFWDA Grant project. The application and decision framework for the program here on our grant information page. Additionally the SFWDA Grant can be used as part of the matching funding requirements of the state Recreational Trails Program in your home state. As part of our development of the SFWDA Grant Program, your association has detailed the available RTP funding by state and the appropriate links to the RTP sites for additional information. This information is included in the SFWDA Grant application document. We have used this grant initiative to drive the progress on the Daniel Boone Backcountry Byway and support the efforts of the Friends of
Boone (https://www.facebook.com/Daniel-BooneBackcountry-Byway-694090960601745/), Ohio River Four Wheelers, Kentucky Krawlers and other supporting groups. Today we have over 100 miles of excursion trails and roads open to the OHV community; and in 2017 we plan to expand by an additional 60 miles. Flint has driven our legal position and strategy in conjunction with our DBBB partners to secure positive results in both KY Fiscal and Circuit courts. And shortly we will be announcing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Daniel Boone National Forest. All these critical points are the result of the SFWDA collaborative position with all parties and Flint has been the key driver for our association.
Palo Duro Canyon, TX 2016
Today Flint and Vice President Al Sweney are driving an initiative to update the bylaws of our association. They have crafted a flexible, creative design that allows us to change with technology and demands of our association members. We will be presenting to our SFWDA membership later in the year for approval. Professionally Flint is the Senior Vice President, Woolpert, a national architecture, engineering and geospatial (AEG) firm that delivers value to clients by strategically blending engineering excellence with leading-edge technology and geospatial applications. Woolpert is a key market leader in water and energy segments.
Potts Mountain, NC 2012
Morrison Jeep Trail, MO 2014
Jeeping and the outdoors; What it means to me?
By Todd Ockert
I have been going outdoors and going offroading since I was a kid with my dad. Back in Michigan, it is called two-tracking, because most of the trails are just that. Many are closed now from land use decisions over the years, and I am also now into my early 50â€™s. But I remember those days though of running through the woods with my dad in whatever he had for a 4x4 then. Sometimes it was an old Scout, a full size Blazer or something like that. There were a few times that he got stuck and we had to walk out and make a call for help. We did not have lockers, winches or some of the cool recovery gear that we have now. But those were good times for sure, and memories that last a life time. Fast forward to today, and I enjoy taking our kids camping, and off-roading to some of our favorite areas. We have a pretty setup Jeep, and excellent recovery gear to go along with it. We have never had to use it though, as maybe I am too conservative with the kids in the Jeep. They are older than when I was off-roading with my dad also. I want them to enjoy the outdoors and the things that their freedoms as Americans brings them.
As we saw, the previous President used his pen to designate 3 new monuments totaling close to 1.8 million acres of land. Local stakeholders had been working on legislation for the designation of these monuments. In the end though, our elected representative thought the process through Congress was not moving fast enough, and she chose to have the President go around the proper method of designating monuments. We will not know if we lost anything from what the local stakeholders had agreed to until we can read the designation language. There is a process for creating monuments and other protected areas. I just wish that the President and our elected officials had let that process progress as it needs to. That way, all the represented stakeholders are involved, have their say and everyone is happy. How does this relate to taking my family offroading though you ask? We wonâ€™t know what we can and canâ€™t do on this land until the monument process is all done. We may not be able to camp, off-road or go work a mining claim once the final Record of Decision is signed.
This is where it will be in all stakeholders benefit to be engaged in the process now once the current land managers get the designation language so they can start working on the process. This will require an EIS, DEIS, possibly following the NEPA process, alternatives leading up to the final decision process. Users and the local groups impacted by this designation will remain engaged in the process to ensure their members are kept informed.
Being informed and engaged in the process ensures that your voice is heard during the process. This process will seem like it takes forever to complete; and people will get tired of attending some of these meetings. Being engaged though lets the agency know you care about the land, respect the land and want it managed correctly for all users in the future. This collaborative effort will also show the land managers that we care about the land and responsible recreation across this and all lands in their inventory.
This is where it is important to be a member of the user groups, Sharetrails.org, Cal4Wheel, Rockhounders, ATV/AMA groups and such, as they will have people at these meetings and discussions. Sharetrails has Don Amador as our Western Representative, and John Stewart is the Cal4Wheel Southern Natural Resources Consultant. John is also on the Sharetrails.org board and between him and Don, will be our members voice into the process.
Sharetrails.org will be engaged in this process for our members, but we are just one organization of many that have members that use the desert that has been designated. Please take the time to be engaged, read what the organizations publish about the process and if letters and other information is needed, be ready to provide it. Thanks Todd
Beach SpringClean Peter Vahry
Planned for more than two months to coincide with suitable tides and the onset of Spring here in New Zealand, the annual Muriwai Beach clean up by some of the Auckland area 4WD clubs on 1 October was a rather damp and cool experience this year. With a record number of vehicles and some 70 participants, hopes had been high of getting much of the 25 kilometres of beach cleaned of miscellanious rubbish. It was not to be, as beach conditions meant vehicles could only get 12 km up the beach as strong winds with rain squalls swept off the ocean. Not deterred, the teams with their rubbish bags scoured the beach and dunes, collecting all sorts of other peoples rubbish. Being isolated and able to be driven on, the beach seems to attract those villains who’ve stolen vehicles, taken them for a hoon up the beach, then strip bits off them, leaving assorted items to rust in the dunes.
Given the nature of some of the rubbish that washes ashore or is dumped in the dunes, the system used is one where people fill rubbish bags then place those on the hard sand to be picked up by other crews towing trailers. Yes, this beach sand is black ‘iron sand’.
Mountain Driving Tips By Jerry Smith
Whether there has been a real uptick in the number of instances of mountain wrecks this year or there has been more reporting of those incidences, Colorado’s mountains have experienced several wrecks and near wrecks in 2017. Many people think I’m nuts when I tell them that mountain driving is different from canyon country or the deserts. From significant experience, I believe there are some big-time differences. Of course, there are many similarities too, but if you don’t know what you don’t know, how are you going to learn the differences? Some of what we’re about to cover will look and sound familiar because it is. On any 4wd trip, there are certain things you should know and do. Some of the big things have to do with “before you go”. Check the weather for the area you’re going to. Leave word with someone • Where you’re going • When to expect you back Is your rig ready?
• Oil and water levels • Visual check of the running gear Fuel… Food and water for at least two-days for everyone on one-day trips. Go prepared!! Certain things should ALWAYS be in your rig on every outing. Coat(s) Gloves Rain gear Blankets Tools -- can you change a flat tire? Fire extinguisher First aid kit Hi-lift Jack and accessories
Fire starting gear Flashlight(s) Shovel Water bucket Maps and GPS Those are the MINIMUM you should have. Whether you leave them in your rig or have them in a “to go bag” for fast loading, anything less is taking a chance you don’t need to. Next is – don’t go alone if you can. If you do, these minimums might increase. Having another vehicle is always a plus, but is also not always possible. The following are some things you want to be aware of in the mountains. Some are common sense, some should be but are not. 1) Here is one you seldom hear of, but is something to take into account. When people who come from lower elevations start exploring the higher elevations (8000 feet or higher), they may not notice it, but your brain reacts to the lack of oxygen and you CAN begin losing your ability to focus and even your cognitive abilities will lag. In extreme cases, your judgment will become impaired. Being aware of ALL your circumstances while driving the high country is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY, so you want to be aware of this problem and even stop occasionally just to take some deep breaths and bring your blood oxygen up. Losing focus while driving a narrow mountain road is not something you want to do. I have suffered from this more than once, and it’s not fun. At 13,000 feet, most of us humans are not in top shape and can start having a lapse in judgment. Being aware of your condition can help you focus, but you must stay vigilant. 2) The mountains have many things to distract from your driving. In most cases, it’s better to “stop and gawk”. Don’t lose focus on
your number one priority - driving. 3) When you stop and get out, make darn sure you are in park or in a LOW gear with a manual transmission and have the park brake on. In some cases, you may want to chock the tires. 4) Turn the downhill side of the steering tires so the vehicle will go into the high side of the road should it start moving. 5) The general rule of thumb is… uphill traffic has the right of way. This is mainly because backing downhill is very dangerous. Stopping a moving vehicle going backward downhill is difficult. This rule is often not practical for several reasons, but you should try to make it happen more often than not. 6) Pay attention to pull outs and wide areas. You can never tell when you might need to use one. 7) If you must pull over to pass or be passed, be careful about soft shoulders on the road. Most of the outside of dirt roads are not compacted and can slough-off very easily. 8) Learn about the tire tracking of your vehicle. This is a long-term process that can take a while to learn and then should be practiced every time you go out. Your tires track differently when turning. The sharper you turn, the more your rear tires track inside of where the fronts do. Using non-threatening rocks on the road, (ones that won’t cut a tire or bounce you off the road) learn to just “touch” the rock with the inside and outside sidewall of all 4-tires going straight or in a curve. You must do this without hanging your head outside to become good at it. You just want to graze the rock with the sidewall. When you can do this, you’ll be a much more confident driver because you will KNOW where your 4-tires are. 9) Wet trails will have characteristics that dry ones don’t. Muddy tires won’t have the same traction. (duh) Especially when
crawling on wet rocks, you can expect to slide off of various rocks with no warning. This sliding can be in any direction, so you must “plan” for it to happen. Don’t put yourself in a position that a slight slip to the side will put you over the edge. You may already be in an off-camber situation and that little slip may put you in a worse condition. You MUST be ready for that to happen. 10) Off-camber situations are common in the mountains. Sometimes, the seat covers will be stretched to the max. Most of us drive by the “seat of our pants”, but they do make good tilt gauges for this. Every vehicle has a different “tip over point”. How you load a vehicle can change that point, so you must become a good judge of your vehicle’s character. Even how full your gas tank is will have some affect. Different soil conditions on off-camber places can change your approach. Mud, loose gravel, rocky conditions, and any combination of them can change how your vehicle will hold on. 11) Snow driving. Snow in some mountains can happen any time of year. The higher you go, the more likely you may see snow or hail accumulations. Snow and ice on a steep mountain road can be terrifying or thrilling. Either way, it is dangerous. The only real way to learn to drive it is experience, but if you learn in a safe snow covered parking lot, you’ll be well ahead of most. You must learn to control slides. How to brake effectively. How to accelerate smoothly. There are tons of little things to do on snow in the mountains that only experience and technique will get you through. One that stands out is to put an automatic transmission into neutral when going downhill slow. This keeps the engine from pushing you faster than you wish to go which makes you slide out of control. Let the vehicle coast with no power. On a manual trans, just push in the clutch. Light brake application is the best. Some will tell you to pump the brakes, but that only works if you begin to skid. You’ll find that control is increased and braking is much easier to control.
12) Temperatures. You will encounter mornings when the ground and road is frozen and firm. As the day progresses, the temperature can melt the upper crust of certain roads making them treacherously slick. Slick muddy tires on a frozen subsurface are a place looking for an accident to happen. 13) Dry your brakes. Just after crossing streams or puddles of water or mud, apply the brakes to dry them. (Especially on drum brakes). Wet brakes often have a “lagtime” before they begin to stop you. On a steep mountain road, you want brakes immediately, not when they “get around to it”. 14) Water crossings – in the mountains, the water is often running crystal clear. Gauging the depth of running water is difficult. Using a long stick to probe the depths is good practice. Easing into running water is the smart way. Charging an unknown water crossing can result in some severe breakage when a hidden rock or hole is encountered. 15) More on water crossings. Crossing water is best done at a slow, steady speed. Keep you momentum. When you stop in some places, the bottom will wash out from under the tires and you become stuck. 16) Hairpin turns. On tight hairpin turns where you must do a three-point or more turn, Don’t pull out to the edge of the road. Leave about two feet. (Some will put the shifter in “reverse” only to go forward or will let off the brakes and engage a clutch too late and slip forward) Leave yourself some “whoops” room. Make sure you are in the right gear before “backing up”. If you are uncomfortable, use a “competent” spotter if one is
available. 17) While on the trail, you will encounter many intersections. Really pay attention to each one. Know which way you turned. Some mountain roads will bring you around in a circle without you realizing it. If you don’t recognize an intersection, you will become disoriented and lost. 18) Try to remember trail numbers or names if they are marked. Write them down or photograph them for later review. 19) Try to know where you are on maps and/ or GPS. This can help if you become disoriented or need to tell someone where you are. 20) Use a lower gear to keep your speed low when going downhill. Don’t ride your brakes all the way. Let the engine maintain the speed whenever possible. Use the brakes when the engine is over-revving. 21) Make a habit of getting out of your vehicle when you come to an obstacle that you can’t see clearly or are not comfortable just driving over. Walk around it looking at it from different angles. This can save you a lot of work later.
22) Climbing steep rocks or other obstacles can be difficult. You may already be on a steep road when an object will present you with a steeper climb. If you must slow and/or stop, do it a safe distance from the object. Get out if necessary. Either way, slow and steady is nearly always the best way to proceed. 23) Reading the trail. This applies to every kind of trail. Learning to gauge the height of a rock is vital to the longevity of your axle housings. It’s important that you become very quick in mentally measuring obstacles accurately. Knowing whether to go over, around, or straddling an obstacle is vital. 24) Shadows. When in a forest, you can expect tall trees to cast shadows and to allow some direct sunlight through. In the right conditions, this plays hell with your vision… especially depth perception. Seeing and measuring holes and tall obstacles become very difficult in shadowy conditions. Slow down and be very aware of the conditions. This, by no means, covers everything about mountain driving, but it will give you some ideas of the little differences between normal driving and being in the mountains. Some of this will help you in canyon country as well. Wherever you wheel, be safe, and have fun.
Looking back just ten years
Good things done T
Even when just about everything we hear on the news is bad these days, we still have lot’s of people doing extremely good things. My club for example, volunteers to take a bunch of special needs folks up to Courtright reservoir in the Sierra National Forest. We usually have about 15 Jeeps and other 4x4’s to move the participants out to Voyager Campground for a day of camping, fishing and Jeeping. It is a wonderful experience to see the joy on their faces as we run down the trail in the Jeeps. Other folks will bring in all the food and their camping gear for the weekend. We will pick them up at the Forest Service office in Clovis California and head up the hill. Our club has been doing this community service for about 15 years that I know of. We don’t expect anything in return other than happy faces from the campers, and we always get that. All of the food is donated by local groups and companies for the time in the woods. If you leave hungry from this weekend, you are probably too picky of an eater! Once we get the campers to the campground, we will drop them off at their camp where everything is setup for them. They will relax for a little bit if they
want. Once we have our tents and stuff setup, we will give them rides up Chicken Rock, and for some reading this, they will recognize that as the start of the Ducy Ershim trail. This trail is 33 miles long and splits two wilderness areas; the Dinky Lakes Wilderness area and John Muir Wilderness area. Most of the campers will want a ride in a Jeep to the top of Chicken Rock for pictures and the great views of the lake. Once back at camp, there is usually a pontoon boat to take them out fishing if they want. Sunday morning, we will tear down our camp, leaving it cleaner than when we arrived, and pick up the campers to take them back out to the parking area, or to Clovis and the Forest Service office. When you leave that parking lot on Sunday afternoon, you feel like you have done something to brighten someone’s life that would normally not be able to experience camping, riding in a Jeep or fishing. It just makes you feel good in these trying times on the news! Be Kind Todd
Elkhorn HURL Tom Mandera
As an extension of my nerdiness and my desire to be prepared, I acquired my amateur radio license in 2008. One of the appealing aspects is the ability to make communications contact in places where the ubiquitous cell phones don’t work – and while Montana has a lot of those places, they happen to coincide with our OHV trails a lot of the time.
One of the organizations that approached our local club was the Helena Ultra Runners League – HURL. For the first few years, I was reluctant to support the runners and hikers, suspecting that they wouldn’t appreciate my sharing the trail with them, and that we’ve probably been on opposite sides of some issues from time to time.
One of the things the amateur radio club does in the name of disaster preparedness (emergency drills) is assist some other community organizations with communications.
Eventually I relented and took part. HURL puts on cross-country foot races through the Elkhorn mountains south of Helena, the longest is a 50 mile event. Many of the aid stations where radio operators are desired are difficult to access – most require an overnight (or two) stay and hiking in a couple of miles – at least partly because of the success of road and area closures in that part of the Forest that prohibit motorized access.
When the Governor’s Cup holds a half-marathon foot race, they contact the amateur radio club to provide communications to track the lead and tail runners, and relay any issues from along the course.
There is at least one aid station – near Tizer Lake – that is accessible by vehicle. The road, however, is not well thought of and many people would claim it is “impassable” or at least very rough. Or, to an experienced wheeler, it’s about an hour from the Interstate to “on-station” near the lakes. It also allows me to wake up at a reasonable hour, drive to my station, wait for the last runner to make it to the next aid station, and then drive home – all in the same day. I’m the last to show up, and the first to go home – and they all thank me for it, because I’m willing to brave the rough road. This year, I took my daughter, Joleigh, along with a fellow radio operator, Rex Blaine KK1OBJ in my 1979 Scout II. We met some members of the Capital Trail Vehicle Riders’ Association, the local ATV club, who operated the aid station and hauled in water, watermelon, and other goodies for the runners.
aid station was 7 miles distance, on the other side of the mountain. It took the fastest runners 90 minutes to make the trek, but later in the day the runners that were late arrivals at our station took more than 2 hours to make the next one. The majority of the runners said “Thank you” to both me, the 4x4 radio operator, and to the ATV members. They appreciated we were volunteering to spend our day supporting them – keeping track of them, making sure they were hydrated, and that they didn’t get lost – or if they were injured, assisting them with transportation. This year, we did have a runner arrive at our aid station with a foot injury that kept him from continuing – it was the first time in his running career he didn’t finish a race. That would be the gentleman on the right above. Next to him is Matt, a local runner that
Once again, it was a relatively short hour drive from the parking lot to our spot. The weather was quite cool for August and made for a pleasant day – I didn’t need the sun shade I brought, nor the shorts. We backed my Scout into its familiar spot, and turned on the 2m VHF radio and contacted Race Control that we were on station, and then settled into a comfortable chair. Our job was to note the time runners came in and then left our aid station, and relay that information to headquarters, so they could know when runners made it “this far” and make guesses on when the runners would make it to the next checkpoint. We were 26 miles in on the 50 mile race. The next
This year, I wore my UFWDA Volunteer Trail Patrol shirt.
opted not to run, but instead to assist in putting on the race. Hopefully, our act of good will will make some of those cross country runners think a little the next time they are faced with a decision about fighting to keep motorized recreation out of “their” areas, and we’ll gain a little ground for having been neighborly. Plus, it’s just a nice excuse to get out into the mountains. After the last runners were well on their way to the next station, we still had some time to kill, so my oldest daughter spent the time practicing her marksmanship. -Tom Mandera, KE7VUX
99 RIVERS 2017 NEW ZEALAND OVERLANDING IN STYLE
Words and photos courtesy of Bill Ryan
99 Rivers 2017 just couldn't come around fast enough for those wanting to repeat this brilliant format for an Overlanding experience in New Zealand's back country. By early March, summer has usually settled into its stride with long fine, yet mild days and brilliantly clear and cool nights. The holiday season is largely over and the roads are wide open. 99 Rivers would again cover some 4,500 kms over 14 days and it was time to pack the recovery gear, the fold away seats and coolers, check the oil and tyres and hit the road. We would be staying in motels and lodge accommodation every night and so in early March nine couples from both North and South Islands made their separate ways to the town of Dannevirke, the starting point of our journey. Handily located in the South East of the North Island it made for a convenient gateway to the remote and rugged coastline of the mighty Wairarapa, a vast and imposing swathe of land bordered by central mountain ranges in the West and the Pacific Ocean in the East. The plan was pretty simple: Make a bee line for the coast and hug it as close as possible all the way South to our jump off point at Wellington, for the main southern leg of the trip. ‘Sounds simple but a good deal of planning and seeking of permissions was required as large sections of the trail would cross through Iwi (tribal) lands or private sheep stations. With the back seat of the Land Cruiser fully loaded with beer and wine, I was well provisioned to dispense the necessary ‘koha’ (an indigenous term for a customary donation or gift of thanks) to ease the permissions as we threaded our way South down the coast. Sometimes on
formed roads, sometimes track, sometimes you make your own trail (Ok, I’ll admit I got the group a bit lost on Day 1 and had to bluff my way a bit) but always the wheeling is good, never too extreme but often more than interesting. The Wairarapa boasts the lowest population density of any region (unless you are counting sheep) and Akitio Station, Castle Point Station and remote Glenburn Stations provided some awesome terrain. As luck would have it Day 3 saw us passing through Martinborough on the very day of the world famous Martinborough wine and food fair. How convenient. I resisted the wines and produce but somehow managed to acquire from some clever artisan a 10’ x 3.5’ x 2” rimu timber table made supposedly from the recovered rafter beams of an old convent building and famously ‘blessed’ by the Bishop of Wellington and the Abbess - it’s a long story and probably not suitable for this audience. Organising 8 other couples can be a little like herding cats and a free morning in Wellington can be a huge distraction, such as Te Papa (our National Museum) but none the less we all made it on to the Inter-Islander ferry for the crossing to the South Island. Here’s a tip: take the ‘premium plus’ option on the ferry. On 99 Rivers we don’t slum it. The nasty earthquakes in November last year pretty much demanded we head West after landing in the South Island and following a night in the centrally located ski town of St. Arnaud we did just that. The Mackely River and Denniston Trail, long on my 4x4 trail bucket list, led us West and up and over to the Tasman Sea. The main river crossing of the Mackely required a team effort, some
We arrive to find not much water in the famous Mackely today and the freshly storm deposited hazards exposed. excitement and entertainment with the boys diligently walking the crossing, identifying the worst immovable hazards and shifting those logs and boulders that could be moved. That night over dinner in Karamea we all felt a quiet sense of accomplishment as more than a few keen 4WDers have been thwarted by this river. Especially satisfied is Brian who has negotiated the trail in a new and completely stock Mitsibishi Pajero - and satisfied and relieved too is our Day Leader Peter, who having been nominated his role due you his assumed previous experience reveals he’s never actually made it across before. Next we were up and over the Main Divide via Arthur’s Pass into the Canterbury High Country for a very pleasant stay at Flockhill Station and then on to Glenfalloch Station at the headwaters of the Rakaia River. Stupendous, Magnificent, Incredible...pick your own superlatives. None will do these locations justice. Just Go There - some time in your life. Our trip is full of precious and unforgettable moments. Every day we meet interesting people on the land, none more so than James Guild, for 40 years the owner and steward of High Peaks, New Zealand’s largest fully fenced deer station. James, a man with a great love
Richard from a point of safety gallantly points the way. Andy (rear left) is not sure. “ Looks a little too cold.” Allan, (front left) is not worried. “No, surprisingly its actually quite warm here” . Very considerate of you Vaughn (front right). for the land and a scholar to boot, has graciously allowed us to cross his station. While we stood together on a hill, listening in rapt attention to him describing his beloved land, a South Island Falcon, one of New Zealand’s rarest and most secretive birds, swooped down and perched on a gate not more than 5 meters from us - as if to appreciate too, the sage words of this man of the land. Spectacular mountain trails lead us from Glenfalloch over to Lake Heron Station and on to Mount Potts for a very memorable night at a completely deserted lodge. Apparently the manager and his partner had up and abandoned the show the previous day. Luckily the well appointed rooms were ready and there were beers in the bar fridge at the main lodge. We felt obliged to help ourselves – and so we did. Next day we cut a track to the head waters of the brooding and imposing Rangitata. This is a river not to be taken lightly and has accounted for a wet miserable end to many an unwary or cocksure wheeler. But we were there on a perfect day with the river in a benevolent mood and our crossing at the confluence of the Havelock, Clyde and Rangitata rivers proved no real difficulty. Another bucket list item ticked off.
The small town of Omarama in Central North Otago makes for an ideal base to station ourselves for a few days allowing easy access to many trails worthy of exploring including the remote East and return West legs of the Omarama Saddle where in the middle of literally nowhere we run into a few interesting characters including a long lost hermit cousin of one of our members. On 99 Rivers, every couple is assigned a day where they will are trip leaders. This ‘sacred’ duty is not strictly defined and all are free to put their own spin on the day. The basic idea is that they should try to make the day interesting and/or entertaining. Everybody managed that with flying colours. In the Wairarapa, Andy and Sue led us on an extremely productive paua hunt (abalone). We feasted like kings that night with our hosts at Glenburn Station who provided the mincer. Rosemary and Brian led us through the Rangitata where we met the free roaming herds of the legendary Clydesdale horses. Not all of our trip was confined to remote areas. A very pleasant night was spent in the City of Timaru and the next day Leaders Richard and Dianne felt obliged to allow the group to stop and take in the atmosphere of the many intriguing sights in the steam punk capital of the world – Oamaru on the South Coast. Group chemistry is important for sure and like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get when you meet as strangers for trip like this. But I think maybe the shared passion for overlanding helps to qualify and narrow the selection. I also helps immeasurably to have a smooth crooning Maori, Vaughn (Frank Sinatra) West, and his equally talented wife Denise along to cheer us and bring us out of our shells. With guitar and ukuleles they had us all laughing and singing like birds the whole journey. What a great bunch.
In charge of tactics, the girls working out the plan. So another adventure completed, bucket lists ticked, and other than a very minor scrape to the front apron of Brian’s Mitsi, nobody suffered any damage. We who met largely as strangers, parted as good friends vowing to do it again soon. All had a complete ball, became better singers and can now consider themselves seasoned overlanders. Roll on this Summer. Or maybe Winter? I mean, why wait? firstname.lastname@example.org
How to be Prepared for snow wheeling Todd Ockert
We all love snow, and not all of us have snowmobiles to go play in it. We live close to the Sierraâ€™s and can go play in the snow when we have it. The last couple of years the snow has been pretty sparse across our mountain range. I thought I would write an article to remind the 4x4 folks of some of the tools and things that they should include on any trip out onto the snowy trails of our great country. We have all heard of people lost in the backcountry while out on a wheeling trip. Some of those folks have returned safely, and others have paid for not being prepared to spend a night or two on the trail well prepared. 1. We should never go alone on a snow wheeling trip. The conditions can change quickly in the forest or your favorite snow wheeling location. Having friends ensures that you will make it home if you get your vehicle stuck and have to leave it behind. If you have a major mechanical failure, your friends might have the tools or parts to help get your vehicle moving or off the trail at the end of the day. I always find it a little more fun to have friends out playing in the snow with me also. If they have kids that they bring, to watch them play in the snow with making snowballs or sledding on some of the hills along the way can bring a smile to anyoneâ€™s face.
2. Also, let someone that is not going, know that you are out playing in the snow and your expected time to return. That way if something happens, they can help get the search party going for you. Prior to leaving the house, make sure you have packed accordingly for the trip as the snow can be very unforgiving to our vehicles. Some things to remember: a. Blankets or sleeping bags to stay warm if you need to stop for an extended period of time for repairs or recovery. b. Food and water for everyone in the
vehicle to include pets that will last at least two days. c. Recovery gear that will help you either self-recover or recovery of another vehicle. d. Spare parts for your vehicle. You should know what your vehicles weak points are, and have the tools and parts to be able to make repairs if necessary. e. A way to start a fire if you need to spend the night on the trail with a broken vehicle or an injured person. First aid kit to attend to an injured individual on the trail. The little plastic box ones are alright for home where a hospital or emergency room is usually not too far away. On the trail, some of the small trauma kits have the necessary equipment to care for a seriously injured individual. These cost a little more, but what is the price on someone’s life if we need these specific supplies? f. A good CB or Ham radio to be able to talk to your fellow wheelers on the trail. Ham radios are becoming more popular, but do require an FCC license to use. These also have the ability to reach out to emergency help if needed.
g. A camera to record all the fun you will have while out on the trail in the snow. 3. As you may see in the above picture, we have a friend that goes snow wheeling with us that is an EMT. But not everyone has this resource available to them. Having some basic first aid training is also a good tool to have for any time that there is a potential for someone to get hurt. As Warn says, “Go Prepared.” Wheeling in the snow is totally different than playing on or in the rocks. Airing down you tires is necessary, and every vehicle is different. You will have to play with your air pressure to figure out what works for your vehicle. For me, about 5 psi works for most of the snow. I have had to go down to 3 psi to help break trail and vehicle recovery. Having beadlock wheels helps ensure that my tires stay on the rim in the snow. 4. Then once all done and ready to head home after your day in the snow, a way to air up your tires. We should always have this ability, no matter when you go wheeling. I carry a CO2 tank and have an ARB compressor under the hood. This list is primarily for 4x4’s, and I am sure other users can modify this list as they see fit to fit their specific over the snow vehicle. Last but not least, is have fun with your friends and family in the snow while playing on our public or private lands.
Images from the 50th Sierra Trek Courtesy of Steve Egbert
Winch Hill 5, Larry Calkins President Nevada Four Wheel Drive Association.
The 50th Sierra Trek on Fordyce Creek trail in the Tahoe National Forest.
Public Lands Access Matters. By Jerry Smith
Parts of the following are taken from a poem I saw years ago. They are paraphrased here. The “I” here is represented as the public. They said the owls were “endangered”. It sounded noble to “save the owls”. So-First they came for the Loggers, and I did not speak out—because “I” was not a logger. Then they came for the Miners, and I did not speak out—because “I” was not a Miner. Then the came for the Anglers, and I did not speak out—because “I” did not fish. Then they came for the Recreationist, and I did not speak out—because “I” was not a camper, mountain-biker, or equestrian. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me. Now the owls ARE STILL ENDANGERED, but… They “preserved and protected” the forests so well, the forests are all burning.
The extreme wildfires cost over $2 billion in 2017 to battle. (That doesn’t count the losses of property and reforestation) The wildlife were all cooked, but no one got a bite. The “preservationists” closed all the roads, so fire fighters could not access the area. Roads are also natural fire breaks. The streams and rivers are full of silt and ash. This was all supposed to stop when the roads all disappeared. The timber is all smoke, ash, and standing dead. But the preservationists won’t allow it to be salvaged. “Nature” will take care of it… except all the seeds those trees had dropped for years had been burned to ash. Fishing is not allowed with no access to
the entire area. There is nothing for hunters to hunt, so they left for other areas. The campers have nothing to enjoy now, so they have gone elsewhere. The equestrians, mountain bikers, and hikers all have open trails, but who wants to venture into a totally blackened, dead, burned area? The birders have no birds to watch, so they have all sadly gone. Skiing and snowmobiles will not be allowed on the area. The watershed can no longer naturally control the flow of water so it rushes downhill causing more erosion and siltation. Where less than 1% of the land was “eroding roads” before, now 100% is subject to SEVERE erosion. Guess the roads they closed don’t matter much now. Grazing permits will be curtailed for years. Those cattle will have to be shifted to another lease or be fed expensive hay for the duration. The price per pound of your hamburger will have to increase. Recreation will be years in returning in the area. It will take local economies many years to recover from just the loss of
recreation income. This is the ultimate result of listening to and managing the radical “environmental” way. EVERYBODY LOSES!! Renewable and sustainable resources are entirely wasted to serve a selfish self interest group. Many of our public land managers KNOW what they need to do to make things right, but the radical “preservationist wing” in the public land management agencies are preventing them from even voicing their views. Radicals by definition, are an intolerant bunch. It’s their way or the highway. Well, it’s time the average member of the public fight back. The public is not well organized, nor are they well funded like the foundations and other sources of money the preservationists receive. The public needs to rely on the businesses that benefit from our uses of public lands to help organize and fund the opposition. There are many of such businesses we need to be calling on for support. The oil industry benefits from our recreating. Do they support our position of motorized access? The automakers benefit from our recreating. Where are they? The list goes on and we need to find a way to their hearts and wallets to turn the radical “environ-mental” movement around and begin a new way of managing our public lands. The Off Road Business Association is leading the way, but they can do only so much alone. Other industries must step up with support and resources. Multiple Use and Sustained Yield is the law, we need to make sure it is strictly adhered to.
Just a Matter of Time Grand Mesa Jeep Club President Jeff Bates
The top news story is the opening of the Cutoff Trail. You may not own a rock crawler, or extreme Jeep, but you still have to appreciate the fact that the wheels are turning. The BLM is a huge machine. Hopefully once we get things in motion, it will remain in motion. We first walked that trail in 2010, turned it in to the BLM in 2011, and have been in process for all these years. We actually turned in two other trails at that time. The progress on both the other trails has stopped. The BLM cites archaeological findings on both trails. This is a hard argument for user groups, because the BLM is not required to let you know what they found, or where they found it. I have asked about re-routes, and mitigation, but the BLM thinks neither will work for what they found. In the mean time we have turned in 6 other new trails for the Bangs Canyon area. They are all rock crawler trails, with exception of a 3 mile route which will test a locked jeep on 35s. These are all just a matter of time, and luck. The Cutoff Trail, is the first new trail since Billings Jeep Trail was opened in 2004, that the Grand Mesa Jeep Club has been able to open, (13 years ago). The Billings Jeep Trail took about 6 years to get through the process, and the new trail took 5 years to work through the system. In the meantime there are bicycle trails that
take a year or two to get opened. So we know it is possible to get a trail through the system faster if the BLM had any interest in the trail. The bad news is the new trail is only 275 yards long, and half of it is coming across a grass field. The total hard trail is a little over 100 yards. The good news it is a fun trail which tests the limits of your vehicle. It has a few optional lines in it, and will be fun for a long time. The Tab crossing has changed directions. Due to the insurance requirements of the State, we cannot receive the Grant funding we had lined up. Now the grant will go to the BLM, who will administer the grant. The changes are, now we will get the low bidder, and are at the mercy of the BLM time frame. But it will happen. We are not the only ones with new trails; Moab has a â€œnewâ€? extreme trail that recently officially opened. So this is good news for motorized recreation. There is no new reason that things are happening, all of this has been in process for years This is one more reason why Clubs are important. The continuity of a longterm process, like trail making, takes so much time, it may be handed down to the next generation while it is still in the process. The Tabeguache is a prime example with around 30 years in process. I will keep you posted on how these and other trails progress. Until then, I will see you on the trail.
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Business Contacts 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/ ACES 4X4 Club (Michigan) www.aces4x4.com Arizona State Association of 4-Wheel Drive Clubs www.asa4wdc.org 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 Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.cal4wheel.com/
Montana 4×4 Association, Inc. http://www.m4x4a.org/
Central North Carolina 4×4 http://www.cnc4x4.org/
New Mexico 4-Wheelers http://www.nm4w.org/
Central Ontario 4×4 Club http://www.co4x4.com/
New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Association, Inc. http://www.nzfwda.org.nz/
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/ Great Lakes Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.glfwda.org/ Hall of Fame 4×4 Trail Riders http://www.hof4x4.com/ Havasu 4-Wheelers, Inc. http://havasu4wheelers.org/ Indiana 4 Wheel Drive Association http://www.ifwda.org/
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/ Scrambler Owners Association http://www.cj-8.org/ Seven Hills Jeep Club http://sevenhillsjeepclub.org/ Southern Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.sfwda.org/ •
Carolina Off Road Extremists (CORE) http://www.core4x4club.com/
Mesa 4 Wheelers http://www.mesa4wheelers.com/
Carolina Trailblazers 4WD Club http://www.carolina-trailblazers.org/
Cumberland Off-Road http://www.cumberlandoffroad.com/
Damn Locals 4×4 Club
Indonesia Off-Road Federation
Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association
East Tennessee 4WD Club http://www.et4wd.org/
Extreme Ridge Runners http://www.myspace.com/extreme_ ridge_runners
Blue Ridge Rock Mafia email@example.com • Capital City Fourwheelers www.capitalcityfourwheelerssva.com •
Hard Rock Crawlers www.hardrockcrawlers.org
Georgia Bounty Runners 4WD Club http://www.gbr4wd.com/
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.sevenhillsjeep.club
Southeast Toyota Land Cruiser Association http://www.stlca.org/
Shenandoah Valley 4 Wheelers www.sv4w.org
Southern Jeeps http://www.southernjeeps.org/
Southern Mini 4×4 www.myspace.com/443172858
Trick ‘n’ Traction 4WD Club http://www.tnt4wd.org/
Southwestern Virginia 4 Wheelers www.swva4w.org
Tidewater Fourwheelers www.tidewaterfourwheelers.org
• • • • • •
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/ •
Bay to Blue Ridge Cruisers www.bbrcva.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/