UFWDA Voice

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Protect, promote and provide 4x4 opportunities worldwide

MARCH 2020 • Volume 46 • Issue 1


Board of Directors

President Steve Egbert– president(at)united4wd.org Past President Tom Mandera– pastpresident(at)united4wd.org Vice President Ray Stanley- vpresident(at)united4wd.org International Vice President Peter Vahry – intlvp(at)united4wd.org Treasurer Fred Wiley– treasurer(at)uunited4wd.org Director of Membership Tom Mandera- membership(at)united4wd.org Director of Public Relations Mike Ingalsbee -prdirector(at)united4wd.org Director of Environmental Affairs Jerry Smith - landuse(at)united4wd.org

Extended Board of Directors

Off Road Parks Liaison Bruce Shallis - offroadliaison(at) united4wd.org Business Development business(at)united4wd.org 4WD Awareness Coordinator 4wdawareness(at)united4wd.org Website Administrator Suzy Johnson – webmaster(at)united4wd.org

Legal Legal Counsel Carla Boucher – attorney(at)united4wd.org

Editorial and Design

Editor Peter Vahry- editor(at)united4wd.org

UFWDA Office and Contact 1701 Westwind Drive Suite 108 Bakersfield CA 93301 Email: info@ufwda.org Phone: 1-800-44-UFWDA


Introductions: Steve Egbert Bruce Shallis Suzy Johnson Peter Vahry

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Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • •

For Your Pleasure 7 UFWDA Represented at Meeting with President Trump 11 2019 Virginia Trail Ride Exceeds Expectations 12 Jeeping with the United Four Wheel Drive Associations 15 U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Expand 20 Wilderness in California, Colorado and Washington Rock Junction and Rocky Mountain Off-Road Expo 22 You do know I spend time away from wifi and cell ? 25 FCA posts strong profit growth for Q4 31 American Trails Webinar 32 Bucket list: Moab UT 33 Building a new trail link ‘Down-under’ Part Three 42 Have you been to a four wheel drive event 44 S.F.W.D.A. Joins efforts with West Virginia Jeep Clubs, 47 Blue Ribbon Coalition,and Senators & Delegates of West Virginia for 2020 Off-Road Invasion

Lists:

Clubs and Associations Business Contacts

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Cover photo and inside; Peter Vahry 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. 2020


Introductions

the new website recovering much of our old info from the backups.

Steve Egbert; UFWDA President

Hi everyone, it has been busy since the start of the new year. I have served on the Board of Directors of the California Four Wheel Drive Association for 14 years and the last 7 as President. As of February 15, I am no longer the President and have moved to the position of Past President. The last two months, the candidates were campaigning to be elected as our Association President. There was a lot of interest in the election and many of our members were asking questions of the candidates and they explained their positions on many issues. It was good to see how involved our members were in selecting a new President. At the annual meeting we also selected a new State Treasurer and that election had three candidates and nearly as much interest and questions as the Presidential election. Throughout the weekend you could see the passion of our members expressed in the issues and concerns they brought up and resolved as a group. There were 59 delegates present which was a good turnout for the meeting. Now that I have more time on my hands, I can spend more time working for United. Just today we got good news that the new website is up and running and the new automated membership management system is in place. The old web site had gone down and was not recoverable. In November the Board hired Suzy Johnson of Crazy Suzy Publishing and Design, Inc. as our new webmaster. She built

The exciting part is we also included a new membership management system that automates many of the items we had struggled with for many years. The main one being sending out renewal reminders. We again will be sending out the membership materials, including Association decals to all renewals, this will begin shortly. We thank everyone for their patience as we got things going again. I almost forgot we have a new easier to remember domain, it is United4wd.org check it out and even renew your membership. We remain engaged on the land use front, working with ORBA, SEMA, One Voice and regional associations. In California, Oceano Dunes SVRA is the most pressing issue and we will be helping where we can, to keep this most popular destination open and reverse some of the recent reductions to the riding area. Remember that Jerry Smith keeps up with many of the issue around the country and you can follow his Director of Environmental Affairs page on Facebook. I am excited to have more time to devote to United and continue to help move us forward and protect your right to recreate with your family and friends. Steve Egbert


lands you wheel on. Over the next few months I will try and share with everyone the benefits of the private parks and why they are so necessary to the growth of our sport. Bruce Shallis UFWDA Off Road Parks Liaison

If anyone has a spotlight off-road park that is special to you or your club, please feel free to send me an email. I will be trying to highlight different locations around the country to see how they service their local wheeling communities. Wheel with a buddy and be safe out on your next trip off-road

Off-Road Park/ Pay to Play: are these dirty words or something to embrace? I want to take a minute to introduce myself and explain my role with United Four Wheel Drive Associations. My name is Bruce Shallis and off-roading has been part of my life for 25 years or more. Before I got involved with Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, I was president of a local 4x4 club that was part of the Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association. I was afforded a chance to turn a piece of land into one of the east coast “pay to play” parks with help from a ton of 4x4 clubs and groups along with my business partner Lynn Ehrenfeld. I was asked to get involved with the Association to help bridge the gap of the “pay to play” and public


Suzy Johnson UFWDA webmaster

Peter Vahry International VP / Editor

Introducing our new webmaster, Suzy Johnson!

It’s been a while as we’ve re-adjusted UFWDA and our communications. Members can look forward to an improved membership experience and we look forward to greater interaction with you and your organizations.

At only five years old, Suzy’s experience with fourwheeling started at the Pismo dunes in central California. Riding in the back of the Jeep with the top off, stuffed against the hard metal fender with two siblings, was sheer bliss. Her family traveled throughout California to wheel: the Mojave desert, snow in the mountains, the dunes, mud runs, the beaches in Mexico, and any dirt road that looked interesting. After leaving home and a four-year stint in the Air Force, she bought her own string of Jeeps and continues the family tradition with her children and grandchildren.

I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the retirement from land use / access involvement of Preston Stevens of Maryland. Preston was for many years a valued Board member of UFWDA and continued his efforts to increase four wheel drive opportunities in his area with good success, through relationship building with land managers and countless hours maintaining trails. Thank you Preston.

In 2009, Suzy and her husband Terry set off to tour the country in an RV. They enjoyed four-wheeling and geocaching wherever they could find a trail: the mountains in Colorado, South Padre Island in Texas, Florida, the backwoods in Arkansas, deserts in Arizona, the Paiute ATV Trail and Coral Pink Sand Dunes in Utah and many others.

The intention of this UFWDA Voice publication is to inform and to some extent entertain and the delivery of editions should be quarterly. Because it’s not as frequent as our other medium, the eNews, the Voice can carry articles that are not so time dependant... which means ideally that it should be simple to compile.

Suzy has been the editor of the California Four Wheel Drive Association’s In Gear magazine since 1992 and their webmaster for almost as long. She also maintains websites for other clubs, businesses and organizations throughout the United States. She currently lives with her husband in Tucson, Arizona.

It would be if our members can remember that others could be interested in your four wheeling exploits and besides just posting some photos up on FaceBook, maybe you send a few words about your adventure and a link to those FB photos to the UFWDA editor?

Suzy

We don’t need an essay, just who, where, when and maybe why? People suggest that we just grab off FaceBook etc. but first we need to search for items and then make contact to get permission to use that material... it can take many hours. Summer is approaching for those in the northern hemisphere and maybe four wheeling will be a good excuse to avoid crowds and perhaps benefit from cheaper gas. Hopefully the current problem with that COVID-19 virus will pass without too much impact on the world and you our members. Peter Vahry


https://www.gizmodo.com.au/2019/12/ this-hopelessly-stuck-4runner-turned-into-acaptivating-muddy-rescue-thanks-to-facebooks-offroad-community/

For Your Pleasure By Jerry Smith Director of Environmental Affairs for the United Four Wheel Drive Associations


Let’s take a virtual ride on one of your favorite trails into the Great American BackCountry of public lands. Take a moment and think about your last foray into the wonders and beauty we have when out on the trail. Do you feel that awesomeness creeping into your soul? What colors do you see? Are you in a lush green forest or maybe in a desolate desert where the heat is oppressive? Canyon country has those high tan and red cliffs and the sparse, but scenic Juniper and Pinon Pine forest. Maybe you chose a high mountain trail to explore and soak in the air while feasting your eyes across the vast expanses before you. Anywhere you go, if you take the time to SEE and FEEL and EXPERIENCE the wonderment of the creation in front of you, Nature will provide the incredible elements to make each trip, each day, each hour, and even each minute a new memory. When you “get in the zone” while out in the greatest terrain we have, the experience can be exponentially multiplied. You just need to open your mind to SEE what’s around you. You must be “Mindful” to be “Mind Full”. You can FEEL the vibrations of Nature stimulating your brain. You can hear the heartbeat of the earth pounding its rhythm and your heartbeat will join with it as you become one with the universe. Yes, this sounds a little “Zen”, but it does work that way.

Those are the golden memories. Accomplishment is an event with the strong senses and rushes that come with the final goal overcome. Those same feelings needn’t be from something done physically. Taking a moment to just stop and experience the surroundings can provide a sense of calm and serenity. For those inclined that way, you may become one with God in these moments. A connection of this kind can overwhelm you with sensory overload. This is another memorable experience to file away for another day. And don’t forget to offer your appreciation for these outstanding experiences. The return blessing will be subtle, but worth every thought of that appreciation. These are the experiences the United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) diligently works to make easy for you to have. After all, what closed trail have you ever had this kind of experience on?? Great memories are not made on closed trails or in closed areas. The UFWDA is the only organization with the focus on “full-size” trail access.

This is how a simple trip becomes a memorable participation with Nature. You begin to remember certain obstacles more intensely. How you read the perfect line and overcame the difficult challenge with ease.

When we maintain access to “full-size” trails, ALL user groups benefit. You cannot name a trail that is restricted to ONLY FULL-SIZE vehicles. When you support the UFWDA, we ALL win. Building a good argument to keep our 4-wheel drive roads and trails accessible is not always easy. Reading and understanding the typical Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) or Environmental Assessment (EA) is not an easy task. Just the reading experience is as exciting as watching a 3-second video of snow melting in -30 degree weather replaying for 4-hours straight. The writers have no sense of humor.

Or maybe you came up to an obstacle that looked intimidating and you were rejected multiple times. Then, finally, you found the right rhythm and conquered that obstacle like a pro. Can you feel the smile on your face? Are you reliving the joy you felt? The feeling of accomplishment is soaking you with adrenaline and you sense the exhilaration.

If you don’t KNOW the dozens of laws related to the EIS and management of public lands, very little good comes from reading it. To make a solid argument to keep a trail open, you must be able to quote laws that the agency is not in compliance with. Emotional arguments alone are a waste of virtual ink.


Does your local club or even your state association have people who are familiar with the laws? Do they even read the EISs for your wheeling areas? The UFWDA does! UFWDA tries very hard to address ALL of the relevant EISs in the USA. We haven’t been able to do them all, but most have had SUBSTANTIVE comments written. During the last roughly 15-years while most of the National Forests and BLM were doing their 20-year Forest Plans and Resource Management Plans, United was busy reading and responding to the dozens of EISs. YOU were being represented!! One of the major points United has that other organizations do not is numbers. We need to represent EVERYONE who takes a Sunday drive, has a picnic, goes hunting, fishing, or camping, goes 4-wheeling or rock crawling. If we are to be “THE VOICE” of the USERS, we need your membership and support to make the full impact behind our commentary. The land management agencies are not the

only ones we respond to. Congress people and Senators are also on our radar. Changing laws to better support our chosen sport Is another way we work. Asking for the support of our elected leaders is another. Even the County Commissioners support is important. The opponents to open trails have paid staff and attorneys working full-time to CLOSE YOUR TRAILS. United works on a “volunteer-only” basis. Fair or not, that’s the way it is. United needs your support and your name to be represented. Those are the numbers that make our arguments stand for something. So, on your next trek into the Great American BackCountry, make sure to make time to slow down for a few beats. Let Nature immerse you in its complex essence. Those memories live on for your pleasure at any time you choose. Remember who is fighting to keep the trails you drive accessible too. Now, go make some memories!



UFWDA Represented at Meeting with President Trump

Fred Wiley, President/CEO of ORBA and Secretary/Treasurer for United Four Wheel Drive Associations, was invited by the White House to attend a special meeting during February in Bakersfield CA with President Trump, Secretary of Interior Bernhardt and House Minority Leader McCarthy. The meeting covered a range of topics from individual states trying to control the use of federal land, to the failures of the NEPA process as it exists today. The President and Secretary made it clear that continued over-regulation of public land has made it impossible for

the management agencies to properly manage the land. Access and the ability of the agencies to accomplish their founding mission is key to the future of these lands. Recreation is 2.3% of the United States GDP and is a great way to get people outdoors for their own betterment. “I was honored to be invited and attend representing our communities and for the Administration to understand the role that we play in Responsible Recreation�. Be Safe and Have Fun Fred Wiley


2019 Virginia Trail Ride Exceeds Expectations Thanks to a great turnout of 176 paid participants, two days of fine weather, superior raffle prizes and generous donations and sponsorships, the 2019 VA4WDA Trail Ride at Oak Ridge Estate on September 20-21 was the most successful in the 27year history of the event! With the support of our Individual and Business Members, our Sponsors and member clubs, I’m proud to announce that $10,000 was raised for our Legal Fund, our Trail Grant Fund and our Land Use Fund for ongoing and future legal representation and land use projects. In addition to the dry weather, I believe that the new camping facilities at the race track this year contributed to everyone’s overall enjoyment since it offered level grounds and easy access on and off the trails. While there were some who missed the field that we’ve camped in for years, the decision to move was made last year for a couple reasons. One was that the mud from the water-soaked field was dragged onto 653 and, two, the old metal bridge spanning the railroad tracks was downgraded to a max of eight tons. That, especially, was a safety concern since many camping rigs brought to the event are right at or over that limit. Much appreciation goes to Diana Gilbert who cooked again this year and, with help from family, even offered breakfast sandwiches each morning as an option. The food was excellent and Saturday dinner was handled expertly. Thank you, Diana! Our Business Members truly stepped up and donated quite an array of raffle prizes this year. We had five sets of tires from Southern Jeep Norfolk, Willow Lawn Service Center and Aylett Tire. Eastern Tuck and Accessory, 4 Wheel Parts Virginia Beach, Rock Ridge OffRoad, RVA Rock Crawlers and Warn donated numerous winches. Additionally, Warn Industries was a $1,000 sponsor, Beach Commercial Finance was a $750 sponsor, and Aylett Tire was a $500 sponsor. ETA was also a

$500 sponsor and the let us use their stage for Saturday night.One of our newest Business Members, Jason Jackson of EPIC Manufacturing, gave us a special edition VA4WDA 2019 Trail Ride AR-15 to raffle off. We collected $2600 for the gun alone. Then, during the raffle, he threw in a second AR-15. I was beside myself when my ticket was pulled for the first AR-15. At that point, I could have taken my cooler and a chair and gone and sat with everyone else for the night. Then, Russ Murphy’s ticket was pulled for the second AR-15 with only $20 in tickets. Thank you to Jason and the EPIC crew for the two guns! As part of the Food Drive Challenge for the Nelson County Food Bank, we awarded the club and the individual for the largest donations. Tidewater Fourwheelers won the club award and Tom Lassen won for individual. The VA4WDA also wrote a check for $1,000 and Diana Gilbert gave $400 from the morning breakfast sales for a total of $1400 and a truckload of food for the Food Bank. Special thanks goes out to Chris Boucher and all the guides of Trail Experience who guided everyone through the trails and also assisted in recovery of several rigs that broke down during the event to


get them back to the camping area for repair. (With the dry weather, maybe we had too much traction!) Again, they kept everyone safe during the two days on the trails. We have secured Oak Ridge Estate for next year’s event on September 18-19, 2020. Let’s get the word out and aim to sell out at our 200-vehicle limit. Registration will open mid-July; the actual date will be advertised early next year. See you on the trails, Jesse Schneirla

Photos by Member Jean Wibbens



Jeeping with the United Four Wheel Drive Associations By Jerry Smith Director of Environmental Affairs

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” –- Karen Lamb

The other day on my “Director of Environmental Affairs – United Four Wheel Drive Associations” Facebook page there was a short discussion about closed Jeep trails and the subject was the emotion that being out on the trail provides. It started with the question; “what if they shut down your trails?” with the follow-up question; “Are YOU on the land manager’s speed dial?” If not on the land manager’s speed dial, my short answer was; “then YOU were not paying attention!! Trail closures CAN often be stopped if you’ve done your work upfront. You must be on the speed dial of your land manager’s phone BEFORE you ask to keep trails open. Here in Grand Junction during the BLM Resource Management Planning (RMP), our Jeep club made a list of 30-trails we wanted to be left open... all 30 are open today. I later found one we had overlooked after the draft was done and persuaded them to change it from ATV only to OPEN for Jeeps at the last minute. You cannot tell me keeping trails open cannot be done. Like most things worthwhile, you must WORK for it.” All this got me thinking. I decided this subject could stand a better story and deeper background to explain some of what I said and meant. Let’s start with some background. I live in Grand

Junction, CO and am a member of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club (GMJC). Many of you who read any of the national 4wd magazines may have seen articles about the GMJC. Established in 1962, there have been some ups and downs as most clubs have experienced. Since about 2008, we’ve had some outstanding leadership. That leadership has taken a club standing on the edge of “Goodbye” to one of over 100-members and an activity level few clubs can rival. Back in ’07 when I joined, the GMJC was a sad sack bunch with about 20 mostly inactive members. We were lucky if the President showed up for meetings. Trail runs were nearly non-existent. We struggled along for about two-years until Jeff Bates took over as President. During this same time frame, the Grand Junction BLM Field Office was beginning their Resource Management Plan (RMP) scoping and Jeff and I attended their meetings and met with them individually at the office. Not long after that, other club members began making their presence known at the BLM office. By this time, I had about 35-years of attending meetings, writing comments, and advocating for open motorized trails on public lands, but I still learned a lot from Jeff. His networking skills are extraordinary. Somewhere in this time frame, the local BLM Field Office had a change of upper management (thankfully). The previous manager was a hiker


and environmentalist prone to discount any efforts made by motorized recreation. The new manager was far better balanced and forward-thinking. Like most RMPs, the BLM managed lands were broken down into areas to be managed. One of those areas with particularly distinct conflicting “problems” was behind the little town of De Beque, CO. (pronounced – De Beck) This area had been managed as an “open” area for cross-country travel and there was a huge controversy about changing it to “travel on designated trails only”. The motorcycle and ATV groups stood to lose about 70% of their favorite riding trails, so you can imagine they were concerned… (Like their hair was on fire). Similar outcomes were slated for other motorized users, but there were fewer trails suitable for their use. With the heavy user traffic engaging the BLM office on an individual basis, the BLM decided to promote the formation of a local group of ALL user groups that would meet once per month or more to discuss amongst those groups the best course for a management plan for the Field Office area. This group became the Grand Valley Trails Alliance (GVTA). A sub-group was formed specifically to work on the De Beque area. We called that group the “De Beque Working Group”. You can imagine some of the conversations sitting in a room with people from; • • • • • • •

The Great Old Broads for Wilderness – (Hardcore Wilderness Advocates) Backcountry Horsemen “Quiet Users” – (hardcore hikers) Mountain bikers Western Slope ATV Association Motorcycle clubs Jeep clubs

The initial meetings were filled with suspicious, opinionated, and even some angry people. One of the first things we agreed on was that we would keep things civil and stay away from ANY personal attacks (thankfully, this was not like Congress). I think everyone had some pre-conceived ideas of what to expect from certain other groups. For the most part, I know my thoughts were born out perfectly as to what to expect. After the first couple of formal meetings, we did a field trip out to the De Beque area where we got some hands-on looks at some of the more

controversial areas. The interaction between groups began showing we had much more in common than any of us would have thought. Many small agreements were negotiated and a guarded camaraderie began forming. As time went on, we began discussing individual issues in an attempt to form a cohesive group recommendation for each of them. Many came down to the old “we agree to disagree”, but we did it without the usual shouting and name-calling. Several issues would require a management decision that would likely offend several user groups. Such is management. Over the past several years, the GVTA meetings have been very productive. The community has been able to initiate and complete several new trails, finish a 30+year project, repair several trails, and build a great working relationship between user groups. The BLM and to a lesser extent the USFS, have benefitted from not being the “bad guy” dictator having to deal with all the individuals, but rather a fairly united single group. The ONE vital message that we have learned is that COMMUNICATION is the one thing that benefits the process more than any other. That communication is between ALL entities, NOT just between land management and one group at a time. Becoming personal friends with land managers and other user groups is the key to success. No, you will not always agree. You may be in total disagreement. Your arguments were not good enough. Did you work hard to make them persuasive or just cobble something together? Like every other thing, we get what we diligently work for… at least some of the time. So now you have some marching orders. To become good friends with your local land managers, be someone they can call on for your thoughts without having their ears being chewed off. Become a trusted confidant they reach out to when they have a problem. Be on their speed dial. Don’t be someone who always asks for something. Volunteer your help when possible. THINK about how you can make their job easier. When you’ve done that enough, they won’t hesitate to call you and reciprocate working with you whenever possible. The bottom line is you will not get far as an


individual. You must be part of an organized group to have some “clout”. The best way I have found is to belong to a local club that is also active in their state association. That state association will benefit from being a member of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc. Why? First, there is strength in numbers. Your local clubs rarely have large numbers of “active” people. The kind of people who will write comments, attend meetings, and be a consistent voice representing your desires. By working with the state associations, you increase in numbers. One or two of them will be vocal, write comments, and attend the meetings. Doing all those little things that add up to something being done rather than just complaining after the damage is done. Taking it to the next level, the leadership of United are some hardcore enthusiasts who have years of experience going to meetings, writing meaningful comments, and advising those who would do the occasional work to maintain motorized access. Alone in the last 5-years, I have written close to 1500 comments on Forest Plans, Resource Management Plans, and Travel plans. I have also attended at least 100-meetings regarding land use. For most of those comments, I read long-winded Environmental Impact Statements (EIS) to see what was the best way to argue for keeping trails open to motorized use. To understand an EIS well, you must be familiar with all the laws the land managers are subject to. How many laws have you read? I’ve been through dozens of them. Now whom do you want to learn from? All you need to do is ask.

We are all in this together when it comes to keeping access to our precious trails. The better organized we are, the better the chances of a positive outcome. It takes work. Things only get done when SOMEONE steps up to do it. The first step is to JOIN others. You cannot do this alone. You must use the resources that have long years of experience to be effective. We at United have that experience and we are happy (ecstatic) to find someone to help. The more “voices” that add their educated and substantive comments to the issues, the more that land managers must pay attention to us. BTW, emotional comments are of little value. Unless you can show factual reasons for the land manager to make a change, they normally throw out your comment. This is what we mean when we say “substantive comments”. They must have substantial reasons, not emotional drivel. Start with reasons why a particular trail or area is of interest. Do you or have you; • • • • • • • • • • • •

Camped along the trail Fished in the area Hunted in the area Mention any other activities you may have done Hiked Biked Equestrian Photography Explain about the trail’s drawing (why do you go there) be ultra descriptive. Is it challenging Is it a favorite drive Is it scenic


• • • • • •

Historical sites? How often do you use this trail/area? Have you done work on the trail/area? What kind of work? How often has this work occurred? How many hours did this work take (accumulated hours from how many people)

Do you see how you must impact the land manager with factual reasons this trail/area must remain open to motorized travel? The more descriptive you can be, the more moved the manager will be to accept your argument. Next, if possible, point out errors in the document’s process. Does it comply with the management laws and rules? If there are “gray areas”, discuss your interpretation of the law or rule. For help with this, contact the Director of Environmental Affairs from the United Four Wheel Drive Associations. He will attempt to show you some substantive arguments that land managers must take seriously. This is one of the benefits of being a member of the United Four Wheel Drive Associations. We realize few people have neither the time nor the interest in

reading, understanding, and using land-use laws and rules. The same goes for reading an entire Environmental Impact Statement. These can come in volumes of 3 books and a total of 1000+ pages of boring data. You COULD hire lawyers to review and comment on these issues. The costs will be substantial and the results may not change a thing. Or you can ask for help from United as a member. We are NOT attorneys, but we have enough experience with most of the laws and rules to make a better argument than most other sources. On particularly intense issues, we have resources we can tap to help as well. The Off Road Business Association (ORBA) works with United on exceptional cases. They have resources and expertise far beyond what any volunteer organization can muster, but they are very particular about the issues they will take on. We encourage you to have your local club and/or state association to belong to United. The benefits are there for the asking.


25th Annual PA Jeeps, Inc. All Breeds Jeep Show Carlisle Fairgrounds Carlisle PA July 18-19, 2020. Changes for this year include new classes, on site parking $20 a vehicle for everyone in a seat belt which includes spectator admission, $10 spectator admission if parking outside the fairgrounds (parking charges outside area of fairgrounds subject to lot owners), on site camping paid at time of registration and Parade of Jeeps. Vendors : https://pajeepshow.regfox.com/2020vendors Participants : https://pajeepshow.regfox.com/2020participants Club Booth : https://pajeepshow.regfox.com/2020club-booth


U.S. House of Representatives Passes Bill to Expand Wilderness in California, Colorado and Washington

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff February 13, 2020 The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to restrict access to nearly 2.5 million acres of land in three western states, including the designation of more than 1.4 million acres of wilderness areas. The “Protecting America’s Wilderness Act,” H.R. 2546, passed by a margin of 231–183 and will now advance to the U.S. Senate, although it is unlikely to be taken up given strong Republican opposition to the bill and the White House’s veto threat. The legislation is controversial because wilderness designations provide the highest level of permanent protection available, preventing the creation of roads and trails in addition to preventing logging, mining and drilling. Listed below are key provisions of H.R. 2546: • Colorado – The bill would set aside more than 600,000 acres of wilderness in the Centennial State. Most of the areas that the bill seeks to protect have been managed as wilderness for decades and are mid-elevation ecosystems, which are used for outdoor recreational activities and serve as critical habitats for a variety of plants and wildlife. • Washington – The bill would designate and expand wilderness areas and rivers in Olympic National Forest, protecting

more than 130,000 acres of land. Northwest California • The bill would expand nine existing wilderness areas in Northwest California and establish eight new ones. The legislation designates more than 1 million acres of federal land in the northwestern part of California, including more than 300,000 acres of wilderness. • It would create a 730,000-acre South Fork Trinity-Mad River Restoration Area to promote fire-resilient forest structures and protect habitat and fisheries while allowing public access. • The bill requires the Agriculture Department to study improvements to motorized and nonmotorized trails in non-wilderness portions of the Six Rivers, Shasta-Trinity, and Mendocino national forests. The Department would also have to establish new recreational trails and study the feasibility of building new ones in those areas. • It would establish a 14,177-acre Sanhedrin Special Conservation Management Area to protect and restore the area’s wilderness character while allowing public access. • The bill would establish a 7,399-acre Horse Mountain Special Management Area to enhance recreation and


conserve plants, wildlife and natural resources. The Forest Service could establish new trails in the area and would have to allow hunting, fishing, camping, mountain biking and snowmobile use. • It would direct the Interior Department to study the feasibility of allowing overnight accommodations on federal land near the northern and southern boundaries of Redwood National and State Parks. • The bill would allow agreements with private and nonprofit groups to perform trail and campground maintenance, staff visitor centers, and conduct outreach on federal lands in Mendocino, Humboldt, Trinity and Del Norte counties. Central California • The bill would designate as wilderness more than 246,000 acres in 12 areas in the Los Padres National Forest or under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management’s Bakersfield Field Office. The Los Padres National Forest would include two of these wilderness areas totaling more than 43,000 acres, which would be designated either upon an Agriculture Department determination that any trail reconstruction or rerouting

has been completed or after 20 years, depending on which takes place first. It creates two scenic areas totaling nearly 35,000 acres in the Los Padres National Forest, prohibiting roads and structures. The bill would establish a 400-mile Condor National Scenic Trail to provide a continuous hiking corridor connecting the northern and southern ends of Los Padres National Forest. It would also direct the Forest Service to study the feasibility of opening a new trail for motorized vehicles less than 50 in. to connect a highway to the existing off-road vehicle trail system in the Ballinger Canyon off-highway vehicle area. It would expand the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument by more than 109,000 acres, creating a San Gabriel National Recreation Area. The bill would expand the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to include an area called the Rim of the Valley Unit. It would designate more than 30,000 acres in Angeles National Forest as wilderness.


Rock Junction and Rocky Mountain Off-Road Expo June 4,5, and 7 2020


Do you have an amazing rig that’s more capable than you? Or are you just starting out in a stock offroad vehicle not feeling too comfortable to go wheeling alone? Well, we have something for everyone at Rock Junction. We lead trails from stock to crazy buggy trails. Our leaders are familiar with the trails and always assist with any questions or with spotting. So if you curious and want to come wheeling with some awesome people, please give Rock Junction a try. Whether you›re planning on coming to Rock Junction for all 4 days, or just one, we offer onsite dispersed camping at «Area 21», where the trips leave in the morning and return in the afternoons for an awesome cookout. The thing that we love about Area 21, is it›s centrally located by gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers. Not to mention only a few miles from our adopted trail where the famous «21 Road Toad» lives. One of the trails we offer every year at Rock Junction, is Gateway to Glade Park or Glade Park to Gatway. You can run this either way. This trail is not difficult, but does have some switch backs that offer spectacular views. It has drop offs and is narrow, as you drop into Gateway. This is a great trail to run if you›re looking for a longer day on the trail as it does take 1 hr to 1.5 hrs to get to the trail depending on which way you run it. We guarantee you won›t be disappointed on this trail.


Another of the trails we offer at Rock Junction is the Coon Hollow Jeep Trail. (BTW, that is the official BLM map name of the trail) Located north and west of the little town of De Beque (pronounced – De Beck) that is roughly 30-miles down I-70 east of Grand Junction. This trail has just enough difficulty and severe off-camber obstacles to make it a crowd favorite. Stock vehicles with experienced drivers are welcome, but beware that there are areas of very close trailside brush that may leave the stripes many prefer to avoid. Be prepared for some “Oh, WOW!” moments as the scenery pops before your eyes. This is an “in and out” trail, but the change in view makes it more like 20-miles of new trail.

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You do know I spend time away from wifi and cell ?

Words and photos Bill Burke


The past few weeks, I have been working with folks around our (USA) Southwest Desert region. As the song goes: “Tucson to Tucumcari, Tehachapi to Tonopah..” And then over to the Anza-Borrego Desert of SoCal. I love this region and variety of terrain, flora and fauna. Most of the plants and animals in this area are hardy dry soil and dry condition evolution. It is a beautiful place, just that those lovely plants all want a piece of my skin. The animals just want to be left alone and the Sidewinders and Gila Monsters and Scorpions have my respect for their space. The Cat’s Claw and Jumping Cholla among others have my respect for their space as well. My dogs on the other hand, still need to realize where they are walking and peeing since they don’t get that we traveled 1000 miles from Colorado and popped out in the middle of the Sonoran Desert!! Sorry boyz!! I carry an assortment of grooming tools for them. Poodles need to have haircuts often and when coming from wintry Colorado to the warm desert that gets chilly at night I need to trim them a bit. But not like a summer naked cut! However, it is the cacti that I really need

the tools for! Cholla bits get lodged in their feet and hair (Poodles have hair and not fur!) and the tangle comb is most important to get in there and cut/pull those nasty thorns. With their winter coats they act like Velcro magnets while wandering around. They don’t run off and do stay around camp but can still collect enough debris that a simple atta-boy pat can cause me to stab my hand with a barbed cactus spine. The wire brush is helpful for the random flower heads, branches and twigs. The scissors are for the real nasty tangles and matted patches and cleaning ears. After 5 weeks out, all 3 of us are perfect dirt bags living the life of desert rats. Raggly, 4 shades dirty and just a bit ripe! I don’t think we would have it any other way truth be told!! Teaching people to drive in this region is fun! The high desert around Tucson requires understanding the rain cycle and drainage of those mountains. How fast water collects and then runs down all the little Arroyos and canyons. A trail just east of Tucson called Chiva Falls offers great ‘wheeling. One needs a well set up rig to get into the area where it is a short walk to see the falls. This is usually


during the mostly winter months or after a Monsoon rain fall. Of course one can hike the full distance if a rig is not built well enough – IE – not for stock rigs!! Across the Reddington Road and east a bit is Chimney Rock trail. That can be good for a stock rig with good driving skill. That route passes some neat riparian places and a couple ponds – in the desert yes!! Great camping all around there; just be aware of the critters that live there and usually come out at night! This area requires an eye to loose granite soil, some boulders with a mix of sandstone and quartz that can cut tires and will cause a slip or spin if one hasn’t aired down. Electronic Traction really helps in this situation and a lot of the work trucks I am seeing now for fleets have ETC these days. Coaching folks who are new to off-road on how to use ETC properly is pretty straight forward. Consistent throttle position with steady RPM management will allow the wheel speed sensors to monitor tire spin, control that through brake-force manipulation (the pads clank) which gets the differential to work more evenly with the Torque Bias (TB). I have found that (terrain depending) a consistent position of 1100 to 1550 RPM on the tach lets the system work. Squeeze the throttle until the vehicle actually moves and

hold that position. Teaching “old hands” this technique is a bit tricky since they have an idea how differentials “kinda” work but don’t realize that “hitting the gas pedal” is not the way to do it! Also, with folks that have been using both feet to drive (brake-throttle modulation) which with old school trucks can help the differentials balance TB, touching the brake pedal when working with ETC will usually turn the ETC off


for driver control of that safety feature but usually in Low Range it gets turned off, since the computer knows we are going to get Jiggy with our truck!! Other ETC systems that have “semiautonomous” driving like Toyota’s CRAWL and/or driver controlled soft-ware for TerrainResponse or Multi-Terrain System, have upped the Ante for controlling the speed of brake manipulation to get the differential to equalize TB. Sand, snow, mud ruts, slippery surface, rock, among the selected choices, really can be empowering to a driver. Especially a novice driver! Throttle sensitivity, holding transmission gear for a “second gear start”, suspension adjustment with air springs or hydraulic dampening to stabilize the vehicle or push a tire down for traction gain are all part of the new wave of Electronic enhanced vehicles.

since the rig thinks we are stopping. Some rigs will allow a certain amount of Brake Pressure with Throttle Pedal squeeze up to about 3 mph/5 kph while in Low Range, but others may not! Depending if the vehicle is Full-Time 4wd or Part-Time 4wd the electronics may be desensitized or, become more sensitive based on driver input and vehicle design. Some other vehicles that come with factory locking differentials may have electronic support to really help control tire slip/spin/skid. Anti-Lock Brake (ABS) Systems will change from highway mode to off-pavement mode. But remember, on dirt roads at faster speeds the ABS could increase stopping distance due to the tire-skid effect of low MU surface but we can always-brake-and-steer with ABS. Unlike before ABS when the front tires would lock up causing skid and loss of steering control. VSC/ESP will change activity from highway (2wd or non-locked Centre-Diff) to vary through 4H and then 4L. Some vehicles have switches

The “early” basic 4 channel function systems that Rover came up with and like the Toyota ATRAC systems, are still great! They made the differentials perform like aggressive Limited Slip/Posi-Trac units and in some cases would balance torque equally for all 4 tires to move at the same speed. Some manufacturers, like Toyota, would allow for the rear differential to be manually locked by the driver (Selectable Locker) and that enhanced the ETC all the more. Others rely strictly on electronics to make the choice for the driver. Opinions vary on that strategy for sure!! Still, we have to be diligent as drivers in technical terrain. Here, where I write this, in the Borrego desert area, the Poppies, Verbena and Ocotillo are starting to bloom. That means folks will be driving in the sandy wash tracks and around the dunes. In soft sand we must be spot on with our steering. Pulling a rig out from a dune stuck the other day, I had to constantly remind the driver to steer in the direction I was pulling. Because of the side slip on the dune slope, he felt the rig slide a bit sideways and his brain reacted to turn the tires away from the slope and the direction I was pulling him. This caused my rig to start digging and as I put my hand out to signal to steer into the slide and towards me he finally realized his mistake. As soon as he fixed the steering tires to my direction the truck came right out. Whew!


Nothing like having two trucks stuck with a KERR rope tightly stretched between. Would have been time for the Hi-Lift jack trick! Well, the Moon is showing good light and Neptune has started to move off the Horizon. Guess it is time to build a fire for the cool desert night coming on! See ya! Bill Burke’s 4-Wheeling America Premier Training and Guided Back Country Trips 970-858-3468‌bb4wa@bb4wa.com... www.bb4wa.com


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FCA posts strong profit growth for Q4 By Dave Leggett | 6 February 2020

Record Ram brand sales are boosting profitability for FCA in North America Fiat Chrysler (FCA) has posted a 35% rise in fourth quarter net profit, boosted by strong business in North America. FCA reported that Q4 net profit at EUR1,578m (+35%), with adjusted net profit some 3% above the year earlier period at EUR1,537m. Adjusted EBIT for North America in Q4 was EUR2,062m, some EUR382m above the previous year and a record. FCA also posted a record Q4 North America margin at 10.0% (up 130 bps). There were also improvements in South America, Asia and Europe was profitable (but down). Worldwide combined shipments of 1,165,000 were 1% down on Q4 2018. However, CEO Michael Manley warned that disruptions due to the coronavirus outbreak in China could threaten production at one of Fiat Chrysler's European plants within two to four weeks. Reports suggest that a critical component from a China plant could soon be in short supply. The strong Q4 results left FCA adjusted operating profit for the year at EUR6.67bn, slightly down on the previous year. just shy of its target of over 6.7 billion euros. Its adjusted EBITDA margin came in at 6.2%, in line with its target of more than 6.1%. Worldwide combined shipments of 4,418,000 units were down 9%, primarily due to dealer stock reduction in North America, lower China JV shipments along with sales channel actions and discontinuation of products in EMEA, FCA said.

However, North America also boosted FCA full-year results, with a record adjusted EBIT for the region, up 7% to EUR6,690m and record margin, due to 'favourable model mix, positive net price, industrial efficiencies, lower advertising costs and favourable foreign exchange effects', FCA said. The profits boost was in spite of lower volume. Shipments in NA in 2019 were down 9%, 'primarily due to dealer stock discipline', FCA said. Bit the margin leap in NA (+50 bps to 9.1%) clearly reflected model mix and more sales of high margin trucks. FCA said the Ram and Jeep brands drove North American results as strong sales of the allnew Ram Heavy-Duty, Ram 1500 and Ram 1500 Classic resulted in record Ram brand sales in the US, up 18%. The positive numbers augur well for the planned merger with PSA. FCA CEO Michel Manley said: "Last year was a historic year for FCA. We continued to deliver value for our shareholders and we took actions to thrive in the future by substantially strengthening our financial position, committing to key product investments and entering into a combination agreement with PSA." FCA also reiterated its plan to boost adjusted EBIT to more than EUR7bn this year. Wouldn’t it be great if FCA Jeep recognized the efforts of UFWDA to ensure that land access continues to be available and to justify their building off-road capable vehicles and the profitabilty that results. Supporting UFWDA efforts would be a good start! Editor


I took the opportunity to join this webinar hosted by American Trails and although it did not include four wheel drive representation, the dialogue was familiar. UFWDA has the permission of American Trails to provide the link to the whole webinar thanks to Candace Gallagher,Director of Operations Advancing Trails Webinar Series Webinar Coordinator A couple of quotes from a transcript are included here as examples of the thinking around shared use... Chelle Grald with American Endurance Ride Conference.: “So I guess the perspective that most trails that are out there, unless they are brand new trails, started out as multi-use trails. That the trails in the beginning were foot paths and they were equestrian paths, and then we adapted them to motorized use, and they became roads, some of them, and some of them stayed as trails. And later on, when we got bikes and the bikes came. But most trails started as multi-use trails. And what has changed the picture is really design. Design changes specifically. And also, they’re specific to particular uses. And also, density. Those are the things that really have affected the change. And the myths I would say come in a couple of different places. One of them is a safety myth. There is a myth that multiple users cannot share a trail safely. And I believe that most of that is really a design question and challenge”.

Cam Lockwood, Trails Unlimited LLC. : “because of land management policies that are derived by or driven by social issues, attitudes, we have the worst and divided a lot of those uses and we have put them in very small versus the larger landscape. And those, I hate to call them squirrel cages but that’s pretty much what it is. If you take someone that walks or rides or drives whatever over a trail two or three times a day versus three or four or 500 times a day, you’re going to end up with more impacts. So, as the agencies have pared down the trail system, not just into designated route, but reduced the amount of recreational area, it’s created more impacts. Hate to say it, but that’s the case. That’s it”. UFWDA pioneered the concept of webinars with our use for annual meetings, and perhaps we too should take advantage of that technique to organize informative discussions around the issues facing our recreation and others, wanting to access a diminishing area of recreational opportunities. UFWDA would welcome contact from those with expertise in various facets of four wheeling and who’d be willing to help put together informative webinars. Peter Vahry / Editor


Bucket list: Moab UT. Words and photos; Peter Vahry


There are a great number of places in North America to go four wheeling, but few have reached the somewhat iconic standing that the area around the town of Moab in Utah has achieved. The guidebook “Moab, UT Backroads & 4-Wheel-Drive Trails” by Charles A Wells, lists 80 different trails, although spread over more than 60 square miles. Some however are only just outside the town and include trails such as Fins & Things, Willow Springs Road, Tower Arch, Seven Mile Rim and Top of the World, all of which are achievable in just a few days. While in the U.S.A during November 2019, I was travelling with a fellow Auckland 4WD Club member, Andre Jorna, and after several days at the SEMA show, we drove from Las Vegas NV to Moab UT via the Grand Canyon north Rim and with an overnight stop in the town of Kanab. Arriving in Moab on a Saturday afternoon and finding our AirBnB accommodation first, our next task was to sort a rental Jeep for a few days. We’d done a bit of research and it came down to checking with two different rental companies. We felt that Barlow Adventures offered the best deal and standard of Jeeps, but it took a while to sign everything off, including a separate insurance cover. We thought that insurance was going to be expensive for international travellers, but it was only about $10 per day for a four door JL Rubicon with a 50mm lift. A reason for wanting to quickly get a vehicle organised, was that we were set to meet up with a group of members from the Grand Mesa Jeep Club (including UFWDA’s Jerry Smith below) on Sunday morning to explore the

Seven Mile Rim trail. They were coming from Grand Junction in CO, about 100 miles away. It was quite a gathering on the Sunday morning with some 15 assorted Jeeps including our bright green Rubicon. The trail started right alongside the 191 highway and climbs onto a Mesa of bare rock with the occasional stunted trees, generally pinyon-juniper and a few small cacti. It was certainly useful to have such an escort on our first day out, as we learned a bit about the capabilities of our Jeep on the rocks. The guide book rates this trail as difficult and suggests that “one tippy spot along the south wall of Merrimac Butte is scarier than it appears” and I can vouch for that as we crabbed across a rock face! We also learned that our Jeep had a fault that would affect the downhill crawling ability by suddenly increasing the engine revs… rather disconcerting. Later that day we dropped the Jeep back to Barlow’s and they arranged a swap for the following morning with another Rubicon, but with more modifications including more lift.


One of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club members was staying in Moab and offered to guide us again the following day, so we headed for an even closer trail to Moab, one called Fins & Things. It starts almost alongside that fabled, but now closed ‘Lions Back’ rock and the rocks are a gritty sandstone with even more grip than those on Seven Mile Rim. Again, the rating is “difficult with very steep slickrock climbs and descents and a few big ledges to get hung up on”. That Rubicon #2 had no trouble this time on the downhills, which was a relief as some were as described; ‘very steep’! Amazing terrain and quite different from the previous day with seemingly endless humps and hollows to navigate. Another thing was the solitude, there were no others to be seen or heard on that trail, probably because we were there on a weekday in the tail end of the season and winter was pending. For us though, the weather played it’s part by remaining fine with clear skies and reasonable daytime temperatures of around 61 F. The early mornings were a little crisp at 25 F

Fins & Things was just a morning excursion and for the afternoon we gave our guide a break and headed out to Willow Springs Road which runs off 191 into the back of Arches National Park. It’s a ‘dirt’ road that wanders across the countryside, passing by a section of rock with dinosaur footprints and eventually a ‘T’ junction where a sign indicates the way to Tower Arch. That sign did not say it, but we later found that travel is now recommended to exit at that point. Again, the Willow Springs area was largely deserted, apart from some vehicles parked by mountain bike trails, so we turned left and headed towards Tower Arch. There were warnings of soft sand and rock ledges, but again the Rubicon scarcely noticed them. The weather sculpted rock formations were quite dramatic in the late afternoon sun (well it was 4.15 pm) and then connected onto the main sealed road through Arches National Park. We stayed around to watch the sun set shortly after 5.00pm and its glow created dramatic effects on the rock outcrops. It seems that the best viewing of the main arches in the park is actually around dawn according to the park information.



www.United4wd.org


Our final day of four wheeling had us with two guides again and their suggestion was to visit the “Top of the World’ trail on Waring Mesa. This trail is not on the list of Barlow’s recommended trails and we had a wee chat with them about being allowed to take their Jeep there. Because we had a couple of other experienced four wheelers with us, they didn’t say no, but explained that the problem was that the soils below some tall rock ledges on that route have been dug out and undercut by the ‘side x sides’ as they attempt to climb. There was certainly clear evidence of that problem as we negotiated many ledges, but with the Rubicon’s front and rear lockers engaged the Jeep just hauled itself up and over with the minimum of fuss. This was the only trail that had other users on, a pair of Jeeps that we passed just below the most technical section near the top and three young motorcyclists who were heading down, but suddenly turned around to join us at the top. The guys on the trail bikes were Canadian and wanted us to take their photo parked on the edge of the Top of the World. The other Jeep drivers arrived soon after and were two brothers from Texas, also wanting photos while parked on the edge of the cliff. The view is stunning and more than 360 degrees, as it has that other dimension too… a huge drop of around 3000 ft. That was one place that we decided against

getting a photo of the Barlow Jeep perched out in space, they may not have appreciated that sort of publicity. After descending that Mesa, we made a short side diversion to the bank of the nearby Dolores River which can be forded at certain times of the year, so with the Jeeps a bit dusty it was into the water to check the depth. Not a problem on that occasion, with the water running slowly and about 30” deep. We’d certainly been fortunate to have the company of those friends from Grand Junction to guide us on those technical trails and to have an understanding Jeep rental company. An interesting place Moab, sitting in a valley underneath an overshadowing bluff and alongside the Colorado River. It seems that it’s early existence was due to uranium mining during the 1950’s which generated many of the routes used today for recreation and the proximity of both Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. There is evidence of the effect of motorised recreation and various associated events such as the Easter Jeep Safari, by the number of new hotels, the tour and rental companies that line the main street and the variety of eating establishments. Maybe November is a little late in the year to take full advantage of all the tourism options, as we noted that many places were closed for the winter, even some wellestablished looking museums.




Become a Member, or Donate to help UFWDA efforts United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc.


Building a new trail link ‘Down-under’ Part Three Words Peter Vahry Photos Sarah Ivicevich

Progrees has been a bit slow on this project to create what might be loosely described as a basic 4WD ‘park’ for club use. The first new trail link has been successfully created, although it’s steeper than most trails and for many users the ascent is only achievable by winching. The property we have is very hard to prevent access by motorcycles and they have created major problems on those steeper trails with their tires ripping deep channels in the soils. Sadly we’ve had to resort to a threat of prosecution if riders are found on the land.

Another task on that trip to the property was to set several traps for Stoats, an invasive hunter that decimates our native bird populations. On a previous 4WD trip with the NZ Jeep Club, I’d spotted a pair of Stoats on one of the trails while scouting ahead on foot. At the time of writing, we’d not been back to check those traps. The traps are a spring loaded device with a trigger platform encased in a box with a small access tunnel. The loaded arm snaps down and instantly kills the animal as it emerges from the tunnel and heads towards the bait on the other side of the box. Exploring of the property for possible new routes continues, but with the dense scrub and tree coverage, a lot of it requires walking with GPS.. We’re using contour maps and overlaid aerial photos such as in Google Earth to try to find the most logical places to create new trails as the vegetation on the ground prevents viewing more than a few yards ahead.

Being in the southern hemisphere, it’s summer at present and a rather dry one by our standards, no rain for 42 days! That pushed the fire risk up for working with machinery, so the anticipated digger work for water management had to go on hold. We were able to take advantage of a dry, hard trail to haul three trailers loaded with building materials and a ‘portaloo’ through to the new campsite. The initial structure is a basic shelter with sheetmetal walls and roof, fastend to a steel pipe frame that was precut and pipe-clamped together.


As we work to develop these lands we have recently been reminded of the environmental responsibilties and the risk of being targeted for things like silt in waterways etc. Another New Zealand 4WD club was convicted and fined more than US $ 20,000 late in 2019 for muddy water downstream from a competion event where the local authorities were able to gather images off social media of vehicles driving across and along a watercourse during the competition. It was clearly evident that this prosection was intended to send a message to four wheelers that our activities are being monitored and we are going to need to take all steps to manage water and soil disturbance That makes us obviously frustrated by the damage created by illicit motorcycle activity which speeds up the erosion by creating channels. The land involved is relatively isolated with no nearby residents to monitor illicit activity and with it being around an hour and a half driving time from the city, our club members are limited in time spent there just to keep idiots out. It’s mostly out of cell phone service too so the use of remote cameras is restriced to just recording to a card that needs to be downloaded. Hopefully as we get better facilities for camping establised it will encourage club members to spend more time on site.


Have you been to a four-wheel drive event?

Photo; Shawn Ehrenberg‎ Words; Steve Egbert


Have you been to a four-wheel drive event? There are many to choose from all around the country. Events are organized by regional associations, clubs and professional companies. Often events are fund raising events. In California we have many to choose from all year long. I have been involved in organizing and running events for 15 years. I have found that no matter what type of event you may be attending; your first time may be difficult. As a new event attendee, it may be difficult to understand how an event is organized and what is available as far as difficulty of runs. If you are also new to four wheeling, you may be unsure of your, or your rigs, capabilities. An event is a great way to get help on a guided trail ride. Most organized events help the attendees learn skills to make them successful. As a first timer at an event, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Also don’t overestimate your own, or your rigs capabilities. You don’t want to be the guy that holds everyone up in the group. It is better to go on a less challenging run your first time, until you are more familiar with the trails in the area. As I said earlier, each event is different and offers different trails and amenities. My local club puts on a run in the Sierra National Forest called Moonlight Madness. It is a night run on Bald Mountain and is usually around 100 rigs. There are a variety of obstacles along the route. We gate a variety of rigs with different capabilities. As a participant you must realize that everyone may not have a rig as capable as yours and the participants may get held up from time to time. Most participants are willing to help each other and there may be delays. Some people get frustrated, but helping others often makes for a better experience for everyone.

at Hollister Hills SVRA in the hills of San Benito County, conveniently located close to the city of Hollister, where hotels are available. There is camping on site, but it can get tight, so courtesy to fellow campers is appreciated. The run provides a Saturday dinner for the participants, before a raffle. Similarly, the High Sierra Poker Run has the feel of a club event with a variety of runs over Labor Day Weekend in the Sierra National Forest. The runs range from easy to more difficult. The North District offers two events also completely run by volunteers. The North events all provide meals with Breakfast and Dinner included. Sierra Trek is in August and base camp is at Meadow Lake which is quite a way off the main highway, but is a historic and scenic location in the Tahoe National Forest. The main trail is Fordyce Creek Trail, which is not easy, and requires a capable rig. The event also offers several other runs that are not as difficult. The recent Winter Fun Festival base camp is at the Grass Valley Fairgrounds, with many nearby hotels and an RV Park on site. The volunteers lead runs in the surrounding area. There are runs of various difficulty depending on the snow levels. There are historical and SUV runs that may not encounter much snow at all. So, all over the country you have the opportunity to learn new skills, gain experience, help others and have a great time by attending an event. Events from trail rides to meet-ups and other opportunities are a great way to make new friends and have great experiences, just remember that on your first try you will need to ask questions and be patient. Get out there and have a great time.

Cal4wheel hosts seven events, all run by volunteers. Each of the events are different and have their own personalities and offer different experiences and amenities. In the South District the events are in the Spring and Fall in the desert. The desert trails have tons of historical things to see and wheeling from mild to wild. Hi Desert Roundup on Memorial Day Weekend is conveniently located at the Slash X Ranch just south of Barstow and the camping area is easily accessible. There is a restaurant and bar on site. Operation Desert Fun in October is at Ocotillo Wells SVRA and base camp is at the Blu Inn RV Park. Panamint Valley Days is on BLM land and is further from any town. Base camp is near Ballarat and the scenery and history in the area are spectacular. The Central District events are smaller and feel more like a club run. Again put on by volunteers who are also participants. Molina Ghost Run is

Video; Cindi Byrd


Photo; Cindi Byrd

Photo; Joie Cherry


Photo; Linda Roe

Photo; Cher Howard

Photo; Cindi Byrd

Photo Carol Lemon


S.F.W.D.A. Joins efforts with West Virginia Jeep Clubs, Blue Ribbon Coalition, and Senators & Delegates of West Virginia for 2020 Off-Road Invasion February 20, 2020 S.F.W.D.A. joins West Virginia Jeep Club , Blue Ribbon Coalition, Senators & Delegates of West Virginia, and other off-road clubs on Feb 2nd to promote off-road trails recognition throughout West Virginia at the State Capitol for the Off-Road Invasion 2020 event.

S.F.W.D.A. showed up in the morning at the State Capitol and behold there were 162 rigs that showed up and it was raining. At the start of the event, we had the privilege of listening to Mark Maynard (Senator of the 6th District for W.V.) speak. Mark Maynard informed the off-road users that W.V. has over 1.3 million acres of land and no recognized miles of trails in the state. Mark Maynard stated that he is currently working with Blue Ribbon Coalition, S.F.W.D.A., and multiple organization/state department to change this. Mark also informed the users of some legislation ( SB690), that he currently trying to pass throughout the W.V. Senate to reduce the restrictions that are in place on modified vehicles to allow them to use state roads to travel throughout the state, without having to worry about being pulled over due to noncompliance with current state laws. After the speech, we went out to the countryside and rode around the area to show other Senators and Delegates that we can offroad in responsible way and to discuss some of the economic impact that can happen with open OHV trails throughout the state. We hope to continue our efforts with Mark Maynard and other W.V. authorities to change the zero miles of trails and to establish a OHV trail system throughout the West Virginia.

Photo Left to Right; Aaron Roddy, SFWDA Vice President, Ben Burr- Policy Director of Blue Ribbon Coalition, Mark Maynard


Clubs and Associations 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/ Baltimore Four Wheelers http://www.baltimore4wheelers.org/ Between the Hills Trailheaders 4×4 Club http://www.trailheaders.net California Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.cal4wheel.com/ 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/ 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/

www.core4x4.org •

PA Jeeps www.pajeeps.org

Eagle Valley Off Roaders eaglevalleyoffroaders.com

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Mid-Atlantic Jeep Club midatlanticjeepfestival.com

www.

Midwest 4 Wheel Drive Association http://www.mw4wda.org/ MN Trailriders http://www.mntrailriders.org/ Montana 4×4 Association, Inc. http://www.m4x4a.org/ 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/ Scrambler Owners Association http://www.cj-8.org/ Seven Hills Jeep Club http://sevenhillsjeepclub.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/

http://www.iof.or.id Mesa 4 Wheelers http://www.mesa4wheelers.com/ Middle Atlantic Four Wheel Drive Association http://www.mafwda.org/ •

Capital Off Road Enthusiasts


www.hardrockcrawlers.org

Extreme Ridge Runners http://www.myspace.com/extreme_ridge_ runners

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 varokcrwlr@juno.com

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

Blue Ridge Rock Mafia richard.wiggs@nolenfrisa.co • Capital City Fourwheelers www.capitalcityfourwheelerssva.com •

Hard Rock Crawlers

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/


Business Contacts 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