NOHVCC Newsletter - December 2009 edition

Read the other NOHVCC newsletter issues

In this Issue:



Partnership Created for Helmet Safety Campaign Project

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator


Photos and images provided by Wyoming State Parks

Wear Your Helmet-Chris and BrianHow many times have you heard or said, "I know how to ride my machine, so I don't need to wear my helmet" or "I am just going to take it for a quick spin, not doing anything dangerous" or "Relax, honey, the kids will be fine without a helmet."? We down play our need for safety gear, making up excuses or otherwise rationalizing why we don't don full safety gear. Unfortunately, it only takes being wrong 1 time to make a tragedy.



To remind us of why safety gear, especially the helmet, is so important,Chris McNeil and Dr Brian Wieder Wyoming State Trails logocollaborated with the Wyoming Governor's Office to establish a Helmet Safety Campaign. Chris is the Trails Safety and Education Coordinator for Wyoming State Trails Program. Brian is a Board Certified Neurosurgeon from the Wyoming Neuroscience logoWyoming Neuroscience and Spine Institute. Their project started with a poster which compares the ease of putting on a helmet vs. the amount of time a person can spend in therapy if they don't use the helmet. The project has expanded from there to include all those involved in sports requiring safety gear, especially certified helmets.Poster


Phase 1 of the project was the creation of a series of posters that represent all outdoor sports which require a helmet. Some of the people who appear on the posters are also featured in TV commercials Angel Poster, Steve PosterRylee Poster, Kristin Poster. There is also a booklet and a brochure with the safety information that was put out last year.


Phase 2 of the project involved creating TV commercials. There are currently 7 commercials. Two of the commercials feature Dr. Wieder as if he was talking to you about an accident of your child Ride Safe 1 and Ride Safe 2. Another 2 commercials show a scenario of what could happen if you don't wear your helmet Ride Safe 3 and Ride Safe Snow. And the remaining three commercials feature testimonials from people who did not wear their helmet and were in an accident Ride Safe-Angel, Ride Safe-Jesus, and Ride Safe-Steve. All of the commercials are well done and can be viewed by all age groups.


Phase 3 of the project will include billboards around the state with the safety messages and the importance of safety helmets. According to Chris, the project has been a big hit. He said, "From what I hear, people are starting to wear their helmet. Posters are hanging up in most all the schools. One of the things I like about this project is that the posters give kids a chance to get involved, especially the kids that have learned the hard way and want to tell others."


The posters can be changed at any time. Chris has made the design CD available to people who wish to make their own posters with kids and adults in their area. You can also get high res versions of the commercials if you wish to use them. All of the information may be viewed at Or you can contact Chris McNeil at 307-349-8747 or


Be sure to contact Chris for information regarding everything he is doing to increase the safety of the people. Just like helmets, the posters won't work if they are left on the shelf.



Back to the top



After 7 Years, Moss Lake Trails Open

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator

Photos by Tom Buchkoe


After 7 years of persistence, things have paid off for a club in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (UP). The UP Sandstormers ORV club announced the Grand Opening of the UP's newest motorcycle trail this summer. The trail is 27 miles and is intended for single-track motorcycle use. The trail is located in the Hiawatha National Forest and is located approximately 3 miles north of Nahma Junction. It was developed in partnership with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Hiawatha National Forest.


Sandstormers OHV ClubThe UP Sandstormers ORV club is an organized group of off-road motorcycle riders that seeks to promote the sport of trail riding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They were formed in 1985 to be responsible for maintenance of several State of Michigan ORV trails in the central UP. Education and networking are also key elements of the mission of this club, include sponsoring riding events.


The club will be responsible for trail maintenance, in addition to the work they have already contributed to the trail system on planning Single Motorcycle Rider at Moss Lake Trail Systemand obtaining the funds necessary to build the trail. Jeff Magowan , presently Secretary of the club, stated, "We are excited about the opening of this trail. It is the culmination of many years of cooperative effort."


Jeff continues, "I'd like other people to know that this is something anyone can accomplish. The Sandstormers are a small group of off-road enthusiasts who just worked hard to achieve a particular goal."


The US Forest Service process involved a full Environment Impact Statement (EIS) which includes public comment periods and an appeal of the Decision. The patience and calm determination carried the club members through to a successful conclusion. Coordinating with both state and federal agencies helped the club continue forward despite the obstacles.


Jeff and the members of the Sandstormers invite you to check out the trail for yourself. To get information regarding the trails, go to the Michigan Department of Natural Resource's website.



Back to the top



FMF Tackles the Noise Issue

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator


exhaust pipesIf you listen to the people who are more than just marginally involved in keep riding areas open or creating new ones, you will understand that sound is one of the biggest walls that need to be conquered. In this discussion, it is important to separate the terms sound and noise. Sound is a physical phenomenon. Noise is the psychological or emotional reaction to the sound. This is important in our usage of the terms when we talk to our legislators and land managers because one person's music is another person's noise.


But we have to face the fact that the sound emitted by motorcycles can be noise to many of the people around us, both in our communities and in the natural areas where we recreate. And this sound/noise battle is often the grounds for which OHV trails, areas, parks, and private property riding areas are closed. It was the main reason behind the Riverside County California ordinance against private property riding areas as well as the closure of many trails on our public lands.


In order to win the battles, we must decrease the amount (decibels) of sound that our motorcycles make, both on and off road.


FMF has stepped up to the plate to help us accomplish this.One of the ways FMF logothey have enabled us to decrease the decibels or 'dB' of sound is by providing the riders with us the Q-series pipes. These exhaust systems decrease the dB of sound emitted without decreasing the overall performance of the bikes. You might say that this is very good, but creating a product to meet the demand isn't terrible notable. So you need to understand that the company started creating these pipes anticipating the future need to decrease sound for the future of the sport. In addition, FMF has teamed up with several partners to create and staff a website specifically designed to address many of the sound issues.


Sound Off is a website designed to keep the general public aware of what is happening regarding the sound issue. FMF has partnered with many groups which lead the charge in protecting our privilege to ride as well as the ones who help us keep our riding areas open; such as the BlueRibbon Coalition, ORBA, the AMA, and NOHVCC; to keep the latest information from all sources easily accessible to you.


The site includes News, ListenUp!, How to Ride Quiet, Science of Noise sections. The Listen Up section has interviews with notable people regarding the sound issues. The Science of Noise has Chris Real explaining sound, how to understand sound levels, sound basics, sound measuring equipment, and other topics. There is also a forum where you can ask questions and get useful information regarding the sound issues.


Heading up the front on content and the forum will be Michael "The Rock" Rigdon. Michael has dedicated a large portion of his daily life to raise awareness in regards to Sound Issues and Sound testing. Donny Emler Jr of FMF states, "It's great to have someone like Michael heading up the daily efforts of FMF and Michael share the same passion for riding and understanding that we all must come together to ensure that we can keep doing something that we love. Excessive sound levels threaten our riding areas we're all responsible for learning what we can do to make our bikes quieter, and respecting everyone who shares our natural resources."


It is important for all of us to understand the sound issues in order to best conquer them. FMF's has taken steps to make this easier for us to accomplish.



Back to the top



At Last! NOHVCC's Public Land Advocacy Video Series DVDs

by Karen Umphress, NOHVCC Project Coordinator


Cartoon Scooter ComputerIn the fall of 2008, NOHVCC looked ahead to what the year 2009 might bring. Ahead of us were looming budget constraints due to the economy and we understood that these constraints would not be restricted to any one sector, they were going to affect us all.


So we decided that we needed to find a new method of reaching people: agency personnel, enthusiasts, and other interested groups, with our messages. And we turned to technology. We worked to create a video series and a webinar series with the help of funding from the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), and the Recreation Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA).


As we have already sent out information regarding the on-going webinars, we won't spend much time in this article talking about their content. We do, however, want to inform you that during 2009 we have held 20 webinar sessions and have had 275 people attended the sessions. We are happy with the results so far and plan on scheduling additional session this winter.


We have also been working to put much of the same content into a series of videos. There are 14 total videos ranging from 15 to 30 minutes each. Their content covers everything from who the enthusiasts are, to planning a trail system, to writing effective comments, to moving forward from route designation, and much more.


Dick Lepley, NOHVCC State Partner for Pennsylvania and the Voice of NOHVCC recorded the narrative for each of the videos at for us. In regards to the content of the videos, Dick said, "I learned a lot while I was reviewing and recording the narrative. I think this will be one of the most valuable tools that NOHVCC has created so far." We greatly appreciate Dick's generous contributions of time and talent to this project.


Because of funding from the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative, we are able to offer you this video series at no cost to you. The DVDs will be available for shipment to you beginning January 4th. You can order your copy today by calling us at 800-348-6487 or by e-mailing us at


If you are in Canada, the Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV) is funding the distribution of the DVDs throughout Canada. You can order your DVD by contacting Oksana Buhel at 877-470-2288 or by e-mail at


These DVDs can make a great educational tool for your club or association, a leave behind for a meeting with a land manager or legislator, a great introduction to our sport, and many more uses. Make sure you get, and watch, a copy.



Back to the top



USFS Forest Service Launches Collaborative Process for New Planning Rule


Pressrelease: WASHINGTON, Dec. 17, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that the USDA Forest Service is beginning an open, collaborative process to create and implement a modern planning rule to address current and future needs of the National Forest System, including restoring forests, protecting watersheds, addressing climate change, sustaining local economies, improving collaboration, and working across landscapes. The Forest Service will publish a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register tomorrow, December 18, to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to develop a new planning rule that will provide a framework for management of national forests and grasslands.


"Our National Forests and Grasslands are great natural treasures that we must conserve and restore for the benefit of future generations," said Secretary Vilsack. "Developing a new planning rule provides the opportunity to manage national forests and grasslands for the benefit of water resources, the climate and local communities."


The Forest Service is seeking public involvement in developing a new direction for local land managers. A 60-day comment period on the NOI will begin upon publication in the Federal Register on Friday, December 18, 2009. Comments will be used to shape the focus of the collaborative dialogue and creation of a proposed rule.


To begin the conversation, the Forest Service has included in the NOI a set of potential principles that could guide development of a new planning rule. The potential principles include an emphasis on restoration, conservation, and the improved resilience of ecosystems; watershed health; climate change response; species diversity and wildlife habitat; sustainable National Forest System lands; proactive collaboration; and working across landscapes.


The Forest Service will use state-of-the-art new media tools in conjunction with face-to-face interaction to facilitate wide public participation throughout the nation. Please visit to participate in our web-based planning rule blog, and to learn more.


The 2000 planning rule, which allows the Forest Service to use provisions of the 1982 planning rule, is currently the rule that is legally in effect. As an interim measure, the Department will republish in the Federal Register the 2000 planning rule as amended in order to make it available to the public in the Code of Federal Regulations. This action will facilitate its use by forests and grasslands in the National Forest System to revise and amend plans while a new rule is being developed.


The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages the 193 million acres of National Forest System land, provides stewardship assistance to non-federal forest landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.


For more information please visit the Forest Service planning rule website:



Back to the top