NOHVCC Newsletter - June 2018 edition

 

In this Issue:



Strong Partnerships and Grant Funds Bring NOHVCC to the Battle Born State

Meet Geoff Chain – NOHVCC’s New Project Coordinator!


Hatfield-McCoy Trails: A Trail System For Economic Development

Pennsylvania OHV Club Builds A Bridge With “Wow” Start-To-Finish

 

 

 

 

 

 


Strong Partnerships and Grant Funds Bring NOHVCC to the Battle Born State
By Marc Hildesheim, NOHVCC Project Manager


There are a lot of great things happening in OHV recreation in Nevada, and fortunately NOHVCC gets to tag along for the ride. The dedicated Commissioners and staff of the Nevada Commission on Off-Highway Vehicles spent much of 2017 recruiting worthy grant applicants to best utilize the funds that the Commission manages for the public. These funds are collected from OHV registration fees and put back on the ground through OHV grant projects that benefit local enthusiasts. They were very successful as they saw applications for $2,724,082 with only $1,200,000 in allocated funds! While it sometimes would be nice to fund every application, we all know that a competitive grant program often cannot fund every project. Through strong partnerships with the OHV community and land managers in Nevada NOHVCC was able to participate in two outstanding projects this May.

The first project is the Prison Hill Recreation Area OHV Management Plan in Carson City, Nevada. Members of the Carson City Parks, Recreation, & Open Space Division contacted NOHVCC in fall, 2017 to partner on this project and we jumped at the chance. The 940+ acres of the Prison Hill Recreation Area have been managed by Carson City since 2015 when the US Bureau of Land Management transferred ownership to the city. A very popular area for enthusiasts of all types, Prison Hill was ready for additional management and enhancements. NOHVCC, RecConnect LLC., and Lat & Long Resource Group conducted a site assessment in April and are currently working on a report of findings. With that report, and public input from three public meetings held in Carson City in May, we will create an OHV management plan for the area. This plan will be the blueprint for future actions on the portion of Prison Hill Recreation Area that is open to motorized recreation. NOHVCC and Carson City will be assisted in this process by a working group made up of local Prison Hill enthusiasts. NOHVCC expects to complete the management plan late this summer and present it to the Carson City Open Space Advisory Board this fall. From there, we will work with our partners to secure grant funding for the next phase of this project.

The second great project that NOHVCC was privileged to participate in was the Shoshone Trails Assessment and Maintenance Project in Battle Mountain, Nevada. NOHVCC, RecConnect LLC, the US Bureau of Land Management, Lander County, NV, and the Northern Nevada ATV Association worked together to secure funding for this project. Not only did we receive funding to assess how to add new ROV trails to the existing system, we also received funding from the Nevada Recreation Trails Program managed by Nevada State Parks to conduct much-needed maintenance on the trails. NOHVCC spent time in May with Dick Dufourd of RecConnect LLC assessing current and potential ROV routes and overseeing the maintenance of 30 miles of ATV trail being conducted by Sierra Trail Works of Reno, Nevada.  Work included drainage repair and installation, trail tread enhancements, and slight corridor realignments. This project also has great potential for future phases, which means better trails and facilities could be added to an already outstanding trail system.

NOHVCC is excited to play a part in these great projects and cannot wait to see what other great OHV projects Nevada has in store for the future.

 

 

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Meet Geoff Chain – NOHVCC’s New Project Coordinator!
By Geoff Chain, NOHVCC Project Coordinator


Hi there, I’m Geoff Chain, an OHV and outdoors enthusiast and the newest member of the NOHVCC team! They asked me to write a little blurb about myself so here’s what I came up with.

 

I was born and raised outside of Phoenix, Arizona when there used to still be farm fields and citrus groves. When I was around nine years old, my dad bought a basket case 1974 Yamaha TY-80 trials bike, which we rebuilt and thus begun a life-long passion for all things with a motor and wheels. I competed on the little TY before moving to England in 1999 where I graduated to a modern trials bike and began riding trials regularly on a farm we lived on. There’s a reason all the top trials riders are from the UK and Europe; there’s no traction to be found! Upon my return to Arizona, I once again began competing regularly in the Central Arizona Trials club eventually reaching the Expert level after a couple years.

 

After obtaining my general education credits at Yavapai College in Prescott AZ, I moved to Flagstaff AZ where I attended Northern Arizona University (NAU) and received a Bachelors degree in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) in 2012. During my time at NAU I also worked as an intern for the US Geological Survey (USGS) as GIS and Remote Sensing Technician performing research on the Colorado River. I stayed on in this capacity after graduating working full time for both for NAU and USGS.

 

When I moved to Flagstaff I also joined the local motorcycle singletrack club, the Coconino Trail Riders (CTR) and bought my first enduro bike, a 2006 KTM 400EXC. CTR had built a great relationship with the Coconino National Forest by working on new motorized trail proposals and building and maintaining existing motorized and non-motorized trails. This started another passion of mine; building trail and working with clubs, land managers, and the public to help promote positive OHV recreation. There’s something about riding a piece of trail that you helped build that makes the riding experience truly special. And the free pizza given out at the end of a volunteer work day sure doesn’t hurt either! I became more involved as the years went on by becoming a certified sawyer clearing trees from trails, attending NOHVCC Great Trails workshops, helping other clubs around the state with OHV projects, doing consulting work, and immersing myself in OHV Recreation.

 

I also discovered how much fun mountain bikes are several years ago and how good they are for my overall health. Much of my free time is spent pedaling or riding my dirt bike around our amazing landscape here in Flagstaff and all over the Southwest. OHV recreation and spending time outdoors in nature has not only lead me to some amazing landscapes but is also the basis for some of the best and longest lasting friendships I’ve had. I still know many of the same people from the trials club here in Arizona from when I started over 20 years ago. It’s not just a club, but family.

 

When I heard that NOHVCC was looking for a Project Coordinator, I jumped at the chance. Being able to do what you love and get paid for it is a dream come true. I’ve only been on the job for a week but the team here at NOHVCC has already made me feel at home. NOHVCC’s mission of creating a positive future for OHV Recreation aligns perfectly with my values and I look forward to working with the diverse range of users, clubs, and land managers to create new opportunities and strengthen existing ones.
 

 

Fun fact: I ran across that 1974 Yamaha TY-80 sitting in a one of the long-time trials club member’s side-yard several years ago as a basket-case project. It’s now back in my possession waiting to be reborn again!

 

 

 

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Hatfield-McCoy Trails: A Trail System For Economic Development
By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

 

 

The Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia is one of the preeminent success stories in off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation. 

No other OHV trail system surpasses it in terms of 1) the scope of its partnership between government and private landowners, 2) the length, quality and variety of riding opportunities it created for the public, 3) its adherence to safety and 4) the economic impact and diversification that has resulted since its first trail opened in 2001.

Details on all these points were presented at the annual conference of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), held in New Hampshire in August 2017. The powerpoint presentation, titled “Hatfield-McCoy Trails: A Trail System For Economic Development,” is a great resource for anyone working to build an OHV trail system, and is available as a downloadable file from NOHVCC. 

The Hatfield~McCoy Trail System is a statutory corporation created in 1996 by the West Virginia Legislature to generate economic development through tourism in nine southern West Virginia counties. To understand the scope and scale of Hatfield-McCoy Trails success, consider these facts:

Partnerships Developed:

-92 license agreements with landowners

-Involves over 250,00 acres, 100% privately owned

-Public corporation assumes liability

-Private owners retain ability to develop natural resources

 

Riding Opportunities:

-700 miles of trails open to ATVs, ROVs (Side-by-Sides), ORVs and dirt bikes

-Currently covers 7 trail systems in 5 counties

-40,000 trail permits sold annually

-85% of permits sold to riders from other states, totaling about $1.5 million in revenue

 

Dedication To Safety:

-Helmets, protective eyewear and over-ankle footwear required

-Doubling up prohibited unless vehicle is built for two by manufacturer

-Group riding and communication devices recommended

 

Economic Impact and Diversification:

-Over $20 million in economic impact in 2014, reflecting a 74% increase from 2006

-Over 100 businesses positively impacted

-67 new lodging businesses

-Many towns have direct trail access

-60% of visitors spend $250 or more per trip

-95% of riders surveyed said they are “very likely” or “definitely” returning

 

More trails are coming to Hatfield-McCoy. The current goal is to have over 1,000 miles of world-class, interconnected trails throughout southern West Virginia. Or, as described in the presentation: “The Disney World of ATV riding in the United States.”

The NOHVCC presentation includes a detailed history going back to 1991, changes to the WV state code in 2015 that recognized the economic impact of the trail system, outsourcing law enforcement and marketing, information on the vehicle types currently riding the trail systems, and much more.

To put the presentation in your OHV toolbox, download “Hatfield-McCoy Trails: A Trail System For Economic Development.” Go to www.nohvcc.org and tap on “Education,” scroll down to “Annual Conference” and choose “2017 Presentations” to see this report and others from the annual conference.

To learn more about the trails, permits and more information about the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System, go to www.trailsheaven.com.

 

 

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Pennsylvania OHV Club Builds A Bridge With “Wow” Start-To-Finish
By Dave Halsey, NOHVCC Contributing Writer

 

“A destination members can be proud to see and enjoy.”

 

That’s how an ATV club in Pennsylvania describes a project it completed last year. But it’s not a clubhouse, or a picnic area at a scenic overlook. It’s a bridge.  A bridge built with ingenuity in its design, resourcefulness in its funding, and a great sense of pride by club members.

 

Al Sain, president of the Indian Creek Valley ATV Club, made a presentation about the club’s wow-filled project at the 2017 annual meeting of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), held last August in New Hampshire. The 750-member club was started in 2000. It maintains 42 miles of private trails open to members with ATVs, UTVs and dirt bikes in Fayette County.

 

The club needed to build a bridge over a fishing stream. It knew of an existing railroad beam structure crossing the stream on land adjacent to its trail system. So, the club bought the 5-acre parcel, and went to work. They had four goals for the bridge design:

 

Respect the area’s history

The club used a design similar to an existing railroad bridge in the area’s Ohiopyle State Park, which features spectacular scenery that attracts millions of visitors annually.

 

Build it wide and strong

This would allow all types of OHVs to use it, as well as trail equipment and emergency vehicles. Full-size, 2-by-8 inch decking provided strength. An arched railing with chain-link fencing provided safety and a great view.

 

Be safe for volunteers to build

The club used a section-design concept for the 56-foot bridge. Sections were built off-site and slid onto the existing beams resting on the original concrete buttresses.

 

Give all users a “wow experience”

Today, thanks to a lot of pre-planning and hard work by a crew of volunteers, the bridge is a true destination. It’s enjoyed by hundreds of trail riders, who take pride and joy in its design and their ability to safely cross a productive fishing stream.

 

They also take pride in the club’s resourcefulness in funding the project. The original estimate was $42,000 to have an engineering firm complete a comprehensive permit application and pay permit fees. Instead, the club completed the complex, 46-page application itself, saving $40,000. It also negotiated a price reduction on materials down to $6,000, then obtained a grant from Yamaha through its Outdoor Access Initiative program for that amount and used volunteer club labor. Total out-of-pocket club expenses: $2,000.

 

Bridge is part of club’s private trail system

Indian Creek Valley ATV Club is a private organization, with members having access to trails on 900 scenic, wooded acres. Those who volunteer on trail work get a 50% discount on their membership. “We have a private trail system,” said Sain. “We lease land from private landowners, and we buy an insurance policy that protects them. We have 10 different land owners that we lease from, and they all would tell you they love having us on their property.

 

“It’s almost all forest lands. Once you leave the trailhead you’re under a canopy of trees. It’s very pleasant riding. Club members can ride anytime. We don’t allow night riding, because we’re among a lot of houses. And we shut down for hunting seasons. Our landowners want to hunt their property.

“We do all the work ourselves: design, layout, mapping, building and maintaining the trails, everything is done by members as volunteers.”

 

The final slide of the powerpoint presentation summarizes the club’s experience building the bridge, with “Primary Points” for other OHV clubs to consider:

-Don’t let anyone tell you “it can’t be done.”

-Don’t let the government get in your way.

-There is money available...find it.

-Ask for help, you might get it.

-Think, think, think!

 

To download the club’s 43-slide presentation titled “Champion Creek Bridge Project” go to nohvcc.org, tap on “Education”, scroll down to “Annual Conference” and choose “2017 Presentations” to see it listed among many other informative presentations made at the conference.

 

For more information on Indian Creek Valley ATV Club, with additional photos and videos of the bridge project, go to www.icvatvclub.com/ .

 

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Upcoming Events:


      
June 22-24, 2018- Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Great Trails Workshop- Canon City
         - Canon City Website

July 13-15,  2018-Colorado Off Highway Vehicle Great Trails Workshop- Breckenridge
          - Breckenridge Website

August 14-18, 2018- NOHVCC and INOHVAA Annual Meeting
           - Grand Rapids, Michigan
           - Registration is open now!! Click here for more information.