During the week of September 10 – 15 NOHVCC staff members Geoff Chain and Marc Hildesheim, along with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) OHV Subject Matter Expert, Brad Colin, visited five cities in Oregon and Washington. At each city a listening session was held with local OHV enthusiasts to determine what the BLM can do to provide a better OHV recreation experience. These meetings were part of the larger BLM National Motorized Recreation Strategy which came out in 2014. NOHVCC and the BLM have partnered to apply that strategy at a state level by engaging in a grassroots process that allows local users to help determine what the BLM’s trail program will look like. NOHVCC collects feedback from local users at the listening sessions and then provides a comprehensive report on that feedback to the BLM. From there Brad Colin works with local recreation planners to create a statewide action plan based on the enthusiasts’ comments. This action plan then serves as a blueprint for recreation planners and field office managers as they move forward with local travel management and resource management plans. This means that BLM staff is able to align the needs of the riding community with its planning processes.
In Oregon 57 riders participated in meetings held in Salem, OR; Coos Bay, OR; Roseburg, OR; Redmond, OR; and Kennewick, WA. Riders were asked where they like to ride, why they like to ride there, where might they like to see additional riding opportunities, and what the BLM can do to enhance their OHV recreation experience. Answers ranged from additional restroom facilities to long distance destination OHV routes. The feedback generated by the local enthusiasts was extremely well thought out and valuable to this process.
NOHVCC has previously conducted this meeting and reporting process in Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, and Nevada with Colorado being the next stop on the list. If you wish to find out more about this process and review the NOHVCC reports and BLM action plans, please visit http://nohvcc.org/nohvcc-initiatives/blm/. NOHVCC wishes to thank all those who have made this project an ongoing success.