2021 NOHVCC Year In Review

2021 was a great year for NOHVCC.  While we still had lingering issues getting together resulting from the ongoing pandemic, we think you will find from the year in review below that we were able to continue to move forward with our mission of creating a positive future for OHV recreation.  Thanks to all the State Partners, managers and others who helped us, did great things on their own and to everyone in the NOHVCC familly.

Communications And Website

Engaging Riders, Drivers and Clubs

NOHVCC’s website continues to be the primary avenue for OHV enthusiasts and managers to interact with our tools, communications, and educational materials. The website received 110,000 page views in 2021. People who visited the site accessed articles, information on grant opportunities, safety training, mapping applications, requested information on how to start OHV clubs and how to bring NOHVCC OHV training to their areas and more. Also in 2021, the Great Trails Guide was moved from a separate website to its permanent home on nohvcc.org. Visitors to the site can now download the guide directly from NOHVCC’s main website in addition to ordering hard copies. The new page can be found here.

NOHVCC continued its aggressive communications strategy in 2021. We continue to reach thousands of enthusiasts, land managers and club members with twice-weekly articles, surveys, job announcements and other information. Those active in OHV clubs can replicate examples of best practices and be encouraged by the success of other clubs in other areas of the Country, and NOHVCC highlighted many OHV success stories this year.

In some of our best practices articles we learned that non-traditional allies can work together and share in success in Beer, Bears, and Groups that don’t Usually Play Well Together for $400 Alex – How Collaboration Achieved Results in Idaho.  We documented two Case Studies in Perseverance with Trail Riders Of Southern Arizona Put Trails On The Ground and “Repurposed” Riding In Wisconsin – both examples of how long-term dedication achieved results.  NOHVCC had our own lessons learned to share from our Prison Hill project with Prison Hill Recreation Area Volunteer Work Day A Success and Lessons LearnedProgress At Prison Hill – But We Need To Keep Funders And Partners Informed.  We visited Iowa and met a dedicated law enforcement official and told the tale in Effective Enforcement – A Conversation With C.J. Hughes, Park Ranger With Iowa DNR.  And, finally, we heard from a 15-year-old about a successful event in Guest Article – Olivia Ann McGreevy Hildesheim Reports On 2021 Dusty Cleavage Girls Ride.

NOHVCC also uses our communications to engage and assist our State Partners and other enthusiasts. This year we partnered with MIC, SVIA and ROHVA with Approached By The Media About An OHV Issue? Help Is Available! Worked with BLM to create a list of top OHV areas on BLM lands which resulted in Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Debuts Top BLM Motorized Recreational Opportunities Website. Participated in our first podcast – Watch – NOHVCC Staff On Toledo Trail Riders Podcast and debuted our new PSA in New NOHVCC Safe And Responsible Use PSA Video.

We also posted dozens of job announcements, opportunities to engage with land management agencies, notices of meetings and webinars and other sundry pertinent information for the broader OHV community.

Webinars

NOHVCC continued its successful webinar series that began in 2019. The webinars are designed to deliver quality and helpful information on OHV safety, education, management, and other issues related to motorized recreation. These webinars were particularly important since the onset of the pandemic as they provided a method to speak directly with NOHVCC’s audiences.

The 2021 series included:

  • Opening An OHV Park A Short Drive From Urban Areas – A Case Study Of The Holly Oaks ORV Park In Michigan
  • Dealing With The Media – Tips And Best Practices
  • Join American Trails (And Two NOHVCC Directors) – “From Industrial Site to Trail Destination” Utah OHV Trail Hosts – A Study of Effective Volunteerism
  • Join American Trails (And NOHVCC Executive Director, Duane Taylor) – “Return on Investment of Trails and Parks – Economics and Beyond”
  • The Value of Trail Assessments

Recorded versions of webinars are available here.

2021 Virtual Annual Conference 

The NOHVCC Board of Directors and staff unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to postpone our in-person 2021 Annual Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee until 2022. While it may have been possible to gather together this year there were simply too many hurdles to overcome for staff to put together a conference we could be proud of, and that attendees would benefit from and enjoy.

The good news is that NOHVCC staff prepared a virtual suite of presentations and opportunities to interact guided by participant survey responses. While nothing beats getting together, sharing best practices, ideas and recharging for the upcoming year, we hope we provided an opportunity to facilitate discussion and get everyone ready for 2022 and the likely return to normal for our Conference.

Over 80 people participated in the following sessions:

Welcome, Update, and Looking Ahead – Duane Taylor, Executive Director, NOHVCC

Increased Use of OHVs Since the Onset of the Pandemic (Panel Discussion) – Scott Schloegel, Senior Vice President, Government Relations, Motorcycle Industry Council; Danny Hilde, Northwest Outdoor Rental Company – Scott Jones, COHVCO, NOHVCC Board of Directors

Recreational Trails Program Update – Marianne Fowler, Senior Policy Strategist, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Co-Chair, Coalition for Recreational Trails

Great Trails Field Guide – Marc Hildesheim, Program Director, NOHVCC; Geoff Chain, Project Manager, NOHVCC

Hear From NJ Congressional Candidate Hector Taverez

How to Best Engage Today’s Land Managers (Panel Discussion) – Tony Hillig, Motorized Recreation Coordinator, North Dakota Department of Parks and Recreation; Nikhil Narkhede, Nevada OHV Program Manager, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Off-Highway Vehicles Program – Chailenn Young, Outdoor Recreation Planner, Bureau of Land Management

Finally, participants were provided an opportunity to break into smaller groups for open conversation on several topics.

Videos of the presentations can be found here – Videos Of Virtual Conference Available – Thanks To Those Who Participated Live!

Education

Great Trails Guide

The Great Trails guidebook, authored by Dick Dufourd and published by NOHVCC has been internationally recognized as the must-have guidebook for OHV trails. Demand continued in 2021 with requests for electronic and hard copies.

Great Trails Field Guide

Began development of a Field Guide to support the full Great Trails guidebook. The original book is over 350 pages long and goes into detail on issues that will be addressed both in an office setting (such as developing trail management objectives) and on-the-ground issues (such as installing a rolling dip). The original guide meets its intended purpose of being a resource that provides a comprehensive examination of “what makes a great trail great,” but is cumbersome to utilize in the field. As a result, NOHVCC will publish a much shorter field guide that addresses the key topics and diagrams most likely to be necessary while performing OHV trail layout, design, and construction. The field guide will be printed on heavy stock suitable for outdoor use and will have tabs that allow for users to quickly find the information they are looking for. NOHVCC formed a review team that included representatives from the BLM, USFS and an OHV organization. Additionally, we sought input from participants in NOHVCC’s 2021 virtual Annual Conference. An initial draft has been sent to the printer and final design work is underway. We hope to have the field guide published in early 2022.

Great Trails Workshops

NOHVCC continued its Great Trails Workshop series with five events in 2021:

  • Arizona: March
  • Alabama x 2: April
  • Utah: May
  • North Dakota: July

These workshops focus on the design, layout, construction, maintenance, and management of fun and sustainable off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails. Hands-on field training is emphasized. The intended audience is trail managers; trail construction and maintenance supervisors and crews; engineering staff involved in trail planning, design, maintenance, and construction; trail contractors; OHV club trail volunteers; and other interested stakeholders. For each of the workshops NOHVCC staff worked with local representatives from federal and state agencies, local OHV clubs and associations, and other interested stakeholders.

Planning has begun on nine Great Trails Workshops in 2022:

  • Colorado x 2
  • Florida
  • North Carolina
  • New Mexico
  • Montana
  • South Dakota
  • Nevada x 2

Great Trails Workshops – Virtual Classroom

While NOHVCC’s Great Trails Workshops continued to be impacted by the pandemic we used the time to work with COHVCO and Colorado Parks and Wildlife to create videos of Workshop classroom sessions so that Great Trails messaging can continue to be delivered when meeting in person is not possible. Additionally, once in-person gatherings are no longer restricted we will be able to have Workshop participants view the videos and complete the included interactive exercises as a prerequisite for Workshop attendance allowing more time for the hands on, outdoors portion of the training.

Chainsaw Training

NOHVCC continued to implement US Forest Service approved chainsaw training for OHV club members. This training focuses on the safe skills and techniques required to perform limbing and bucking operations. Participants who successfully complete the training will meet the requirements of the Forest Service for operating a chainsaw when performing maintenance activities on Forest Service managed trails and areas. It is a two-day training with a classroom portion and a heavy emphasis on field skills development. At the end of the training sawyers who demonstrate safe and proficient saw techniques may receive either an “A” or “B” level certification depending on skill level.

NOHVCC continued its chainsaw training series with one (completed) training in 2021:

  • Utah: May
  • Colorado x 2: September (cancelled due to COVID-19 issues)

Heavy Equipment Operator Training

The lack of skilled and knowledgeable operators for heavy equipment (trail dozers, mini excavators, etc.) for trail construction/maintenance is an ongoing issue that has been identified by enthusiasts and land managers across the country. As a result, NOHVCC began implementation of a grant received last year to create and provide heavy equipment operator training. The training will offer a field-based training program for agency staff, volunteers and partners that focuses on safe and efficient mechanized equipment operation for trail maintenance and construction activities. Ultimately trainers will provide recommendations to land managers/agencies/partners that a participant operates a certain type of machine to one of 3 levels -beginner, intermediate or advanced. NOHVCC staff and partners have engaged in curriculum development throughout 2021. The first training is scheduled for Spring 2022.

NOHVCC staff has and continues to receive instruction and mentorship on operation of relevant equipment and will ultimately be able to act as a trainer for future heavy equipment operator courses.

New Safe and Responsible Use PSA

NOHVCC created a new safe and responsible use PSA video that can be accessed at nohvcc.org and on Youtube. NOHVCC staff members Marc Hildesheim and Geoff Chain cover some of the basics that can help those new to OHV recreation better understand some of the responsibilities inherent to safe and responsible OHV use in the one-and-a-half-minute video. But the breakout star in the video is Olivia McGreevy-Hildesheim – Marc is her Dad.

View the PSA here: New NOHVCC Safe And Responsible Use PSA Video

Club and Association Insurance Coverage

OHV clubs and associations can often have a difficult time identifying insurance needs and finding providers. NOHVCC has begun a process to better understand what limitations clubs are facing and to provide education and resources to help clubs, club members, directors, and officers better understand risk and liability. To kick things off NOHVCC surveyed our email list to help get a baseline understanding of where OHV clubs are with respect to coverage and understanding of needs – see: Important! Help Us Better Understand Your Club Or Association Insurance Strategy. We followed that up with providing education and a resource for help – Resource To Help Better Understand Club And Association Insurance – The Nonprofit Risk Management Center.

Helping OHV clubs and associations to better understand insurance requirements and to help identify opportunities for coverage will be a focus for NOHVCC in 2022. While it is unclear at this point how to best address this issue long term, there are opportunities for clubs to work together to find solutions and NOHVCC will help facilitate the conversation.

Projects

National Motorized Recreation Strategy (BLM)

NOHVCC continues to partner with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and OHV enthusiasts to inform the BLM on how it can better provide access to high quality OHV recreation experiences on BLM lands. NOHVCC and the BLM have partnered to develop a National Motorized Recreation Strategy that will help the BLM develop individual state strategies for providing high quality OHV opportunities and develop partnerships to help maintain those opportunities. The strategies will guide the BLM in future Resource Management Plans (RMP) and Travel Management Plans (TMP).

After being awarded additional grant funding from the BLM to continue this effort over the next several years, finalized Colorado Report. Held in-person listening sessions in Idaho and held virtual listening sessions to ensure every voice was heard. Completed Idaho NOHVCC Report.

To view/read reports click here.

OHV Trail/Area Assessments

In 2021 NOHVCC began offering assessments of OHV trails and areas. Land managers of public or private lands can contract with NOHVCC who will send on-staff trail professionals to visit, examine and assess the current status of trails, trailheads, parking areas and other facilities.  While NOHVCC encourages all land managers to engage in perpetual trail assessments, often it is beneficial to have other experts who aren’t as close to ongoing issues and hurdles to identify opportunities for improvement or growth. NOHVCC staff introduced our new service on a joint webinar with American Trails titled The Value of Trail Assessments.

NOHVCC began its new service with two trail assessments in 2021:

  • Wyoming: Darnell Hills BLM OHV Area Assessment: June
  • Alabama: Flint Creek Multiple Use Trail System: April

Planning has already begun on two trails assessments in 2022:

  • Florida: Trails Assessment for Florida Dept of Forestry
  • Florida: Management plan for private OHV park in FL

Prison Hill OHV Area, Carson City, Nevada

Many who visited Prison Hill Recreation Area in Carson City during NOHVCC’s 2019 Annual Conference would not even recognize the area now. NOHVCC, ReConnect, and Carson City have made huge strides in creating a managed setting with a higher quality recreation experience. We have added a tot-lot, a beginner area, fencing, signs, drainage control, and some new trails. Additionally, NOHVCC and others hosted a volunteer work day at the site in June – read more here: Prison Hill Recreation Area Volunteer Work Day A Success As NOHVCC Efforts Continue.

Iowa Skills Courses Design

The State of Iowa has eight OHV parks which are managed and maintained by off-highway vehicle (OHV) club members and local jurisdictions. Each club receives funding from the Iowa Department of Natural resources generated by the sale of OHV registrations and non-resident user permits. To continue offering outstanding customer service and to provide new experiences for riders who desire to further develop their riding skills, the Iowa OHV Association (IOHVA) contracted NOHVCC to assist with the planning and design of challenge courses at each of the open parks. Seven of the parks are included in this plan, which entails a site-specific map including trail layout for each park. 

Arizona Projects 

Seven Mile Trail Layout – Assisted Prescott National Forest (PNF) and Prescott Trail Riders (PNF) with the “Greater Prescott Trails Planning” single-track project near Seven Mile Gulch. Created staging area plan, grant cost estimates, preliminary map creation, and assisted forest archaeologist with clearances. Awaiting clearance approval before construction.

Tonto National Forest Route Inventory – Worked with Tonto National Forest (TNF) and Tonto Recreation Alliance (TRAL) to identify a new staging area, trials area, and existing staging area improvements for their NEPA analysis. NEPA ongoing.

Idaho – Cable Creek Layout

NOHVCC is working in partnership with the Idaho Department of Lands (IDL) to design a system of OHV trails at the Cable Creek Area. This system of trails will provide a fun recreational experience and maximize resource protection. The design requires collaboration with IDL to identify how many miles of trail they would like to see, what facilities they would like to provide, and information regarding any sensitive areas within the Cable Creek area.

Trails will be designed with sustainability as a main focal point. Grade reversals will be used to control water flow and reduce erosion and will also provide an enhanced rider experience.

Washington – Heavy Maintenance Crew Coordinator Assistance

Contracted with the Washington Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance and the Northwest Motorcycle Association to assist with heavy maintenance crew scheduling and logistics. This allows heavy tread maintenance to be conducted on single-track and two-track trails in Washington state. 

BLM’s Top Recreation Opportunities Mapping Website

NOHVCC partnered with the BLM to create the BLM’s Top Recreation Opportunities Mapping website. The site is designed to provide and promote a greater awareness of recreational opportunities on BLM-managed public lands and to highlight some of the BLM’s highest quality motorized recreation opportunities across the nation. Users can now find information to plan their next exciting ride while at home or on the road. Using an interactive web-based storymap, users can get familiar with recreation site amenities, season operations dates, camping availability, and more.

More information can be found here: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Debuts Top BLM Motorized Recreational Opportunities Website

 

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