A Note From The Chairman – I would like to start off this month’s article by reflecting on last month’s newsletter, specifically Robert Baldwin’s article. As you are probably aware Bob is the State Parks Statewide OHV Program Manager. I totally agree with Bob on the issue of OHV recreationalists destroying property that doesn’t belong to them. For most of my life I have been an OHV recreationalist. Until I got involved with the States OHV program I had no idea of how big of a problem this is. I am constantly getting reports from landowners and the various agencies about our OHV enthusiasts destroying property.
My first reaction is that most of this destruction is done by non-off highway vehicle users. In some cases this is true, but for the most part it is just uneducated riders. There are several ways to handle this issue. First, I feel that we all have an obligation to be observant while out riding. If you see someone or something that seems out of the ordinary get on your cell phone and call the VANDALS hot line. 1-800-826-3257. Pre-program this number into your cell phone and use it when you see inappropriate behavior.
Though it is not likely that the various law enforcement agencies will drop everything they are doing and rush to your site. What it does accomplish is that the landowner is contacted to make them aware of the damage. In talking with some of the law enforcement agencies, they would like us to give them more of our OHV project dollars so they can increase the visibility of law enforcement on the trails.
I personally don’t agree with them. I feel that it is our responsibility to first educate and then create better visibility through our OHV Ambassador Program and similar programs in the more high use areas. The OHV Ambassador Program is a great program and has been talked about a lot in these articles. If you would like more information on the program go to the State Parks web site: http://azstateparks.com/OHV/ambassadors.html.
Another way I feel that we can cut down on some of the vandalism is to create a trail system that is desirable to all of the OHV user groups. I know myself that I would much rather ride on a challenging trail than on a graded road. It is your Off Highway Vehicle Advisory Group’s desire to develop a trail system in the entire State that the users will like and will keep riders from straying off into areas that are closed.
OHVAG has recently been apprised of OHV incursions into the Mazatzal Wilderness area. Specifically, there is a 20-mile stretch on the East side of the Mazatzal Wilderness Boundary from Barnhardt Trail north and from Twin Buttes Trail that has been affected. This area is located on the Tonto National Forest, Payson Ranger District. It seems that OHV enthusiasts are ignoring the posted signs and venturing into the Wilderness areas. As a result of damages caused in these areas we are obligated to use your OHV project funds to mitigate the damage. These funds could be going towards creating new trails and improving the infrastructure on existing trailheads and trails.
In addition to these mitigation efforts, for the past two decades your Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group and State Parks has been diligently working towards spreading your OHV dollars around the entire State. Since the inception of the States Sticker program in 2009 we have awarded numerous project grants. I am going to catch you up on these grants the best I can.
Last month I went into detail about the fourteen grants worth $563,815.00. In 2010, we also approved $110,000 to operate the BLM for the Ambassador Program as well as $75,000 for expansion of the Ambassador Program into northern Arizona. During our August 2010 meeting we granted extensions to previously approved grants for the BLM-Kingman FO for installing signs and developing a route map. The BLM-Safford FO was also granted an extension for their Travel Management Plan. The last project we reviewed was an extension for the Prescott National Forest for the Copper Canyon OHV Trail Head Development. This project has been completed and provides and excellent access point for OHV recreation on the Prescott NF-Verde Ranger District just outside of Camp Verde, AZ.
It is our desire by way of this newsletter and various other means to get the information out to you on exactly where your OHV dollars are going. I hope you will find this information helpful. If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
John Savino, Chairman
AZ State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group
BASIC SAFETY TIPS FOR OHV USE – We hope you will get out and take advantage of Arizona’s many OHV trails! We encourage you to ride in a responsible manner, always respecting the land, your surroundings and others around you. Off-Highway Vehicles provide people with an exceptional way to enjoy the outdoors with their friends, families and other like-minded people. To make your trip as enjoyable as possible, we have assembled this list of suggestions for responsible OHV use:
Rule Number One: Be Prepared
Rule Number Two: Water, water and more water
Rule Number Three: Tell a responsible party where you’ll be traveling and when you expect to return.
Rule Number Four: Don’t go alone – go with at least one friend, and consider riding with a club.
Rule Number Five: Never ride when you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol!
Rule Number Six: Never carry a passenger in a vehicle designed for a single rider.
Rule Number Seven: Parents are responsible for their children. Supervise any riders who are under the age of 16.
Rule Number Eight: Know your vehicle and be familiar with the owner’s manual. Do a thorough check of your vehicle before you head out.
Rule Number Nine: Be knowledgeable – take a course in OHV safety.
Rule Number Ten: Wear protective gear. This should include a DOT-approved helmet, eye protection, gloves, a long-sleeved shirt or jacket, long pants and over-the-ankle boots.
For other recommendations on how you can safely enjoy Arizona’s scenic backcountry, please go to our website, at http://azstateparks.com/OHV/training.html
FEATURED TRAIL: ALTO PIT OHV RECREATION AREA, NEAR PRESCOTT – If you’re looking for a great weekend getaway, we have a suggestion we think you’re going to like. The Alto Pit OHV Recreation Area is a 400-acre site which lies four miles west of Prescott, on Iron Springs Road. This area includes a 13-acre cross-country area which is open to ATVs and trail bikes. There are also eight miles of designated trails available for ATVs and trail bikes and a beginner’s course for vehicles with engines under 90cc.
The Alto Pit OHV Recreation Area is a comfortable, family-friendly site with accommodations such as restrooms, picnic tables, firerings, a loading/unloading area, and shade ramadas which are available for day use.
This is a fee area – $5 a day for day use – and camping is available. Group camping requires a special-use permit. The forest in this area is Ponderosa pine and encompasses all seasons, with occasional snow in winter.
To get to the Alto Pit OHV Recreation Area from downtown Prescott, take Gurley Street west to Montezuma Street. Head north on Montezuma (Whiskey Row) until it becomes Iron Springs Road, then drive approximately five miles to Alto Pit. For more information, you may contact the Prescott National Forest’s Bradshaw Ranger District at (928) 443-8000, or check out this website: http://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott.
2012 CLUB EVENTS
2012 Motorcycle and ATV “SOUTHWEST DESERT SERIES”
Fri, 5/11 – Sat, 15/12
Fri, 5/18 – Sun, 5/20
Rd 4 AZGP Mc Motorsports Park
If your club/organization would like to add events to the calendar please email Robert Baldwin at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your events added to the OHV eNewsletter.