FROM THE DESK OF THE OHVAG CHAIRMAN
Now that we are going into our fourth month of the OHV Newsletter I would like to reflect back on some of the comments and concerns the OHV Community has been sending me. Along with this, I would also like to give you an update on what is going on with your Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group.
First of all I would like to thank all of you that have been e-mailing me with your concerns. Among all of these comments and concerns I find it interesting that I have received several comments from the non-motorized community. I welcome all of your suggestions and will keep them in mind when granting funding for the various projects around the State. In turn I would hope that the non-motorized community would reach out to us with issues that are a concern to us as well. My feelings are that both the motorized and non-motorized communities are entitled to enjoy our public lands while respecting the other user groups. In order to accomplish this both sides need to work together to find ways in which we all can use the resources.
I have also received a few comments from the motorized community that are basically suggesting that the Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group should be focusing on developing a trail system in the State that rivals that of our neighboring state of Utah. In particular, they were referring to the well-known Paiute ATV Trail. For those of you that are not familiar with the Paiute trail it is a trail system that is essentially a 250-mile loop with approximately 2,500 miles of connecting trails. The main trail winds around the southern part of the State with connectors to several OHV-friendly towns where the rider can get fuel eat and stay overnight. This trail system also allows a rider to connect to other trail systems such as the Sanpete Trail System in central Utah.
In the six years that I have been involved with the Arizona State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group one thing that I have noticed is that all of the various land agencies that present grants to us are compassionate and concerned about their specific projects. Unfortunately these agencies are the same grant presenters time after time. One of our intentions in developing this web page is to make the OHV Community aware that there is a system in Arizona where your OHV dollars can and will go back into projects statewide, enhancing all of our riding opportunities. In order to accomplish this it is important that the OHV Community reaches out to the various agencies, counties, cities and townships asking them for their help in applying for grants that will enhance our riding opportunities.
Speaking of grant funding, so far this year we have eleven grants awaiting our review and approval on June 1st. The eleven grants with requested funds are as followed:
Tonto National Forest/Cave Creek Ranger District- Desert Vista Trail System
Amount Allocated: $135,127
To renovate 16 miles of motorized routes, mitigate resource impacts due to erosion, high use, and lack of maintenance, trail and interpretive signage and conduct a repair advance of development of a staging area.
Tonto National Forest/Cave Creek Ranger District-Desert Vista/St Claire
Amount Allocated: $40,259
Hire two seasonal employees to work 4 months each to implement trail renovation projects.
White Mountain Open Trails Association/ Snowflake OHV Recreation Area
Amount Allocated: $130,000
Provide funding for an environmental assessment for a trail system on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest/Black Mesa Ranger District used for a motorsports event.
Coconino NF/Flagstaff Ranger District-Munds Park OHV Area Improvements
Amount Allocated: $64,508
Provide general maintenance and improvements to the Munds Park Motorized Trail System. The Janice Place ATV trail will be repaired, the Iron Springs Trailhead will be improved, and 3 miles of new ATV trail (52”) will be added.
BLM/Kingman Field Office-Route Evaluations
Amount Allocated: $30,000
The project will allow a contractor to provide travel alternatives for the Kingman FO Travel Management Plans based on completed route inventories.
BLM/Havasu Field Office-Travel Management Plan implementation Maps & Signs
Amount Allocated: $103,000
The project will provide funds to sign OHV routes and create Access Guides once the TMP is approved.
AZ. Game & Fish Dept. / Statewide OHV Access, Use, Impact Survey.
Amount Allocated: $107,000
This project will fund a survey to identify use/days in high use OHV areas, access/availability issues, and safety/enforcement actions needed. Enforcement strategies will be developed and implemented.
Maricopa County Parks/ Vulture Mtn. Regional OHV Park Environmental Assessment
Amount Allocated: $69,950
The project will fund and environmental assessment in preparation for development of OHV facilities.
American Conservation Experience/Mazatzal Wilderness Boundary Signing
Amount Allocated: $79,970
This project will properly identify the boundary of the Mazatzal Wilderness Area with signs and mitigation illegal motorized intrusion into the area.
BLM/Arizona Strip Field Office – Travel Management Plan Implementation
Amount Allocated: $317,919
This project will lead to decisions under Travel Management Plan and allow the BLM to provide signage, maps, kiosks, and on-line travel maps and information for most of the Arizona Strip.
Coconino National Forest/ Red Rock Ranger District – Stoneman Lake/Apache Maid OHV Area Improvements.
Amount Allocated: $150,000
This project will provide site improvements at the Stoneman Lake/Apache Maid staging area including, public scoping for additional trail designations, area delineation, kiosks, and other support facilities. Road renovations will be done on other parts of the District to high use trails.
The Statewide OHV Program uses funds from the state OHV Recreation Fund and the Federal Recreational Trails Program to fund these projects.
If you have any suggestions, comments or concerns please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Chairman, AZ. State Parks Off-Highway Vehicle Advisory Group and
President, White Mountain Open Trails Association
OHV AMBASSADOR PROGRAM UPDATE
RideNow Powersports is a retail dealership network with headquarters in Tempe, AZ. Founded in 1983, RideNow is currently the largest powersports retailer in the U.S. with 24 locations in seven states, selling & servicing motorcycles, atv’s, utility vehicles and personal water craft. They are the most recent group to receive a $15,000 grant to support an OHV Ambassador Unit. Their primary area of focus will be the Tucson and northern Pima County. However, the company has indicated that it will encourage employees to get involved with the OHV Ambassador Program near all of their store locations. They see involvement in the program as an opportunity to connect with the recreating public and promote their support for responsible OHV recreation and resource stewardship. Volunteers interested in working with this group can go to the State Parks website for OHV Ambassador Program application forms or go to the RideNow store in Tucson.
The grant funds are used to provide materials and operation costs for three years. No salaries are paid with the grant funds. RideNow provides the Ambassador volunteer coordination to conduct a minimum of eight events per year. In addition to the grant funds, State Parks provides a 6’x12’ enclosed trailer with the distinctive OHV Ambassador Program wrap valued at approximately $12,000.
RideNow’s agency partner is the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Together they will work with the BLM, Forest Service, and State Land Department to provide on-the-ground presence at OHV recreation sites and further the goals of the OHVA Program: As a recognizable presence on OHV routes; model appropriate OHV safety and behavior to create a positive image of OHV recreation and promote responsible motorized recreation use and stewardship; support cooperation between OHV users and OHV management agencies; provide OHV information about where to ride, riding safety, etiquette, rules, and regulations; and assist resource management agencies in monitoring, maintaining, mitigating and improving OHV routes and facilities.
The OHV Ambassador Program currently provides concerned OHV volunteers trained to agency standards in the BLM-Hassayampa Field Office OHV areas north of Phoenix known as the Boulders and Table Mesa; the BLM-Tucson Field Office OHV area known as Middle Gila Canyons; the Tonto National Forest Cave Creek Ranger District OHV area known as Desert Vista; all of the districts on the Prescott National Forest including the Alto Pit and Hayfield Draw OHV areas; and both the Kaibab and Coconino National Forest OHV use areas.
FEATURED TRAIL: COPPER CANYON TRAILHEAD
The Copper Canyon Trailhead Project is a multi-use trailhead located just outside of Camp Verde on the Prescott National Forest. The project was conceived by the Town of Camp Verde and the Verde Ranger District in 1997. In grant for $178,486 from the federal Recreational Trails Program was awarded in 2007. The Town committed $28,212 in services and materials from local supporters as match.
The project includes:
Relocating an existing trail and creating a connection to the trailhead,
Parking for 12 pull through vehicles and trailers,
A single vault CXT restroom,
ATV unloading ramp,
Equine hitching post,
Picnic tables and grills (two 20’ x 20’ ramadas were added later to cover the picnic tables using cost saving),
One 4’ x 4’ information display panel and one interpretive panel identifying the significant historical elements (General Crook Trail, Horne Saloon, and Salt Mine) of the area, and
Perimeter control via pipe rail fence, a cattle guard at the main entrance, and an ATV crossing grate and horse swing gate at the other end.
The trailhead is located on Forest Road 136 and provides a connection to the Hayfield Draw OHV Area located about 10 miles away (on Highway 260) via Trail 545. FR136 provides a connection to the Great Western Trail and a scenic ride to the top of Cherry Peak.
The Copper Canyon Trailhead is a testament to perseverance and cooperation between the Town of Camp Verde, the Forest Service, and the dedicated supporters. It is quite remarkable that a town of that size could enlist a match of $28,000, let alone come through with it. It also demonstrates cooperation between motorized and non-motorized users. In fact the enthusiasm of the community reached the local County Supervisor who arranged to have the access road (FR136) resurfaced with millings from a nearby highway project.