Tuesday, April 25, 2017

New 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economic Report Shows $887B Impact



QWR wants to express our sincere appreciation to our friends at the Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) for publishing its 2017 Outdoor Recreation Economy Report.   The new OIA report states that outdoor recreation generates $887 billion dollars in consumer spending and employs 7.6 million Americans.

LINK TO OIA 2017 REPORT

This report highlights and details the significant economic impact that both motorized and non-motorized recreation has in this country.

QWR believes this comprehensive and inclusive report indicates the growing collaboration and partnership between motorized and non-motorized user groups as they work with agency staff and elected officials to support sustainable and diverse recreation opportunities on public lands.




Thursday, April 20, 2017

Diverse Partners Ensure Success of CA OSV Program

Jackson Meadows Reservoir
Tahoe National Forest

QWR believes that Over Snow Vehicle (OSV) recreation continues to be an important element of winter-based recreational opportunities in the mountains of California.

View from Groomed Trail

That concept was reinforced this week after a tour of the Little Truckee Summit OSV route network and adjacent open area riding opportunities.   Located on the Tahoe National Forest, this area provides a number of looped touring options that offer access to scenic views and some challenging terrain.

Open OSV Riding Area
Tahoe National Forest

OSV-based recreation brings an important economic benefit to many rural areas and supports local dealerships and the jobs they create.   According to the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association, OSVs contribute $26 billion annually in the United States.   Over 100,000 full time jobs are generated by the snowmobile industry in North America. Those jobs are involved in manufacturing, dealerships and tourism related businesses.

Jackson Meadows Reservoir and Mountains in Background
Tahoe National Forest


According to California State Parks 150th Anniversary outreach, the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Division collaborates with the Forest Service, other state agencies, and local government to facilitate the Winter Recreation Program. The program includes two components: the OSV Program and California SNO-PARKS.

Mountain Looped Trail Opportunity
Tahoe National Forest

The OSV Program supports a system of 34 trailheads and 26 groomed trail systems within 11 national forests. These systems provide more than 1,700 miles of groomed trails for OSVs such as snowmobiles and side-by-side tracked vehicles. In addition, the OSV trails are often used for non-motorized winter activities, such as cross-country skiing and dog sledding.

The OHMVR Division provides funding for all OSV program services, including trail grooming, parking lot plowing, trash removal, restroom facility maintenance, and plowing 97-miles of access roads. Trailhead parking lots tend to fill-up quickly, so visitors should arrive early to secure a parking spot.


Kiosk at Little Truckee Summit
Tahoe National Forest

QWR believes it is important for the OSV community to remain engaged with the Forest Service as the agency continues the Subpart C travel planning process on the  Lassen, Tahoe, Eldorado, Stanislaus, and Plumas National Forests.  There are many important management issues related to the formal designation of roads, trails, and areas for OSV use. 

PCT Crossing at OSV Groomed Trail
  (a Forest Road in the Summer)
Tahoe National Forest

 One of those critical issues is related to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) which is a non-motorized trail that runs north-south through the western U.S. and along the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range in California.  It exists primarily on Forest Service lands including the Tahoe National Forest where the PCT crosses the current OSV route network.  QWR believes the agency should ensure that it designates PCT crossings that retain the current form and function of the OSV program. 

QWR also urges OSV recreationists to remain engaged with the California Department of Parks and Recreation staff who are now working on the Transformation process.   There should be additional opportunities for users to voice support for the OSV Program.

QWR commends the many partners that contribute to the OSV Program’s success.  Those stakeholders include; Forest Service recreation and law enforcement staff, OSV touring concessionaires, rural businesses, county sheriffs, local government, OSV clubs/associations, California Highway Patrol, and the California Department of Transportation.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

TRAIL HIGHLIGHT - Planning for SxS Recreation on Federal Lands

Trail 12 - Chappie-Shasta OHV Area
BLM Redding Field Office

As many of you know, Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) or Side-by-Sides (SxSs) are becoming increasingly popular and are the fastest growing segment of the powersports market.

Trail 4 - Black Diamond Challenge

With that increased popularity comes the responsibility for land agencies and their OHV partners to look for opportunities to designate and sign legal routes for SxS recreation in areas where that use is appropriate and sustainable.

Trail 12 - View of Shasta Dam

Recently, QWR had the privilege to tour some of the SxS-related trail program at the Chappie-Shasta Off-Highway Vehicle Area managed by the BLM’s Redding Field Office in Northern California.

Trail 12 - Rolling Dip/Soil Erosion Structure


Over the last several years, the BLM has worked to improve SxS recreation in the area with enhanced trail signing, trail improvements, and installation and/or maintenance of soil erosion structures.

Trail 12 - This Trail Climbs 2K ft. to the Ridge 

Those efforts to enhance legal SxS routes have resulted in many trails that now provide looped touring opportunities with varying degrees of challenge and scenic views.

Signing to Inform Public about Private Property

QWR encourages SxS users to consider a trip up the Chappie-Shasta OHV Area if you are looking for new trail adventures.  The unit has a very cool staging/camping area at the base of Shasta Dam.  Make sure you have current registration for any vehicles when you cross the dam.  The guards will check for a valid driver’s license and current registration.

You can also access the Copley Mountain OHV Staging area via the Iron Mountain Road from Highway 299 about 1 mile west of the Redding city limits.

Copley Mountain Staging Area - Start of Trail 4

QWR wants to commend the agency for their continued commitment to excellence and urges other federal and state land agencies to be sure and review their trail programs to assess if SxS recreation can be included on the unit.


Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Be an OHV Champion and Comment on CA OHV Grant Process by April 3 Deadline

Stop and Make a Grant Comment

QWR is committed to the collaborative process as a strategy to bring land agency staff and the trail-based recreation community together with a common goal of both protecting resources and providing a high-quality outdoor experience.

In CA and other states with an OHV grant program, part of that collaboration is weighing in with comments on agency grant proposals.

The public review and comment period for the CA OHV 2016/17 Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program ends at 5:00pm (Pacific Standard Time) on Monday, April 3, 2017. Agency staff have worked hard to prepare these grant submissions and now it is our turn to comment on the various grant proposals before the April 3 deadline. 

Don’t feel you have to comment on every grant.  Just focus on the areas where you recreate.  Also, don’t forget to comment on any LE or Sheriff grants that are submitted.  LE is an important part of managed OHV recreation in the 21st Century.   In addition there are non-profit applicants that submit grants… feel free to comment on those.

LINK TO CA OHV GRANT PROCESS

Follow the links and make your comments.  Show support for your favorite Ranger and the work they do by making a comment.

Many units don’t have any comments.  You can check out which units have comments at the link below.

LINK TO UNITS THAT HAVE or DON'T HAVE COMMENTS

QWR believes the quality of our trail future is directly proportional to the quality of the collaborative process/stakeholder involvement on your Forest or BLM unit.  It is time for OHVers to do their part.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Get Your OHV Kick on Route 66

Entrance to BLM OHV Trail on Route 66

QWR believes that trails can provide an important link to our past.  For car enthusiasts, nowhere is that statement more relevant than on a short section of Historic Route 66 that has been designated by the BLM as an OHV trail near Needles, CA.

Kiosk at BLM Route 66 Entrance

While attending the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org’s 30th Anniversary at the Pirate Cove Resort, Don Amador had the surprise of his life that while doing some trail recon in the area that he ended up on an old section of Route 66 that can be used by both street-legal and non-street legal OHVs.

Driving on Historic Route 66


Constructed in the 1920s, Route 66, also known as the Mother Road, stretched for about 2,400 miles from L.A to Chicago.  It is one of America’s most famous roads and has also been featured on T.V. and the big screen.  It was decommissioned in 1985 when it was largely replaced with the Interstate Highway System.

This Section of Route 66 is also BLM Trail 114

What a special treat for both young and old OHVers to be able to access this important part of Americana. 

When traveling on the trail be sure and keep your eyes open for any of the wild burros that live in the area. 

Wild Burros along Route 66

There is OHV access to this and many other BLM trails in the Needles area from Pirate Cove, a local resort that has both OHV and water-based recreational opportunities.

QWR encourages you to consider a trip to this region of California the next time you are feeling nostalgic or in the need for a great OHV adventure that includes desert scenery, wildlife viewing, great trails, and that all too important link to our past.




Wednesday, February 22, 2017

OHV Trail Lead Receives National Service Award

Roberta Pickett (L) and Don Amador (R)

OAKLEY, CA – (Feb. 22) –The world’s largest international service organization gave special recognition to a recreation professional at a ceremony in the Sierra Nevada town of Martell near Jackson, California.  On February 17, 2017, Roberta Pickett, past president of the Rotary Club of Amador Upcountry, presented Don Amador with a Paul Harris Fellow Award for his efforts to find solutions through the collaborative process with diverse interest groups and government agencies.

While the coveted Paul Harris Award typically is a recognition of those who have directly contributed $1000 toward The Rotary Foundation, occasionally – as in this instance with Don Amador - a Rotarian will make that contribution in someone else’s name, as a way to honor them for serving the greater community.



Roberta Pickett, who currently serves as Assistant Governor for the Amador County clubs of Rotary’s District 5190, states, “I feel Don deserved this award for his integrity in the way he does business and collaborates even with those with whom he may have significant disagreements.  His work with land managers, elected officials, recreation clubs, conservation groups, and environmental organizations promotes peaceful resolution to difficult challenges.”

“Don’s work ethic to promote sustainable use of public lands  measures up to Rotary’s  ‘Four Way Test’ - Of the things we think, say and do: 1) is it the truth, 2) is it fair to all concerned, 3) will it build goodwill and better friendships, and 4) will it be beneficial to all concerned,” Pickett concludes.

Don Amador, a recreation and land-use consultant, responded that “it was a humbling experience to be recognized by Rotary for my efforts in the field of recreation, conservation, and natural resource management.   I want to thank Rotary and Assistant Governor Pickett for this high honor and accept it on behalf the many partners that I work with.  It is that team approach that made this achievement possible,” Amador concludes.

According to the organization, Rotary is a global network of 1.2 million neighbors, friends, leaders, and problem-solvers who come together to make positive, lasting change in communities at home and abroad.

Solving real problems takes real commitment and vision. For more than 110 years, Rotary members have used their passion, energy, and intelligence to take action on sustainable projects. From literacy and peace to water and health, Rotarians are always working to better our world, and they stay committed to the end.

# # #

Don owns Quiet Warrior Racing, a recreation consulting company, located in Oakley, California.  Don is also a contractor to the BlueRibbon Coalition/Sharetrails.org, a national trail-based recreation group, where he serves as the Western Representative.  Don is a member of the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals.
Don may be reached via email at: damador@cwo.com

Thursday, February 2, 2017

FS National Trail Strategy Issues Call to Action

Trail Stewardship Key to Quality Recreation
Don Amador on Mendocino NF

As heavy winter storms continue to pound federal lands in the West, QWR believes it is important for the OHV community to accept the Forest Service’s CALL TO ACTION as outlined in their December 2016 National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System.

LINK TO FS TRAIL STRATEGY

Heavy Storm Impacts Highlight Need for Partnerships
to Help with Trail Clearing

QWR agrees with the agency that the time to build on past successes, integrate new partnerships and ideas, and improve contemporary trail management practices for the Forest Service trail system is now.

QWR commends the Forest Service for its work over the last several years to create this foundational document that encourages a “trail culture” in the agency by identifying the following action items:

Areas of Action:

1.            Leader Intent: Cultivate leadership desire for and commitment to a sustainable trail                             system.

2.            Organization and Talent: Leverage an expanded and combined workforce to increase                        stewardship capacity.

3.            Relevancy: Connect with diverse communities and trail users.

4.            Sustainable Systems: Collaboratively create and achieve a common vision.

5.            Agency Processes and Culture: Maximize opportunities for effective partnering and trail                    stewardship.

6.            Information: Provide readily available, up-to-date, and credible trail information.

The document correctly notes that a generation ago, nearly every ranger district had its own trail crew, but that is no longer the case. The Forest Service will overcome a significant reduction in field staff by moving from a model of “doing it all” to a model of shared stewardship in order to achieve mutual goals and receive shared benefits.

High Winds Knock Down Trees Across System Trail

Having just gotten back from helping clear post-storm downed trees that were blocking trails on the Mendocino National Forest helped reinforce QWR’s axiom that a quality trail program does not happen by accident.  It is the result of a strong partnership with the trail community and the agency’s commitment to a substantive volunteer program.

Clearing Downed Trees Across a SxS/ATV/MC Connector Trail

QWR believes the National Trails Strategy outlines a path for success that can be used by units that are in the process of creating and managing a sustainable trail network.  The report can also be used by ranger districts to help infuse new energy and ideas into their existing recreation program and partnerships.

Trail Recon to Look at Post Storm Impacts


QWR encourages users and agency recreation staff to read this report and use it to help foster relationships with a goal to work together in a collaborative effort to be good stewards of the land and our trail systems.