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.

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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. 

Monday, January 16, 2017

IMPORTANT PLANNING TOOL - FS Recreation Report Shows Current and Future Motorized/Non-Motorized Trends

Don Amador at BLM's Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
Northern California

In November 2016, the USDA/Forest Service released an important technical report entitled: Federal outdoor recreation trends: effects on economic opportunities.  QWR believes this 56 page document provides important information to recreation and trail advocates on current and future trends for both motorized and non-motorized recreation on federal lands between now and 2030.

LINK TO REPORT WEBSITE

The report states that between 1999 and 2009, nature-based outdoor recreation generally increased, although trends differ across individual activities. The number of U.S. participants1 in 50 nature-based outdoor recreation activities increased 7.1 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the number of activity days increased at least that much. Activities oriented toward viewing and photographing nature have been among the fastest growing activities, both in terms of number of participants and activity days of participation. Off-highway vehicle driving realized a 34-percent increase in participants. Several physically challenging activities, such as kayaking, snowboarding, and surfing also had relatively large increases in this timeframe.

ATV Use at Oregon Dunes


QWR agrees with the report’s conclusion that states a major challenge for public natural resource managers and planners will be to ensure that recreation opportunities remain viable and adapt to a changing population. This could be accomplished through more creative and efficient management of existing federal recreation resources.

QWR believes that improvements to existing recreation resources can include a wide range of management options such designating connector trails, improved signing and maps, creating new trail opportunities within developed OHV areas, improved legal connectivity and looped opportunity for new OHVs such as UTVs, and consolidation of federal lands where appropriate to provide new staging areas or trails.

Connector Route for SxS Use
Stanislaus NF

As various Forest Service and BLM units continue or start their resource management planning efforts, QWR believes it will be important for OHV clubs to arm themselves with good information as they prepare their public comments.  Your comments (including site-specific examples of where a current or new use should or could occur) will play an important role in development of those management plans.

This report contains a lot of good information (including charts and graphs) about current and projected recreation needs related to developed sites, dispersed opportunities, backcountry activities, motorized uses, hunting, fishing, water sports, and skiing.

Active participation by local OHV clubs is a critical element in the land-use planning process.  Now more than ever… you are in charge of your own trail riding destiny.



Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Celebrating Great Motorcycle "Adventures" in 2017

Sean Coplen, Owner of Roseville Kawasaki, (L) and Don Amador (R)

Quiet Warrior Racing wants to thank Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. and Roseville Kawasaki, a Kawasaki dealer, for their generous support in helping us launch our official Adventure Bike trail stewardship module for 2017 with use of a new KLR 650. 

This “celebration” partnership highlights a number of key events.  Those signature components include; Kawasaki’s 50th Year Anniversary, the 30th year anniversary of the KLR 650, Roseville Kawasaki’s commitment to excellence, and Don Amador’s recent induction into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

QWR believes there are a number of factors that are contributing to the rise in popularity of Adventure motorcycling.  First, the 2005 Forest Service Travel Management Rule resulted in the closure of many forest roads historically used by non-street legal dirt-bikes.  This resulted in riders purchasing street-legal adventure or dual-sport motorcycles so they could connect between various trail networks.

Second, many non-traditional  “off-road motorcycle” interests from the tech world, conservation movement, 4x4 community, and other stakeholder groups have found that Adventure riding is a great way to escape the city and experience the great outdoors.

Third, adventure motorcycles can also serve as commuter vehicles during the week.

QWR looks forward to using our Adventure Bike Module in 2017 to better serve the exploring community and promote the many benefits that backcountry motorcycling affords both riders and the economy. 

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Red Cross First Aid Training for OHVers - Get Certified Now (Also a requirement for taking the FS chainsaw class)


As QWR gets ready to celebrate our 7th year anniversary in 2017, we thought it was important to send out a reminder to all of you who have taken a Forest Service chainsaw class (which requires current Adult First Aid/CPR/AED and Bloodborne Pathogens Training certification) to check the expiration date on your first aid card.  Now is a good time to get recertified and/or get your training if you plan on taking the FS chainsaw class in the near future.

QWR wants to encourage heads of households, club officers, trail bosses, vehicle safety course instructors, and others in leadership roles to get First Aid, CPR, and AED training from the American Red Cross.  This training will help you stabilize an injured rider in the field until the emergency responders arrive on scene.

Since my first aid certification expires in early January, I just scheduled my recertification class for late next week. It will give you the confidence to better stabilize critical injuries until professional emergency medical personnel arrive on the scene.

It will also give you the knowledge to better utilize the first-aid supplies that one should always carry during trail rides, safety training, or work parties.  Learning these basic skills can save a life and should be considered an important element of your off-road experience.

To learn more about the American Red Cross training programs, please visit:


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Thursday, December 8, 2016

POLARIS Dealer Helps Launch 2017 OSV Trail Stewardship Module

QWR’s Don Amador (L) and Cal Custom Trailers/Powersports’ Trevor Messersmith (R) 
Power-Up for OSV Recreation in 2017


As the snow season kicks off in California and the West, QWR wants to thank POLARIS, Klim, and California Custom Trailers and Powersports, a Northern California POLARIS dealer,  for their generous support in helping us launch our official OSV trail stewardship module for the 2017 winter riding season with use of a 2017 Polaris PRO-RMK 800.  

Winter 2016 Travel Management Tour
Stanislaus NF

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.

2016 Travel Management Review 
Sonora Pass - Stanislaus NF

Trevor Messersmith, Sales Manager for Cal Custom Trailers/Powersports, states, “Our dealership is proud to once again sponsor Don’s work to champion responsible OSV recreation on Forest Service trails and open areas.  Access to public lands is important for our customers and for the shop’s staff who love to enjoy snowmobile recreation with their family and friends.”

QWR supports the efforts of the Forest Service and other land agencies to update and enhance their OSV management programs.   Tenets of managed snowmobile recreation should include designated trails and open areas, adequate staging/parking, quality signing, partnerships, maps, education, and enforcement.

QWR’s OSV module will continue to represent our partners and clients in various federal and state OSV planning or legislative efforts.  Such initiatives include the Forest Service Subpart C OSV Travel Planning Process, reauthorization of the CA OHMVR Program, and promotion of the SAE J2567 OSV sound standard for field level enforcement.

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tahoe National Forest Adopts New Wet Weather Trail Management Tool

Tahoe NF Uses New Wet Weather Management Tool
(Trail 25 will be open when conditions allow)

QWR is proud to announce - that because of pro-active work by agency scientists, researchers, recreation specialists, volunteers, and partners - the Tahoe National Forest recently issued a DECISION NOTICE and FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT for the 2017 Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) that removes fixed seasonal closures on a number of access roads and motorized trails in the Burlington area.


Over the last several years, QWR has posted updates in regards to ongoing Forest Service field studies to help develop an evidence-based method for opening trails based on direct soil moisture measurements and trail condition.  Four pilot studies were conducted on the Los Padres, Mendocino, and Tahoe National Forests.

Don Amador Helping with Wet Weather Field Study
Mendocino NF

The field studies involved measuring soil strength and soil moisture, and correlating those measurements with observed levels of trail damage. This prediction of risk is now being used to develop threshold values to determine when to open or close trails as highlighted in the aforementioned announcement.

QWR commends the agency research team and partners for helping develop this important new tool for managing trails – in a flexible manner -  for public enjoyment when soil  conditions allow.