Monday, December 3, 2018

“Green Sticker” Historic Event - CA OHV Commission Tour

Designated OHV Route on CA OHV Commission Tour
Hungry Valley SVRA

California recreation history was made in early November when actual “Green Sticker” OHVs were used for the first time as the official site tour vehicle for a CA OHV Program public event. 

State Park Director, Lisa Mangat (with hat/scarf), Welcomes Tour Participants
Hungry Valley SVRA 

On November 8, 2018, the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) Commission and a group of diverse stakeholders participated in an 8 hour motorized tour of Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA) using non-street legal – Green Sticker - Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVs) also called Side x Sides (SxSs).

AMA D36 LAO, Dave Pickett, Prepares to Join the 20+ ROVs for Tour
Hungry Valley SVRA

According to California State Parks, the OHMVR Program was created in 1971 out of the critical need to better manage growing demands for off-highway recreation, while at the same time foster respect for private property rights and protect California's natural and cultural resources.

Area Rehabilitation is Important Aspect of  CA OHV Program
Hungry Valley SVRA

Today, this program, [often called the “Green Sticker” program”] a division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation, is the largest and most successful program of its type in the U.S. The program continues its commitment to provide safe, enjoyable recreation while balancing the need to protect the state's resources.

Presentation on Area's Geologic History
Hungry Valley SVRA

According to Don Amador, longtime OHV advocate and former chairman of the OHMVR Commission, “It was an honor to participate in this historic OHV ‘Green Sticker’ event.  I think a lot of the participants, OHV commissioners, and state park staff were surprised that this tour/trail ride was the first time that non-street legal motorized vehicles were the featured mode of transportation.“

Designated OHV Route for Larger OHVs such as ROVs
Hungry Valley SVRA

The 35+ mile tour route consisted of both easy and more challenging levels of trails.  There were also numerous stops where various OHV-related travel management, resource/cultural protection, law enforcement, and educational topics were presented and discussed. 



State Park Director, Lisa Mangat, visits with AMA D36 LAO, Dave Pickett
Hungry Valley SVRA

“I believe most, if not all, of the SxS tour participants were amazed at the amount and varying array of   designated high-quality and sustainable trail opportunities at the SVRA.   Many of the tour attendees had never been in a ROV or taken such an extensive trail ride,” Amador continues.

Amador continues, “At the tour’s conclusion, I noted a lot of happy smiles coming from the SxS drivers and passengers which signified to me the importance of getting government decision-makers, agency staff, and the recreation community together and out on the trail to personally experience just what makes the OHV program so popular in the Golden State.”

Intermediate Level OHV Trail on Tour Route
Hungry Valley SVRA

“Lastly, I especially want to thank OHMVR Division and SVRA staff who worked hard to make this precedent setting tour a successful and productive event.   Active tour participation from the program’s many partners including federal land agencies, local law enforcement, industry, private sector non-profits, OHV clubs, and volunteers highlighted the broad scope and important role that OHV recreation has in California’s recreation economy,” Amador concludes.

Information Kiosk on San Andreas Fault
Hungry Valley SVRA

The OHMVR Division website states that in addition to providing accessibility to off-highway recreation for everyone from hikers to bikers to bird watchers, the program provides a variety of services and benefits to California's residents and visitors, including resource management of state lands, wildlife habitat protection, youth development and law enforcement.



Program funding comes from fuel taxes which are attributable to the recreational use of vehicles off highway, off-highway vehicle registration fees and fees collected at State Vehicular Recreation Areas.

LINK TO THE CA OHV PROGRAM


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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

THANKSGIVING FOR PARADISE - A Fundraiser for Camp Fire Victims

Camp Fire View from Ragdump 
Photo Credit: Howard Goodman

The 2018 CA Wildfire Season has been devastating!  QWR believes it is important for the trail recreation community to do its part to help victims of the Camp Fire which destroyed lives, homes, and property in the Greater Paradise area. 

There are both immediate and long-term needs of those displaced by the Camp Fire.  While donated clothing and other supplies are appreciated, QWR has surveyed a number of 1st responders and others in leadership positions and the single most important way for OHVers to help right now is with hard cash donations to effective non-profit charities that have a proven track record.

Simply put, fire victims need fiscal support to purchase fuel for cars, pickups, and generators.  They also need the ability to purchase items such as generators, tools, clean underwear, socks, and other sundries.   Warm meals are important too!

For our THANKSGIVING FOR PARADISE fundraiser, QWR will use 100% of donations it receives to support the ongoing and upcoming relief efforts of the Salvation Army, Rotary, and the Ranger Foundation - a 501 (c)(3) charitable non-profit founded in 2017.  The Ranger Foundation is supporting the state park employees and retirees affected by the recent wildfires.

To make an online donation please go to the link below and note in the instruction box that it is for Camp Fire relief efforts.

To send a donation via check, please make it out to Quiet Warrior Racing and note on the check that it is for the Camp Fire relief effort.  Mail check to: QWR, 555 Honey Lane, Oakley, CA, 94561

Thanks for your support of the fire relief efforts.  Your donations will make a huge difference in the lives of many people that lost everything. 

Sincerely,

Don Amador, President
Quiet Warrior Racing

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

THANKSGIVING DAY MESSAGE - Acknowledge and Honor Kindness Received


THANKGIVING DAY MESSAGE
By Don Amador
11/20/2018

ACKNOWLEDGE AND HONOR KINDNESS RECEIVED

Thanksgiving Day is a special time where one gives thanks and grateful acknowledgment of Divine blessings and acts of kindness bestowed on them by family, friends, and colleagues.

I also believe it is important for one to reflect on how they can honor those gifts by doing a better job of serving and supporting others throughout the course of the year. 

Many of us have, or know of, family and friends who have suffered personal or professional tragedies in 2018.  The emotional and/or fiscal scars from those events will be felt for years or decades to come.

Let us resolve to make Thanksgiving Day an ongoing/daily state of mind where one honors kindness received by paying it forward to those in need.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

POST WILDFIRE - Dozer Line Recovery Strategy

Main Connector Route Impacted by Carr Fire Dozer Line
BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area

It is no secret that designated roads and trails provide recreational access to the great outdoors for millions of Americans.  In addition, they are often used by dozers to cut firebreaks or to provide ingress/egress for firefighters and support vehicles to manage a wildfire.  



For the purpose of this article, QWR will focus on post wildfire recovery prescriptions for three different types of dozer line impacts to system routes.  Those situations include dozer lines created on an important connector or corridor road/trail, dozer lines that obliterate the core of a single-track or 50-inch trail network, and non-route related dozer lines that intersect a system road or trail.

Reconstructed Rolling Dips on Connector Trail Used as Dozer Line
BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area


QWR believes the first order of priority for post wildfire recovery and reopening of a unit is for trail crews to reestablish soil loss/water control structures (i.e. rolling dips, sediment catch basins, etc.), signing, and vehicle width restrictors on key connector routes that provide public access for multiple-use recreation and post-fire management/monitoring activities. 



Secondly, the focus should be on installation of temporary pressure treated wood or natural wood/downed tree barriers and signs to restrict vehicle traffic where dozer lines obliterated the core of a single-track or 50-inch trail network.   This gives recovery crews time to focus on restoring public access on major connector routes.   Once that mission is accomplished then workers can focus on reestablishing and reopening the affected trail network.

Dozer Line Intersecting System Trail
BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area


Lastly, dozer lines are also created on old non-system roads or historic fuel breaks from past fires.  These are not legal routes where installation of pressure treated, natural wood, or rock barriers are used to restrict vehicle traffic.

Volunteers and Agency Staff Install Temporary Natural Wood Barriers and Sign 
BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area 


Often it is not the wildfire that directly impacts the trail but is the associated fire management activities such as building dozer lines that affect the road and trail system.

Recovery and Reopening of Connector Trail
BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area

QWR believes a robust recovery and reopening strategy (using agency staff, contractors, and volunteers) should address dozer line impacts in a timely manner so as to avoid economic impacts to rural communities and recreation interests.

*QWR wants to thank the volunteers and agency staff who participated in the recent Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance work party at the BLM Chappie Shasta OHV Area which is now reopened for public use.



Thursday, October 4, 2018

POST WILDFIRE - No-Dig Natural Trail Delineators






Over the last 18 years, QWR has witnessed the increased frequency of reoccurring intense wildfires impacting popular federal recreation areas in the California and the West.

Pressure Treated OHV Route Delineator Destroyed by Wildfire


QWR believes this fire paradigm is going to be with us for the foreseeable future.  If that belief is correct, then it forces the trail community to reconsider more sustainable and cost-effective OHV management prescriptions including use of on-site natural wood products (i.e. downed fire damaged trees, etc.) to reestablish delineation of designated routes, highlight a trail entrance, or protect natural or cultural resources.

No Dig Natural Trail Delineators 
Deer Valley Trail - Eldorado National Forest


In September of 2017, QWR participated in a joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and Motherlode Rockcrawlers to armor portions of the historic Deer Valley OHV Trail. Part of that project included using downed trees as trail delineators to help protect a nearby alpine meadow from vehicle intrusion.

Post Wildfire Installation of Pressure Treated Wood Barriers
2012 Mill Fire - Mendocino National Forest


Using downed trees, trail crews comprised of Forest Service certified sawyers (both agency and volunteers) bucked up footings (about 20-24 inches in length) and then cut v-notches in said footings.

Example of Trail Delineator Using Downed Trees


Various lengths of trees were then laid into the v-notches of the footing which created a stable natural-looking no-dig delineator that highlighted the designated path of vehicle travel and/or the area that was protected.  

Tree Section in V-Notched Footing

Showing V-Notches in Footing


Over the last 10-15 years, QWR and other OHV volunteers have helped agencies with post wildfire recovery projects which often included installation of new pressure treated wood barriers to replace existing pressure treated barriers that were destroyed by wildfire.  Those efforts were time consuming and costly.

Example of Trail Entrance Using Downed Tree Sections


While that post wildfire model to “buy and replace” pressure treated barriers may still be valid and necessary depending on desired management objectives, QWR believes our new and more frequent wildfire reality requires us to reevaluate the automatic response to purchase miles of costly pressure treated wood vs. increased use of on-site dead or dying trees to construct trail delineators.


Monday, October 1, 2018

UPDATED FEDERAL REPORT – Outdoor Recreation has $412B Economic Impact



Florence Yamaha/Polaris Dealer
SxS Sales, Service, and Accessories
Near OR Dunes National Recreation Area

On September 20, 2018, the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released updated data that shows the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($412 billion) of current-dollar Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2016. The BEA report notes the outdoor recreation economy grew 1.7 percent in 2016 which was faster than the 1.6 percent growth for the overall U.S. economy.

LINK TO BEA NEWS RELEASE

These updated fiscal numbers are an increase from an earlier BEA preliminary report issued in February 2018 that showed the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.0 percent ($373.7 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016.

BEA Chart on Outdoor Recreation Economic Impact

The new report states that motorcycling/ATVing activities accounted for $20.3 billion of real gross output in 2016, representing one of the fastest-growing activities at 8.0 percent growth from the previous year.

Factor 55 - Aftermarket Company 
Manufactures Closed System Winching Products
Vendor at 2018 Pomona Off-Road Expo 


After an initial review of this new report, QWR believes BEA may be actually underreporting the economic impact of “off-road” motorized recreation.  While BEA should be commended for disaggregating motorcycle and ATV use from other motorized activities such as RVing,  it appears the agency has failed to capture the direct and growing off-road economic impact of larger OHVs such as Side x Sides (SxS), jeep-type vehicles, four-wheel drive pickups, and all-wheel drive SUVs.

SUV Exploring Designated OHV Route
Eldorado National Forest


QWR found it hard to identify where BEA captured the economic impact that comes from off-road motorized access to non-motorized recreation activities such as hunting, fishing, driving for pleasure, races, and wildlife viewing which are often highly dependent on motorized vehicle use.

SxS Touring on BLM Historic "Route 66" OHV Trail


Don Amador, President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting, states, “I believe BEA should try and capture the ‘off-road’ motorized recreation economic benefits where the larger OHVs are used as the primary activity or they provide access to non-motorized recreation activities. Most federal and state land agencies consider any motorized vehicle to be an OHV or off-road vehicle when being operated on native surfaced routes.”

Off-Road-based Camping Products
Photo Credit - Del Albright

“There are huge economic benefits associated with off-road recreation.  A growing number of rural economies are based on SxS and/or street-legal OHV use.  Also, off-road recreation oriented manufacturing, aftermarket, and vehicle dealers deserve to have their economic impact factored into future BEA reports,” Amador concludes.

Off-Road Touring Event for Street Legal 4WD Vehicles
Rubicon Trail - Eldorado National Forest 

 QWR believes this BEA economic impact report provides land agencies and government officials with important information that can and should be used in current and future recreation planning efforts.

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Friday, September 21, 2018

SxS Training Part of Wildfire Recovery

ROV RBDC Graduating Class – September 19, 2018
Factory Pipe ROHVA Training Site – Ukiah, CA


QWR wants to congratulate the six BLM recreation leads and field staff who completed the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) ROV Basic DriverCourse (RBDC) taught at the Factory Pipe Training Area located in Ukiah, California on September 19, 2018.

Developing Two-Feet Throttle/Brake Control
Exercise 4


This ROHVA class was offered in recognition of the long-standing partnership between OHV stakeholders and the BLM’s Ukiah Field Office which manages the Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area.

Developing Two-Feet Throttle/Brake Control

Exercise 4



The River Fire damaged a significant number of popular OHV roads, trails, and related infrastructure on about 30,000 acres of BLM’s Cow Mountain Recreation Area.   Important wildfire recovery efforts are underway and the agency’s increased reliance on Side-by-Sides (SxSs) means there is also a growing need for ROHVA training opportunities since federal employees are required to get certification or recertification before operating a government SxS.

Practice Smooth Starting and Stopping 
Exercise 2


Don Amador, President of Quiet Warrior Racing/Consulting, states, “It is a privilege to help train agency staff about how to operate their SxS vehicles in a safe manner as they prepare to address post wildfire damage to OHV trails, campgrounds, and cultural resources.”

Cow Mountain OHV Recreation Area
Currently Closed by River Fire 

“The driving skills learned will help agency staff safely operate their vehicles while doing trail repairs and soil stabilization treatments,” Amador concludes.

QWR believes that non-federal partners will have an increasingly important role to play in helping provide access for agency staff to professional certified safety instruction for SxSs.

LINK TO ROHVA (Go ahead and take the free online ROHVA E-Course)
http://www.rohva.org/

*If you are interested in having Don teach a ROHVA ROV Basic DriverCourse, contact him at: damador@quietwarriorracing.com