Wednesday, August 21, 2013

OHV Amateur Events are Foundational Aspect of Motorized Recreation

By Don Amador
August 21, 2013

*Permission to reprint or publish is hereby granted

I believe that OHV club events are culturally significant and are a foundational component of motorized recreation.  Amateur events such enduros, poker-runs, and dual-sport rides have become an important part of the recreational opportunity spectrum on state and federal lands.  They strengthen the family, create a sense of stewardship, and provide an economic benefit to the local community.

Amateur events are where the entire family usually attends to participate and/or support that relative who has signed up to ride.  Vacations are often planned to coincide with the event.  Vehicle and equipment preparation is where many valuable lessons are handed down from parent to child.

Long standing events such as the Oakland Motorcycle Club’s Jackhammer Enduro have taken place on Forest Service lands for over 40 years.  I believe these club “legacy events” creates generational ownership, pride, and stewardship of affected public lands.

Amateur events can also stimulate the local economy as riders patronize area restaurants, grocery stores, hotels, and gas stations.

In California, amateur event participants contribute directly to the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division’s grant program via their vehicle registration fees and fuel taxes.  Those trust funds are then used to support public land-related trail maintenance, law enforcement, environmental restoration, and safety.

I believe that public land agencies should be encouraging club events as a way to strengthen partnerships, support family togetherness, stimulate volunteerism at the club level, and to provide an economic benefit to the local community.   

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Don Amador writes on environmental and land-use issues from his office in Oakley, CA. He may be reached via email at:


Monday, August 12, 2013

Alpine OHV Trail Success Story in Lake Tahoe Area

Armored Water Crossing on Blackwood OHV Trail
Addressing water quality concerns on OHV trails is not a new concept.  In fact, federal and state agencies have been doing just that for over 30 years. 
Cresting a Rolling Dip on Blackwood OHV Trail
The Blackwood Canyon OHV trail on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is a good case study of a successful 20+ year-old joint project between the U.S. Forest Service and the California Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division’s grant program.
Video of Jeep on Rolling Dips Installed on Blackwood OHV Trail
While on a recent SUV tour of the trail, QWR was able to document many of the (circa mid 1980s – early 1990s) stream armoring efforts and rolling dips (historically called water-bars) that are now important environmental features of the route.
Rolling Dip and Water Runout
QWR believes the success story at Blackwood Canyon highlights the import of OHV being proactive in supporting soil erosion/water quality-related projects on motorized trails.  Installation of modern stream armoring structures and rolling dips can help secure the future of OHV recreation on public lands in even the most sensitive areas including those regions that contain our historic alpine routes.