Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Post Rim Fire Update - Trail Stabilization on Stanislaus National Forest/Hull Creek OHV Area

Post Rim Fire Trail Work on Stanislaus National Forest

With winter rains approaching in the next few weeks, QWR wants to commend agency staff on the Stanislaus National Forest for their work to stabilize or stormproof motorized routes in the Hull Creek OHV Area that were impacted by the Rim Fire.

According to an October 21, 2013 update from the Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) program, implementation is well underway ahead of the rainy season and assessment of additional needs is ongoing. Emergency response actions being taken include falling hazard trees near roads trails and campgrounds; improving and stormproofing roads to restore drainage; repairing and constructing rolling dips (drivable dips that remove water off the road); stabilizing and repairing trails; installing public warning signs gates and barricades for public safety; applying mulch and chipping woody material to protect exposed soil; and protecting cultural and natural resources.

Example of a Post Fire Rolling Dip

The BAER program also stated that while these treatments will help to reduce post-fire effects it must be recognized that not all effects can be mitigated and potential threats to life and property remain during runoff events. The projects underway are listed below.

Restoring drainage - 61% complete:
Clean the ditches and culverts
Pull floatable debris from uphill of the culverts
Water bars – helps with the drainage of water and
grading the road.

Rolling dips: (repair and construct) - 13% complete

Erosion control measure - 46% complete
Trail stabilization - 100% complete
Hazard tree mitigation - 100% complete
Install route markers - 100% complete
Install public warning signs gates and barricades

Hazard tree mitigation - 94% complete along priority roads.
Cultural resource protection: erosion control measures are 69% complete and hazard tree mitigation is 100% complete.

QWR again wants to commend agency staff on the Stanislaus National Forest for their work to stabilize motorized trails that are so important to the OHV community.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"Stay the Trail" During Hunting Season

With the fall hunting season in full swing in many public land states, QWR believes it is important for that user group to “Stay on the Trail.”

QWR had a recent discussion with federal land managers regarding the importance of hunters using designated roads and trails when operating an OHV.   Hunters often do not view themselves as an operator of an OHV.  For many of those sportsmen, their ATV or SxS was purchased to replace the family jeep-type vehicle or pack animal.   There is an understandable disconnect between OHVs purchased for hunting vs. primary use for OHV recreation. That appears to be one of the main reasons that many hunters believe OHV-specific rules and regulations (helmet laws, use restricted to designated routes, prohibition of cross-country travel) do not apply to their use.

This ongoing land management challenge was highlighted recently in the Spokesman-Review where Idaho’s OHV Public Outreach Campaign was featured.  That program is working hard to help educate hunters to use designated routes.

Spokesman-Review Article on OHV Use during Hunting Season

Idaho “Stay on Trails” Hunting Season Campaign

Our good friends at Tread Lightly! have a great hunting-related education program as well.  Feel free to check out that campaign at:

QWR believes that OHV stakeholders (industry, aftermarket, dealers, users, and land agencies) must continue to help with outreach to the hunting community on this important topic.  Education about responsible OHV use is a key enforcement tool and more of an effort must be made to encourage hunters to “Stay on the Trail.”