Sunday, September 27, 2015

Partnerships are "The Catalyst" in Managed Recreation Programs

Having just returned back to the office from the California State Park Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Commission meeting held in the Mammoth Lakes area of the Eastern Sierra, QWR wanted to share with you the recent edition of The Catalyst, the newsletter for the Interpretation of California State Parks.

This issue covers a lot of exciting activities in the CA State Park System including “Earthsnorkeling,” interpretive geocaching, storm water management, junior lifeguards, access for Wounded Warriors, and partnerships.

Vol. 16, No. 1 – The Catalyst

QWR’s, Don Amador, wrote the following “partnership” article for the issue and it can be found on page 20.  Please feel free to check out The Catalyst and share it with your friends.


Maybe the single most important factor in modern OHV recreation is the use of diverse partnerships as a synergistic force multiplier when it comes to the management of motorized use on designated roads, trails, and riding areas.

New Sign Installed by Volunteers in Partnership with
the BLM's Bishop Field Office and OHMVRD

Today, partnerships are a core element of any successful local, state, or federal OHV program.  In 2015, OHV management is not just about getting a few riders together to build a trail.  Rather, it is a holistic approach on a site level that addresses diverse trail-related projects, including forest health, soil loss, water quality, education, law enforcement, fuel reduction, signing, trail maintenance, trail construction or reconstruction, and habitat restoration.

Local Conservation Group works on Restoration Project to Enhance
Watershed Protection at Popular OHV Campground on Inyo National Forest

The Power Sports Industry has stepped up to the plate with grant programs such as the Motorcycle
Industry Council’s RightRider Access Fund, Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative Grant Program, and the Polaris T.R.A.I.L.S. Grant Program.

Many states have an OHV grant program to help support the efforts of local and federal land agencies to offer the public high-quality and environmentally sound OHV recreational opportunities.

For example, California State Park’s OHMVR Division has a grant program that supports county and federal OHV recreation programs throughout the state. Those funds go to help with trail maintenance, trail construction, soil loss mitigation, habitat restoration, law enforcement, and safety education.

OHV recreation on public lands has evolved into a highly complex and diverse, partnership-related
“systems approach” concept. It is important to highlight those partnerships to illustrate the evolution of managed motorized trail opportunities. Recently, I was privileged to do an area review of just such an effort.

The Western Shasta Resource Conservation District (RCD) and the Bureau of Land Management recently entered into a ten-year stewardship agreement to cooperatively manage the Chappie-Shasta OHV Area. RCD and the BLM are focused on projects related to road and trail maintenance, forest health improvement, fuel reduction, education and outreach and other efforts. For example, trail-armoring projects are being implemented because of this partnership.

OHV "Partnership" Bridge Installed to Protect Watershed
at BLM's Chappie-Shasta OHV Area

The aforementioned RCD/BLM agreement acts as a force multiplier when combined with this
unit’s long-standing partnership with California’s OHMVR Division and Commission.

This is a good case study of how a comprehensive “many-hands/partners” approach to OHV trail and
resource management is working in a synergistic manner to protect our natural environment

while providing high-quality motorized trail opportunities.

# # # 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Registration/Agenda for 2015 NOHVCC Annual Conf. Oct. 27-31 in Sacramento, CA

QWR is proud to be attending the 2015 NOHVCC Conference in the Sacramento area this year.  The dates for the 2015 Annual NOHVCC and INOHVAA Joint Conference are Oct 27 – 31.

NOHVCC has moved the conference back to California, the State in which the first conference was held.  They have lined up the mobile workshop to be at the Prairie City SVRA, which is the site of the Hangtown Pro-motocross track.  To add even more value to the conference this year, in addition to the NOHVCC and INOHVAA conference sessions, the All-Quad Council of Canada (AQCC) and the California OHV Commission will be meeting just prior to the conference start.  All this means great networking opportunities for you. There will be training modules for ATVs, Dirt-Bikes, and SxS.

Knowing that many agency recreation staff are on tight budgets, QWR has worked with the OHV Division to allow for agency staff who cannot afford the hotel ($95/night/govt. rate) to camp out either in a tent or RV at Prairie City SVRA.   If you plan to camp at the SVRA, please RSVP to Jeanne Sisson with dates you plan to camp to:

Link to Prairie City SVRA

OHMVRD - Jeanne Sisson -

Here is the Conf. Overview/Registration

Here is Conf. Registration

This is a great learning and networking opportunity!  I hope to see many of you there.

Happy Trails,

Don Amador

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wildland/Urban Challenge - “Signs” of Agency Commitment to a Managed Trail System

Welcome to the Blackrock/Chinese Peak Trail System

QWR believes that how the user respects public lands is largely dependent on how the agency conveys its commitment to managing the resource.  

Trail Map at Entrance

That land-use message starts with how well the entrance or staging area facilities are maintained and continues with how the trails are signed.   Recreationists also look for how decommissioned or closed routes are identified and protected. 

TMR Prescriptions

Does the agency identify or sign restoration projects or special management designations such as “No Shooting Safety Zones” or “Wildfire/Wildlife Areas”?

Shooting Safety Zone

Are the camping areas and bathrooms clean?  Are the kiosks and information posters in good condition? 

Info on Preventing Wildfires

Is there evidence of trail maintenance such as installed water control structures (i.e. rolling dips, lead off trenches, sediment catch basins, etc.)?

While on a recent trip to Idaho, QWR had the opportunity to ride/tour the Blackrock/Chinese Peak Trail System managed by the BLM’s Pocatello Field Office.   This recreation area sits on the outskirts of Pocatello, Idaho.

View of Pocatello from Ridge Trail

QWR believes this unit is a good example of how to manage motorized and non-motorized recreation in a wildland/urban interface.  The BLM starts by welcoming users to the area via a well-kept staging area that contains important user information such as seasons of use, types of allowed trail activities, map of the trail system, and fire prevention recommendations.

Management of Closed Routes

The roads and trails are well signed.  Closed routes and illegal shortcuts are clearly marked and signed.

Well Signed OHV Route

Illegal dumping can be an issue on a public unit, but this area has addressed that via appropriate signing and installation of vehicle barriers.

No Dumping Sign and Barricades

The Blackrock Canyon restroom was clean.  The kiosk and information posters were in excellent condition and contained relevant information.

Clean SST and Well Maintained Kiosk

The 50-inch trails for motorcycles, MTBs, and ATVS were clearly identified.  Trails for larger vehicles were also well signed and maintained.

50 inch Trail 

To some extent, management challenges will always exist regardless of where the unit is.  However, QWR believes that the level of public cooperation and respect for the land is directly proportional to the agency’s visual and on-the-ground commitment to managing the resource for current and future generations.