Monday, February 15, 2016

"Seat Time" Important Part of Trail Education

Region 5's Regional Forester, Randy Moore, (Far Right)
on Tour of Stonyford OHV Program

QWR believes that spending quality time out in the field and on the trail with local club representatives, agency staff, and OHV business leaders is a critical factor in land-use education efforts.

Attending meetings and hearings related to trail use are important and will remain so for decades to come.  In addition, OHV professionals and advocates should also include on-site field/trail reviews with local experts and key decision-makers as part of their advocacy/education program.

Eric Anderson,Vroom Network, Tours "Wash"
Designation  and Grouse Issues in Northern Nevada

Today, many public land agencies have embraced the collaborative process where key interest groups are invited to participate in ongoing meetings where unit management ideas are discussed.  Eventually, those concepts addressing forest health, impacts of intense wildfire, and OHV recreation might be used to help shape future agency planning efforts.

Forest Supervisor Tours OR Dunes With Users to Review
OHV Management Program

Staff turnover is not just affecting the Forest Service and BLM.  Clubs often select new presidents or task members with being their point-of-contact for trail issues.   On many units, agency leadership and recreation staff are rotating out at an alarming rate do to retirement, move-to-promote, or other factors.

Local Club Officials and Volunteers Engage with
FS Recreation Staff in Trail Monitoring

OHV industry representatives are also important to include in the trail education process since they often have both a professional and personal stake in sustainable motorized recreation.

OHV Representatives Tour Hull Creek OHV Program
with FS Recreation Staff Lead

Modern 21st Century trail management has many tenets that are best experienced out in the field.  Those prescriptions/concepts include trail signing, connectivity, erosion control structures, route armoring, public information programs, quality of the user experience, law enforcement, resource restoration efforts, potential trail projects, and safety programs.

FS Recreation Lead Tours Trail Program

There are also potential impacts from ongoing or future agency planning efforts that might impact the current OHV program.  Over the next 5-20 years, land managers will be making trail decisions based on everything from major landscape level plan revisions to OHV route and event restrictions driven by environmental regulations or court ordered mandates.

Riders and Agency Recreation Staff Tour/Discuss FS Restoration 
Grant Project

 QWR wants to encourage the OHV education community to continue efforts to spend some quality “seat time” out on the trail with our key partners.  There is no substitute for stopping on the tour and discussing just how a planning process or proposed regulation might impact OHV use.  That stop might also be the best time to see if a solution is possible.  

See you on the trail.

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