Monday, March 7, 2016

Be a Trail Champion - Start an E-Club

Agency Staff and Trail Volunteers 
Mendocino NF

As the Forest Service and BLM continue to improve their trail-based recreation programs throughout the country, it is important for agency officials and community leaders to appreciate the two key elements needed for long-term success.  Those critical tenets are substantive interaction/collaboration between an agency recreation lead/point-of-contact and a local club/organization.

Trail Volunteers Review Restoration Project with Agency Staff
Tahoe NF

Virtually any successful fed/state/local OHV recreation program has both an agency and local “champion.”  The agency lead meets with local recreation groups to discuss trail management issues.  They develop a robust volunteer program that engages trail enthusiasts in caring for the land by maintaining recreation facilities which include staging areas, campgrounds, and trail systems.

Trail Volunteers Help with Post-Fire Rehab
Mendocino NF

The community user group provides important feedback to the agency in regards to historic uses and cultural norms.  Local trail organizations can provide the labor pool to help the agency with volunteer work projects and fundraising.  Community groups can often help act as a bridge between the agency and local county/city government.

Trail Volunteers Work with Agency to Install Trail Delineators to Protect Resources
Mendocino NF

Line-officers have an important role to play in this equation since it is up to them to identify and appoint the appropriate agency staff lead that will be a “trail recreation champion.” In areas of the country where there is no organized trail group, a local user should “answer the call” to step forward and help organize a trail association.

Local Club Leaders Tour Route Project with FS District Ranger
Six Rivers NF

That new local group does not need to worry about incorporating at first.  An “E-Trail Group” comprised of an email network of interested riders and businesses can be a very effective organization that has standing with the agency and local government.

OHV Club Leaders Tour Trail System/Post Fire Rehab with FS Staff
Stanislaus NF

If you or your club has already “adopted” a local land agency, then good on you!  However, if your area does not have a club or network formed to assist the agency in helping care for the land, then consider starting an association.  The agency will appreciate it more than you know and it can lead to a successful relationship/partnership between the public and private sectors.

1 comment:

  1. QW aka Don, you are right on with this informative document. Nice job. THANKS for all of your years and hard work to protect OHV recreations.
    Dave Pickett
    District 36 LAO .......... :)