Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Sharing Passion for Trails with Next Generation of Land Managers

Chico Student at OHV Information Kiosk - Stonyford OHV Area
Mendocino National Forest

QWR, as part of its Sound Trails Initiative (STI), spent the last 5 days doing various post-fire and other trail stewardship projects on the Mendocino National Forest.

Merriam-Webster defines “Stewardship” as:  the conducting, supervising, or managing of something [and/or] the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care [i.e. trail-based recreation]

QWR believes an important element of trail stewardship is helping pass on your expertise and field experience to a new generation of public land managers that are enrolled in outdoor recreation education at institutions of higher learning such as Chico State University and their Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management Program.

Designated Trail for Dirt-bike, ATV, SxS, Buggy, and 4wd Use
Mendocino National Forest

According to Chico State, students develop appropriate, professional capabilities, and attitudes required for work in a variety of settings. They learn to advise customers, to organize and plan, to budget, and to manage both leisure services and recreation and park resources. Using technology to enhance the provision of leisure services has become a distinguishing characteristic of our graduates.

Chico Student at Wilderness Trailhead
Example of Motorized Access to Non-Motorized Recreation
Mendocino National Forest

Fieldwork is offered in various recreation and resource settings; students serve full-time internships with public recreation agencies, private or commercial recreation businesses, hotels and resorts, therapeutic programs, or parks and natural resource-related agencies. The Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management has one of the largest and most respected programs of its kind in the nation. Fifteen diverse and dedicated faculty members strive to ensure the best professional education for program majors, minors, and graduate students. The department was first accredited in 1986.

OHV Restoration Project - St. John's Mountain
Funded by CA State Park OHV Restoration Grant
Mendocino National Forest

QWR commends the Forest for encouraging interns and students to learn about recreation and resource management at the dirt or ground level.   A number of students from Chico State worked alongside agency staff and federal partners at the Oakland Motorcycle Club’s annual Jackhammer Enduro to better understand how both casual OHV recreation and permitted events are managed by the agency.

QWR was privileged to take one of the students on a full day tour of the OHV program on the Grindstone Ranger District.  The field trip in a SxS included on-site reviews of various federally funded or California State Park Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Grant funded designated trails, destination and dispersed camping opportunities, trail signing, kiosks, conservation and restoration projects, and how OHV routes can often provide motorized access to non-motorized recreation.

User Pay-User Benefit Fee Station at Developed Campground
Mendocino National Forest

As the Forest Service and BLM continue efforts to maintain and enhance their recreation programs, QWR believes that it is important for the OHV community (public land agencies and partners) to share their experience and passion for trails with a new generation of land managers.


  1. I got my Master Degree in Recreation @ CSU Chico in 1977. Maybe we could collaborate on providing trail management education with them. Cam

  2. Don, you nailed on this story. Great stuff, and keep it coming please.
    Dave Pickett District 36 Legislative Action Office Director.