An estimated 200 federal and state land managers, off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation groups, and educators gathered in Ontario, Calif., on March 15 for the 15th annual National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council and OHV Program Managers Conferences sponsored by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC), the Federal Highway Administration, and the National Association of OHV Program Managers.
Organizers say the meetings were designed to discuss the future of motorized access to public and private lands and served as a communications forum through which OHV enthusiasts and their organizations and supporters could share information and experiences, participate in educational opportunities, and become partners in creating a positive image of the sport.
Speakers included: Jerry Ingersol, OHV Program Manager for the USDA Forest Service; Anna Atkinson, National OHV Program Lead for the Bureau of Land Management; and Christopher Douwes, Recreational Trails Program Manager for the Federal Highway Administration. Numerous other luminaries from state government, industry, and user groups gave presentations as well.
Workshops for the attendees consisted of a motorcycle sound measurement training course for law enforcement officers lead by Rob Harrison, P.E, and Chris Real, CLS; a trail design module presented by Troy Scott Parker; and the Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Course.
Bob Walker of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks and NOHVCC Executive Director Russ Ehnes coordinated the OHV Program Managers Conference, which included sessions on the Economic Impacts of OHV Recreation, Hunting and OHVs, National Trails Training Partnership, Effective Rout Inventory and Designation Processes, Using Existing Infrastructure to Enhance Trail Systems, Trail Bridges, OHV Law Enforcement, and Trail Stabilization.
Other presentations detailed public speaking and media preparedness, OHV drug and alcohol prevention programs, and building state OHV associations.
The NOHVCC elections resulted with Tom Niemela elected an at-large member of the NOHVCC board of directors, while Bill Chapin was re-elected as Treasurer and Bruce Butler was re-elected as at-large board member.
Nine new NOHVCC state representatives and alternates were named. The representatives are: Peggy Reid (Utah), Bobby Beamer (Texas), Rodney Fagen (Miss.), Ron Morganthaler (Wash.), and Scott Lamb (Fla.). The alternates are: Rhonda Treadaway (Texas); Roy Swander (Wyo.); Robert Pacheco (RI); and Rick Dahl (Wash.).
Five states have NOHVCC representative vacancies. They are: Tennessee, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois and Kansas.
Also held during the event, the annual NOHVCC silent auction featured several tables of products that raised more than $7,000 for the further development of trail projects and materials. Products included a KTM minicycle, helmets from Honda and Scorpion, two days of Trials Riding School from American Trials, and two jackets autographed by Malcom Smith, Bob Hannah and Mert Lawwill.
Furthermore, ARRA announced two award winners for Take Pride in America volunteer projects. For the first project, members of the Northern Virginia Trail Riders and the Virginia OHV Coalition cleared boulders and repaired erosion damage to reconnect a trailhead to a loop system in the George Washington National Forest. The second project was completed by the Great Falls Trail Bike Riders Association. They repaired several sections of the Pilgrim Creek trail, cleared brush and trees, and cleaned up trash at the trailhead. Both winners received sound meters for their clubs.
A handful of other awards also were given out during the event. Award winners included:
n Mary Hughes Frye, NOHVCC Land Manager of the Year 2004
n Max Reid, NOHVCC Land Manager of the Year 2004
n Paul Slavik, NOHVCC Advisor of the Year 2004
n Dan Kleen, NOHVCC Achievement Award 2004
n Christopher Douwes, NOHVCC OHV Program Administrator of the Year 2004
n New Mexico OHV Association, NOHVCC OHV Association of the Year 2004
n American Council of Snowmobile Associations, NOHVCC Organization of the Year 2004
n Nancy Minard, NOHVCC State Representative of the Year 2004
n Raymond Busbee, NOHVCC Educator of the Year 2004
“What this 15th Anniversary Conference showed us more than anything was how far we’ve come with the original goals of the organization,” said Dan Kleen, president of the Board of Directors for NOHVCC. “So as we met those goals in the past, we had to keep striving for new ones which is where we’re at today. I have no doubt that with the quality of folks here at the Conference that we can continue to increase riding opportunities throughout the country and steer the sport of OHVing in the right direction for generations to come.”
“It was an honor to help NOHVCC celebrate their 15th anniversary at the conference this year,” said Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition. “They should be commended for putting this event together so that resource professionals and user groups can network on collaborative efforts to better manage OHV recreation on public and private lands.”
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