Seventy-eight land managers and agency officials from Florida recently participated in a four-day National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council OHV Recreation Management Workshop in Ocala, Fla.
The NOHVCC OHV Recreation Management Workshops are designed to create a better understanding of OHV public needs and desires, to examine environmental issues surrounding OHV activity, to promote more effective ways to manage OHV recreation, and to enhance the planning, design and maintenance of quality OHV trails, trail systems and areas.
Participating in the workshop were the Florida Division of Forestry, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Greenways and Trails, Lee County Parks and Recreation Department, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, plus representatives of enthusiasts, volunteers and environmental groups.
The event included a training day with three courses offered, the Tread Lightly! Master Tread Trainer certification course with instructor Dianne Olson, the ATV Rider Course offered by the ATV Safety Institute and the Dirt Bike School offered by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation; a preview of the new University of Florida OHV Economic and Demographic Survey; a review of current Florida and federal OHV grant programs, policies, regulations and planning efforts; and a ride on a 15-mile loop of trails in the Ocala National Forest .
On the fourth and final day, participants met to review lessons learned during the field day in the Ocala National Forest and to discuss OHV recreation's impact on rural community development, volunteer programs in other states, volunteer programs in Florida Natioanl Forests.
Also discussed were the practical steps needed to meet Florida's identified funding, education, enforcement, partnership, local opportunity and general management needs. psb
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