Proposed Sierra Nevada Closures Draw Big Turnout
A record crowd of off-road riders and public land users objected to a federal trail plan that threatens to close 75 percent of off-highway vehicle (OHV) routes on forest lands in the Sierra Nevada.
On Aug. 2, more than 350 people attended a public meeting in Pleasant Hill, Calif., to review a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for motorized travel management on the Eldorado National Forest.
Members of the OHV community spoke in protest to the Forest Service’s proposed plan to close more than 1,000 miles of popular trails. Enthusiasts stated that many of their favorite routes in the remote backcountry would be closed if the Forest Service follows through with this draft plan.
Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said, “This is certainly the largest OHV access-related meeting in California that I have attended since starting with the coalition in the early 1990s. The record crowd was informed and highly motivated. It is clear they care deeply about their continued access to and active management of federal forestlands. They also understand that the Eldorado National Forest is just the tip of the route planning iceberg.”
Polaris Gets Muddy With New Relationship
Polaris Industries has formed a racing partnership with aftermarket mud accessories company High Lifter Products to create team High Lifter-Polaris Racing.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be partnered with High Lifter. Their expertise in the mud world is a perfect match for the capabilities of our Polaris Sportsman ATVs and Ranger side-by-sides,” said Craig Scanlon, product line sales manager for the Polaris side-by-side division.
Team High Lifter-Polaris Racing consists of eight full-time racers, two alternates and a complete support staff and race-team management.
A press release from Polaris and High Lifter cited ATV mud riding’s rapid growth, which it said is faster than the industry as a whole. Events such as The High Lifter ATV Mud Nationals and The High Lifter ArenaBog Circuit have given the sport a voice and provided a venue for national media exposure.
“I believe that Team High Lifter-Polaris Racing will be a promotional vehicle, which is a win-win-win,”?said Scott Smith of Team High Lifter-Polaris Racing. “It’s a win for Polaris with the opportunity to promote their products to riders and racers all across the country. It’s a win for High Lifter Racing with the opportunity to represent a highly successful and well-known name in the ATV industry. And it’s a win for ATV riders across the country with open doors and open minds from other manufacturers in the industry who are taking our sport seriously and seeing mud riders as a true segment of the market.”
The team has set a goal to compete in at least 12 races in the 2007-2008 season with race vehicles that include Polaris Sportsman 500 H.O., Sportsman 800, Sportsman 800 X2, Ranger XP, RZR and the hopped-up Polaris Sportsman 90 as a pit bike.
More information, including upcoming races and event details, is available by visiting www.highlifter.com.
Parts Unlimited Extends GNCC Sponsorship
Racer Productions, the producers of the Can-Am Grand National Cross Country Series, announced that Parts Unlimited has re-signed with GNCC Racing, extending its official sponsorship agreement through 2011.
The contract continues the current relationship, which began in 2004.
“Our support for GNCC racing is unwavering,” said Parts Unlimited Motorsports Manager Hylton Beattie. “We’re proud to support the grass-roots racer and the top professionals on bikes and ATVs, as well as all the dealers that get them to the races.”
The sponsorship includes all the Parts Unlimited brands, with Parts Unlimited and Moose as feature sponsors, and Moose Utility Division, Thor and Alpinestars as associate sponsors.
Look for Parts Unlimited to continue the support at the events by hosting dinner for racers at select rounds of the series.
The GNCC’s final event of the season, round 13, is scheduled for Oct. 27-28 at The Ironman in Crawfordsville, Ind.
Arizona Program To Affect Off-Highway Riders
Arizona has developed a new off-highway vehicle (OHV) volunteer program to promote responsible off-highway vehicle recreation of public, state and private lands. Volunteers will work with federal, state and local land managers and public safety officials to monitor off-highway vehicle activity, according to the Arizona State Parks’ Web site.
Volunteers will monitor public, state and private lands and record any road, trail and other resource issues as well as report misuse of lands and participate in projects to improve OHV areas in Arizona. Off-highway vehicles include motorcycles, ATVs, UTVs and 4x4 vehicles.
The program is looking for OHV riders and people interested in the cause. Professional trained representatives will give the volunteers extensive training.
A Nationwide Event Could Benefit Off-Highway Riders
The largest hands-on volunteer effort to preserve public lands will take place Sept. 29. Volunteers will do facility clean ups and repairs, and this year there’s an additional effort to counter the entrance of invasive plants and animals that take over habitats and push out native species, according to the National Public Lands Day press release.
Last year, there were about 100,000 volunteers, and this year’s goal is to increase that number by at least 10,000. Every hour of a volunteer’s time amounted to $18.77 last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Independent Sector. Therefore, every 100,000 volunteers who participate in National Public Lands Day represent $1.8 million in labor for American lands.
Those interested in organizing a project or volunteering for this year’s event should see the Web site at www.publiclandsday.org. The Web site offers tips for organizers and more information and photos.
U.S. Army Awards Polaris ATV Contract
Polaris Industries Inc. and U.S. Army TACOM Life Cycle Management Command have signed a three-year contract, which will start Dec. 31. The contract has a potential total value of $16 million, according to a Polaris press release.
Polaris will provide the Army with its militarized ATV, the MV700, along with parts and accessories. The MV700 has assisted a variety of missions conducted in urban, rural, mountain and desert areas located in Southwest Asia.
“Polaris is very proud to continue its role in providing the Army with world-class machines that can be relied on to perform under the toughest conditions,” said Tom Tiller, Polaris’ CEO, in the release. “The awarding of this TACOM contract and the continued relationship with the Army represents a major step for our overall business.”
The new TACOM contract fulfills part of a significant goal set by Polaris earlier this year, which aimed to produce growth in adjacent market segments outside of its usual consumer base. Polaris Industries and the U.S. military have been working together on various projects since 2002.
Toyota Joins AMA Pro ATV Open Invitational
Bellco Inc., producer of the 20th Annual Monster Energy/Kawasaki Pro Motocross National at Steel City Raceway, has announced Toyota has joined the first-ever AMA Pro ATV Open Invitational held Aug. 25 in Delmont, Pa. The race shared the weekend with Round 10 of the AMA/Toyota Motocross Championships, bringing Toyota’s support to the ATV riders for the event. Twenty AMA Pro ATV riders were in attendance at the race.
“Toyota is excited to extend its privateer support program to all Pro ATV riders who will be taking part in the race,” said Brian Smith, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., corporate manager, truck and SUV.
Smith says the sponsorship at Steel City shows the company’s commitment to the sport of ATV motocross.
“A rider is a rider regardless of whether they are on four wheels or two, male or female, at every AMA Toyota Motocross weekend. Our goal has always been to give back to the motocross community through our sponsorship, which might mean improving the fan experience or providing support to pro riders who do not have factory backing,” Smith added. psb
Copyright 2007 Powersports Business