Off-highway ATV Ad Pulled After Controversy
The Ad Council, U.S. Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters have pulled a controversial Smokey Bear ATV Public Service Announcement at the urging of off-road groups, including the BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC), according to a Blue Ribbon Coalition press release.
The Forest Service has asked all media outlets to discontinue the airing of the ad, which implied that the proper way for motorized recreationists to prevent wildfires is for them to load up their vehicles and go home.
Don Amador, western representative for the BlueRibbon Coalition, said the agencies had the right intentions, but the message was misleading.
“I honestly believe the agencies had intended to create a positive message regarding safe use of OHVs on public lands,” he said in the release. “However, the (Public Service Announcement) incorrectly conveyed to the ATV rider that the best way for them to prevent wildfires was to stay at home.
“Instead, the ad should have encouraged the use of USDA Forest Service-approved spark arrestors and limiting travel to approved routes and areas.
“BRC thanks the agencies for listening to our collective concerns about this ad and for taking the responsible course of action by canceling the campaign. It is our hope the Ad Council and Forest Service consult with their trail recreation experts and the OHV community before launching another motorized recreation ad.”
SVIA Licenses Training Info To Its Canadian Counterpart
The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) has granted a royalty-free license to use its all-terrain vehicle training curriculum to the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council (COHV).
Under the licensing agreement, the COHV will utilize the ATV RiderCourse — developed by the ATV Safety Institute, a division of the SVIA — along with supplemental Canadian information to train ATV instructors and riders throughout Canada in accordance with SVIA guidelines and standards.
“We’re very pleased to help make ATV safety training available to our northern neighbors through the Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council,” said SVIA Executive Vice President Paul Vitrano. “It fits perfectly with SVIA’s mission and vision to foster the safe and responsible use of ATVs, both in the United States and internationally.”
“Education and training are a priority for the COHV and its member companies,” said Bob Ramsay, president of the COHV. “Being able to implement the ASI training curriculum is vital to our ongoing endeavors to ensure safe and responsible ATV use in Canada.”
ASI curriculum materials also have been licensed to organizations in England and other European countries.
For SVIA membership information, call 949/727-3727.
Honda Recalls About 42,000 ATVs
In cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), American Honda Motor Co. voluntarily recalled an estimated 42,000 ATVs due to possible loss of control hazard, according to the CPSC.
Honda’s 2007-2008 TRX 420 Rancher, also known as the Honda FourTrax Rancher 4X4, ATVs were sold nationwide from January 2007-May for between $5,300-$5,600. They are available in red, black, olive and camouflage. The Honda name and wing logo are printed on the fuel tank, and the model year is on a label located on the frame behind the left front wheel. The model name “Rancher” is on a label at the left rear of the ATV.
The units were recalled because if the vehicle’s rubber constant velocity boots get punctured or torn, the joint will become contaminated and severe binding of the constant velocity joints could occur, resulting in sudden loss of steering control. There have been no incidents reported.
Hatfield-McCoy Welcome Area, Retail Center Opens
The Hatfield-McCoy Visitor’s Center recently held its grand opening on U.S. 119 in Boone County, West Virginia.
In addition to being the first stop for trail riders coming to the area from the north, it also will serve as the Hatfield-McCoy’s retail center and the trailhead for the Little Coal River trails.
Officials on hand for the ceremony included West Virginia Congressman Nick Rahall, State Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin and Boone County Board member Larry Lodato.
Further Changes Planned for Upper Tellico OHV System
Although initial plans for changes to the Upper Tellico OHV system were released in June, further details recently came to light that have led the BlueRibbon Coalition to issue an action alert.
The OHV area near the Tennessee/North Carolina border is still scheduled to have
11 miles of the 39.5-mile trail system closed. However, BRC has learned the 11 miles that will be closed will cut off access to many other parts of the riding area.
The U.S. Forest Service is also planning to pave one of the trails, Tipton Creek, and allow street legal vehicles only on that trail. The Forest Service is also looking into closing the Chestnut Mountain trail in the riding area.
“Those 11 miles cut the heart right out of the OHV experience that is Tellico,” said Brian Hawthorne, BRC public lands policy director.
BRC, in partnership with the United Four Wheel Drive Associations and the Southern Four Wheel Drive Associations, has taken legal action to challenge the temporary emergency closure. psb