Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., employees volunteered to help restore one of the San Bernardino National Forest’s most popular multi-use off-highway vehicle (OHV) staging areas this past weekend.
Eighty volunteers, comprised of Yamaha employees and their families and friends, along with members of the San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA), contributed approximately 240 hours of volunteer service to maintain and improve the Cactus Flats staging area.
The San Bernardino National Forest sees approximately 2.4 million visitors each year, and Cactus Flats is a popular spot for OHV enthusiasts, providing access to some of the best trails in Southern California. Thousands of visitors, including OHV enthusiasts, hikers and mountain bikers, among others, enjoy the staging area and surrounding trails each year.
“Yamaha is dedicated to the OHV community and has contributed thousands of volunteer hours and more than $2 million since 2008 to the mission of supporting safe, responsible riding and open, sustainable riding areas,” said Mike Martinez, general manager of Yamaha’s ATV/side-by-side operations and an SBNFA board member who volunteered alongside his son over the weekend. “Yamaha employees are passionate about their volunteer efforts here in Southern California. We understand that these OHV areas are important to our customers and our business, and it means a lot to us personally to help keep these areas in good shape for current and future generations.”
Yamaha’s ATV/side-by-side group administers the company’s OHV Access Initiative, a program that aggressively supports the OHV community across the country, providing quarterly GRANTs to non-profit riding groups and organizations. Details, award schedules and applications are available at www.YamahaOHVAccess.com.
“Our heartfelt thanks to team Yamaha for their commitment and service helping to restore more than 12 acres of forest land over the past five years,” said Sarah Miggins, executive director, San Bernardino National Forest Association. “Yamaha’s OHV Access Initiative has also supported our own OHV volunteer program with GRANT funds that helped train more than 5,000 students with ‘On the Right Trail’ safety education, provided educational materials such as the Yamaha Off-Highway Vehicle Guide and newsletters to our recreating public, and contributed towards our 30,000 annual OHV volunteer hours.”
The weekend’s volunteer activities included planting and watering 250 native shrubs, slashing illegal riding areas, collecting more than 20 pounds of native seeds for future planting and in general, restoring more than an acre of forest land and surrounding trails. This was second of a three-year Yamaha project at Cactus Flats.
Over the past five years, Yamaha volunteers have restored more than 12 acres of land in the San Bernardino National Forest. Work has included planting 3,600 native seedlings through SBNFA’s Forest Aid initiative, a partnership with TreePeople and the U.S. Forest Service in one of the largest volunteer-led restoration projects in Southern California, addressing the burn areas from the 2003 and 2007 wildfires.
The Yamaha OHV Access Initiative is the industry leader in Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nation’s Trails (GRANTs). Through this program, Yamaha has directly and indirectly supported thousands of miles of trails, maintained and rehabilitated countless riding areas, improved staging areas, built bridges over fish-bearing streams and partnered with local riding communities across the country to improve the OHV experience.
Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from non-profit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs and associations, national, state and local public land use agencies and other members of the OHV community in the United States. A committee then reviews each application and awards GRANTs to deserving projects.
Examples of appropriate projects for GRANTs include, but are not limited to:
· Trail development, restoration and maintenance
· Trail signage and map production
· Staging area construction, renovation and maintenance
· Land stewardship, trail safety and education
For specific questions about the OHV Access Initiative, call Yamaha’s dedicated OHV Access Initiative Hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email OHVAccess@yamaha-motor.com or write to: Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Review Committee, 6555 Katella Avenue, Cypress, CA 90630-5101.