RIDER GROUP PUSHING FOR RENEWED TRAILS FUNDING
Americans for Responsible Recreation Access is encouraging its members to support reauthorization of the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program, which provides funding for states to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities — both for motorized and non-motorized trail uses.
The RTP funds come from the Federal Highway Trust Fund and represent a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected from non-highway recreational fuel use: fuel used for off-highway recreation by snowmobiles, ATVs, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks.
ARRA says the RTP funding is “arguably the most important government program ever created to benefit motorized recreation.”
The most recent authorization, which has been extended several times, is set to expire this year, meaning that a new authorization bill must be approved.
Representatives Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Mike Michaud (D-Maine) are circulating a letter in support of reauthorizing the RTP, while ARRA is asking members of Congress and supporters to show their support as well.
ALASKA BUILDS SUSTAINABLE ATV TRAIL
A small village on Alaska’s remote, far western Pacific Coast has constructed a high-tech, environmentally friendly ATV trail built from rigid plastic grids.
Connecting the village of Hooper Bay with a lowland tundra land to the east, via four stream crossings, the GeoBlock panel system creates a hard surface that prevents erosion on the sensitive terrain used by residents for hunting, fishing, clam collection and driftwood harvesting.
According to a National Park Service report, “travel by ATVs out of Hooper Bay was having a detrimental impact on tundra and wildlife habitat east of the village. Several creek crossings were being degraded, negatively affecting fish habitat and significantly reducing the utility of ATVs for subsistence gathering purposes.”
The USDA’s National Resources Conservation Service assisted with the GeoBlock solution, previously used on another project on Kodiak Island. Three NPS staff trained and assisted 11 local crewmembers that installed the one-inch-thick panels into 4.5 meter-long assemblies — a total distance of 2,290 feet by 6.4 feet wide.
Expenses for the project totaled $82,109, or $35.86 per linear foot. Installation was completed within five days, with an additional five-and-a-half days to anchor the panels to the ground.
KUBOTA UPDATES RTV900 UTV
Kubota Tractor Corp. has released an updated version of its RTV900 utility vehicle, named the RTV900XT. Built on the platform of the diesel-powered RTV900, the RTV900XT is fitted with an exclusive Variable Hydro Transmission plus 2, providing higher torque for easier towing and hauling. Other changes to the brakes and shifting should mean easier work and less driver fatigue.
The RTV900XT runs on a powerful 21.6 gross horsepower, three-cylinder, liquid-cooled Kubota diesel engine that is performance-matched to the exclusive Kubota VHT Plus 2 hydrostatic transmission.
With an extra-large steel cargo bed and an optional hydraulic bed-lift system, the RTV900XT makes hauling and dumping easy with the simple operation of a single lever. The front of the machine features a new reinforced gunmetal gray steel front guard for extra protection and durability.
“The Kubota RTV900XT marks an important evolutionary step for our popular RTV900 line,” said Dan Muramoto, utility vehicle product manager for Kubota. “We successfully entered and grew the utility vehicle market in 2004 with the original RTV900 and its unique diesel engine and hydraulic transmission combination; and we are continually looking for ways to bring additional value and satisfaction to this platform. The RTV900XT delivers on that goal with tangible improvements to quality, durability, and overall worksite performance.
“From homeowners to contractors, we have always recognized that utility vehicle owners are a diverse group, and the introduction of this enhanced workhorse model furthers our goal to satisfy the varying needs of our RTV owners.”
SOUTH CAROLINA MAY ADOPT ATV AGE LIMIT
Named for a 16-year-old boy who died from injuries sustained in a 2003 ATV accident, South Carolina’s “Chandler’s Law” appears poised to make it into state law, making it illegal for children younger than 9 to operate an ATV, banning children younger than 16 from carrying passengers and requiring safety training for riders 15 years old and younger.
South Carolina’s House and Senate have passed similar legislation twice before, with former Gov. Mark Sanford vetoing the bill. Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the legislation if it is supported by the state’s legislature. PSB