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Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance elects new president/CEO

Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance

The board of the Post Wildfire OHV Recovery Alliance, or PWORA, elected Ted Cabral as the organization’s new president and chief executive officer.The vote was taken at the 2022 Board meeting held on Nov. 10 in Cottonwood.

Ted Cabral will succeed Don Amador who served from 2018 to 2022 as the organization’s first president.

Amador stepped down from his current position but will remain on the board.

“I am proud of what PWORA has accomplished over the last four years where it collaborated with a diverse array of multi-interest strategic partners to mobilize volunteers and deploy resources on projects to mitigate post-disaster impacts to recreation areas on public lands managed by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in California,” said Amador.

“PWORA’s significant achievements since the organization’s founding include signing a master participation agreement with the USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region (R5) located in Vallejo, California, completion of numerous volunteer and contract post fire recovery projects, and successful fundraising efforts,” Amador continued.

“I know the organization under Ted’s leadership will continue to build capacity to help our agency partners plan for and implement important post wildfire recovery projects,” Amador concluded.

Cabral, former three term commissioner for the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of California State Parks, has a long track record of collaboration with the government agencies that manage OHV recreation on public lands in California.

“I am looking forward to building on the incredible foundation that Don and the PWORA board of directors have built,” Cabral stated. “My vision is to build our alliance by developing deep ties with local clubs and volunteer organizations. Those organizations would be able to leverage our relationship to streamline their volunteer efforts by taking advantage of PWORA’s master participation agreement to better support the Forest Service and other agencies during recovery operations.”

Reprinted from the Lake County News, November 19, 2022.

Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation announces statewide grant workshop tour

Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation

The new Utah Division of Outdoor Recreation (DOR) is holding a grant workshop tour at locations throughout the state ending in Nibley City on Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 2 to 4 p.m.

During the 2022 Legislative session, Utah lawmakers merged the Division of Recreation and the Office of Outdoor Recreation into one entity – the Division of Outdoor Recreation which is under the umbrella of the Department of Natural Resources.

Utah leads the nation in prioritizing outdoor recreation and access to natural spaces and they are committed to ensuring Utahn’s can live a healthy and active lifestyle through outdoor recreation and access to natural space.

DOR officials are looking for the public’s input in designing tails and programs and will be on hand to assist with preparing and writing outdoor recreation grants.

The DOR is the nation’s first office that manages the state’s Boating Program, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Program, and recreation law enforcement officers.

The traveling free ‘one-stop shop’ for all Utah outdoor recreation grants will have their expanded grants and planning team sharing information on all the programs available under the new division and assist with the outdoor recreation grants application process.

Applications for next year’s UORG grant cycle will be accepted from Jan. 17 to March. 17, 2023. UORG awarded $10.9 million in funding for 85 outdoor recreation infrastructure projects statewide in 2022. The grant cycle was the largest to date.

“Whether your area has an infrastructure project that is ready to go or you are laying the groundwork for a future project, you should plan to attend this workshop,” said Tara McKee, DOR’s associate director of grants and planning. “This is a fabulous opportunity for counties, cities and nonprofits to sharpen their skills and learn how they can help secure the funds needed to provide more value, opportunities and support for outdoor recreation in their communities.”

Carly Lansche, the former Cache County Regional Trail and Active Transportation Coordinator, is now the DOR’s state planner. She and others on the team will walk participants through the application process, provide detailed instructions on how to write a strong application, braid various funding sources and introduce a new tiered matching requirement beneficial to Utah’s rural counties.

There will be time at the end of each workshop for questions and discussion with the DOR grants and planning team to help make sure applications are as competitive as possible.

“Our team is ready and eager to help in any stage of the process, and our newest addition of planning is especially beneficial for areas in the state that do not have recreational planners. We look forward to assisting with these vital grant opportunities and helping improve access to outdoor recreation for communities throughout Utah,” said McKee.

DOR is committed to ensuring every Utahn can live a healthy and active lifestyle through outdoor recreation and access to natural space. DOR’s areas of focus include recreational access; safety and education; stewardship and sustainable visitation; and economic growth and opportunity through outdoor recreation.

For more information on the DOR’s grants and planning program, visit recreation.utah.gov/grants.

United annual meeting November 22

Steve Egbert, President, United Four Wheel Drive Associations

To be held on 22 November as an online meeting via Microsoft Teams. Details will be advised ahead of the meeting on the UFWDA Facebook page and circulated via an eNews ‘special’.

Elections are needed for several roles that have ended their two year cycle; President, International Vice President and Director of Membership as per  Section 4. TERM OF OFFICE.

Each Director shall hold office for two years or until a successor is duly elected. Terms of Directors shall be staggered, the President, International Vice President, and Director of Membership elected every even year and Vice-President, Director of Public Relations, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Treasurer elected every odd year.

This year, following the loss of Jerry Smith, we also need a volunteer for the role of Director of Environmental Affairs.
Another volunteer role (ok, they all are) to be filled is UFWDA editor.

This is your opportunity to ‘give back’ to your recreation and to help make a difference. If you want to find out more on the roles, please drop an email to Steve Egbert

United submits comments on land use issues

Steve Egbert, President, United Four Wheel Drive Associations

United Four Wheel Drive Associations, One Voice, California-Nevada Snowmobile Association United Snowmobile Alliance and the Off-Road Business Association recently submitted comments regarding the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Southern Sierra Fisher, HR4878 the American Discovery Trail Act and S.3266 the Outdoor Recreation Act.  The extensive comments and background information regarding the proposal and legislation in both the House of Representatives and Senate were made by Scott Jones, Esq. lawyer for ORBA.  United Four Wheel Drive Associations would like to thank Scott and ORBA for the work on this issue that is important to recreation. United Four Wheel Drive Associations is partnered with the Off-road Business Association to connect industry and the grass roots and we thank ORBA and Scott Jones for the help on these issues.

ORBA also continues work on the litigation regarding Oceano Dunes SVRA.  ORBA is a part of Ecologic Partners and United will contribute to this effort as the litigation moves forward.

Steve Egbert,
President, UFWDA
BOD Member, ORBA

Uwharrie Trail access improved through 8-acre conservation project

Reprinted from The Pilot, November 22, 2021

The Uwharrie National Forest is one of the smallest, most fragmented, and newest national forests in the country. In fact, the amount of land available to the public within its proclamation boundary is only 24 percent.

Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is committed to making strategic connections and filling inholdings to make this a more user friendly and publicly accessible forest. Their most recent conservation project will add 8.08 more acres once the property is transferred to the U.S. Forest Service.

This project is unique, as the Wolf Den Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trail runs through it, which is part of the 17 miles of 4-wheel drive trails in the Badin Lake OHV Trail complex in the Uwharrie National Forest.

“With this section being known as an easier portion of the trail system, it is a great starting point and is often a family’s first introduction to the Uwharrie National Forest,” said Chris Cagle, owner of Eldorado Outpost. “Recreation use for the Wolf Den area of the forest continues to build, and being able to open and encourage use into multiple areas of the Uwharries allows a greater user experience for all.”

Three Rivers has transferred over 8,000 acres to the public for recreation. TRLT’s associate director, Crystal Cockman, was elated with the addition of eight acres for conservation.

“Projects like these take an extended period of time, but are well worth it. Providing both locals and visitors of the Uwharries with plenty of space to recreate is a goal of ours and this project helps us achieve just that,” Cockman said.

“At Three Rivers Land Trust, we have an emphasis on public access,” said TRLT’s executive director, Travis Morehead. “With the eventual transfer of this property to the US Forest Service, there will be an additional 8 acres for the public to enjoy. Any time spent outdoors enjoying our natural landscapes is valuable. Whether that is hiking or off-roading, we are thrilled to get people outdoors and help provide the spaces for it.”

To learn more about how to protect your own property, contact Crystal Cockman, TRLT Associate Director, at 704-647-0302 or crystal@threeriverslandtrust.org.

To become a member and support TRLT in their conservation mission, please contact Nicky Black, Membership and Events Coordinator, at 704-647-0302 or nicky@threeriverslandtrust.org.

New OHV staging area dedicated in Quartzsite

John Gutekunst, Parker Pioneer

Reprinted from the Parker Pioneer

Off-roaders have a new place for staging before they head out into the desert. A new staging area in Quartzsite had a grand opening and ribbon-cutting Tuesday, Oct. 19. It’s located on Quail Trial, just north of Quartzsite Town Hall. It’s between the Quartzsite Justice Court and the town’s water well. To access the site, make a turn off Plymouth Road.

The site is designed to link into the Arizona Peace Trail and other off-road trails in the Quartzsite area.

The opening ceremony was attended by officials from a variety of offices, including town and county officials and officials from the primary source of funding for the facility, Arizona State Parks & Trails.

Quartzsite Mayor Norm Simpson said it was a great day for a ribbon-cutting.

Mark Goldberg of Quartzsite Off-Road described his feelings:  “Oh, happy day!”

Goldberg said the facility provides a safe, secure overnight place for off-roaders to park trailers and towing vehicles. They have a total of 22 pull-through spaces. There are also restrooms and a picnic area. There are no fees.

No overnight camping is allowed at the facility. Goldberg suggested that, if off-roaders need a place to stay overnight, they should check into one of the area’s many campgrounds or motels.

Goldberg said the site had been in the works since 2017. The Quartzsite Sunriders OHV Club had the idea of a staging area where people could park while off-roading. The current site was selected in 2019, and Goldberg was authorized to apply for a grant from Arizona Parks & Trails.

Parks & Trails approved a $483,000 grant for the facility in November 2019. The grant was paid for from revenue for licenses for off-road vehicles.

Goldberg said the facility proved to be more expensive than anticipated. Among other things, the decision was made to pave the surface of the parking area. While this was initially more expensive than leaving it unpaved, it would save on long-run maintenance costs as off-road vehicles wouldn’t be tearing up a paved surface.

When it came to the added costs, Goldberg said Parks & Trails worked with them. The total cost was estimated at $600,000.

Goldberg and Simpson acknowledged the main contractor, Mike Merrill.

The Quartzsite staging area is designed to link into the Arizona Peace Trail, a 675-mile off-road loop that links Yuma and Bullhead City. It’s helping to promote tourism in Yuma, La Paz and Mohave Counties.

The driving force behind the Peace Trail and its current president, J.C. Sanders. He is a former president of the Bouse Ghost Riders.

The Arizona Peace Trail grew out of efforts started in July 2013 from the Bureau of Land Management and the Arizona Game & Fish Department to create a connector trail between Bullhead City and Yuma. This grew out of the many miles of dirt roads, old mining roads and other trails in western Arizona and the growth of motorized off-road recreation in the area.

The Trail non-profit is overseen by a board of directors. The current chairperson of the board is La Paz County District 3 Supervisor Holly Irwin.

Nearly all of the trail is now open and has been marked. The trail is in its final stages of approval. It has already drawn off-road enthusiasts from around the world.

To find out more about the Arizona Peace Trail, go to their website, arizonapeacetrail.org.