Archive | March, 2019

Colorado Enacts Liability Immunity Law For Volunteers and Meet Co Partner Scott Jones

Reposted with permission from NOHVCC (National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council)

This article is one in a series designed to feature NOHVCC State Partners and some of the successes they highlighted in their Partner Annual Reports.  The first-ever round of Annual Reports was a huge success. As a result, the NOHVCC Board of Directors and staff are better able to understand the great things our Partners are up to and we wanted to share some examples with the broader NOHVCC community while introducing some of our Partners as well.

Introducing Scott Jones – Colorado NOHVCC State Partner and Board Member

Scott Jones calls Longmont, Colorado home.  He has enjoyed motorized recreation all his life and has been involved in organized OHV activities for over a decade, currently serving as Vice President of the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition.  Like many OHV enthusiasts, Scott enjoys getting outdoors – with or without a vehicle.  He likes to camp, hunt, hike and has even dabbled a bit in rock climbing.  Scott says that many are surprised to learn he is an environmental attorney and that he considers himself an environmentalist.  Finally, Scott believes the most important thing an individual can do to create a positive future for OHV recreation is to raise awareness of all the good things the OHV community provides, like volunteers, donations, trail maintenance and positive community involvement.

Colorado Enacts Liability Immunity Law for Volunteers

OHV enthusiasts noticed that it was taking longer and longer for State grant funds to reach them after receiving approval in Colorado.  So, a group including Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) representatives decided to examine what was creating the delays – and for a way to resolve the problem.

It was found that finding and securing insurance was one significant hold up.  So COHVCO representatives did some research and found that Colorado was behind other States in limiting liability for clubs and volunteers.  Not only were funds delayed in getting to the ground, there were fears that OHV clubs and volunteers could be liable for damages arising years or even decades after performing trail work that was approved by the agency that managed the relevant land.  Further, it seemed that insurance requirements changed annually, making it difficult for volunteers to know how to comply.

Scott and others with COHVCO reached out to officials from Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) – an easy thing to do as a very positive relationship had been established over years.  CPW agreed that it was time to address the insurance issue, so both parties came up with an idea for legislation.

Leaning once again on a relationship that had been developed over time, COHVCO contacted President Pro Tempore of the Colorado Senate, Jerry Sonnenberg to carry the bill.  With his leadership, and the support of CPW the legislation passed both the full Colorado House and Senate with a total of two members of either House voting no.  That level of support for anything substantive is rare in Colorado, and probably anywhere!

According to the bill summary the new law “strengthens existing legal protections under the federal “Volunteer Protection Act of 1997” and Colorado’s “Volunteer Service Act” for individual volunteers and nonprofit entities who build or maintain recreational trails and related facilities pursuant to grants received under Colorado’s ‘Recreational Trails System Act of 1971.’”

Essentially, the law provides an increased level of negligence protections and removes several contracting requirements related to State grants for clubs performing land stewardship activities on public lands.

The positive impacts of the law have been immediate.  It is already taking less time for grant funds to get to the ground and it is easier for volunteers to file paperwork on time.

Scott recognized that Colorado was behind most States regarding limiting liability but noted, “Since COHVCO and others maintained positive relationships with agency personnel and with key legislators this process was much easier than it could have been.  My recommendation for all OHV enthusiasts is that they cultivate these key relationships, and when you need them it will be easier to succeed.”

The benefits of the new law in Colorado are obvious.  If you would like to attempt to replicate what COHVCO has achieved in Colorado, please contact NOHVCC at NOHVCC staff can offer advice, and maybe even get some help from Scott and his partners!

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NMOHVA Elephant Rock Motorcycle Trail System Support

Attention: Matt Seidel
OHV Program Manager
7816 Alamo Rd NW
Albuquerque, NM 87120

SUBJECT: Letter of Support for the 2019-2020 Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Application, Elephant Rock Motorcycle Trail System, submitted by NMOHVA

Dear Matt:

Please accept this letter from the Colorado Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA) as an official letter of support for the Elephant Rock Motorcycle Trail System, Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Application submitted by the New Mexico OHV Alliance (NMOHVA).

The TPA is a volunteer organization created to be a viable partner to public land managers, such as the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to preserve the sport of motorized trail riding and multiple-use recreation.  The TPA acts as an advocate for the sport and takes the necessary action to ensure that the USFS, BLM, and others allocate a fair and equitable percentage of public lands access to diverse, multiple-use trail recreational opportunities.

The TPA represent thousands of off-highway motorcyclists and OHV enthusiast that travel to New Mexico to enjoy the diverse and scenic back roads and trail opportunities that New Mexico has to offer.

Specifically, the TPA supports NMOHVA’s grant application to restore and improve the sustainability of the Elephant Rock Motorcycle Trail System near the popular tourist destination of Red River, NM.  Our users and affiliates that ride this area acknowledge the need to address and repair the ongoing erosion issues along this trail system and we support the employment of the proposed sediment and erosion control practices to improve the resource protection of the trail system and reduce the ongoing maintenance needs. Additionally the TPA enthusiastically endorses the proposal by NMOHVA to increase user education and safety through the installation and deployment of signage and map development proposed by this grant.  These educational and managerial elements will be crucial to help ensure a sustainable and long-lasting recreational opportunity to be enjoyed by OHV enthusiasts.  Similarly the TPA supports the proposed trailhead improvements included with this grant application since trailheads and their associated facilities “set the tone” for positive recreational experiences and provide key information for users about the rules and regulations governing their enjoyment and use of the trail system and landscape.

The TPA believes this project is an appropriate and warranted use of New Mexico OHV grant funds since it directly and effectively “pays back” to the users that have helped to fund the OHV grant program.  If this grant is approved and awarded to NMOHVA, the TPA will commit to a $5000 cash donation specifically to NMOHVA, exclusively for this project. The TPA is not alone in its support and recognition of the need for this project as evidenced by the commitment of funds and volunteer efforts pledged by others.

In summary, the TPA supports the Elephant Rock Motorcycle Trail System, Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Application submitted by the New Mexico OHV Alliance (NMOHVA).

Don Riggle
Director of Operations
Trails Preservation Alliance

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Minnie Gulch Connectivity Restoration

Delivered via email to

Elijah Waters Field Manager
BLM Gunnison Field Office Gunnison, CO 81230

SUBJECT: Public input to the Bureau of Land Management, Gunnison Field Office, Travel Management Plan

Dear Mr. Waters:

Please accept these comments on behalf of the Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA), the San Juan Trail Riders (SJTR) and the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA).

These comments are being provided as public input to the recently announced Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Gunnison Field Office (GFO), Travel Management Planning (TMP) project. Prior to addressing our specific TMP comments, we believe a brief description of each organization is necessary to provide context to our comments and request.

The TPA is a Colorado nonprofit corporation. The TPA is a volunteer organization created to be a viable partner to public lands managers, working with both the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the BLM to preserve the sport of trail riding and multiple- use recreation. The TPA acts as an advocate for the sport and takes the necessary action to insure that the USFS and BLM allocate a fair and equitable percentage of public lands access to diverse multiple-use recreational opportunities. TPA members have used, and hope in the future to use, motorized and non-motorized means, including off-highway vehicles, horses, mountain bikes, and hiking, to access federal lands throughout Colorado, including in the Gunnison Field Office’s area of responsibility. The TPA has been a long time partner with the Colorado staff of the BLM and has worked together with other BLM Field Offices to improve and enhance multiple-use recreational opportunities and experiences for the public.

SJTR is a Colorado nonprofit corporation with approximately 400 members. SJTR is based in Durango and its members are primarily from Colorado. SJTR goals and purposes include providing an organized network for trail enthusiasts, to promote active participation in off-highway vehicle management, to maintain a focused dialogue with the local land mangers, to educate trail users about “Tread Lightly” and other trail conservation practices, and to encourage cooperation and coordination between user groups and land managers. SJTR members regularly use public lands throughout Colorado, including the Gunnison Field Office’s area, for recreational and aesthetic purposes including off-highway vehicle, motorcycle, mountain bike, equestrian, or hiking travel on trails or primitive roads.

PAPA is a Colorado nonprofit corporation with approximately 300 participants. PAPA is based in Telluride and its members are primarily from Colorado. PAPA protects and promotes public land access, primarily through advocacy and on-the-ground support such as volunteering for trail projects, event support or similar activities as authorized by the USFS, BLM and other partners. PAPA members regularly use public lands throughout Colorado, including the Gunnison Field Office’s area, for recreational and aesthetic purposes including off-highway vehicle, motorcycle, mountain bike, equestrian, or hiking travel on trails or primitive roads.

Our collective comments are primarily focused on the Silverton area and specifically to an area north of Silverton, Colorado called the Minnie Gulch area.

Background: Until at least 1996, a trail measuring approximately 1.75 miles connected San Juan County Road #24 (CR #24) and National Forest System Trail (NFST #917), and was open to motorized use. This connection was important for creating a loop with the motorized singletrack trails in the area on the USFS Divide Ranger District (DRD) of the Rio Grande National Forest (RGNF) and offering another access point to the high country. This trail was closed to multiple-use travel around 1997. Our organizations have been unable to collectively ascertain the reason for the closure nor the process that was used to effect the change. NFST #917 remains open to multiple-use within the jurisdiction of the DRD.

Proposal and Recommendations: Our organizations request that multiple-use single–track access, specifically motorcycle access be restored on the approximately 1.75 mile section between the end of CR #24 and NFST #917 as depicted in the aerial photograph provided below. CR #24 and NFST #917 are already multiple-use. Our organizations will be willing to request grant funding for opening the trail, and are willing to adopt the trail for ongoing maintenance and upkeep. This action will likewise enhance and re-establish the trail to hardy mountain bike cyclists as well.

Minnie Gulch Map

Below is an excerpt of the 1996 Rio Grande National Forest, Recreation Map which shows the trail that is the subject of this discussion, open to motorized/multiple-use recreation between the Minnie Gulch Road/CR #24 and NFST #917 in the RGNF.

Minnie Gulch Map

The following map shows the current RGNF trails in the area, with the motorized routes highlighted.

Minnie Gulch Map

The organizations are aware that there could be concerns regarding the crossing of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST)/Colorado Trail by an intermittently used multiple-use, single-track trail. However, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) Comprehensive Plan from 2009 specifically allows for motor vehicle routes to cross the CDNST, and that motor vehicle use (i.e. motorcycle use) was allowed to cross this portion of the CDNST prior to November 19781. Furthermore, existing multiple-use trail NFST #917 intersects the CDNST. It should also be noted that NFST #787 (AKA Pole Creek) and NFST #822 (AKA Lost Creek) both intersect with the CDNST just South of Cataract Lake, and both NFSTs #916 and #917 currently dead end at the CDNST. These junctures have existed and been in place for decades without problems or conflicts. The organizations therefore believe that a properly signed crossing of the CDNST from Minnie Gulch to NFST #917 will not present a problem.

Financial and Volunteer Support: Our organizations are committed to working closely with the GFO to restore this access for multiple-use, specifically motorcycles, through adopting the restored trail by SJTR for maintenance purposes and by securing future Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) grants as needed. The organizations have provided single-track gates/width restrictors and signage in the past to ensure compliance with travel plans, and would be happy to do so in this case as well. The organizations are willing and prepared to provide fair and reasonable financial support, should the need arise, to purchase easements, mine claims or rights-of-way to facilitate the restoration of this proposed multiple-use access from the end of CR #24 in Minnie Gulch to NFST #917 in the DRD of the RGNF. However, we would contend that a specific easement is not required as the existing use by the County and the existence of the current trail and uses across mining claims and properties in the immediate area more than adequately satisfies the Colorado definition of a “Prescriptive Easement” (i.e., A prescriptive easement is one upon another’s property without the property owner’s consent for a period of 18 years. That the existing and past use is and has been “open and notorious”, continuous and adverse for at least 18 years). Our organizations are also willing to contribute funds for management items such as signage, trail construction materials, etc. and a suitable level of volunteer labor and resources to restore this trail to a sustainable condition appropriate for multiple-use (i.e. single-track motorcycle use).

The Trails Preservation Alliance (TPA), the San Juan Trail Riders (SJTR) and the Public Access Preservation Association (PAPA) collectively request that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Gunnison Field Office (GFO), restore multiple-use, single–track access, specifically motorcycle access between the end of Minnie Gulch, San Juan County Road #24 and National Forest System Trail #917, which currently terminates at the jurisdictional border with the Divide Ranger District of the Rio Grande National Forest.

Thank you for your consideration of our comments. Together in partnership with the Gunnison Field Office we hope to help develop a Travel Management Planning that is responsive to user needs, provides sustainable multiple-use recreational opportunities and protects the resources of the GFO. The organizations would welcome a discussion of these recommendations at your convenience. Our point of contact for this project will be Mr. Allen Christy of the SJTR, Questions regarding funding or our organizations level of commitment to re-opening this route to multiple-use and specifically motorcycles should be directed to the undersigned at or 719-338-4106.


D.E. Riggle
Director of Operations Trails Preservation Alliance

cc: SJTR, Allen Christy PAPA
Divide Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest

1 See, USDA Forest Service; The 2009 Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan; September 2009 at pgs. 19-20.

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Arizona OHV Economic Impact Study

Economic Impact of Off-Highway Recreation in the State of Arizona

Cover of PDF for Economic Impact of Off-HIghway Recreation in the State of ArizonaThe State of Arizona has abundant natural resources appropriate for off-highway motorized vehicle recreation. Off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails can be defined as multiple use paths open to off-highway vehicles for recreational purpose. Examples of off-highway vehicles (OHVs) include all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), utility task vehicles (UTVs), Side by Sides, recreational off-highway vehicles (ROVs), motorcycles, mopeds and snowmobiles.

In 2016–2017, Arizona State University conducted a study to measure the economic impact of OHV recreation, by retained and out of state visitors, on the State of Arizona. A retained visitor is defined as a local visitor who would have traveled outside the State of Arizona if OHV trails had been absent. The study makes use of web-based questionnaires in addition to onsite surveys at geographically dispersed popular trail locations.


Overall economic impact of OHV recreation on the State of Arizona includes:

  • Leverage ratio is: 1:184:48
  • $2.64 billion in output
  • $1.60 billion in value added
  • $ .94 billion in labor income
  • More than 21,077 jobs
  • $221.76 million in State/Local taxes
  • $148.23 million in Federal tax revenue

Download the PDF to read the entire study.

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Colorado Wilderness and the CORE Act

Reposted with permission from
The Smokey Wire : National Forest News and Views
Original article:Colorado Wilderness and the CORE Act: Hearing From Those Left Out of the “Consensus” Corrected Version
By Patrick McKay

The Lost Lake Road and trailhead near Vail would be adjacent to one of the proposed wilderness areas under the CORE Act.

Lately I have been seeing a steady stream of articles and editorials in publications around Colorado advocating for Senator Bennet’s Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy (CORE) Act, based on the fiction that there is a strong consensus among stakeholders in favor of this bill. There is no such consensus. The CORE Act is simply a combination of failed wilderness bills that were each too unpopular to pass on their own. Those who support multiple-use of federal lands for all forms of recreation, rather than locking them up for the exclusive use of a single user group, unequivocally oppose it.

The motorized recreation community especially opposes the bill, because it would convert thousands of acres of land currently open to motorized use into wilderness. Almost every area of proposed wilderness is either currently open to motorized use or is considered a motorized expansion area under current Forest Service travel planning.

This bill will be devastating to snowmobilers, dirt bikers, Jeepers, and mountain bikers, who will all either immediately lose access to existing recreational opportunities or potentially lose opportunities in the future as a result of the bill. Snowmobiles would be hurt the most, as vast tracts of land that are currently open to that activity would be closed. In one of the most callous corporate land grabs imaginable, the popular Sheep Mountain area near Silverton would be closed to mountain biking and snowmobiling (which has been allowed since 1983) but would remain open to a private heliskiing operation.

This comes amidst an ongoing feud between local snowmobilers and the outfitter, which has long sought to secure exclusive first-tracks usage of the area for its clients. The CORE Act picks a firm winner in that conflict, favoring corporate interests over the public (including quiet use) in giving the company the exclusive right to mechanized access. Members of the public would be forbidden to even fly toy drones in the area, but a corporation would still be allowed to land noisy helicopters in what would otherwise be managed as a wilderness.

While it will not close them directly, the bill threatens several important Jeep trails including Imogene Pass between Ouray and Telluride (a Jeep Badge of Honor Trail), and other routes that would be “cherry-stemmed” by the bill. The wilderness boundaries would be placed within 50 feet of the edges of these roads, making future trail maintenance or re-routing impossible. Requests by the motorized community for larger buffers surrounding existing trails have been rebuffed.

These boundaries are based on the Forest Service Motor Vehicle Use Maps, which are frequently inaccurate regarding the actual locations of roads on the ground. With so little buffer, any mapping errors could result in the permanent closure of some of the best off-road routes in Colorado. Moreover, there are no additional protections in the bill ensuring cherry-stemmed routes will remain open in the future, which is a significant concern given that roads cherry-stemmed by past wilderness legislation have frequently faced immense pressure for closure in subsequent travel planning due to conflicts with the surrounding wilderness areas.

Even where this bill does not directly close trails, permanent wilderness status will preclude any future expansions of existing trail systems. It will also deprive the Forest Service of much-needed flexibility in caring for forests already suffering from poor health, beetle infestations, and wildfires.

While I agree that wilderness areas are important and I enjoy hiking and backpacking in them myself, Colorado has plenty of wildernesses already. The CORE Act claims to promote recreation in Colorado while in fact decreasing existing opportunities for recreation. This site has previously covered the issue of manufacturing wilderness by kicking out existing users, and that is exactly what is occurring here.

If new wildernesses are to be designated, that should be done without closing areas currently open to other incompatible forms of recreation. If not, wilderness proponents should at least be honest about the fact that they are deliberately sacrificing certain forms of recreation in order to promote others, abandoning any pretense that they are anything other than a majority steamrolling a disfavored minority. Consensus, that is not.

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that this bill would directly close motorized trails in the Spraddle Creek and Tenderfoot Mountain areas near Vail and Dillon, and would put wilderness boundaries next to the Holy Cross City trail near Leadville. After a discussion with one of the proponents of the bill, I discovered these statements were incorrect, and were based on inaccurate information in my source material as well as low-fidelity maps that made it difficult to determine the precise boundaries of proposed wilderness relative to nearby motorized routes. I apologize for these errors.



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Summary of CORE Wilderness opposition

Senator Corey Gardner
Att: Dustin Sherer
354 Russell Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Re: Summary of CORE Wilderness opposition

Dear Senator Gardner;

Please accept this correspondence a summary of our more detailed comments in opposition to the CORE Wilderness Proposal previously submitted. Our Organizations are opposed to any assertion the CORE proposal is a benefit to recreational usage of the lands addressed. Rather than being a benefit for recreational usage of these areas, our Organizations submit the CORE Wilderness proposal would be the largest barrier to recreation on federal public lands in the history of Colorado. CORE closes the bulk of areas to almost all recreational usages; closes extensive trail networks where travel management analysis was just completed; and fails to protect current highly used recreational resources in areas not closed. Rather than protecting these highly valued opportunities, CORE sets the foundation for the eventual loss of these opportunities.

We have tried to raise these concerns in discussions around specific portions of CORE previously and those concerns have gone without response, and rather than collaboration with broad communities of interests, CORE advances a very small portion of the total recreational interests in these areas. This is simply unacceptable to us.

Curecanti NRA

  1. The Curecanti NRA is already a nationally recognized NRA by the Park Service and Congress has recognized the NRA for multiple use recreational values in 1999, and has successfully been managed without conflict for its unique and diverse recreational values by the Park Service for decades. In response to the Congressional action, in 2011 the NPS identified the 5 major recreational usages of the Curecanti area but only 2 of the top 5 recreational usages of the Curecanti Area are proposed to be recognized as characteristics of the CORE NRA moving forward. While 3 of the 5 top recreational uses Curecanti are not protected in CORE, the final characteristic protected in the CORE is hunting. We must question why an activity that accounts for less than 5% of all visitation to the area is identified as characteristic of the area while developed camping, which accounts for 30% of visitation based on almost 400 developed campsites on the NRA is not identified as a characteristic of the NRA.
  2. The Curecanti has an extensive multiple use trail network providing access to the Curecanti NRA and extensive sections of BLM and USFS lands adjacent to the Curecanti. This network was just reviewed in its entirety by the NPS travel management completed in late 2000’s and found to be valuable and sustainable for a wide range of uses. This multiple use trail network is a resource that while not specifically identified for inventory purposes by the Park Service, which plays a critical role many of the top recreational activities on the NRA, such as OHV riding, motorcycle riding, hiking and horseback riding. The Organizations submit that multiple use trails and camping must be recognized by CORE as characteristics of the Curecanti area as these are important components of the quality and conflict free recreational activities that have gone on for decades in the Curecanti area.

Continental Divide

  1. The CORE Wilderness expands Wilderness in locations where previous Congressional Wilderness legislation has mandated certain routes be reopened. Despite the clear intent of Congress, these mandates have simply never been complied with such as the Rollins Pass Road. Rollins Pass Road is almost directly adjacent to newly expanded CORE Wilderness areas. Not only is this wrong, the levels of conflict that would result would be immeasurable. Many of the parties that supported reopening the Rollins Pass in federal law have opposed the reopening of Rollins Pass Road in USFS discussions since and are now seeking more Wilderness. All facets of previous Congressional mandates must be completed before further Wilderness expansions are explored.
  2. CORE Wilderness provisions close extensive legal trail networks in the Spraddle Creek and Williams Fork areas of the Continental Divide areas. These are trail networks that were found to be sustainable and valuable after completion of travel management by the USFS in 2013 and are heavily used by a wide range of trail users.
  3. The Continental Divide portions would close large areas the Forest Service recently identified as future expansion areas for multiple use recreation in their planning process. The end result of these closures is that future multiple use expansion areas would be cut in half and expansion in many areas would almost be impossible.
  4. The no-name wilderness addition boundary would be placed within 50ft of the Holy Cross City route, which is consistently identified as one of the top trail destinations in Colorado for the 4×4 community. Our concerns on this issue are similar to the Wilderness boundary issues with trails identified in the San Juan portion below.
  5. Any SMA alleged to be benefitting recreation designated in CORE Wilderness are in areas where topography is so difficult that trail construction is difficult to almost impossible and motorized usage is commonly excluded from these areas resulting in benefits only for a small portion of the entire recreational community.

San Juan

  1. The Sheep Mtn SMA closes legal multiple use recreational opportunity areas for the benefit of a small special interest in the area, such as Sheep Mtn outside Telluride. Any riding areas in the Telluride area are exceptionally valuable given the large amount of Wilderness in the area which has already been designated and difficult topography in the area. The provisions of the SMA would mandate exclusion of public access for snowmobiles and related activities in favor of Congressional protection of heli-skiing permittees. This is merely legislating who gets first tracks in fresh snow in the area.
  2. Many expanded Wilderness areas in San Juan were specifically released for non-wilderness multiple use by Congress in 1980 as part of efforts to bring balance to the 1980 Colorado Wilderness Act.
  3. CORE Wilderness boundaries change existing boundaries Congress placed on ridge tops or similar features because of trails in the vicinity in 1980 to within 50ft of existing legal trails. This conflicts with all USFS published guidance. By comparison the USFS recommends a ½ mile buffer around National Trail System routes.
  4. USFS trail maps are simply not that accurate and the proximity of new Wilderness boundaries would make long term maintenance on these routes very difficult if not impossible after floods and we routinely cut thousands of trees off trails in Colorado. Most hazard trees are outside the 50 ft buffer proposed for the trail. Our ask for these routes would be a Congressional designation of a corridor of 300ft on each side of trails that recognizes the multiple use value of these routes as many of these have been nationally recognized as important routes by recreational users and existed without controversy for decades. Again these requests have gone without response.

Thompson Divide

The Thompson Divide portions of the CORE act are utterly unrelated to recreational activity, so we find it difficult to create any value for multiple use recreation in the area. Rather the Thompson Divide portions of the CORE place more concern, albeit minimal, on multiple use recreation as one of the goals of the area is to reduce greenhouse gases. The boundaries of the area include Kebler Pass and Beckwith Pass which encompass some of the best snowmobile opportunities in the country in the winter and exceptional multiple use summer opportunities. A Congressionally declared goal for the area of reducing greenhouse gasses would not be a benefit to recreation as it is not difficult to see a situation motorized usages conflict with the goals of the area as they emit greenhouse gases.

Please feel free to contact Scott Jones, Esq. if you should wish to discuss any of the issues that have been raised in these comments further. His contact information is Scott Jones, Esq., 508 Ashford Drive, Longmont Colorado 80504; phone 518-281-5810; email

Scott Jones, Esq.
COHVCO/TPA Authorized Rep.
CSA President

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OHV Economic Impact Studies Available

Article reposted from NOHVCC by permission
By Laura Feist on March 5, 2019

Last year NOHVCC asked for Partners and others to share recent OHV economic impact studies so NOHVCC could make them available to the OHV community.  As usual our Partners responded.  In addition, staff has collected various other economic impact studies that we were aware of.  Take a look below to read a brief description of each study and click the link to download a pdf version.

These studies can be used to show the dramatic positive impact OHV recreation (and, in some cases, all recreation) can have on communities.  They can also serve as inspiration for those who are seeking to quantify the impact of OHV use in their area.

Iowa Off-Highway Vehicle Operations, Operators, Expenditures And Economic Impacts

February 1, 2019

Iowa off-highway vehicle owners spent approximately $72.4 million in 2018 on in-state operating expenses and related personal expenses. Total Iowa asset purchase and operating/personal expenditures generated approximately 1,018 jobs in the Iowa economy paying an average of $42,850 annually.  Off-highway vehicle owners spent about $28.9 million outside the state of Iowa in 2018. If that had been spent in-state, it would have generated $34.9 million in Iowa industrial output and 374 jobs paying annual incomes of $31,180 per job.

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Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account: Updated Statistics for 2012-2016

September 20, 2018

Updated statistics from the Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account (ORSA) released by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.2 percent ($412 billion) of current-dollar GDP in 2016 (table 2). In data produced for the first time, using inflation-adjusted (real) GDP, the outdoor recreation economy grew 1.7 percent in 2016, faster than the 1.6 percent growth for the overall U.S. economy (table 6). In addition, real gross output, compensation, and employment all grew faster in outdoor recreation than in the overall economy in 2016.

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MO-MOTO OHV Incorporated – OHV Tourism Economic Impact Overview


OHV recreation is a proven financial stimulus to the tourism market with the average rider spending a minimum of $100 on a single day trip. We should encourage struggling areas to embrace OHV tourism as we have the opportunity to directly impact and benefit financial success of local businesses. We can connect rural Missouri to OHV trails, which would provide new employment and income while bringing new money to these distressed regions. OHV tourism can diversify the economy of South East Missouri and create a culture of entrepreneurship based around trail oriented business (outfitters, rentals, guides, cabins, hotels, restaurants, etc) the same way the state park industry has to several Missouri communities.

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Economic Contribution of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation in Colorado

2014-2015 Season

During the 2014–2015 season, motorized recreational enthusiasts spent an estimated $1.6 billion while taking trips using motorized vehicles for recreational purposes. More than 92 percent of these expenditures occurred during the summer recreational season. In addition to spending money on trips, households that participate in motorized recreation also spend money on maintenance, repairs, accessories, vehicle storage, and miscellaneous items associated with their vehicles. Motorized recreational enthusiasts spent more than an estimated $724 million annually on various items to support and enhance their experiences in Colorado, including $163 million in new vehicle purchases. In total, motorized recreational enthusiasts were responsible for $2.3 billion in direct expenditures related to motorized recreation in Colorado during the 2014–2015 season.

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The Economic and Fiscal Impact of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in West Virginia

July 11, 2014

The analysis indicates that the nearly $1.7 million in spending conducted by the Hatfield-McCoy Trails for day-to-day operations generated an additional $1.6 million in economic activity within the State, for a total operational impact of $3.3 million. Even more notably, the Hatfield-McCoy Trails bring non-local visitors to the area whose spending is estimated to generate an additional $19 million in economic activity in West Virginia. Together, the total estimated economic impact of the Hatfield-McCoy Trails is more than $22 million.

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Economics of Idaho Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation

June 23, 2014

Off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation in Idaho is big business. Idaho OHV enthusiasts took close to 1 million recreation trips in Idaho during 2012 and spent about $434 million – $186 million on OHV recreation trips and $248 million on OHV capital expenditures such as the vehicles themselves.

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Economic Importance of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation: An Analysis of Idaho Counties


During the period August 2012 through November 2012, the University of Idaho, in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation (IDPR), surveyed Idaho’s registered off-highway-vehicle (OHV) owners. The goal of the survey was to determine the economic importance of OHV use in Idaho during the previous 12 months. The survey sample was drawn from IDPR-registered OHV owners. OHV activities not related to recreation (e.g., work) and out-of-state visitors could not be sampled. Trips and expenditures for OHV recreation in Idaho would be higher if nonresident OHV recreation could be estimated.

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Montana Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles – Fuel-Use and Spending Patterns


Residents spend about $208 million per year on OHV activities, and nearly all their entire out-of-pocket trip costs are for gasoline. We estimate that OHV users buy about 6.6 million gallons of gasoline per year. With a base tax of $0.27 per gallon, resident OHV users in Montana generate over $1.8 million in revenue for the state highway trust fund.

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The Economic Contributions of Outdoor Recreation: Technical Report on Methods and Findings


This study is an update and expansion of an earlier study of active outdoor recreation produced in 2006 by the Outdoor Industry Association. The 2006 study focused solely on human-powered (i.e. non-motorized) activities. While this study includes the same human-powered activities as the earlier work, an additional survey was conducted to gauge the economic contributions of outdoor recreation.

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A Snapshot of the Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation


Outdoor recreation spending in Western states equaled $255.6 billion – nearly 40% of the national total. This includes purchases of outdoor gear and vehicles as well as travel expenditures when enjoying the great Western outdoors.

Download the Study

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Start or Join an OHV Club!

NOHVCC logo from NOHVCC (National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council)
Reposted with permission from KLIM 

The best way to preserve and enhance your riding area is to get involved. Check out this how-to guide and get on the OHV club wagon today!

Forming or joining an OHV club may be the best thing you’ll ever do for your riding enjoyment.

By Steve Casper and NOHVCC
rider on motorcycle, mountains in backgroundLet’s face it. The main driving force behind virtually every OHV area that is newly opened (or saved from closing) are well-organized groups of riders. The truth is, each of us on our own doesn’t really have much of a voice when it comes to the complicated and drawn-out process of opening and saving off-highway recreation areas. But as a group, whether through coalitions, state OHV organizations or as local clubs, we have a strong, unified voice that the movers and shakers in our communities tend to listen to.

So all right, that’s one very important reason to join a club. However, there are many more fun aspects to signing up with local riders and meeting regularly. By meeting and interacting with other local OHVers you’ll get the scoop on all the best trails and routes in your neck of the woods, the best places to camp, the tastiest Friday Nite Fish Fry on the outskirts of Podunckville. Plus, OHV clubs are always planning weekend trips with groups of people that nearly always make the experiences more fun. Even during the off-season, many club members have occasional get-togethers just for the heck of it. There’s even the aspect of having a huge pool of off-highway information from the club members such as which aftermarket parts work best for your vehicle, who makes the best trailer, and what’s the latest hot setup for pickups and RVs.

Are club riders happier riders?

Riders sitting on log enjoying a breakFrom our experience with literally hundreds of OHV enthusiasts over the years, we’ve found that the riders and drivers who are involved in local clubs tend to get the most satisfaction from their OHV experiences. There is, however, a little of the old chicken and the egg question here- which came first; do OHVers who are really crazy about their sport tend to join clubs, or are they drawn even further into the sport by joining one. I imagine the answer is it’s a little of both. But I do feel certain about one thing here. Though I don’t have any statistics to back me up, from what I’ve seen over the years, OHV enthusiasts who are active in their clubs definitely seem to go riding more often, have more fun and more friends, and make an extremely positive impact on the future of their sport by always practicing and preaching impeccable off-highway ethics.

But isn’t there some work involved?

rider motorcycle crossing wood bridge

OK, all the fun stuff about being a club member does involve a bit of work if you want to reap all of the benefits. Sure, someone has to be Secretary, Treasurer, President, etc., and someone has to make the campground reservations and be in charge of sign-up, etc., but with a large group working together as one it’s probably no more time consuming than planning a big trip for your family all by yourself. And to keep your trails open, there will probably be trail cleaning and trail maintenance days, and auction fundraisers or carwashes, but hey, those usually turn into real fun family activities.

Walking you through step-by-step

So now that you’re ready to join an existing club, or start one on your own, where do you begin? Well, there just happens to be an organization that will do everything in their power to help you in this quest, and they’ll do it all for free. The National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) has a stated goal of “Creating a Positive Future for Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation”. At the very top of their list is the task of getting as many riders and drivers as possible to join or form clubs. Why is this? Because they understand what a big boost every single member is for the future of our sport. (Plus, I guess, down deep, they just plain want you to have more fun!)

motorcycles and trail sign

Joining an already established club is, of course, the easiest route for you to help accomplish this goal. Virtually every state has a NOHVCC representative who has a master of list of all the dirt bike, ATV and 4×4 clubs in their state with phone numbers and e-mail contacts. To find the club nearest to where you live, simply call the NOHVCC 800 number listed at the end of this article and they’ll get you hooked up with your state rep. 

There’s also a list of the clubs on the website. Of course, not all of us will be fortunate enough to have an established club all ready to take us in for $20-$30 a year. In that case, you and your riding pals may want to start your own club from scratch. The NOHVCC is very prepared to help you with that task as well, by offering a proven and well-used Off-Highway Vehicle Club Start-Up Kit for free. In it, you’ll find easy-to-understand, step-by-step instructions on how to get your club up and running, as well as tips on maintaining a strong volunteer infrastructure which is the key to the more successful and long-lived clubs.

Club start-up rundown

In the NOHVCC Off-Highway Vehicle Club Start-Up Kit you’ll find all the details on how to accomplish the following steps to getting your own club up and running:

  • Getting the word out about your first meeting.
  • Setting an agenda for the first meeting which includes things like introductions, discussions, nominations/volunteers, identification of positions which need to be filled, identification of member’s talents that can be utilized, education, and refreshments and social time.
  • Setting an agenda for the first Board of Directors meeting, which includes things like job descriptions, dues, legal issues, insurance, and bylaws.
  • Parliamentary procedures.
  • Volunteer time records.
  • Putting together a newsletter.
  • Procedures for cash disbursements and receipts.

If all this sounds a bit intimidating, no need to worry because you’ll also have personal access to your own state NOHVCC representative who is available to help you throughout the entire process if you happen to hit any snags. Eventually, of course, your state OHV association will want your new organization under their umbrella as well, which means by then you will have accomplished a job well done.

As easy as one phone call or e-mail

2 riders on motorcycles overlooking valley and mountain

To boost your riding experience up to a new fun-filled, exciting level by joining or forming an OHV club, simply call the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council for all the info. The phone number for their main office in Great Falls, Montana is 800-348-6487 and they are also easy to reach by e-mail at You can receive the free Club Kit electronically or hard copy by mail. The NOHVCC also has a great website with lots of info on many other off-highway topics such as an OHV library, OHV Park Manual, OHV Trail Guidelines, acquiring trail funds, working with land managers and local politicians and legislators, access to a national network of OHV activists, youth programs, training programs, safety issues, education, and much more.

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