If you would like to participate in a ROV (side-by-side) focus group on June 2nd (one meeting at 4 PM and the other at 7 PM), contact Rick Arnold at 240-403-4800 extension 236. You will get an $80 debit card for your effort.
Update! We were a bit premature earlier. The AMA port is back online. Please resend your comments or take the time to send now!
Thanks to the AMA, the Alliance has gotten access to Gov Hogan and his administration. Gov Hogan is sympathetic but he needs to hear from you! Please take time to send him an email using AMA’s portal.
Tell Governor Hogan And DNR Secretary Belton That All Marylanders will benefit from OHV Parks
Your support is critical and we’re making it easy for you to make a differnce
Please note “Discussions highlighted multi-use trails including information about hiking, mountain biking, equestrians, off-road vehicles and water trails.” OHVs are finally getting mentioned as a legitimate user of public lands!
Governor announces new Trails Development Office GIS Mapping and trails websites unveiled
Linthicum Heights, Md. (October 20, 2010) — On behalf of Governor Martin O’Malley, Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary John R. Griffin yesterday announced the creation of a new Trails Development Office during the first Maryland Trails Summit. More than 200 enthusiastic stakeholders and State and regional trail leaders attended the event, with a theme Sharing the Vision — Making the Connections.
“This summit is another significant step in our effort to make Maryland’s trails system second to none in the nation,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “The creation of a Trails Development Office demonstrates our commitment to expanding, improving and connecting our system of trails, bringing countless benefits to our citizens, visitors and young people.”
The new Trails Development Office will be headed by DNR’s Land Acquisition and Planning office. John Wilson, Land Trails Coordinator, will lead the initiative and a planner will be added to the office in the near future. Wilson introduced the Geographic Information (GIS) and trails website at the summit. The GIS mapping system allows citizens to see where trails are in the state, as well as gives planners data on where to make future connections. DNR’s trail website was developed as a fluid clearinghouse for trail enthusiasts to share information, maps and suggestions in a comprehensive, easy-to-use site.
“Today this event is the culmination of ideas and input from four regional roundtables that DNR hosted this summer,” said DNR Secretary John R. Griffin. “We look forward to continuing these conversations in the development of a shared vision for a Statewide Trails network. Our other priorities include developing a plan for Off Road Vehicle trails and creating a citizens’ trails advocacy group. ”
“We will continue to build on our partnership with Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) who has helped fund trail initiatives thru recreational trails grants and staff assistance, resulting in terrific outcomes like the recently released commuter trails map. This will be followed by a trail initiative connecting the commuter trails to recreation trails around the state,” said Griffin.
Yesterday’s event offered attendees an opportunity to hear about regional projects in Delaware, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Discussions highlighted multi-use trails including information about hiking, mountain biking, equestrians, off-road vehicles and water trails. The afternoon brought time to network with other trail users and planners from Maryland and neighboring states.
“It is great Maryland is taking the lead in bringing people together across the State and looking outside the State’s boundaries to make these trail connections,” said Jennifer Wampler, trail coordinator with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
The morning keynote speaker was Tom Horton, local outdoors author and avid hiker, bicyclist and kayaker. Horton spoke on the importance of connecting and organizing trails on land and water, so people can have access to trailheads, camping sites and enjoy Maryland’s many outdoor opportunities.
Charlie Stek, chairman of the Chesapeake Conservancy, was the evening keynote speaker at the summit.
“Governor O’Malley’s vision of a trails and greenways system that is second to none is a huge opportunity to bolster our economy through recreation and tourism; to better connect our citizens to our natural and cultural heritage; and to foster better health through outdoor activities and experiences, on the land and on the water,” said Stek.
The summit was supported in part by the National Park Service Challenge Cost-Share Program and the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail Office. The summit was planned by: the National Park Service, DNR, MDOT and the Department of Housing and Community Development (Maryland Tourism).
Last week I meet with members of the Garrett County Economic Development team. I briefed them on the economic benefits of OHV recreation and how we can do it in a responsible and sustainable way. There were very interested when they saw the numbers for the economic benefit to nearby areas. More to come!
Our President, Ken Kyler, has been invited to present at the 2015 Maryland Trails Summit in one of the 30-minute Speed Sessions. The Summit is for State and local parks and recreation professionals. This is an excellent opportunity for us to evangelize on OHV recreation and sustainable trails.
Baltimore city wants to outlaw buying and selling a dirt bike in Baltimore City!
Read the analysis at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2015RS/fnotes/bil_0006/hb0016.pdf
Make your voice known!
Our second year was just as phenomenal as our first year! Again it was all due to your help, donations and a strong Board of Directors. We continue to make progress on opening the Savage River Trail System, and have been working hard with western civic and social leaders espousing the gospel of OHV recreational tourism. It was quite a year and you made it happen with your generous support! As Paul Harvey would have said, now for the rest of the story!
Savage River State Forest OHV Trail & NOHVCC Workshop for DNR
It has been many years in the making and members of your Alliance Board have been working on this long before the Alliance was formed. Last year the State officially started the process to create an OHV trail system within Savage River State Forest. The initial engineering assessment was completed and the Alliance was invited to review the proposed trail layout. To put it mildly, we were underwhelmed. Fortunately we saw this coming and had been working with the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) to conduct a 2-day workshop (at no cost to DNR) on trail design and maintenance.
We used your donations and split the cost with NOHVCC to conduct the workshop. It was money very, very well spent. NOHVCC sent one of their senior project managers, Jack Terrell, as well as Ron Potter who recently retired from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource. Ron spent 37 years as the MN DNR Recreation Systems Manager in the Parks & Trails Division. He is a nationally respected public trails manager and was very, very well received by the MD DNR members who attended. DNR sent two senior leaders and about 20 other employees who ranged from headquarters level planners to local land managers. The workshop was one-day of classroom followed by a day in the field. It was amazing and exciting to see their eyes opened by Jack and Ron over the two days of the workshop. We should also add that when we went to the field, the engineering firm DNR hired accompanied us.
By the end of the workshop, the original plan was totally scrapped and DNR proposed a dual-trail system paralleling the 7-miles of Red Dog Road with interconnecting loops. We went from 5-6 miles of trails to 30+ miles of trails and from 15 users per day to 30 users per day. We believe that a well designed trail monitoring system will show DNR that even more users per day can be achieved. This is a great start and will be a model for future OHV areas on public land.
DNR expects all the work to open the trail system to be completed by the end of 2015. You can be assured we will stay closely involved with DNR to ensure that happens!
Trail System Monitoring Initiative
Your Alliance was the instigator to start a trail monitoring working group with representatives from the Maryland DNR (Wade Dorsey, Savage River Land Manager), Garrett College (Kevin Dodge), Steve Storck (local volunteer and trail erosion expert) and the MD OHV Alliance (Ken Kyler). Steve has a PHD in Outdoor recreation Management and has done a lot of work on trail monitoring programs that is directly applicable to creating an OHV trail monitoring program. DNR has found seed money to fund some Garrett College students to do the monitoring under the supervision of Kevin.
You may ask why we should embrace trail monitoring. Trail monitoring is a proactive way to ensure trails are sustainable and thereby remain open! Green Ridge had no trail monitoring program and was shut down with little warning as an unsustainable trail. We view a well designed trail monitoring program as a defensive measure as well. By being proactive, we can bring volunteers to the trail and mitigate issues before they become problems—something we should have done at Green Ridge. Also, because Maryland manages all forests as “sustainable forests” a monitoring program is vital to their next evaluation. By being proactive and mitigating issues as they arise we can show that OHV recreation is compatible with sustainable forests.
Economic Benefit Meeting with Western Leaders
The Alliance had a social meeting with Senator Edwards, elected state and county leaders, as well as landowners and significant social leaders to continue last year’s discussions on the economic benefits of OHVs to the counties. This time we presented the economic impact that surrounding areas experience from OHV recreational tourism. The attendees seemed quite surprised by the economic benefit the counties could experience. This is a very slow process but we are making inroads. One result was an invitation to meet with Mike Koch who is the executive director of Garrett County’s Department of Planning and Economic Development. Mike thinks OHV recreational tourism can only be good for the county if done right. Our job is to show him it can be.
Your Alliance will continue to push forward on the issues above as well as undertake new initiatives.
New State leadership!
The election of Larry Hogan has changed the world and created vast opportunities for us. We believe Governor-elect Hogan will be a strong supporter of building OHV recreational tourism using State land as well as public/private partnerships. It appears that Hogan will appoint Charlie Evans Jr. (who worked as the assistant secretary at DNR during the Ehrlich administration) as the next DNR Secretary. We will be working to get on his calendar and discuss OHV recreation on DNR lands and we will push to reopen Green Ridge State Forest.
Updating Maryland’s Outdated OHV Noise Legislation
Maryland’s legislation on OHV noise is woefully outdated. With the help of AMA, we are drafting an update to use the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) and AMA’s recommended noise standard and testing method. It will also address spark arrestors. We are drafting language to ensure this only applies to OHV use on public property and may be waived for races or events. We all follow these standards already so this won’t be any change for you. This is primarily a defensive move on our part. We would rather have standards passed that we all already adhere to versus having someone with an axe to grind push through a very onerous law. Noise is a major issue and has contributed to closing OHV parks and other riding areas.
Your Alliance will be pushing hard on the issues above. We are achieving results many long-time Marylanders though impossible. This is all because of your strong support. We are a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization and we have been achieving great results with your funds!
Amazon will now donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance Inc when you shop at AmazonSmile. You must go to Amzon through their “Smile” URL http://smile.amazon.com or click on the link below.
Christmas is coming! Give twice with the same purchase!