Governor Larry Hogan Announces Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission

October 14, 2017
Will Strengthen the Outdoor Recreation Industry, Boost Rural Maryland Economy

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Executive Order 01.01.2017.24 establishing the Maryland Outdoor Recreational Economic Commission (MORE). This commission will be responsible for developing strategies and making recommendations to the governor to strengthen the state’s outdoor recreation industry and help ensure increased investment in our state’s outdoor recreation resources.

“Maryland is abundant with natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources that contribute significantly to our economy and quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “This commission will help ensure that our state’s natural heritage is strengthened, bringing new businesses, increased tourism, and ultimately preserving our resources for future generations.”

The outdoor recreation economy in Maryland already generates 109,000 direct jobs, $14 billion in consumer spending, $4.4 billion in wages and salaries, and $951 million in state and local tax revenue. Investment in outdoor recreation and nature and heritage tourism economies support many outdoor activities in Maryland, including hiking, biking, horse-back riding, paddling, boating, fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, wildlife-viewing, and visiting historic sites.

As part of their work, the commission will develop innovative strategies to market Maryland’s unique outdoor and heritage recreation brand, as well as recommend initiatives to grow and attract new companies. Additionally, the commission will explore ways to retain and support Maryland’s existing outdoor recreation businesses.

The commission will be co-chaired by the Secretary of the Department of Natural Resources Mark Belton and the Secretary of the Department of Commerce Mike Gill and comprised of seventeen members appointed by the co-chairs with the approval of the governor. Members will include representatives of companies within Maryland’s outdoor recreation manufacturing and retail industry; representatives of companies representing small business outdoor or heritage recreation service providers; nonprofit organizations; representatives of gateway cities, towns, or communities; and legislative members.

The commission will provide a final report to the gove

see http://governor.maryland.gov/2017/10/14/governor-larry-hogan-announces-maryland-outdoor-recreational-economic-commission/

Paul Peditto on the St John’s Rock ORV Trail

Maryland OHV Alliance promotes safe, sustainable off road recreation in Maryland. The Alliance worked with the Dept of Natural Resources along with other State agencies and officials to open the first of its kind ORV Park in Maryland. Paul Peditto offers insight.

Please take advantage of the new riding opportunities at the St. John’s Rock ORV facility. Get the details here:
http://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/orv/home.aspx

Grand Opening Announcement – St John’s Rock Trails

Just out from DNR via Facebook

GRAND OPENING: St. John’s Rock Off-Road Vehicle Trail and Campground, July 21. First-ever ORV trail designed…

Posted by Maryland Department of Natural Resources on Monday, July 17, 2017

GRAND OPENING: St. John’s Rock Off-Road Vehicle Trail and Campground, July 21. First-ever ORV trail designed specifically for ORV enthusiasts and riders.The trail is scheduled to be open for day use and overnight camping later this month.

St John’s Rock (aka Savage) Trails Another Update

Two big announcements

1.  We have been extensively engaged with DNR over an opening date for the trails. The latest I received was “We have not reached substantial completion yet. We will not be able to open by July 6. We are working on our plan and we will share that with you ASAP. We are very close.” “Substantial completion” means the trail contractor has finish all but minor punch list items and control has been returned to DNR. Until then the contractor has exclusive use of the area.

2.  DNR has publicly announced that “There is no limit on Day Use reservations without parking.”  That means if you ride a tagged dirt bike or vehicle to the trail system, or if you park/camp nearby and ride/drive in, then all you need is a day-use permit and there is no limit on the number of riders/drivers.  Of course, you need to legally ride from wherever you are to the trail system.  (see http://dnr.maryland.gov/forests/Pages/orv/home.aspx)

Standby we are close!

St John’s Rock (aka Savage) Trails Update

DNR has posted information about the campground and the trails.  Of particular interest is this statement “A total of 19 Day Use with parking reservations are available each day. There is no limit on Day Use reservations without parking.

We have asked DNR to confirm the intent of the statement.  As we read that, it appears that if you drive onto the trail system in a jeep, ATV or dirt-bike then all you need is a day-use permit and there is no limit on the number of those users.  That in effect removes the upper limit of users on the trails.  We think this is a good thing and are confirming with DNR.

Standby!

Savage Trails Preview (Part 1)

Teaser alert! Pictures and video coming soon.

Several of us had the pleasure of riding the new Savage River trails yesterday.  This was a pre-opening ride.  Our biggest critic and doubter had this to say:

I must say that I am indeed eating a big crow today, maybe even a buzzard! I was impressed with the trail that has been cut – yes it is two-track width, but it has plenty of technical action. Lots of turns, switchbacks, elevation changes, and challenging rocks. The trail is well laid out with a main connecting road, and the trail “fingers” coming off it broken up into 3 or 4 sections. Up and back on the technical loop is 16.5 miles. The parking areas are smartly done, with very nice timbers for guard rail. The camp area has a pee-wee loop that connects to all the campsites. It was fun to ride as well. There was rock pile installed for the crawlers, could maybe get through it with an Abrams tank if you’re lucky. – Great stuff. Only a few minutes from the interstate, and good cell service. Also a latrine. The DNR staff were great, with very positive attitudes, unlike some I’ve experienced in the past. Weather conditions were perfect, with cool western md air and bright sun.

All in all a fun trail that should be sustainable for years to come.

Savage Construction Photos

Here are a few photos from trail construction.  Keep in mind these are not the final trail.  We hope to make a nice video for you to see when the trail is done.

Trail from campground

Trail from campground looking the other way

The rock crawl

Campground

Trail

We have made many comments about why did DNR require mulch on an OHV trail?  It makes no sense.  That won’t last one weekend.  We have expressed our concerns to DNR and doubt it will be replaced once the mulch is gone.