Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund Legislation Passed!

On 15 May 2018, Governor Hogan signed Senate Bill 606 which was introduced by Senator Edwards at the request of the Maryland Motorcycle Dealers Association (MMDA) and the Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance (MDOHVA). It creates, within DNR, an Off–Highway Recreational Vehicle Trail Fund and transfers roughly $750,000 per year from the Transportation Trust Fund (TTF) to the trail fund. Further, it fences those funds so that they can only be used for ORV trails! Those funds come from the Title Tax we all pay when any ATV, SxS, dirt bike, etc are purchased within Maryland. The MMDA has been working for over a decade to get that money transferred to DNR where it belongs. Until now, those funds were used to maintain highways!  The MDOHVA is proud to have been able to assist in this.

This is HUGE! A common problem in getting trails built on public lands is the lack of funds to build and maintain them. With this legislation, the funding issue has disappeared. This was a great day for all ORV enthusiasts.

Assisting DNR On New State-Acquired Property

Trail inventory is first step to creating
new recreational opportunities in western Maryland

Frederick, MD — April 10, 2018 — The Maryland Off-Highway Vehicle Alliance, Inc. (MDOHVA), in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), completed the first phase of an assessment of property purchased by the DNR in western Maryland for a new State Park.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has acquired approximately 2,009 acres in Garrett County, near the town of Kitzmiller. The property will potentially provide a wide range of recreational opportunities, including hiking, biking, camping and trail riding with off-road vehicles (ORVs). Two of the three parcels purchased are adjacent to the Potomac State Forest.

MDOHVA contracted with Applied Trails Research to do an assessment of the existing trails on the property, funded with grants from Polaris Industries, Rugged Ridge and DNR. The initial assessment is complete and the next phase is to analyze the data, create the inventory and final report.  The trail inventory will include GIS data and annotated maps, helping DNR create a strategic management plan for the property, including public access and trails that potentially could be opened in 2018. As this project moves forward, there will be opportunities for public comment and involvement throughout the planning process.

ORV Trails developed on the acquired property would add to the trail-riding opportunities now available in western Maryland. MDOHVA was instrumental in designing, building and signing the new St. John’s Rock ORV trail, located in the Savage River State forest. The  ribbon-cutting ceremony for that trail was held last July. “It was exciting and inspiring to see trail-riding enthusiasts, representatives of the Maryland DNR, and elected officials all celebrating the State’s new ORV opportunity,” said Ken Kyler, President of the MDOHVA. “Like St. John’s Rock, trails at this new State Park would be professionally designed to be fun and sustainable, both economically and environmentally.”

Applied Trails Research is a full-service outdoor recreation firm that specializes in sustainable trail development, and a member of the Professional Trail Builders Association. The Maryland OHV Alliance, Inc. is a State-wide body of off-highway vehicle recreation enthusiasts. It develops and provides a wide spectrum of programs, materials and information, or “tools,” to individuals, OHV clubs, associations and agencies in order to further a positive future for responsible OHV recreation.  For more information go to http://mdohvalliance.org/ or email info@mdohvalliance.org.

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!