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DNR 2025 Annual Works Plan

Maryland’s DNR is looking for comments on their 2025 Annual Works Plan. Please take the time to provide comments in support of components 1-3 in the Savage Forest Annual Works plan, as well as encourage motorized recreation at other locations that have existing trails and expand to new locations without that type of access. Comments are due by May 30th. Forestry Annual Work Plan Comments (maryland.gov)

Please see the sample below:

““Thank you for investing in OHV trail development. SB606 was passed to not just maintain existing OHV trails, but to create new ones as well. Saint John’s Rock components 1-3 are exciting and will appeal to, and generate more users. This should be a trend to be continued at Savage Forest to further develop a desirable OHV trail system for its desired end users.

Please look to utilize this progress to expand the Burkholder ORV trail into a year-round, full loop, multi-use trail as well as expand to multi-use Wallman run trails.

With trails returning to Western MD, it is time to create and reopen trails on the Eastern Shore as well. Please utilize SB 606 funding to fund a sustainability study for OHV recreation.

Thank you,”

Here is a copy of the AWP SRSF Annual WorkPlan – FY2025 (maryland.gov) hitting “CRT+f” and search “ORV” and it will take you to the components. Included are 5-6 miles of ST and 5-6 miles of multi vehicle use trails, as well as revamping the existing trails for a more user friendly experience.


James Ratino
President of Maryland OHV Alliance

Safari at the Quarry (SATQ)

The Maryland OHV Alliance had a booth at the inaugural Safari at the Quarry (SATQ) May 4th and 5th. Our goal was threefold, gain more exposure to the community, meet decision makers and influencers, and gauge support for public offroading.

Attendance was modest, likely due to the cold weather Saturday and the forecast of rain both days. However everyone we spoke with seemed to have a good time. We had quite a few folks stop by and the overwhelming message from them was the need for public offroading on the Eastern Shore. If you were one of them, thanks for stopping by. When Wicomico County Executive, Julie Giordano, and her Director of Administration, Bunky Luffman, stopped by they too expressed the strong need for public offroading and support our initiative. It took us years to get to that point in western MD, so that alone made the trip worthwhile.

Wicomico County Executive, Julie Giordano, and her Director of Administration, Bunky Luffman

We are encouraged and think there is a strong chance of getting an OHV park on the Eastern Shore, perhaps Wicomico County.

Legislative UPDATE SB0857/HB0866

Committee hearings are coming up at the end of the month, with the Senate committee hearing on 2/28 and the House committee hearing 2/29. It is important you voice support for these companions Bills by either signing up to testify for the Bill, or by submitting testimony in the form of a submitted letter.

Signing up and formal submission occurs in a limited window in advance, so it is important you create your MYGMA account. In order to testify or submit a letter, you must sign up between 8am and 6pm Tuesday 2/27/24 for the Senate, and between 8am to 6pm on TUESDAY 2/27/24 for the House. Both sign ups are on the same day, but must be signed up independently.

You can find your elected leaders here

Here is a sample of support

My name is ________, I am a long time Off-Road Vehicle enthusiast and I support SB0857/HB0866. This Bill does several beneficial things for the public. First is accountability, the creation of an oversight board with stakeholders and publishing annual expense reports will help make sure end users can regularly provide input for the types of access they want to see, and be assured the funds are going there. The second comes from the increase in funding. Sustainable trail development and maintenance can be expensive, and this will help ensure both can be done. Last but not least is the expanded uses. This would allow ORV to be the only user group self funding their own access. Funds will go to general park maintenance, camping development, as well as rider awareness and safety classes. Ensuring riders are aware of the public places for recreation, and they know how to do so safely and sustainably.

Thank you,

MDOHVA Named Outdoor Recreation Ambassador

On 9/13/2023, the Maryland OHV Alliance was named an Outdoor Recreation Ambassador by Maryland Department of Natural Resources. During a ceremony held at Wolf Den Run State Park, DNR Secretary Josh Kurtz and Executive Director of the Office of Outdoor Recreation Daryl Anthony, presented MDOHVA with the Outdoor Recreation Ambassador award. This award is given to groups and individuals who represent key segments of Maryland’s Outdoor Recreational Economy.

In attendance were Maryland State Delegate Jim Hinebaugh, County Commissioner Paul Edwards, Kitzmiller Mayor Robert Reckart, as well as senior DNR staff. Speakers used the opportunity to highlight MDOHVA’s successful advocacy efforts for the Economic and Recreational opportunities that come from OHV use, as well as MDOHVA’s work in the passage of the expanded On Road ATV/SnowMobile law. Speakers also thanked DNR for their investment in OHV Recreation and their continued relationship with local leaders.

During the ceremony MDOHVA President, James Ratino, thanked everyone who got us here today. He emphasized the nearly 12,000 users and 2,000 campers of Wolf Den Run State Park in 5 short years, and their nearly 8.5 Million Dollar economic impact. President Ratino also used the opportunity to call for more access throughout the State and to continue developing existing facilities.
The ceremony concluded with handshakes and the desire to continue building on this foundation. DNR staff then geared up and hit the trails, exploring Potomac River and North Hill Properties. Enjoying the many terrain features, views, and obstacles along the way.

The Outdoor Recreation Ambassador award is a key step to the mainstreaming of OHV recreation in Maryland. This award will help ensure MDOHVA has a seat at future policy decisions with regards to OHV recreation within the State. It also provides the opportunity for Wolf Den Run State Park to be a model for future facilities within the State. For more on the award, click here.

COMMENTS NEEDED FOR NEW FORESTRY TRAILS!

Please take the time to comment on the forestry annual works plan that includes a proposal to develop new trails that could see the facility grow to over 20 miles!

This multicomponent proposal would evaluate a recent logging cut on over 100 acres to open up logging roads for OHV access, look to add 5-6 Miles of Single Track, and look to evaluate to existing network to increase trail flow for the riders.

Please review the plans here https://dnr.maryland.gov/…/Doc…/SRSF-AWP-FY24-DRAFT1.pdf

Then take the time to send your comments via email here stateforests.dnr@maryland.gov

All comments are due by 4/21/23 so please make your voice heard!

Sample response below:

“Hi,

As a long time OHV enthusiast, the OHV trail proposal is step in the right direction at Saint John’s Rock (SJR) in Savage River Forest. The OHV Title Tax Fund was designed specifically for the creation and maintenance of trails, and this is exactly in line with the given intent. I look forward to this growth at SJR and want it to continue to provide an equal and comparable facility to Wolf Den Run State Park, with an equal diversity in trail types.

I urge you to utilize this fund in other State-owned Forestry land where OHV access is limited or non-existent, like the Eastern Region Forests.

Sincerely,

___”

78 Million Dollars! Did you know?

Did you know that the economic impact from OHV related activities in the state of MD is estimated at 78.961 million dollars? The Department of Commerce, bureau of economic analysis calculated the economic impacts of outdoor recreation and our industry rates higher than Equestrian (horseback), Hiking/tent-camping, snow activities, and bicycling! https://apps.bea.gov/…/summary…/ORSA%20-%20Maryland.pdf

It’s these numbers that get the attention of leadership in DNR, Counties, and State elected leadership and gets us a seat at their table to help make policy decisions. That’s why Wolf Den Run State Park is growing several miles at a time, Saint John’s Rock is seeing renewed development interest, with more things in the works including interstate cooperation just getting start.

But, we always need your support. Our organization is 100% volunteer non-profit. AKA we survive off your donations and memberships which we need to fund our advocacy!! https://www.mdohvalliance.org/join/

We are always looking for board members motivated to be the change they want to see! If becoming a board member it too much, but you are active in a club you would like to liaison for, we want you as well! Please DM us to get started. We are looking for a membership director, Saint John’s Rock point of contact, secretary, among others.

MDOHVA involved with WV?

Over the weekend on 11.13.22 we were invited to speak in front of the West Virginia Infrastructure Committee on the benefits of getting OHV recreation users into towns and the potential of adding right of ways along roads to increase connectivity. This increased connectivity is better for both riders and the towns that serve them. The average day trip user will buy food and fuel in town if given the chance, helping grow and support local businesses.

Our invitation is a testament to the impact and success we have had in our endeavors. Regionally, people are seeing a positive impact and looking to capitalize. We spent time speaking with several committee members, and representative elects after the meeting. These members have seen the results of the trails we have been advocating for, and knew of our organization’s work.

Of the many new friends we have made, it was nice to finally meet in person a long time supporter and advisor, Jeffery Lusk, the director of the world famous Hatfield McCoy Trails system. Jeffery has spent many hours helping advise us to ensure we stay on a path to success. We look forward to fostering these relationships to help guide OHV policy and continuing to blaze new ground.

Photos by Perry Bennett

Saving the Daniel Boone Byway – Off-Road Business Magazine

Please take the time to check out this magazine, and their article about the Daniel Boone Byway. It is a very strong example why organizations like ours exist, and why we continue to need your support. If you have ever thought about becoming a board member, there is no better time than now. Getting involved now helps create a legacy of cooperation that is paramount to our success.

Please consider joining, renewing or making a donation!

HB1143 Testimony

On March 9th 2022, at about 5:30PM, 4.5 hours after the committee hearing was scheduled to start, HB 1143 was finally heard. Delegate Buckel introduced the Bill on behalf of the Allegany County and Garrett County Delegations and did a wonderful job expressing their and the counties unanimous support. There was no opposition to the Bill, and only 1 delegate had questions as she was unfamiliar with the original Bill and was seeking clarification on which roads are eligible for riding, and what type of people this law would cater to.

Several members of this committee came to Wolf Den Run State Park when it first opened and have experienced this on road law as intended. One of them, Delegate David Fraser-Hidalg (Montgomery County), helped further clarify the simple nature of this Bill in a very positive light to the rest of the committee members. If anyone is interested in watching the 10 minute hearing on this Bill.  We run from the 3Hr 13 min – 3Hr 25min mark.

Thank you everyone for your support and submitting testimony,

James

We have a Bill! HB1143

Right now we have a Bill working its way through the legislation that we need your help getting out of committee.

Currently, in Allegany and Garrett counties, you can purchase a permit from the county to ride on the road with your Snowmobile, ATV, or SxS on county roads, up to 2 miles. This means riders at Wolf Den Run State Park, or Saint John’s Rock ORV trail, must pull off of the road and re-enter to reach their final destinations. And off-highway motorcycles, unless they have a license plate, need to be trailered between locations. This created a potentially confusing law for multi-OHV type groups to navigate. But HB 1143 will change that.

HB1143 will add Off-Highway Motorcycles to the definition of ATV’s for the on road ATV law of Allegany and Garrett counties. HB 1143 will also increase the mileage of onroad travel up to 5 miles from the current limit. This is a large step in the right direction for creating better and easier OHV access. This will allow WDRSP to function as designed and allow WDRSP riders and SJR riders access to their respective towns of Kitzmiller and Lonaconing and bring their business with them.

So, how do you helpTestify! The Transportation Committee hearing is 3/9 at 1pm. You can submit written testimony, or provide oral testimony virtually via ZOOM. You will need to create a “MY MGA” account. To do this, click on this link that gives Bill details, https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb1143 and click on the “MY MGA” logo at the top right corner.

However, there is a limited window of opportunity to sign up to testify. You can create your account at any time, but you must sign up on Monday, March 7th between 8am and 3pm. Outside of that window, you will not be able to sign up.

Several members of this Committee have been to Wolf Den Run State Park, ridden the trails, and utilized this on road provision to access the different parcels, so they are familiar with how this law currently functions.

I want to thank everyone for their support to date, and thank you for your help on this legislation. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

Sincerely,

James Ratino
President of Maryland OHV Alliance