The Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado is benefiting from a partnership between Tread Lightly! And Noble Energy, Inc. The groups held a kickoff event last Friday at the Main Draw Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Area near Greeley, Colo.
In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pawnee National Grassland office, Noble Energy employees alongside volunteers from a local Boy Scouts troop completed the first of three important projects installing new fencing and a new information kiosk that will serve local and visiting OHV enthusiasts.
(Photo courtesy Four Wheeler Network)
More than 50 volunteers deserve some recognition for giving back to the industry during the Easter Jeep Safari.
Volunteers constructed nearly a half mile of fencing on Moab’s popular Sevenmile Rim Trail to more clearly define the trail and reduce impact on surrounding areas. As well, the volunteers erected a buck and rail fence at Wipe Out Hill, designed to provide some aesthetically pleasing environmental protection without obstructing the scenic view.
On March 1, nearly 250 volunteers braved the rain to help pick up more than 10 tons of trash detracting from the beauty of the popular Table Mesa Recreation Area north of Phoenix. The cleanup project is part of a larger effort to ensure continued access to public lands in Arizona by promoting outdoor ethics.
The initiative – Respected Access is Open Access in Arizona – is supported by a coalition of partners including the Bureau of Land Management, Arizona Game and Fish Department, US Forest Service and Tread Lightly!, a national nonprofit organization that promotes responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship programs.
Every year around the beginning of spring in a sleepy little Texas town, a few guys come together for a week of mud racing, crawfish eatin’, and good times. Keep in mind that this is Texas, so a few means more like 10,000 people visiting the mudding paradise known as Mud Creek Off-Road Park in Jacksonville, Tex. for the 2010 High Lifter Mud Nationals.
Attendance numbers are a conservative estimate – it has been sais that as many as 15,000 could walk through the gate by week’s end. These guys are not your normal Utility mud riders, though. More like fierce competitors looking to become king of the Pit in an all-out brawl to be the best of the best in ATV mud racing. Starting on Wednesday evening the crowd begins to grow. By Saturday the park is like downtown New York at rush hour as it is filled with the sounds of four stroke thumpers roaring into the wooded acres of Mud Creek. This will continue into the night as well with lights and faint sounds of a cheering crowd echoing through the trees.
Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A., employees volunteered for two important projects last month to support the San Bernardino National Forest in Southern California and its off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails. Over two days, approximately 100 volunteers including Yamaha employees and family members, planted 1,200 trees and cleaned up miles of ATV and Side-by-Side OHV trails.
On Saturday, April 25, a group of Yamaha employees along with staff from the non-profit, volunteer-based San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA) scouted and worked on miles of trails that Yamaha has sponsored and adopted as part of the company’s OHV Access Initiative. Over years, Yamaha and the SBNFA have formed a strong partnership focused around the SBNFA’s own OHV program.
The San Bernardino National Forest is within driving distance to more than 20 million people in Southern California, contains the highest concentration of threatened and endangered species in the continental United States, and is the most visited national forest in the country. The SBNFA manages a number of educational, recreation and conservation programs complimenting the mission of its U.S. Forest Service partners, including its OHV program which is a model for national forests across the country.
Superstition Mountains. Lost Dutchman mine. Gold Canyon. Queen Valley. Ninety degrees, warm, no snow. These are words and thoughts that brought a snowbound Minnesotan to the Arizona desert for an ATV adventure in early spring. That and the fact that longtime friend and fellow Minnesotan Larry Koch had been bugging him for the past few years to ‘come on down’ and go ATVing with him and his ‘snowbird’ buddies.
Larry and a growing number of Midwestern winter refugees swap the ice and cold for the sun and warmth of the Arizona desert just southeast of Phoenix. Recent demographic studies of those suburbs and towns east of Phoenix reveal that Larry and the area’s other 120,000 winter residents spend more than $350 million during their winter-only stay.
While the common belief is that this arid state consists primarily of senior citizens, the reality according to the 2006 U.S. Census Bureau is that only 12.8 percent of Arizona’s 6.1 million residents are 65 or older. Of course, nearly half (47.6 percent) of the state’s retirement age residents relocated from other states after having reached 55 years of age.
For all intents and purposes, I am an ATV rookie.
Fortunately for me, I was hired because of my journalism background and online production experience. If the powers that be had been looking for an experienced ATV rider, I wouldn’t be writing this article.
However, since I do, in fact, work for ATV.com, I thought it would do me some good to spend some time on the trails.
After getting in touch with Mike Carr, a Polaris district sales manager in northern California, he arranged a day of riding.
I met Carr at his house just outside of Sacramento. We hopped in his truck and headed north upstate about 85 miles and met up with the rest of our party in Chico. After gassing up the vehicles, we drove into the hills about 35 miles northeast of Chico to our starting point in a place called Butte Meadows.
|Things I learned on my|
|– A broken arm isn’t as big a deal to some people as it is to me.– Washing your road rash with soap and water does not feel good at all.|
– If you ride behind another ATV, you will eat a lot of dust.
– Getting the dust out from between your teeth requires serious flossing.
– Trying to hold a pen or operate a keyboard is near impossible a day after gripping a steering wheel or set of handlebars, with all your might, for six hours.
– Northern California has some of the best scenery you could ever hope for, as well as some fantastic off-road trails.
Carr provided a 2008 Polaris Ranger RZR, while Gray Glende, who runs a Polaris dealership in Chico, brought a 2008 Ranger XP and a brand new Sportsman 800 EFI HO. We were also joined by Darren Ritchey, who brought a 2007 Polaris Outlaw and some of Glende’s staff and friends from Chico, who were riding motocross bikes.
On this November morning, there was still a little chill in the mountain air, but the temperature would climb to a comfortable level in short order.
I started the day on the Sportsman 800 and we headed out into the woods on some fire trails. I was a little tentative at first, but I managed to squeeze the throttle enough to reach about 45 miles an hour. This is far below the Sportsman’s capabilities, but I figured I should at least get comfortable before going all out.
About 15 minutes into the ride and before hitting the rough trails, we stopped and did a head count. It seems we were short two riders.
Glende assumed they had taken a wrong turn, but after waiting for a while with no sign of them, Carr headed back in the RZR to see what he could find. He returned a few minutes later, followed by Peter Schmitz on a bike and Ritchey, who seemed to be driving his Outlaw with one hand.
Turns out Ritchey switched off his trusty Outlaw and took a turn on Schmitz’s motocross bike. Apparently it’s difficult to make that particular transition and Ritchey crashed the bike after hitting a rock on the fire trail. His hand now resembled an inflated rubber glove and his arm was broken.
Ritchey was offered a ride back on the Ranger XP, but he said he didn’t want to ruin everybody’s day so he hopped back on the Outlaw with one hand on the throttle and the other in a makeshift sling made out of a fleece jacket and drove back. Schmitz followed on his now damaged bike to help him load up the truck and suddenly our party of eight was now down to six.