NOHVCC Conference - long

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NOHVCC Annual Conference

The NOHVCC Annual Conference was held in Charleston WV from March 22 through March 25, 2007. The first 2 days included the Managers Conference, forest managers from both the US and Canada..

The conference was attended by federal, state, NOHVCC and interested parties.

One of the most important items on the agenda was the US Forest Service mapping of USFS lands (Travel Management Rule). This mapping will result in roads and trails designated for OHV use. If it is not on the map, that trail or road will not be open.

We need to assist in this mapping at both our National Forest (White Mountain and Green Mountain National Forests) If trails are being used, even illegally, they need to be mapped. If they are legal but the local Forest Service discourages use, they need to be mapped. Many National Forest allow OHV use, we need to comment now.

There were presentation about many successful OHV areas, the best known is the Hatfield McCoy Trail System in WV. They are approaching 600 miles of OHV trails. They are in the planning process to add full size OHV trails.

The MA DCR did a presentation on “Small State, Big Challenges”. They talked about the OHV program in MA. The MA OHV Working Group does not contain and full size 4x4 representation. What this means is that MA does not consider full size 4 wheeling a legitimate recreational activity.

MA is closing at least 1 state forest to ATV use. They plan on spending $1 million on 30 miles of trails. If they can not make that 1 trail system work, they will not expand the program to any additional state forest.

The impression I got was that they want it to fail. Most managers sitting at my table thought $1 million was a very high number for just 30 miles of trails (I guess they forgot about the “Big Dig”). If the 30 miles can not be sustained, the program will not be expanded. This leads me to believe that the goal is to try and they say, it’s too expensive to maintain.

Many states realize the economic benefits from the OHV community. Hatfield McCoy returns $1.25 for each $1.00 the state of WV spends.

There were presentation on safety, trail management, trail construction and insurance.

Basically, either, we the OHV community, get organized or we will loose out. However, everywhere the ATV’s , OHMC and 4x4’s get together, they do have more opportunities to wheel.

We got to meet the state reps from NY, NH, VT, and RI. Neither the state rep or associate rep from MA attended.

We have tremendous resources available to us.

We all have a lot to do, so please help out and volunteer when and where you can.
 

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