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March 2017 eNews

You're not mistaken, this edition is rather late this month!
UFWDA have been working behind the scenes to upgrade our membership processes, by shifting to new software that should allow much more automation of things like renewals and maintenance of lists.
Automation is becoming essential as the numbers of volunteers for roles within organizations continue to fall. Volunteers are still however vital to our organizations to advocate and work with others to continue the fight to retain land access for four wheeling. UFWDA is going to be inviting nominations shortly for a treasurer and look forward to being able to fill that role.

We see a long time, successful, self funding OHV program in California in the process of being dismantled, it seems because of it's very success. Although it is now just a CA matter, the OHV program needs everyone's support as the idea of grabbing funds can quickly spread to other regions. There's more detail further on in eNews.

There is an edition of UFWDA Voice almost ready to publish, but... I've not yet received many photos and nothing that screams "cover picture". Check your picture files and send them in quickly please.

If your organization has a website with interesting stories etc. then send a link to

A reminder again that the UFWDA ‘online’ store is temporarily disabled. The donation function is however still available and your support is most welcome.

Your input of topical material for each eNews is still vital, so please keep UFWDA and our readers informed by emailing to before the 10th of each month.

Peter Vahry; editor

2017 4WD Events

  • April 8-16 -- Easter Jeep Safari -- Moab, UT
  • April 8 -- 5th Annual 4-Wheeling for a Cure – Windrock Park, Oliver Springs, TN
  • April 22-29 – Crawler Crew Moab 2017 Extravaganza – Moab, UT
  • May 4-6 - SFWDA TrailFest 2017
  • May 6 - Jeep Blessing - Ellen's Corners, Michigan
  • May 12-14 – Molina Ghost Run – Hollister, CA
  • May 20 -- 4WD at Carolina Beach Jeep Go Topless Day – Carolina Beach, NC
  • May 26-27 -- Old School Rock Crawl - Delta, UT
  • May 26-29 - Hi Desert Round-up – Barstow, CA
  • May 30- June 2 – Rock Junction – Grand Junction, CO
  • June 3 -- Rocky Mountain Off-Road Expo -- Grand Junction, CO
  • June 10 SFWDA Summer Meet & Ride Windrock Park
  • July 13-16 – Crawl 4 Cure 2017 – Gilbert, MN
  • July 15 - 22nd Annual All Breeds Jeep Show in York, Pennsylvania
  • July 29- August 5 – All-4-Fun – Leadville, CO
  • September 21-24 - Dixie Run 31 SFWDA
  • October 4-7 -- Trail Hero – Hurricane, UT
  • October 7---Willy's owners are getting together in North Carolina
  • November 4 - SFWDA Fall Meet & Ride Daniel Boone BackCountry Byway

Help Restore Off-road Damage in Death Valley

DEATH VALLEY, CA – Visitors from around the world complain about off-road vehicle tracks marring the beauty of Death Valley National Park. Illegal off-road driving is a problem in multiple areas of the park, including the Racetrack, Ibex Dunes and Badwater. The National Park Service seeks public support for a grant application that would help fund restoration of these damaged areas.

Desert landscapes typically heal very slowly. Tracks left by even a single vehicle in areas with fragile crusts, such as the Badwater Salt Pan or Racetrack Playa, can last for decades. These tracks detract from thousands of later visitors’ experience of the landscape’s beauty. Off-road driving also harms plants and animals, such as desert tortoise and the endangered Eureka Dunes evening primrose.

Vehicles and bicycles are required to stay on established roads or road shoulders at all times within Death Valley National Park. However, off-road driving is permitted in some areas adjacent to the park, such as Dumont Dunes.

Read the full article

I-GO: Information for the Great Outdoors

Millennials Driving Growth In Camping

The outlook for camping in America is strong. That exciting news comes from the 2017 North American Camping Report, an independent study supported by Kampgrounds of America (KOA). According to the report, an estimated 13 million U.S. households plan to do more camping in 2017 than in 2016, and more than one million new households have started camping each year since 2014.

KOA also reports that more millennials – which make up 31% of the overall population – now enjoy camping and account for 38% of the 75 million active camper households in the U.S., up from 34% in 2016. Fifty-one percent say they plan to increase their camping this year. Key reasons for camping include spending more time with friends and family, being physically active and improving overall emotional health and well-being.

More good news for the future of camping and outdoor recreation in America comes from Generation Z teens (ages 13-17), who are very enthusiastic about camping and place a high value on people their age spending time outdoors. The findings for this group – new to the report this year – indicate that teens share adult campers’ views about the benefits and emotional connections to camping.

There’s good news in the report for the National Park Service (NPS) as well. Three in 10 campers say NPS’ Centennial in 2016 got them to visit a park they otherwise would not have visited. And one-third of campers say they now feel more welcome at national parks than they did several years ago. Significant numbers of Hispanic (45%) and African-American (42%) campers say they feel more welcome than in the past.

These encouraging results also signal greater opportunities for the Trump Administration in coming years. Public and private infrastructure investment in modernizing campgrounds on public lands would be a very positive and appropriate response to the growing interest in camping. Campground modernization was an integral part of recent briefings on Capitol Hill by the Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable and will be a topic of discussion at the upcoming National Park Hospitality Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

To read the full KOA press release, click here.

Editor comment... missing from this otherwise encouraging report is how these campers travelled to their campsites. Did they drive in a vehicle as far as possible and how often was a 4x4 involved?

California Bill To Undermine
Off-Highway Vehicles Program Approved by Senate Committee

DON’T DELAY! Please voice your Opposition for S.B. 249 immediately to California Senate Transportation and Housing Committee Members by emailing now:

You may use the following points in your message:

  • California’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMVR) program was established in 1971. California OHV user taxes and fees directly fund OHV management and facility maintenance. This self-sustaining program doesn’t require general fund taxes.
  • The OHMVR program provides funds to local, state and federal agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit entities for OHV management on both federal and state lands.
  • S.B. 249 would allow OHMVR funds to be spent on unrelated programs, without any requirement to reimburse the funds.
  • S.B. 249 would threaten closure of existing OHV recreation areas and any new or expanded areas.
  • S.B. 249 would undermine the OHMVR program, a dedicated-funding program that has been a worldwide model of success. OHV use contributes an estimated $20 billion to the California economy.

Overview:Legislation (S.B. 249) to allow funds collected for California’s Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation (OHMRV) program to be spent by other agencies on unrelated programs and never reimbursed was approved by the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee. The bill has now been sent to the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee for consideration.

Alert courtesy of SEMA Action Network

UFWDA could use help.

The recent resignation for family reasons, of the UFWDA membership director, provides an opportunity for a four wheeler to join the team at UFWDA. It's a volunteer role like all our Board roles. Computer spreadsheet skills would be an asset. UFWDA are transitioning to the automating of many of the membership functions, which will cut back on the time committment.
If you're interested, we'd love to hear from you... email Tom Mandera
Unintended Consequences

John Stewart

The hot topic facing the legislature and OHV recreation is the re-authorization of the OHMVR Program. While theOHV community is pushing to reauthorize the program “as is”, the opponents of OHV recreation are insisting on significant changes.

Change always brings about unintended consequences. During the last re-authorization push in 2007 which lead to SB-742, it was found that significant changes occurred in the program that resulted in the major component of the OHMVR Program, the grants (aka ‘green-sticker’ grants) resulted in a hiatus unto new regulations administering the grants program could be developed.

As noted in an OHMVR Division letter of February 14, 2008 to “Interested Parties” with the subject of, “Subject: Public Participation and Request for Written Input—OHMVR Grant Program Regulations”, the interested parties were advised the legislation (SB-742) made substantial changes and required a one year delay in issuing grants.

Quoted from the letter (copy attached):

In October, 2007, Senate Bill 742 was signed into law. This law made some important changes governing the off-highway motor vehicle recreation program in general, and the Local Assistance Grants and Cooperative Agreements Program (Grants Program) in particular. These changes require amendments to the regulations that govern the Grants Program. The Division welcomes public participation in the process. In fact, SB 742 highlights public input, including focus groups, as an integral part of developing the regulations that govern the grant program.

Based on this, even if SB-249 was a bill that most OHV stakeholders support (which it is not), it would trigger the same need to promulgate new regulations (and hence the minimum one year pause in grants) because it makes numerous significant changes to the current program.

A one year pause would have a devastating effect on our many local, county, federal, and non-profit partners that are an integral part of the current grants program. It means that trail maintenance (including post-storm and post-fire) efforts would have to be postponed, no funding to Law Enforcement programs, and no funding for important restoration efforts. Recreation and Law Enforcement staff in many partner agencies would have to be laid off.

It remains my hope that the OHV partner community will support efforts to reauthorize the program as outlined in AB1077.

OHV Grants facing year or more delay

Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival Continues to Grow with
More Activities and Jeep Fun in Seventh Year

(BUTLER COUNTY, Pa.) March 20, 2017-- The Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival, one of the largest Jeep-only events in the nation, is offering even more to see and do during its seventh annual event in Butler County, Pa. June 9-11, 2017. The event is presented by Peoples and held at Coopers Lake Campground, about 60 minutes north of Pittsburgh.

"The Festival is a great time for anyone who loves Jeeps because we offer a family-friendly atmosphere that features both on-and-off road rides, a Jeep obstacle course, exhibits, a WWII encampment and more than 100 Jeep parts and accessories vendors who travel here from all over the U.S.," said Patti Jo Lambert, Festival director. "We attract more than 2,000 Jeeps from 30 states who come here for a long weekend of Jeep fun."

The Festival offers activities for Jeep owners to do with their Jeeps. There are also plenty of things to see for those who don't own the popular vehicle or just want to see the attractions and visit the vendors.

Plan to Attend

Jeep owners who want to bring their Jeep and participate in Festival activities with their vehicle must register to attend. Pre-registration is available online until May 7th. Limited on-site registration will also be offered at the Festival each day starting at 8 a.m.

Those who want to simply come to see the fun can purchase spectator tickets at the gate. Tickets are $10 for adults and $3 for kids 3-12. For more information, visit or call 724-256-4050.

Feral cats – the ultimate killer

With nearly 30 extinct species under its belt, and a now-official Australia-wide spread, how can this introduced species possibly be stopped?

Up until a few hundred years ago, our entire landscape was rich in wildlife of all sorts – particularly our unique mammals. A simple walk through one of our semi-arid areas would have had you witnessing scores of lizards and small mammals. At night, there would have been even more scurrying around. Australia is a special place. An isolated continent that has seen the evolution of animals unlike any others on Earth.

Read it here and more

BRC / OHV Upcoming Events page

Check out a range of recent updates on activities.

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Swartz Creek

MI 48473

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