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August 2017 eNews

With the UFWDA online annual meeting scheduled for 22 August 2017, you are reminded that we are looking to fill some BoD positions and have a series of annual awards waiting for nominations from our U.S. and international membership.
The Jack Edwards Memorial Award
Four Wheeler of the Year Award
Environmental Affairs Four Wheeler of the Year Award
Contact Tom Mandera for a respective nomination form for those categories.

If you wish to attend, please register for
UFWDA 2017 AGM - Aug 22, 2017 8:30 PM EDT at:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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

We need your stories and photos for the next UFWDA Voice by the 20th August. Who will feature on the front cover?

Peter Vahry; editor

Headlines.... by Tom Mandera

A sneak peak at what United has been busy doing for you over the past year.

In some ways a seemingly easy task - Peter has been churning out eNews and Voice to the best of his ability, working with late arriving articles from Presidents, and doing his best to try to make some editions look like a little more than a Jerry Smith (Director of Environmental Affairs) show piece.

Jerry Smith is the other bright spot, writing letters and articles at an enviable pace - let us hope he doesn't run out of gas any time soon!

Due to lack of activity and participation, we're considering opening up the 4WD Awareness manual and making the information more readily available, even if we're not in a position to do the best job and give a hands-on demonstration. I still believe this could be a powerful tool, but despite renewed efforts at internal promotion, it seems the bulk of the UFWDA membership are not excited enough to be beating down doors for training sessions and Instructor certifications - so we might as well get the information out there where it might do some good. If you think this is a good idea, please bring a motion to the AGM so we can move on it. If, instead, you'd like to see it stay in-house and instructor lead, please line up some instructors and target some classes!

While Jerry continues our grass-roots defense, our inadequate revenue stream has put our one-time Legislative Advocate (and a darn good one at that), Carla Boucher on the side lines. I miss the days we had Carla on retainer and she could work away, poking and prodding the USFS and the anti-groups and keeping them on their toes.

Membership remains a big area of concern. Some of our struggles are self inflicted - our Membership Director (then Richard Hiltz) indicated over a year ago he needed some help. The call went out, but it seems everyone has unplugged their land lines. 6 months later in February, with no help forthcoming and mounting personal items to attend to, Richard resigned. We are still short a Membership Director, and desperately need one.

We had been using a database of sorts to track memberships. Unfortunately, various organizations continued to mail in hard-copy (printed) rosters, or take the half-step of "printing" a PDF from a spreadsheet and sending the PDF. What was really needed was the spreadsheet - Excel, OpenOfficeCalc, or plain on "CSV" (Comma Separated Values) is the preferred method.

When you print or send a PDF, the volunteer Membership Director has to retype everything you already typed once. If it comes electronically, he may just copy/paste into the system, but in an ideal world we would have a common "key" from year to year and we can just upload the latest information, either extending your membership or creating one, depending on whether the user is found or not.

Key pieces of information could be the membership or account number, but most likely would be an email address.

By the way, it is hard to electronically deliver the Voice if you don't send in an email address.

After the re-keying frustrations, Richard would have to send out individual membership cards and the UFWDA stickers to members.

You may have noticed, or read in an earlier report, that the United Store no longer is in operation, and because we've not been able to actually send out t-shirts or hats with the enhanced membership options, those are gone too.

As a volunteer manned organization, we have to streamline the burden on our volunteers - and shower them with much more Thank You's than the too common tongue lashings.

Another motion to ponder - can we try changing to an electronic (downloadable/printable) membership card?

Should we discontinue sending stickers to every member every year? To my knowledge, we haven't sent any out this year - since we're not doing a successful job delivering on the stickers and cards, how can we scale back our promises to something we can deliver?

Yes, the sticker and membership cards are the most significant tangible benefit to membership, and that means a lot to some people. It is also important to get more stickers out in the world for more advertising. Some of us need more stickers to cover up the rust holes and trail damage, too - but how many stickers never make it onto brand-new JKs for fear of harming the paint?

We've managed to update the database with the Zenbership software we've mentioned before - we still need to incorporate the rosters that have been received, but not keyed in the old database. The goal with the new system is to reduce the burden on the Membership Director (should the position get filled) while improving some of the service - we should be able to send out auto-renewal notices on an annual basis, and even shift things so your Delegates may be able to maintain your rosters within the app - shifting the re-key or upload burden away from the Membership Director, while also making your Delegates share some of the responsibility for any bad addresses or misspelled names.

So, take away the stickers and mailed cards, and what the heck does United do for me?

United’s purpose is defined in the bylaws as:United shall be a non-profit association organized primarily to assist and represent member associations in issues as they relate to the use of motorized vehicles on public and private lands. No financial obligation is intended by this declaration.

The purpose is achieved through stated objectives in the bylaws. These include working with member clubs and associations on land access planning and activities affecting motorized recreation; promoting, developing, and coordinating educational programs pertaining to safe and responsible 4 wheeling, and informing members of pending and/or proposed legislation or other activity affecting motorized recreation. United strives to assist government agencies to formulate policies concerning trail use, and improve recreation, friendship, and unity of the member groups through closer communication and organized activities.

United is a delegate-driven organization where the delegates give the Board of Directors information and direction for the Board to implement for continued growth of the organization; always working within the guidelines of the Bylaws and Standard Operating Procedures. The Board is tasked with putting the information and direction into action.

Stronger and smarter folks wrote that. United isn't a sticker organization. It doesn't have to be a big and flashy group. Our mission can be as large or as small as our membership wants to make it. Until and unless our membership grows to ten times the current roster, we remain on a top-ramen diet, relying entirely on volunteers. Many hands make light work, but the trend has been to let a few hands handle all of the work and as a result, not nearly enough is getting done.

When was the last time your local club's most passionate letter-writer sent the UFWDA Director of Environmental Affairs a copy of his or her latest Travel Planning comments, or notice of appeal? Did your Secretary send in a write-up from your last trail ride to UFWDA Voice editor, Peter Vahry? How about the results of your most recent elections? Did your Delegate send in a nomination for UFWDA Fourwheeler of the Year for the most outstanding member of your club or organization? When you see the UFWDA financial reports, have you sent Bob Devore a thank-you for pinching pennies and recycling roadside pop cans to keep UFWDA afloat?

The membership is United, and if the membership is content to coast, then that's the direction the organization will continue down.

If you read a little more of the UFWDA history page, you'll see where UFWDA was formed from the ashes of the National 4 Wheel Drive Association in 1976.

If, at 40 years of age, UFWDA has outlived it's usefulness, the bylaws cover dissolution and distribution of our meager assets. Are there any strong candidates in such a case? Do they share our purpose, or enough of it? What other national 4x4 organizations exist, and are they having trouble filling their board positions?

If you have some solid information to share and ideas, please bring them to the AGM.

We can continue as we are. We can merge with another organization. We can fold.

We can take our foot off the gas. We can put down the shovel. We can leave the Jeep in that mud-hole until summer. We can leave the fallen tree across our path and just turn back. We can resign that the obstacle in front of us can never be conquered.

Or we collectively gather ourselves up for another push. Two more people pushing on this end. One more truck and a strap on the other. Three more shovels. Two spotters to tell us conflicting suggestions.

When the going gets tough we're at our best. We all throw in together and help each other over that obstacle. Sure, cruising what few fire-roads we have left doesn't take that much effort - but if the trail is difficult, many hands make light work.

Would you like to put a shoulder against a quarter panel and give a push?

Or are you the person sitting, impatiently, wondering what is taking so long? Wondering why they don't get one more person to go push?

Tom Mandera, UFWDA President

A Wisconsin Opportunity

Here in Wisconsin we have been working on giving much input in regard to a Recreational Opportunity Analysis that is occurring here in Wisconsin by the DNR, with many 4WD enthusiasts in Wisconsin expressing their interest of having official four wheel drive trails available here in Wisconsin.

In my discussions with folks at the DNR it was suggested to me that input from Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts from other states would also be invaluable input to show the economic loss of not having 4WD trails here in the state. Basically what is needed, is folks to send a quick e-mail essentially stating where they are from (state and area in state) and their interest in coming to Wisconsin for the opportunity to go four wheel driving—they can elaborate from there if they see fit.

Just click on the following link and you will find more info and the contact info You can try the surveys for BOTH regions, but for those out of Wisconsin you will find them cumbersome. Also, in the question where they state more motorized recreational trails and state examples, it is not clear that that includes 4WD, so I checked ‘other’ and stated 4WD trails such as Jeeps. The survey closes on 8 September.

This is also an integral part of another program occurring where the DNR has been mandated by state law to identify, classify and map all “roads” on state property. This includes even the very primitive two-track “roads”. We are hoping this will open many areas at the present closed.

4 Wheelin' 4 Ever

Luana Schneider, State Trails Coordinator

Wisconsin Four Wheel Drive Association

TERM OF OFFICE. ...Terms of Directors shall be staggered, the President, International Vice President, and Director of Membership elected every even year and Vice-President, Director of Public Relations, Director of Environmental Affairs, and Treasurer elected every odd year.

This being an odd year, that means we need a VP, PR, Environmental Affairs, and Treasurer.

We have one nomination for Four Wheeler of the Year,

2017 4WD Events

  • August 22 UFWDA online AGM
  • 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

OHV Volunteers Nail Another Project

BOUNTIFUL — Summer is in full-swing, which means OHV trail volunteers are out in force and working double-time to help ensure our natural resources are well maintained and safe for everyone.

On Saturday, July 15th, a group of these volunteers gathered together up above the Bountiful B for some much-needed cleanup work.

Read the full article

UFWDA Annual Meeting record from 2016

If you're attending the upcoming annual meeting on 22 August, you may wish to review the 2016 online meeting that was recorded in it's entirety.

2016-07-28 20.43 UFWDA 2016 AGM.wmv

UFWDA Environmental Director Summary
Jerry Smith....

Antiquities Act:

We are working to amend or pass other legislation to modify the ease with which the “environmental” community are abusing this law.

Endangered Species Act:

We are working to amend or pass other legislation to modify the ease with which the “environmental” community are abusing this law.

The BLM Uncompahgre Field Office is developing a new resource management plan for the Field Office. While the UFO has been providing balanced recreational opportunities for an extended period of time, the UFWDA commented on expansions of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern and Wilderness Characteristics areas in the Proposal. The BLM seems to have lost sight of their lawful management mission of MULTIPLE USE, and have jumped on the “Preservation” wagon.

The BLM Planning 2.0 program has essentially been scrapped. After attending several meetings and sending multiple comments, UFWDA was instrumental in the revoking of this unwieldy plan.

The Rio Grande National Forest has begun efforts toward the development of a new Forest Plan for the forest. With entire areas of trees left dead, the fire danger and potential aftermath are at a critical stage.

The Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre & Gunnison National Forest has begun its Revision of their Forest Plan. Meetings are being attended and extensive UFWDA comments are being assembled.

We are following numerous USFS and BLM travel plans and Resource Management activities around the country. Most of these will take years to finalize, and we anticipate numerous comments, protests, and other follow up to come.

UFWDA is working on opening some new Jeep trails, reopening old (closed) Jeep trails, and creating at least one connector trail between two existing trails. Here again, time is the issue. Government moves at a snails pace, but patient persistence is required to make things happen.

50th Sierra Trek is in the books, thank you to all the participants and volunteers, including Chairman Bill Ellis and Co-chair Jason Winkel. Food Coordinator Kathy Medley and Trail Coordinator Bret Preble. Everyone involved did a great job on a great event. Thanks again.

Johnson Valley Shared use area closes

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 1:35 pm

JOHNSON VALLEY — The Johnson Valley Shared Use Area is temporarily will be closed to the public until Aug. 25.

The Bureau of Land Management has transferred management of the Shared Use Area to the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center for scheduled military training.

The congressionally approved Shared Use Area is temporarily closed to the public while the Marine Corps conducts training to support a large-scale exercise.

The closure period will include the time required to ensure the area is clear of recreation activity prior to training and to confirm the land is clear of hazards prior to reopening for public access.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reminds all that more than 43,000 acres within the adjacent Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area will remain open to the public during the closure of the Shared Use Area and off-road enthusiasts can also enjoy the nearby Stoddard Valley OHV Open Area.

All motorized recreation use in the area surrounding the Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area is limited to signed designated routes.

The Marine Corps will continue to implement robust public outreach to ensure the public is immediately informed of the land return to BLM after training has concluded.

For additional information including a map of the area, please visit: or contact the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Public Affairs Office at (760) 830-6213 or


For Taking A Stand

Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals
Rules Against NMOHVA
Ruling Ends the Santa Fe National Forest Lawsuit
It's over. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that NMOHVA cannot bring its lawsuit against the Santa Fe National Forest a 2nd time even though the first lawsuit was dismissed "without prejudice" and our legal team had attempted to correct the deficiency in our standing in the first case. You can find a link to the Court's ruling on NMOHVA's web page HERE.

What does this mean? It means our long-standing legal battle (nearly five years) is finally over. It also means that it is time to move on. While we are sorely disappointed in the ruling and the fact that the actual merits of our lawsuit were never heard in front of the 10th Circuit, we can still all be proud of what NMOHVA accomplished.

"Say what?" you may ask. "I thought we lost the case."

We did lose this particular challenge but we have still gained much, even in the loss. NMOHVA is taken a lot more seriously by the various federal land management agencies across New Mexico. We have demonstrated that we have the knowledge and resources, and most importantly, the means and resolve to take the agencies to court if they break the law. We are acknowledged as an important representative of the public by the federal agencies who now commonly seek out our expertise and opinion.

This didn't happen overnight and is certainly not solely the result of suing the Forest Service. It is the result of a lot of hard work by NMOHVA's members and Board - constantly being "at the table" and fully involved in all aspects of the agencies planning and project activity. But it is also a direct result of the agencies knowing that we are carefully watching them and that we will challenge them when they break the rules. We once had a federal agency tell us that they didn't care what we thought because they KNEW we would never sue them. We don't hear that anymore!

Most importantly, now we move on. Our mission remains the same: promoting, preserving, and protecting your access to our beautiful state. NMOHVA is fully engaged with the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service across New Mexico. The Forest Plan revision process that is going on across all five of new Mexico's National Forest's is a rare opportunity to help shape how our Forest's will be managed for the next several decades. The work we invest now will help influence the results for years to come.

Together, we do more!

BRC / OHV Events Calendar page

Check out a range of recent updates on activities.

Pssst... want to buy a car company that makes Jeeps?

Answering Beijing's call for foreign acquisitions, Fiat Chrysler has Chinese suitors, sources say.

Chinese automakers are facing government pressure to buy foreign companies -- and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles makes an attractive target.

Automotive News Europe

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MI 48473

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