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       December 2019 eNews
These eNews have become a little sporadic recently but the plan is to get back to our regular monthly updates on what's happening in our recreation.

Welcome to those members who've been recently added to our mailing list and thanks for being a part of UFWDA.

As editor and international vice president, I took time in early November to travel from New Zealand to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to attend the UFWDA AGM (at no cost to UFWDA) and from there traveled to Moab for three days of four wheeling.  A big shout out to Jerry Smith our environmental director and his fellow members of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club who came across to Moab and provided invaluable guidance on the trails.

Your input of topical material for each eNews is still vital, so please keep UFWDA and our readers informed by emailing  before the 10th of each month. If your organization has a website with interesting stories etc. then send a link to the Editor

Peter Vahry; editor

Merry Christmas to everyone, I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday.  I hope you all had a great time last summer and got to go wheeling over the past year.

I get questions on what United Four Wheel Drive Associations has been doing.  We continue to work on keeping recreational opportunities available. We remain active in our nation’s capital and have signed on supporting different issues that are important to us. We had a win this past year with the passage of S-47 Natural Resources Management Act which was overall good for our community. This landmark legislation designated or expand six Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Areas in the California desert. These are Johnson Valley, Spangler Hills, El Mirage, Rasor, Dumont Dunes, and Stoddard Valley. This bill creates additional protections for OHV users and ensures that these areas cannot be closed administratively.

Creating the nation’s first system of Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation areas will also ensure that OHV activity is conducted in appropriate locations, protecting other parts of the desert. In addition, some wilderness study areas were released.  As with omnibus legislation, some may not have been happy with the entire bill, but the OHV protections are historic. 

We are happy to help Southern Four Wheel Drive Association with their fight on the Daniel Boone Back Country Byway.  We will continue to look for opportunities to lend our voice to the fight for OHV use.

While one may say we have been in a rebuilding time in our history, we are continuing to make progress.  We have a plan to relaunch our web site and get back to being able to service or individual and association members.  Look for more information in the new year on the new web site and membership improvements. 

I have told many since I have been involved with United, we will continue to represent our members as the opportunities arise and will be patient as we continue to work forward.  I hope everyone looks forward to 2020 and has all the opportunities to have fun with family and friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Steve Egbert
UFWDA President

Website Update
Among the items discussed at November's Annual Meeting was the UFWDA website. The one you see currently is a temporary one following a series of 'hackings' that effectively destroyed our previous web presence.
UFWDA have commissioned the creation of a new version that will provide a better 'front door' to our organization and include integration with membership services

Utah won’t honor out-of-state OHV registration tags


Effective Jan. 1, 2020, the State of Utah will no longer honor off-highway vehicle registrations from any other states.

In past years, Utah has had standing agreements with some other states to honor their OHV registration. This meant that visitors to Utah who had OHVs registered in states like Nevada were not required to obtain a non-resident user permit or pay a non-resident fee.

In the 2019 General Session, the Utah Legislature passed H.B. 105 that removed this option from future use. This means that starting on Jan. 1, visitors wanting to ride in Utah using a machine registered in another state will be required to purchase a non-resident OHV permit. These permits may be purchased in person from an approved vendor or ordered online.

To obtain a non-resident permit, you must provide proof of out-of-state residency and that the OHV is not owned by a Utah resident.

“The non-resident permit funds go directly back into our motorized recreational sport to help support Utah’s famous OHV trails and recreation areas,” said a statement from the Utah Department of Natural Resources. “The permits fees are directed toward trail construction, trail improvements, trail maintenance, OHV education, OHV facility development, and enforcement.”

    UFWDA Annual General Meeting     
            (AGM) 2019 Report

The Annual General Meeting in Las Vegas during the SEMA Show was, to put it politely, lightly attended by members, despite the opportunity to take part through the internet. For those who did join the webinar, thank you and apologies for some of the sound quality.

As president, Steve Egbert guided those present through a relaxed meeting that identified some of what UFWDA had achieved in the past year, including a series of bi-monthly Board meetings by internet, a number of letters to Congress etc. in conjunction with ORBA and a reinforced aim to link 4x4 organizations together.

Banking for UFWDA has now been consolidated with Bank of America and we remain financially stable as a volunteer based organization.

Quite a bit of time was spent on discussion around buying services to create an upgraded web presence that will tie in with an online membership management provider. The votes went in favor of those proposals.

Nominations for roles within United were zilch, but fortunately the incumbent Board members were happy to continue and we thank them for that.  It was recognized that our public relations presence has been  largely non-existent and Mike Ingalsbee from ORBA was seconded to help in that area... thanks Mike!

Marketing UFWDA involvement with 4x4 recreation has traditionally been in printed form, such as these eNews and the UFWDA Voice online magazine.  With the popularity of digital media such as YouTube etc. we are going to look into video material that might help in our endeavours to promote responsible and sustainable use of vehicles when off road. If there are members with the skills to create suitable material  for YouTube etc, we'd be happy to hear from you.

With the growth of 'pay to play' 4x4 parks, mostly in the East of the U.S.A., the idea of  working with them to promote our recreation has led to the involvement  of Bruce Shallis, who many will recognize from Pennsylvania's Rausch Creek Park.



Have you ever had a look at the UFWDA Environmental Affairs Director's Facebook page?

This site provides links to USDA Forest Service land use notices.
    Mud can affect your wallet

On 12 December 2019, the New Zealand Four Wheel Drive Association and a member club were fined a combined penalty of NZ $98,000 plus costs, for damaging a stream and discharging sediment.
In a press release, the Regional Council stated "The tyres damaged the bed and banks, bow waves from vehicles in the water undercut the banks and loss of traction in the bed
 further exacerbated the release of sediment. The discolouration of the water could be seen over 5km downstream in the Mangaroa River.
An ecologist report estimated that 1.35 tonnes of sediment had been discharged as a result of the event. The result of all this is likely to be significant reductions in the fish and invertebrate populations in the stream (in the short term)."

The size of the penalty has shocked the New Zealand 4WD community and is creating a rethink on vehicles around water courses and crossings.

A different view on four wheeling from Australia....

Driving More Visitors To Enjoy

Victoria’s Great Outdoors

  • Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change

The Andrews Labor Government’s is upgrading camp sites and 4WD tracks across Victoria to get more people out and about in our great outdoors.

Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio was in the Howqua Hills in Victoria’s High Country to announce $10.5 million to upgrade seven of the state’s iconic 4WD drive tracks, as well as other tracks and facilities across Victoria.

The 4WD tracks marked for upgrade include Wonnangatta, the Otways, Snowy River, Davies Plain, Grampians, Mallee and River Red Gum Drive.

An additional $945,000 will improve six campsites in the Alpine National Park, Howqua Hills and Mansfield State Forest, with better signage and toilet facilities, and new fire rings and picnic tables.

The investment will boost tourism in rural and remote communities -supporting local businesses and jobs.

Four-wheel drive clubs, along with conservation and tourism operators, inject more than $120 million into the regional economy annually.

Camping and recreation in Victoria’s national parks contributes $2.1 billion to the state’s tourism industry each year and supports more than 20,000 jobs.

The Labor Government’s $105.6 million Great Outdoors package is making it easier to explore the state’s 7.12 million hectares of national parks and state forests.

For more information on the Great Outdoors program, visit

Quotes Attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio

“Four-wheel driving is a great way to explore Victoria’s great outdoors, and the improvements being made to these vehicle tracks and campsites will make that experience even more enjoyable.”

“A camping road trip is a wonderful and affordable way to get out into nature and there’s no better place to do it than in Victoria’s stunning Alpine region.”

“We’re upgrading campgrounds and 4WD tracks to make family holidays more fun and affordable.”



5/15-5/17 Trailfest @ Hawks Pride

Dixie Run 10/2-10/4 @ Windrock.

Learn More..... #sfwda #dixierun34 #trailfet2020

Help us with the creation of the UFWDA 'Voice'

To create an edition of the UFWDA Voice online magazine requires sourcing a variety of content and with a great geographic area to cover,  we have to rely on willing contributors to fill those pages.

As 'Editor' it would be great to be able to spend time attending events and club activities, but sadly the system just can't accomodate  the time and travel costs!

That then means we need to ask you, our readers and members, to send  us some of your photos of your four wheeling and maybe even a few words describing the activity?

It is time again to create another edition of the UFWDA Voice, so please make that effort and send in those articles about 4x4 adventures. I'm setting a deadline of 20 January 2020

Links to Facebook, or other locations where you've posted pictures etc are welcomed too.

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