LAST SUMMER, down the road from Walker Power Equipment in Walker, Minn., a long-time customer parked his three ATVs by the road and slapped “For Sale” signs on them. Why? Because the trails he’s been riding for 30 years are now closed to OHVs.
“He’s been buying ATVs from me for a long time,” says dealership owner Rick Crow. “I’ve lost him as a customer, and that’s not just for ATVs, but service, parts and accessories.”
Crow says the loss of a good customer and the recent road closings — part of the Travel Management Plan of the Chippewa National Forest — reaffirms his commitment to stay involved with a local ATV/OHM club that is working to build and maintain a new trail system.
“This is not an isolated case,” says Crow. “It’s happening everywhere. Dealers should absolutely be involved with local clubs whenever they can.”
Like many dealers, Crow provides local clubs with discounted vehicles for fund-raisers. This year, he’s adding another tool to his off-road club toolbox — a new DVD from the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC).
The “Public Land Advocacy Workshops Series DVD” is available free of charge. It was created by NOHVCC with help from the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA), and the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) and is being distributed with help from the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative.
For off-road clubs and their dealers, protecting existing trails and building new trails can present an overwhelming challenge. The bureaucracy can be frustrating. The learning curve can be long and steep. The new DVD is designed to give riders the skills to shorten the learning process and keep their trails open.
The DVD covers a wide range of topics, including: understanding the agency designation process, how to get involved and save trails, and how to plan, design, manage and maintain trail systems. It also highlights success stories. The content is based on NOHVCC’s successful onsite workshops and webinars. (Continued)