OHV advocate with an audiovisual flair

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This past April, multiline dealer and longtime motorized-access advocate Dick Lepley became executive director of the Pennsylvania Off-Highway Vehicle Association. Among the talents he brought to the job is a flair for creating audiovisuals.

Lepley, whose sonorous voice once landed him a job as a DJ, got good practice in media production late last year while helping NOHVCC with a DVD titled “Public Land Advocacy Workshops Series.” Available now from the association for free, the DVD features such video chapters as Forest Service Planning Process, Forest Service Structure, Trail Planning Parts 1 and 2, Trail Maintenance and Success Stories.

The MIC, SVIA and ROHVA helped finance the DVD’s development, and the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative made its distribution possible. “I did all the voice work on it,” says Lepley, who worked with several people in writing the scripts and producing the videos. “It was a pretty massive undertaking, and I’m really proud to have been part of it. We’re talking about doing more things like that because it’s a really great way to get multiple messages out to folks.”

Actually, it was just this past spring that NOHVCC, with Lepley’s help, created another video project for Idaho aimed at hunters and motorized recreationalists. He explains: “Along with informational videos, there are a 30-minute segment, a seven-minute segment, and 13 public service announcements that are all aimed at awareness of proper motorized use, off-road hunting etiquette, etc.”

The Idaho project had its premier at the NOHVCC national conference in late August. “I give the folks in Idaho a lot of credit for jumping in and wanting to do something like this,” Lepley says. “I think it’s an idea that will pop up in other states as people learn about it.”

But none of this should suggest that Lepley isn’t focused on his home state (he’s owned Street Track ’n Trail in Conneaut Lake for more than 40 years). In fact, he cut his teeth on creating PSAs about a year ago when the PaOHV fought a city council’s proposal for an ATV ordinance. “That one was fairly close to home, and we were able to illustrate the role of a state association pretty effectively,” Lepley says. “Not only did we have club contacts in that particular market, we also had a member dealer. They teamed up and got involved with the mayor, the commissioners, etc., and worked through the process of coming to a conclusion that did not involve an ordinance.”

During this two-month process, Lepley did his part by creating a public service spot encouraging people to respect property rights and to ride responsibly and legally. “We were able to air that through a radio station in that market, and it had a pretty positive impact on the way things went,” he says. “In fact, the city council asked to see if it was possible to keep that spot on the shelf to bring it out again this spring.”

Lepley wishes to encourage this tactic among others. He’s hoping soon to build an online library of PSAs that people can download from the PaOHV website. “Then if they have a problem raising its ugly head in their market,” he says, “they can grab a hold of those and see if they can get some air time, using the PSAs as a tool to help stave off ordinances.” — Arlo Redwine

This story originally appeared in the Dealernews October 2010 issue.