Jeff Bates – Past – President of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club (a member club of Colorado Four Wheel Drive Association and UFWDA) is the 2014 Four Wheeler of the Year.
Awarded annually by United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc. (UFWDA), this award recognizes on an international level, the significant achievements and contribution of individuals to the sport of recreational four wheeling.
Because of Jeff Bates’ leadership and vision as President over the last 3 years, the Grand Mesa Jeep Club (GMJC) has prospered to unheard of levels. Jeff’s leadership has also shown in bringing the GMJC to the role of community leader regarding the Grand Junction Field Office (GJFO) of the BLM and their 2013 Resource Management Plan (RMP) and Travel Management Plan (TMP).
Jeff was given an award for his leadership by the BLM at a community awards meeting. Largely due to his leadership, the GMJC was responsible for generating over 800 individual comments on the BLM’s RMP/TMP.
With Jeff’s leadership, the BLM is working hard to establish more extreme trails in the Bangs Canyon area. He has also been able to get a commitment for a connector for the Tabeguache trail to Hwy 141. This ¼ mile connector has been in the works for nearly 30 years.
The club’s annual “Off Road Show and Swap Meet” and the three-day “Rock Junction” event held in conjunction with the “Off Road Show”, are outcomes of Jeff Bates vision. Largely due to the growth of these two events, the membership of the Grand Mesa Jeep Club has more than tripled in the last two years. This growth in membership benefits all of us in the organized sport of 4-wheeling.
Jeff has been in the forefront of building interest in removing tons of trash and large items from the Grand Junction area and is very active in trail maintenance projects