Land Use Access Efforts

UFWDA is your Global Voice for Offroad Recreation

Our purpose is to assist and represent member organizations in issues as they relate to the use of motorized vehicles on public and private lands. This purpose is achieved through work 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.

We strive 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.

Through legal representation, UFWDA can assist member clubs and associations to fight closures in their areas, to write appeals, to provide legal advice on the merits of upcoming law suits, to assist in the formation of a four wheel drive club including incorporation, and with other four wheel drive-related issues facing members.

Legislative Defense – UFWDA continually monitors, tracks, and combats federal legislation that would affect your right to wheel. In addition, UFWDA partners with other champions of OHV access to protect your rights to access in your state.

OHV Park and Private Property Access Assistance – UFWDA provides guidance to private land owners interested in offering access to four wheel drive use and helps four wheelers find OHV access nationwide.

States in which UFWDA worked on specific issues over the past decade. Effecting all 50 states were 12 issues of national significance addressed by UFWDA on your behalf.

HIGHLIGHTS OF UFWDA LEADERSHIP ROLE ON SIGNIFICANT NATIONAL ISSUES

Adopt-a-Road Project: Created project including standardized agreement form with US Forest Service (USFS), listing of all USFS districts in US, project formation kit, press kit. Goal is to adopt 1 road in every district in every national forest and accumulate 100,000 volunteer hours nationally each year. Secondary goal is to adopt as many roads as possible to ensure inclusion into OHV route designation.

BLM Route Designation Project: Worked with 9 other organizations by drafting one of five pillar documents for submission to Kathleen Clarke for the Bureau of Land Management Director’s National Recreation Forum.

Compiled Recreation Statutes by State: Compiled recreation statutes in hard copy form and electronically saved information for each state. This is a catalogue of statutes pertaining to liability of land owners when property used for recreation.

Recreation Trails Program (RTP) funding letters and alert: The RTP program is a federally funded state managed grant program for recreation. The federal program was voted upon for reauthorization by Congress in May and June of 2005. The Senate version maintained the prior 5-year funding levels while the House version increased the funding. Wrote letter to House and Senate Committee members urging them to reconcile the two bills using the House-version of funding. Also created alert and form letter for membership requesting their Senators push for House funding level.

The Wilderness Society (TWS) BLM Project: This in an on-going response to the BLM regarding route inventory and designation in response to a position paper created by TWS regarding OHV use on BLM-managed lands. My goal is to be the principal author of a similar paper from recreation organizations and to gain full support of our request from all national recreation groups. US Legislation: Provided House Resources committee with alternative language to proposed Fee Program legislation. The final legislation included some of our recommendations.

US Forest Service OHV Route designation rulemaking: This rulemaking, not yet finalized as of July 2005, proposes to create a process by which all districts or forests will designate an OHV route system. Once the system is designated no use off of forest service roads and trails will be allowed. Each designation system will also evaluate whether to allow cross-country travel in certain areas. This is the single-largest OHV rule to affect our sport in the last century.

HIGHLIGHTS OF UFWDA LEADERSHIP ROLE ON SIGNIFICANT STATE ISSUES

  • Submitted written comments to the Coconino National Forest pertaining to its notice of intent to prepare an Outfitter-Guide Management Plan for the Red Rock Ranger District in Arizona.
  • Fought bumper height legislation introduced to prohibit any vehicle suspension alterations above manufacturer’s standards.
  • Wrote legal opinion letter for member association concerning effect of state recreation statute on private land owners opening land for 4×4 use and obtained a favorable opinion letter by state attorney general regarding same.
  • Fighting closures to OHV use in park unit by participating and seeking leadership role in National Park Service’s Negotiated Rulemaking.
  • Advised multiple member clubs about their specific Special Use Requirements for club rides on both state and federallymanaged lands.
  • Advised numerous clubs on process for incorporation and liability protection for club officers.
  • Advised several member clubs about sufficiency of liability waivers for 4×4 events.
  • Advised member association on writing Freedom of Information Request for public information pertaining to US Forest Service closures to overturn such closures or prepare for future litigation.
  • Provided legal advice and formal comments pertaining to numerous forest plan revisions to protect 4×4 access, preserve record on appeal, and maintain standing to sue in federal court.

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