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UFWDA Community Forum  |  Regional Focus - News and Local Events  |  Southeast  |  Topic: AL - AMA Rights -- News & Notes May 2007 « previous next »
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Author Topic: AL - AMA Rights -- News & Notes May 2007  (Read 2515 times)
kf6zpl
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« on: April 17, 2007, 02:13:08 pm »

    Cullman County, Alabama is buying 1,464 acres about 7 miles west of Interstate 65 to build an off-road vehicle park that also will accommodate horses and bicycles. The Cullman County Commission voted recently to give commission Chairman Wiley Kitchens authority to buy the land. The land has a price tag of more than $1.7 million.

    Sale of the land off Alabama 69 west of Dodge City is being handled through the Trust for Public Land. The county brought in the Trust, a nonprofit land conservation group, to negotiate the sale from private landowners, survey the land, and make sure there are no environmental or other issues that could affect a park locating at the site. Once the trust closes on the land sale, the county will buy the land and pay the trust for its services.

    To help pay for the land, Cullman received $918,976 from two Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grants. The county hopes to get two more grants in the next two years to help pay off the land and build the park, county officials said. The county has to match the ADECA grants by investing 20 percent in money or services.

    The park is slated to include trails for four-wheel off-road trucks and other vehicles, all-terrain vehicles, motorcycles, horses and bicycles. Genesis of the park comes largely from the work of Alabama Off-Highway Vehicle Association, AMA and ATVA members showing how the county might benefit from such a facility.

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Dave Logan
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2007, 08:17:29 pm »

I've been hearing about this project.  I'm glad to hear that it will happen.  Alabama currently has no full size OHV trails on public land.
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Rick Casey
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« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2007, 12:45:40 pm »

This is good news!

Do you have any info on the design? Camping, park fees, services etc...
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Rick Casey

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Robert Fuller
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« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2007, 10:38:52 am »

Well finally getting a chance to get back on here. I've been working with the Cullman County commission on this project for the past couple of years. It has been a wild ride, but the land is now officially purchased and the RTP program has provided an increase to Cullman County's grant for this year to allow for initial engineering and construction work. Hopefully we will begin the design process this year and get something started next year at the latest. Here's a synoposis of the roller coaster ride this has been.

Initially Cullman County had 168 acres that had been a decommissioned landfill they were interested in using to start an OHV park with. Sammi Danford with the Economic Development Agency started working the grant process. After talking and looking at the area, Cullman County put together a deal to purchase an additional 325 or so acres to bring the total to just under 500 acres. We had to go thru an election cycle that could have brought iin commissioners who opposed the park, then we had a public meeting on the park after the elections worked out in our favor. The overwhelming majority of those at the meeting supported the park with mainly 2 very vocal opponents. However after the meeting everything almost came to a screeching halt. A county deputy had heard about the meeting and wanted to know if we were aware of tires being dumped on the land planned for purchased. Sammie was a ware of "some" tires that were disposed of per environmental requirements, but he said no, there were over 2 million tires just dumped on the land. The head of the county commission took a plane ride over the land and sure enought, tires were strewn everwhere, and this tract was in the middle of what was being purchased. The county engineer had not physically inspected the site, just noted a conversation about "some" tires. Well this was a MAJOR problem, but there was a silver lining. Another resident approached the commissioners after hearing about the meeting and wanted to know if they were interested in purchasing the 1500 acres mentioned in the article. After several meetings and Jon Strickland, who heads the RTP program here, and I touring the land with the commissioners, the commission was able to  put together a deal where the Alabama Land Trust (or was it State Land Trust) purchased the land outright and then the county paid them back over a multi year plan using RTP funds. The deeds were signed last month and we hope to get work started soon. The land is really nice with lots of terrain changes and the edge of the property borders a small ravine with a creek in the bottom, the owner had been logging the land and they almost got their dozer stuck at the bottom of the ravine plowing trails it was so steep. The plan we have talked about is mainly moderate and beginner level with at least one hard trail, and possiably a rock pile at the entrance area. The land will be open to 4WD, ATV, and motorcycle, and there has been discussions of making a horse trail on the perimeter to provide a buffer zone for the neighbors. I've already promised Sammie I'll do a cartwheel when we finally open the first PUBLIC 4WD trail in the state.

Robert
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Dave Logan
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« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2007, 12:19:17 pm »

Congratulations, Robert.  I know a number of us will come help celebrate.  Good work.
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Melissa Simmons
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2007, 01:02:04 pm »

Robert, this is great news!  Might you be willing to write a short article for the upcoming issue of the Voice?  News like this is absolutely worthy of sharing with our entire membership!

If you're willing, let me know and I can get you details about where to send your article.  If I'm not mistaken, the deadline for our next issue is coming quick - June 8; however, I know our BOD would love to have an article from you and if you have some photos, that would be great also.

Thanks for the update and all your good, hard work.  Thanks to everyone else involved in making this a reality for Alabama and the 4x4 community.

~M~
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Peter Vahry
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2007, 04:35:22 pm »

Hi Robert, congratulations to you and your team. It certainly sounds as if it's been an already challenging 4x4 exercise! As Melissa as mentioned it would make a great "good news" story for Voice and I'd also like to give it a mention in e-News.

My regards to your family.

Peter
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Robert Fuller
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 11:38:23 pm »

I'll get something put together. I should be able to make the deadline. Thanks for the kind words Peter, life's been crazy until the last month. I just finally got the chance to try to get caught up on United. Talk to you later.

Robert
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Doc Elliott
Southern Four Wheel Drive Association
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« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2007, 06:49:55 pm »

Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 08:49:18 -0500
From: "Strickland, Jon" <Jon.Strickland@adeca.alabama.gov>
To: <caos4by4@cs.com>, <mbrooks3406@charter.net>, <president@rocketcityrockcrawlers.com>, <sdanford@co.cullman.al.us>
Subject: Cullman Alabama 4x4 Park 

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------
A partnership of Cullman County, the state of Alabama, and the Federal Highway Administration has formed to build a 4x4 park on 1,500 acres of land approximately 5 miles west of I-65 at the Dodge City exit.  Having just completed their land acquisition phase of the project, they are now selecting the engineer/architect and beginning to address design issues. Your help with this project will become increasing important as the project moves through design and construction phases.  For additional information, please call Sammy Danforth at 256-775-6258.

 
This probably should be a place where SFWDA and UFWDA work to support the state"as the project moves through design and construction phases".
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Dave Logan
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« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2007, 07:27:43 pm »

Thanks, Doc.  I agree. 

Sean McLeod or David Borum should be the ones helping from Southern. 

I don't know who to contact on the United side right now.  Maybe Wayne or Carla will chime in Huh
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Robert Fuller
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« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2007, 12:40:09 pm »

I have previously talked with Jay and Gunner about this. Jay has helped support the effort to this point by providing an "official" letter from SFWDA backing the effort. In order to work with the match needed, I've volunteered not only manpower, but he use of our equipement, but need a definition of the actual work to be preformed before we go much further. So far the areas I'm looking for in the construction are volunteer effort for some of the trail construction (to include equipment usage), and trail head facilities, as well as trail planning inputs. We could also help by rounding up "sponsership" of the park by dealers, shops, and suppliers to go toward the matching funds needed (this can be cash or in kind dontations). The real keys in my opinion will first off be to use the park once it's opened, and to provide a Trail Patrol for at least the first year (or two) that it's open. The thing that will kill this park quicker than anything else is misuse. If we have a Trail Patrol of trained volunteers to just "show the flag" and let folks know what the rules are then report offenders early on, then it will be less likely to become a problem later.

Robert
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