Category Archives: United News

Bantam Jeep- Four Wheel Hero Project

The first stage of the fundraising through the crowd funding Indiegogo campaign will end this Sunday 10 May and we ask that you consider a donation to this project today.

There has been strong interest reported from foreign TV networks to buy the finished mini-series production. This is your chance to say “I helped get this program made to recognize the great heritage of today’s most recognizable 4×4”.

A lot of people with modest donations supporting this, can make a vital difference. Please don’t assume that someone else will provide the funding… this is where our recreation story starts and with your help, it can happen.

UFWDA will be a proud recipient to the success of the television mini-series production scheduled for this fall. Funds will be raised from network sales during the run of American Bantam: The 4-Wheel American Hero, and in the end, dividends will be split among the promoting veteran and OHV organizations, including UFWDA.
Bantam donate image
The overall goal of American Bantam Jeep Movie is to raise $1,200,000 in 30 days to produce a historically accurate television mini-series which brings to light the little know truth behind the birth of an extremely popular modern day vehicle which helped to win World War II – the Jeep. The mini-series will be an inspirational and bittersweet accounting of the timely pioneering of this incredibly versatile and loved vehicle.

This June 12 -14 the team will be at the Bantam Harvest Jeep Fest at Coopers Lake in Butler County, PA. Rt 422 off of I-79

Duncan and Kim Rolls will be there with a replica of the first BRC to come out of the American Bantam factory. Stop by their booth and make a donation, receive a gift.

Donors can receive a variety of perks and rewards like TV Series Branded Shirts, Jackets, Scripts, Posters and DVD’s, but the best prize is a chance to win a restored 1946 Willy’s CJ-2A, a 2015 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited ”Built”, or the top Perk being a 1940 BRC Pilot Prototype Replica, hand built by Duncan Rolls and his team. More details on rewards are on the website below.

The budget is $780,000 to $2,650,000, contingent upon additional casting considerations, network advances and corporate sponsorship. Using Indiegogo as the source for raising funds, the production company assured us that their goal of a quality, international rendition of the story can be produced for the Indiegogo budget alone of $1,200,000 with pre-production that commenced during the last week in April 2015.

That Indiegogo target is still a fair way off, so please get the message out to all four wheelers that their help is needed to tell this story.

50% of the net revenue will be donated in grants back to several leading national off-road stewardship associations, such as UFWDA and respected military veteran organizations as well.

With the success of this project, UFWDA should benefit from dividends that will help us to boost our legal advocacy for access to public lands.

Since MC2, Inc., the production principal, is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit, up to 50% of all Indiegogo donations are tax deductible.

For many more details and to donate, check out the website


January 2015 eNews

  • UFWDA online magazine ‘Voice’ deadlines for 2015
  • UFWDA Survey is still running
  • Don’t complain!
  • SFWDA: 2015 Is Off To A Great Start
  • America’s Great Outdoors FICOR Report
  • Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters
  • Australian State backs 4WD volunteering
  • Restrictions on public use of Moab trails at Easter
  • eNews Jan 15

Sustainable ATV Trails; Keeping water and soil healthy with sediment control

Recently published online, is a website linked to the USFS outlining the basics of sustainable trails and lists of resources. While aimed at ATV, the message is the same for 4×4 trails.


about the relationship between soil and water and how sustainable trail design can help prevent erosion and other harmful effects caused by erosion.


sustainable trails or improve existing ones using these time-tested techniques, each with detailed descriptions and photos.


existing trails with methods for monitoring trail use and make decisions on how best to target resources for maintaining and improving trails.

Public meeting August 16 on Johnson Valley changes

From the Bureau of Land Management

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and the Marine Corps will host a Resource Management Group meeting about the changes in land use in the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area at the Lucerne Valley Community Center on August 16, 2014 from 1-3 PM.

The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the future locations of the Marine’s company objective areas within the Shared Use Area for military training in accordance with Military Land Withdrawals Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-66).

Input from State agencies, Off-Highway Vehicle and other recreation interest groups, and environmental advocacy groups as well as the public in general are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

The Lucerne Valley Community Center is located at 33187 Old Woman Springs Road, Lucerne Valley, CA. For additional information, contact the Bureau of Land Management, Barstow Field Manager, at 760-252-6004; email:; or the MCAGCC Public Affairs Office at 760-830-6213; email:

UFWDA 2014 Four Wheeler of the Year

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

UFWDA recognize dedication to managing our environment.

United Four Wheel Drive Associations Inc. (UFWDA) were delighted to award their 2014 Environmental Affairs Four Wheeler of the Year Award to Chris Brower of the Carolina Trail Blazers Club (a Southern Four Wheel Drive Association and UFWDA member club) to recognize on an international level, the significant achievements of individuals to recreational four wheeling.

About a year and a half ago, Chris recognized a need to become the liaison to the Uwharrie National Forest for the Carolina Trail Blazers Club. This position coordinates with the Forest Service and other 4×4 clubs to develop a schedule and work tasks for work days on the OHV system in the Forest. Chris has taken ownership of this position and has excelled past all expectations.

Before Chris took this position there was a small effort to coordinate the workdays by whoever was available that weekend. There was not an overall strategic plan with a set of defined objectives for the effort. Chris changed that. He has work crew supervisors to direct the work depending on the type of work to be done and has brought unparalleled organization and structure to the work days.

“Chris has been an incredible asset to the OHV trails on Uwharrie, and is willing to put the time in to make the volunteer program a real success. The Forest Service relies on volunteers to manage our trail systems and without those dedicated few who are willing to go the extra step, we would not be able to make the most of this program.” said Deborah Walker, District Ranger, Uwharrie National Forest.

Chris Brower (aka Snappy) has been a tremendous inspiration, volunteer, motivator, leader, worker, and cheerleader and shows passion that is contagious in our 4×4 community. If not for the efforts of Chris, we would have seen more closures of trails at Uwharrie, the last real place to ride in North Carolina!

BLM writing aggressive plan to save Gunnison sage grouse in Colo., Utah

Scott Streater, E&E reporter

Greenwire: Monday, June 16, 2014

The Bureau of Land Management is developing a sweeping plan to protect the Gunnison sage grouse in Colorado and Utah that involves amending land management plans in both states to install buffer zones around sensitive habitat, impose seasonal restrictions on oil and gas drilling and livestock grazing, and close roads and trails in occupied grouse habitat.

The plan builds on internal guidance issued last summer by BLM’s Colorado State Office instructing employees on how best to manage occupied habitat for the Gunnison sage grouse, which is found almost exclusively in southwest Colorado and southeast Utah. The Fish and Wildlife Service is under a court mandate to decide this fall whether to list it for protection under the Endangered Species Act.

But the new plan, which BLM outlined exclusively to Greenwire, significantly expands on that guidance by proposing to amend up to 11 resource management plans (RMPs) covering 800,000 acres of Gunnison sage grouse habitat in both states. Doing so would make it formal BLM policy to restrict development within a 4-mile buffer of Gunnison breeding grounds, called leks; limit recreational activities like bird watching and hunting during breeding season; and impose surface occupancy restrictions in occupied Gunnison habitat.

As part of the RMP amendment process, BLM will consider amending management plans to include provisions that “exclude new energy development and rights of way” on federal land in occupied Gunnison habitat and close off these lands to “fluid mineral leasing,” including oil, natural gas and geothermal projects, according to agency documents.

The objective is to take the same landscape-level approach to Gunnison that BLM is using to protect the greater sage grouse, which occupies a much larger range than the Gunnison grouse and is also under evaluation by Fish and Wildlife for a possible threatened or endangered listing.

BLM in the last year has formally proposed 15 regional greater sage grouse plans that call for amending dozens of RMPs covering the management of millions of acres of grouse habitat in 10 Western states.

“We are really trying to look at this now on a landscape scale,” said Leigh Espy, a BLM project manager overseeing the Gunnison sage grouse plan in Lakewood, Colo. “Not, as we would say, just the Gunnison basin, or just the Uncompahgre area, but rather the entirety of the bird’s range. We’re figuring out how to benefit the species on that level.”

BLM plans to formally launch the RMP amendment process for the Gunnison grouse later this month when the agency publishes a notice of intent in the Federal Register announcing that it will conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) to evaluate the management plan amendments and kicking off a 30-day public scoping period, Espy said.

BLM is targeting completion of the EIS and implementation of the formal RMP amendments by June 2016, she said.

In the meantime, BLM today issued an instruction memorandum (IM) to agency field offices in Colorado and Utah directing them to follow the tenants of the proposed management plan.

The IM states that protecting Gunnison grouse habitat “is crucial for the conservation and protection of this species,” and it outlines a number of conservation measures that mirror the more aggressive steps taken in recent years to protect the greater sage grouse, whose habitat covers 11 Western states.

“Through this range-wide plan amendment process, BLM Colorado and Utah [field offices] should consider and evaluate [Gunnison] habitat conservation measures related to timing restrictions, buffer distances, percentages of allowable surface-disturbing activities, noise and desired density levels or other development constraints” that are consistent with peer-reviewed or other valid sage grouse research, according to the IM.

“At a minimum, [field offices] will analyze and implement conservation measures that prohibit or limit energy and discretionary mineral development within four miles of active leks, and minimize surface disturbance and disruptive activities in all occupied habitat, where appropriate,” the IM states.

The RMP amendments that are the centerpiece of BLM’s habitat conservation plan will not be finalized until well after Fish and Wildlife issues a final decision whether to list the Gunnison grouse this fall.

But BLM says that it hopes moving on the conservation plan and issuing the new IM to field office staff will demonstrate to Fish and Wildlife that fundamental steps are being implemented to protect the Gunnison sage grouse. And if FWS decides to list the bird this fall, BLM will at least have started its new plan, said Steven Hall, an agency spokesman in Lakewood.

“This will be the policy of the BLM,” Hall said.

Growing concern

BLM’s Gunnison sage grouse plan comes just weeks after a federal judge approved a request by Fish and Wildlife to push back by six months the deadline to decide whether to list the bird — to Nov. 12 from May 12 (Greenwire, May 6).

FWS first proposed listing the Gunnison sage grouse as endangered in January 2013.

Fish and Wildlife was originally required to make a final listing decision on the ground-dwelling bird by May 12 under the terms of a 2011 settlement agreement with WildEarth Guardians stemming from a backlog of species awaiting final listing decisions.

WildEarth Guardians did not oppose the extension request because, the group says, the Interior Department committed to some extensive new mitigation measures, including updating RMPs across the Gunnison sage grouse’s range in Colorado and Utah to include conservation measures.

The legal settlements, the deadline this fall to determine the status of the Gunnison sage grouse and a September 2015 deadline for the greater sage grouse have been heavily criticized by Western lawmakers and the oil and gas industry.

The latest Gunnison grouse proposal is almost certain to spark renewed criticism, especially from Western governors and congressional leaders who in recent weeks have been pushing the Obama administration to defer to the states or to delay by years making a final ruling on the bird.

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) filed a bill last month that would delay by as long as 10 years listing both the Gunnison sage grouse and the greater sage grouse, while giving states the lead in conserving the birds’ habitat (Greenwire, May 22).

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell urged Western governors during last week’s Western Governors’ Association (WGA) annual meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo., to oppose the bill, saying it wouldn’t help the bird (Greenwire, June 10).

The WGA last week adopted a resolution calling on the federal government to give maximum deference to state conservation efforts and to prioritize funding to avoid new ESA listings.

The resolution referenced only the greater sage grouse, and it did not explicitly endorse delaying Fish and Wildlife’s listing deadline. But it did support legislation or legal or regulatory steps that would allow federal, state and local conservation efforts “adequate time” to be rolled out and be proved effective (E&ENews PM, June 11).

The WGA resolution said state and multistate conservation plans for candidate species such as sage grouse — upon review and endorsement by Fish and Wildlife or the National Marine Fisheries Service — should lead to “regulatory presumption” that an ESA listing is not needed.

The agencies should give “full recognition to voluntary conservation efforts conducted by landowners, states, non-profit organizations, and other stakeholders,” the resolution said.

Ongoing conservation efforts

BLM has been working with Colorado as far back as 2005, when they partnered to establish the Gunnison Sage-grouse Rangewide Conservation Plan aimed at preserving the bird and its sagebrush steppe habitat.

Colorado has done a significant amount of conservation work on Gunnison habitat protection, including enrolling private landowners in formal agreements to take steps to protect or restore habitat on their properties in exchange for assurances that they will not be subjected to more regulations should the bird ever be federally listed.

State and county officials also have worked with land trusts to purchase tens of thousands of acres of conservation easements and adopt county land-use restrictions.

Colorado has also worked closely with the oil and gas industry in the state.

The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) last year agreed to expand the acreage in formally designated sensitive wildlife habitat areas that require the oil and gas industry to consult with state wildlife officials and avoid impacts before drilling wells. That included adding more than 400,000 acres to Gunnison sage grouse sensitive wildlife habitat, for a total of more than 1 million acres (EnergyWire, Sept. 18, 2013).

While there is currently very little oil and gas development on federal lands in southwest Colorado, there certainly could be in the future, said David Ludlam, executive director of the West Slope Colorado Oil and Gas Association in Grand Junction, Colo.

Any policy decision to restrict development there would be shortsighted, Ludlam said, noting that advancements in directional-drilling techniques have made it safer to drill near sensitive wildlife habitat.

“We’ll be watching these RMP revisions and hoping that the agency isn’t going to be making reactionary, arbitrary policy decisions,” he said. “We hope they’ll be steeped in science and maintain the flexibility for commercial infrastructure that’s in harmony with protections for the grouse. We think you can do both.”



2014 BFG Outstanding Trails Winners

BFGoodrich® Tires, in collaboration with United Four Wheel Drive Associations (UFWDA) and Blue Ribbon Coalition, today announced the winners of the 2014 Outstanding Trails program.  Nominated for uniqueness, terrain type and enthusiast following, the trails selected for this year’s program are:

  • Pole Line Trail, Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, Pennsylvania
  • Mineral Basin Trail, American Fork Canyon, Utah
  • Billings Canyon Trail, Grand Junction, Colorado

Since its inception in 2006, The Outstanding Trails program has been dedicated to the responsible use and preservation of off-road trails. In the last eight years, Outstanding Trails has recognized more than 33 off-road trails throughout the country and has awarded over $130,000 in grants in support of trail conservation efforts.

“BFGoodrich Tires is about providing driving enthusiasts the capability to discover the best of what we call Playground Earth,” said Duane Thomas, brand communications manager for BFGoodrich Tires. “The Outstanding Trails program is a reflection of that commitment to work with four wheel clubs to enhance the trail system in North America and provide more opportunities to get out and play.”

BFGoodrich Tires 2014 Outstanding Trails
During the course of the year, BFGoodrich Tires will be at club events associated with these trails to highlight the uniqueness of each location, educate off-road enthusiasts on the responsible use of the trails and present a $4,000 grant to each club to assist in the preservation of trail access.

  • The Pole Line Trail is part of the 6,500 acre Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area, a motorized recreation facility with its trailhead located in Coal Township, Pennsylvania. The AOAA frequently holds events, trials and family-oriented rides along this busy trail.
  • The Mineral Base Trail takes its name from the rich history of mining in the area from the late 1800s and is one of the most popular trails in North Utah. The Dirt Hedz Offroad Club helps maintain the track and they are applying to the Forest Service’s “Adopt- A-Trail” program to become the trail’s official caretakers.
  • The Billings Canyon Trail is 10 years old and one of the early extreme trails in Colorado. It was developed by the Grand Mesa Jeep Club and is still maintained by the club today. Rock Junction and The Grand Mesa Jeep Off-road Show are both held at this magnificent trail.

“UFWDA has been honored to be a partner in the Outstanding Trails program,” said Jim Mazzola, President of UFWDA. “The more than 30 grants provided by BFGoodrich as part of the Outstanding Trails program have made a tremendous impact helping preserve some of the most beautiful off-road trails available.”

“The three trails and clubs recognized in 2014 truly live up to the name ‘Outstanding Trail’,” said Del Albright, Blue Ribbon Coalition Ambassador. “These clubs are doing some great work to help improve and conserve access to these trails.”

About the Outstanding Trails Program
The BFGoodrich Tires Outstanding Trails program was established in 2006 to raise awareness for responsible use and preservation of off-road trails while providing support in the trails’ conservation efforts. Through 2014, the Outstanding Trails program has recognized over 30 off-road trails and clubs across North America.  The program has provided more than $130,000 in grants in support of the various trails conservation efforts.

Both Blue Ribbon Coalition and UFWDA are non-profit organizations dedicated to responsible and ethical outdoor recreation.  BFGoodrich Tires collaborated with these two groups to select the finest off-road trails and continues to work with these organizations on restoration and education initiatives.

About BFGoodrich Tires
Using motorsports as a proving ground for more than 40 years, BFGoodrich Tires is involved in every type of racing, including sports car, drag, desert, dirt, rally and extreme rock crawling. BFGoodrich Tires combines technological expertise with vast motorsports experience, delivering a high-performance tire for every type of vehicle. Visit BFGoodrich Tires at, on Facebook at  or on Twitter at

About United Four Wheel Drive Associations
United Four Wheel Drive Associations is the world’s leading representative of all-brand, four wheel-drive enthusiasts. UFWDA benefits, developed and tested over the past 30 years, include four-wheel-drive safety and awareness education; such user ethics programs as adopt-a-road, conservation volunteer and volunteer trail patrol; assistance with new club formation; education seminars to aid four wheelers through complex state and federal programs affecting trail access; internet forums designed to instantly connect members globally; a legislative advocate and nationally recognized attorney who works exclusively for four-wheel-drive enthusiasts to protect access and prevent road and trail closures. For more information on the UFWDA log on to, or call 1-800-44-UFWDA (800-448-3932).

About Blue Ribbon Coalition
The Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) is a national non-profit organization that champions responsible recreation and encourages a strong conservation ethic and individual stewardship, while providing leadership in efforts to keep outdoor recreation alive and well — all sports; all trails.  With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, participation in the administrative process, outreach, education and collaboration among recreationists. BRC works with land managers to provide recreation opportunities, preserve resources and promote cooperation with other public land users. BRC is recognized nationwide for its credible staff of landuse and recreation professionals, as well as a legal team with nearly 30 years of accomplishments.  Learn more at www.BlueRibbonCoalition.Org or call 1-800-BLUERIB (258-3742).