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MUIRNet-News articles, news and information about recreation and environmental issues


The Respected Access movement, initially created at the request of the Federal Lands Hunting and Shooting Sports Roundtable, is an education and outreach campaign designed to promote outdoor ethics in the hunting and shooting community through a multi-faceted marketing campaign.  Yamaha has dedicated $10,000 toward the development of the respectedaccess.org website.  The website is a central component of the campaign and will include recreation tips, public service announcements and other downloadable resources.  The 2009 GRANT complements an initial $10,000 provided in 2008 by Yamaha to design and develop the Respected Access education and outreach partnership.  Data from the internationally renowned research group, Responsive Management Institute, was used in development.

"The mission of the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative aligns closely with the nationally-recognized work of Tread Lightly!, creating a mandate for our alliance," said Mike Martinez, Yamaha’s general manager of ATV and Side-by-Side Operations.  "Responsible OHV riders demonstrate a strong commitment to land stewardship.  Tread Lightly!'s programs support the OHV community's ability to enjoy the outdoors with respect on a national level."

The Respected Access website will be available to the public in October, 2009.

Yamaha funds will support the design of a template for a new travel map that will simplify information from the U.S. Forest Visitor's Use Map by incorporating both motorized and non-motorized travel information, as well as Tread Lightly!'s outdoor ethic.  Initially, this user-friendly public traveler map will be customized and printed for the four districts on the Eldorado National Forest in California.

An important tool in promoting responsible recreation, the maps will educate recreationists to trail designations, area restrictions, and information about local natural resources.  Developed with national application in mind, the traveler map design will be a blueprint for other Forests to utilize.

"When people have high quality information they make better choices," said Ms. McCullough.  "Yamaha’s involvement in creating these easy-to-follow maps is a natural fit with their efforts to further educate the OHV community about responsible practices while recreating."

Yamaha also contributed a Grizzly utility ATV in support of Tread Lightly!’s annual fundraising auction on eBay.  By donating the popular ATV, Yamaha  increased attention and contributions Tread Lightly! relies upon for its education and stewardship programs. 

Yamaha has been a long-time Official Partner of Tread Lightly!, giving annual contributions toward sustaining the nonprofit organization in its mission of promoting responsible outdoor recreation through ethics education and stewardship.
About Tread Lightly!
Tread Lightly!, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization with a mission to promote responsible recreation through ethics education and stewardship.  Recognized as the nation’s signature outdoor ethic, Tread Lightly!’s educational message, along with its training and restoration initiatives are strategically designed to instill an ethic of responsibility in a wide variety of outdoor enthusiasts and the industries that serve them.  The program is long-term in scope with a goal to balance the needs of people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain a healthy environment.  With a niche focusing on motorized recreation, Tread Lightly! offers unique programs and services to help remedy current recreation issues.

About the Yamaha OHV Access Initiative
Each quarter, Yamaha accepts applications from non-profit or tax-exempt organizations including OHV riding clubs, national forests and associations, and national, state and local government agencies. A committee then reviews each application and awards GRANTs to deserving projects.

Examples of appropriate projects for GRANTs include, but are not limited to:
Trail development, restoration and maintenance
Trail signage and map production
Staging area construction, renovation and maintenance
Land stewardship, trail safety and education

Updated guidelines, an application form and information on the OHV Access Initiative are available at the newly redesigned web site: www.yamaha-motor.com/ohvaccess. For specific questions about the OHV Access Initiative, call Yamaha’s dedicated OHV Access Initiative Hotline at 1-877-OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or write to: Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Review Committee, 6555 Katella Avenue, Cypress, CA 90630-5101.


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Professionals for Managed Recreation Formed

Group Comprised of Retired Federal Land Managers Supports Sustainable Recreation

Washington, D.C., May 5, 2009 - A new group, Professionals for Managed Recreation (PMR), has been formed to promote environmentally sustainable, managed recreation.  PMR is comprised of retired land management officials who favor access for managed, responsible motorized recreation on public lands. Each of the officials has extensive experience in successfully managing off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation on a National Forest and/or Bureau of Land Management unit.

The new group's mission statement is, "Professionals for Managed Recreation is committed to encouraging, promoting and expanding sustainable OHV recreation through training, advocacy and on-the-ground management activities.  PMR's website is hosted by Americans for Responsible Recreational Access and can be found here: http://www.arra-access.com/arra/pmr-home.html.

Tom Crimmins, lead PMR spokesman and retired Forest Service official of 32 years, stated, "Professionals for Managed Recreation presents an opportunity to convey that with proper management, OHV trail systems can be fun, challenging, and most importantly, sustainable."

Crimmins authored Management Guidelines for Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation, which can be downloaded from the PMR website for free.  The book discusses approaches to OHV recreation management to meet both land manager and rider objectives.  Topics addressed include route planning, trail design and active management, with many specific examples.

Currently, four other retired land managers join Crimmins as members of PMR.  Crimmins stated, "We have a great core of experienced land managers who have all successfully managed OHV programs on public lands.  We know there are more folks like us out there who, by definition, are retired but remain actively engaged in promoting sustainable management techniques, and we encourage them to be a part of PMR."

Crimmins concluded, "Closure is not the only option for land managers dealing with OHV recreation.  In fact in nearly every case responsible, active management is the real solution.  Each member of PMR has experience in managing sustainable OHV trail systems and it is that experience that we would like to share."

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14 Monuments Proposed in Secret Document

As outlined in a letter from Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources and Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, sweeping National Monument designations represent a serious threat to recreation including motorized access. Any OHV use would almost certainly be forever banned in areas designated as National Monuments, and riders would have no opportunity to formally weigh in on the process.

The areas under consideration for this act include, San Rafael Swell - UT, Montana’s Northern Prairie – MT, Lesser Praire Chicken Preserve – NM, Berryessa Snow Mountains – CA, Heart of the Great Basin – NV, Otero Mesa – NM, Northwest Sonoran Desert – AZ, Owyhee Desert – OR/NV, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument (Expansion) – CA, Vermillion Basin - CO, Bodie Hills – CA, The Modoc Plateau – CA, Cedar Mesa region – UT, San Juan Islands – WA.


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Travel Restrictions in New Owyhee Wilderness Announced

Section 1503(b)(1) of The Act states, “Subject to valid existing rights, each area designated as wilderness by this subtitle shall be administered by the Secretary [of Interior] in accordance with the Wilderness Act [of 1964].”

While The Act specifically provides for continued operation of commercial outfitting and guiding activities in wilderness areas, those activities are limited by the requirements of Section 4(c) of the 1964 Wilderness Act, which states that “…subject to existing private rights…there shall be…no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment..., no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.”

On the subject of Road Closures, to comply with the Wilderness Act of 1964, BLM is locating and signing wilderness boundary roads, which will remain open to the public. All roads leading into Wilderness Areas will eventually be signed and barricaded. According to the Act, gates will allow passage of motorized vehicles and equipment for emergency purposes, and will also provide grazing permittees access to repair or maintain existing range improvements on a limited and as-authorized basis only.

Hunters and other recreationists accessing Wilderness Areas will not be allowed the use of motorized or mechanized vehicles or equipment. Section 1507(d)(1) of The Act also states, “…all recreational motorized and mechanized off-highway vehicle use [within Owyhee County] shall be limited to roads and trails lawfully in existence on the day before the date of enactment of this Act.”

BLM has maps on its website, which can be downloaded, showing where these Wilderness Areas are located in Owyhee County. To view the latest maps of the new Wilderness Areas, go to www.id.blm.gov and click on “Owyhee Wilderness MAPS”. The routes on the maps that appear to enter Wilderness Areas are cherry-stem routes that Congress specifically excluded from Wilderness designation. All other routes, whether or not they are currently gated or barricaded, officially end at the wilderness boundaries. Please ensure that you do not enter any Wilderness Area on a closed route.

If you have questions regarding the above information, please call Bruneau Field Manager Arnie Pike at (208) 384-3331, Owyhee Field Manager Buddy Green at (208) 896-5913, or Jarbidge Assistant Field Manager Jill Ralston at (208) 736-2364.


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DNR announces temporary road and trail closures in 31 of 58 Minnesota state forests

(March 31, 2010) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds people that it has temporarily closed many of its state forest roads and trails since they are not yet firm enough to support vehicle traffic.

The state forests temporarily closed to vehicle traffic as of Monday, March 29, include Badoura, Big Fork, Blackduck , Bowstring, Chengwatana, Fond du Lac, Foot Hills, Golden Anniversary, Hill River, Huntersville, Land O’Lakes, Lyons, Nemadji, Paul Bunyan, Pine Island, Remer, Rum River, Smokey Bear, Smoky Hills, Snake River, St. Croix, Two Inlets, Waukenabo, Wealthwood, White Earth, and Whiteface River.

State forests with some, but not all, roads and trails closed as of Monday, March 29, include George Washington, Koochiching, Red Lake, Savanna, and Solana.

“The DNR will lift road and trail closures as soon as possible, some of them as soon as next week,” said Keith Simar, DNR forest recreation coordinator. “We will let users know when and where they can drive. In turn, we ask that they check before riding.”

People can check “Current Conditions” on the DNR Web site or by calling the DNR Information Center for updates. The Info Center can be reached at 651-296-6157 or toll-free at 888-MINNDNR (646 6367) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

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